Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Daily Environmental Lectures, Events, and News from COP15

The San Francisco Carbon Collaborative, in partnership with other regional climate leaders, is hosting a local hub for climate outreach, education, and action during COP15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The Copenhagen Cafe at the Green Zebra Environmental Action Center is a place to gather, to learn, to deliberate, and to act. It is an open and accessible venue for all levels of environmental interest and commitment, and will maintain a direct link between the Bay Area and Denmark during the conference.

The Copenhagen Cafe will be open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Each morning, there will be a review of the latest news from the COP15 Climate Conference. The Cafe will host introductory talks on a range of climate related topics during the lunch hour. And there will be panels, discussions, and film screenings during the evening.

The programs are free of charge, but the Cafe encourages registration because space is limited.

Greenhouse Gases Threaten Human and Environmental Health

The EPA today formally determined that greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution endangers human health and the environment. Under a Supreme Court ruling, the endangerment finding is needed before the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide and five other GHGs released from automobiles, power plants, and factories under the federal Clean Air Act. This finding sets the stage for EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation. It also allows EPA to move forward with its "tailoring rule", which will require major sources of GHGs to take steps to limit emissions from new facilities by using Best Available Control Technology (BACT).

Read Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's comments on the endangerment finding here.

Read the Associated Press article about the finding here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Proposed Amendments to 'New Source Review of Toxic Air Contaminants'

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) is accepting comments through this Thursday, December 3, on proposed amendments to Regulation 2, Rule 5, New Source Review of Toxic Air Contaminants and the Health Risk Screening Analysis (HRSA) Guidelines for this rule.

Regulation 2, Rule 5 prevents significant increases in health risks resulting from new and modified sources of toxic air contaminants based on preconstruction permit review. The program also reduces existing health risks by requiring updated control requirements when older, more highly polluting sources are modified or replaced.

The proposed amendments incorporate revised California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) health risk assessment methodologies for proposed projects throughout the district. The proposed amendments revise Table 2-5-1 to incorporate changes to risk assessment guidelines that have been adopted by OEHHA as of June 1, 2009. These revisions include cancer potency factors, RELs, and emission trigger levels. The proposed amendments contain a toxics tracking provision for each Priority Community under the BAAQMD’s Community Air Risk Evaluation program. Under this provision, the BAAQMD will track and report emissions changes of toxic air contaminants from permitted stationary sources, mobile sources, and area-wide source over time.

On Wednesday, December 16, 2009, the BAAQMD Board of Directors will conduct a public hearing to consider the proposed amendments and to consider adoption of a CEQA Negative Declaration. The hearing will be held in the 7th floor Board Room of the BAAQMD office, 939 Ellis Street, San Francisco, commencing at 9:45 am.