Subject: Studies in the News 01-35

Studies in the News:
Environmental Supplement

Contents This Week

   Air Resources Board adopts limits on diesel exhaust
   Wind turbine power
   Report card on Southern California environment
   U.S. energy policy during the 1990s
   Energy conservation to address peak demand
   New technologies bring efficiency
   NACEC and industrial pollution
   Farmland losses mount
   Rule against harvesting large old trees
   Effects of nonindigenous species
   Invasive species in coastal waters
   Recreation and park districts
   Slums or urban frontier in older suburbs
   Smog leads to water pollution in Santa Monica Bay
   Storm drain pollution in Santa Monica Bay
   Compensating for wetland losses
   Evaluating vehicle emissions programs
   Global climate change policy reader
   Arsenic found in drinking water
   Farming carnivorous fish
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Notice of Public Hearing to Consider Amendments Adopting More Stringent Emission Standards for 2007 and Subsequent Model Year New Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines. By California Air Resouces Board. (The Board, Sacramento, California) August 28, 2001. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["State air quality officials approved stringent standards to cut sooty emissions from new big trucks and other diesel-powered vehicles by 90% by the end of the decade... The changes will be phased in beginning in 2007 and be completed by 2010. State air quality officials plan to press for more reductions from the thousands of heavy-duty diesel engines already in use. The officials say it will take perhaps 30 years until all diesel trucks and buses on the road are smokeless because the engines are long-lived and replaced slowly over time." Los Angeles Times (October 26, 2001) B1.]

[Request #S2815]

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"Exploiting Wind Versus Coal." By Mark Z. Jacobson and others. IN: Science, vol. 293 no. 5534 (August 24, 2001) p. 1438.

["Wind turbines today are bigger and more reliable than in the past, and produce power as cheaply as burning coal, according to an analysis by two Stanford University environmental engineers.... 'In terms of the California energy crisis, this is such an obvious possible solution.' said Mark Jacobson, lead author of the study." Sacramento Bee (August 24, 2001) A1.]

[Request #S2817]

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Southern California Environmental Report Card. By the Institute of the Environment, University of California, Los Angeles. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) 2001. 44 p.

Full Text at:

[Includes Particulate Air Pollution, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Environmental Justice, and Bottled Water. "Low-income neighborhoods, many of them predominantly Latino, are more likely to be home to major sources of toxic air pollution than other communities in Los Angeles County, according to a study.... The report says, ... 'We cannot confidently state that Southern California has a problem with 'environmental racism,' but 'environmental classism' appears to be alive and well.'" Los Angeles Times (October 18, 2001) B2.]

[Request #S2818]

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U.S. Energy Policy During the 1990’s. By Paul L. Joskow, National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper 8454. (The Bureau, Cambridge, Massachusetts) September 2001. 102 p.

["This paper discusses U.S. energy policy and the associated evolution of energy supply, energy demand, energy prices and the industrial organization of the domestic energy industries during the period 1991 through 2000.... The paper begins with a background discussion of energy supply, consumption and energy policy during the 1990s and a more detailed discussion of supply, demand and public policies affecting the primary sources of energy supply and demand: petroleum, natural gas, electricity, coal, nuclear energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency."]

[Request #S2821]

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Using Targeted Energy Efficiency Programs to Reduce Peak Electrical Demand and Address Electric Systems Reliability Problems. By Fred Gordon, Pacific Energy Associates, Inc., and others. Prepared for the American Council for Energy Efficient Economy. (The Council, Washington, DC) 2000. 110 p.

["The gains from encouraging such basic conservation measures can be enormous. A recent report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy suggests that relatively painless conservation measures, such as increasing air-conditioning and lighting efficiency, could eliminate 40% of the growth in peak electrical demand over the next decade.... 'The stuff we're recommending is almost universally cheaper than building power plants,' says one of the report's authors, Fred Gordon." Business Week (March 5, 2001) 46.]

[Request #S1521]

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Energy Efficiency Policies for a Strong America: Draft. By Steven Nadel and Howard Geller, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. (The Council, Washington, DC) May 2001. 23 p.

Full Text at:

["The report ... estimates that a modest increase in vehicle fuel efficiency would decrease demand more than drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would increase supply.... . While the nation will be dependent on fossil fuels into the foreseeable future, new technologies are looming to do the work we need done more efficiently and at lower cost to the environment." Sacramento Bee (May 2, 2001) B6.]

[Request #S2822]

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"Is NACEC a Model Trade and Environment Institution? Lessons from Mexican Industry." By Kevin P. Gallagher. Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University. Working Paper No. 01-08. (The Institute, Medford, MA) October 2001. 20 p.

Full Text at:

["The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NACEC) was set up by NAFTA to address environmental issues associated with trade-led growth. With particular attention to the problem of industrial pollution in Mexico, this paper evaluates NACEC's effectiveness... NACEC displays many useful features, which ... could facilitate the balance of economic growth and environmental protection. An outline is provided regarding how these elements could be developed in the context of other trade agreements such as the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas." EPN News (October 31, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S2830]

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California Farmland Conversion Report 1996-98. By the Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program, California Department of Conservation. (The Department, Sacramento, California) June 2000. 81 p.

Full Text at:

["In the latest sign that urban growth in the Bay Area is creeping south and east, a new study has found that Santa Clara and Alameda counties lost 7,267 acres of open space and farmland in just two years -- an area about a quarter the size of the city of San Francisco.... The most pronounced shift from grazing and farming to such urban uses as housing and industry occurred near Gilroy and the Tri-Valley area." San Jose Mercury News (June 28, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S2823]

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Notice of Decision for Amendments to the Forest Practice Rules: Large Old Trees. By the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. (The Board, Sacramento, California) September 22, 2001. 5 p.

Full Text at:

["The California Board of Forestry passed a resolution making it tougher for land owners to cut old trees on their properties. The board unanimously decided that private property owners must get state permission to harvest trees that began growing before 1800....Many environmentalists say they will continue to push for an initiative on the November ballot banning the harvest of trees that germinated before 1850." San Francisco Chronicle (September 13, 2001) C8.]

[Request #S2824]

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Nonindigenous Species: An Emerging Issue for the EPA. And A Landscape in Transition: Effects of Invasive Species on Ecosystems, Human Health and EPA Goals. By Henry Lee II and others. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Newport, Oregon) May 2001. Vol. 1. 111 p. [Request S#2825] Vol. 2. 54 p. [Request S#2826]

Full Text at:

["This ... publication includes workshop reports and information on the effects of nonindigenous species (e.g., the zebra mussel, Chinese mitten crab, the leafy spurge) on ecosystems and human health. The first volume contains ... issues such as regulating ballast water, chemical control of invasives, and coordinating federal, state, and local agencies. The second volume covers such topics as municipal-industrial water supply, stream runoff, and recreation and tourism in the context of nonindigenous, invasive species. The second volume also presents statements on direct health risks to humans from water-borne invasive species as well as health risks from pesticides used against exotic plants."]

[Request #S2825]

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Introduced Species in U.S. Coastal Waters: Environmental Impacts and Management Priorities. By James T. Carlton, Williams College and Mystic Seaport. Prepared for the Pew Oceans Commission. (The Commission, Arlington, Virginia) 2001. 29 p.

Full Text at:

["A panel reported to White House officials that the rate of known 'bioinvasions' of aquatic species, pathogens, parasites and weeds has increased exponentially.... The panel called for a $50 million federal strike force to eradicate the invaders.... The problem has been especially severe in San Francisco Bay, .... ranked among the most heavily colonized estuaries in the world." San Francisco Chronicle (October 23, 2001) C1.]

[Request #S2827]

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Parks, Progress, and Public Policy: A Legislative History of Senate Bill 707 and the "Recreation and Park District Law." By the California Senate Committee on Local Government. 1112-S (The Committee, Sacramento, California) October 2001. 135 p.

["This report documents the origins and legislative history of the Recreation and Park District Law which takes effect on January 1, 2002...[The report provides] public officials, researchers, legal advisors, and the courts with an understanding of where the statute came from and what its drafters intended to achieve."]

[Request #S2828]

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Older Suburbs: Crabgrass Slums or New Urban Frontiers? By Joel Kotkin. Prepared for the Reason Public Policy Institute. Policy Study 285. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) September 2001. 54 p.

Full Text at:

["The new research concludes that older suburbs with low-quality housing stock and deteriorating infrastructure may continue to struggle, but the successful older suburbs have capitalized on their original Main Streets 'charm of older neighborhoods.'" Orange County Register (October 30, 2001)

[Request #S2831]

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Measuring and Modeling of Atmospheric Deposition on Santa Monica Bay and the Santa Monica Bay Watershed. By Keith D. Stolzenbach, Institute of the Environment, University of California, Los Angeles, and others. Prepared for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project. (The Project, Los Angeles, California) September 2001. 77 p.

["The smog-to-water link has been documented from the Rockies to the Great Lakes to eastern Canada, but this is the first time researchers have explored it over such a large portion of Southern California...Toxic metals regularly fall from the smoggy skies of Los Angeles onto the ground and then get washed into the bay by rainstorms...Some airborne pollutants are directly deposited in the water when offshore winds blow them out to sea...Though bacteria carried by storm water pose a threat to human health, toxic metals, falling from the air, are toxic to marine life." Los Angeles Times (October 25, 2001) B1.]

[Request #S2819]

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Storm Drain Report 2001. By Angie Bera, Santa Monica BayKeeper. (BayKeeper, Marina del Rey, California) October 24, 2001. 27 p.

Full Text at:

["Hundreds more pipes are discharging bacteria-laden pollutants into the Santa Monica Bay than previously known, according to an environmental group.... 'We knew that there were more storm drains than we saw on the official maps,' Terry Tamminen, who founded the nonprofit group said. 'Many of them were mysterious. They disappeared into the hills. Yet when it rained, they would flow.'" Los Angeles Times (October 25, 2001) B1.]

[Request #S2820]

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Compensating for Wetland Losses Under the Clean Water Act. By the Committee on Mitigating Wetland Losses, National Research Council. (National Academy Press, Washington, DC) 2001. 320 p.

Full Text at:

["Researchers say plan that lets developers who destroy marshes re-create them elsewhere has failed to stem the loss of such ecosystems.... The council reviewed the status of hundreds of replacement wetlands and found that some were never started, some were not completed and others bore little resemblance to naturally functioning wetlands." Los Angeles Times (June 27, 2001) A16. NOTE: Compensating for Wetland Losses ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S2829]

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[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]


Evaluating Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Programs. By the Committee on Vehicle Emission Inspection and Maintenance Programs, National Research Council. (National Academy Press, Washington, DC) 260 p.

["Smog Check, a critical program for cutting tailpipe exhaust coast to coast, needs an overhaul because it fails to cut emissions sufficiently and doesn't concentrate on the dirtiest cars, according to a new study.... The study found that most states are only achieving half or less of the anticipated emission reductions from cars and trucks. The findings call into question the effectiveness of local and state clean-air plans." Los Angeles Times (July 19, 2001) A20.]

[Request #S2816]

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Climate Change: Science, Strategies, and Solutions. Edited by Eileen Claussen and others. (Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Arlington, Virginia) 2001. 396 p.

[Includes: “The Science of Climate Change,” “Impacts on the U.S. Agricultural Sector,” “Sea-Level Rise & its Effects on Coastal Resources,” “Potential Impacts on U.S. Water Resources,” “U.S. Climate Policy: Factors & Constraints,” “Climate Change Mitigation in Japan,” “European Union: A Review of Five National Programs,” “Economic Analysis of Global Climate Change Policy: A Primer,” “Economic Models: How They World & Why Their Results Differ,” “Innovative State Programs: Oregon & New Jersey Take the Lead,” and others.]

[Request #S2832]

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Arsenic in Drinking Water: 2001 Update. By the Committee on Toxicology, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, National Research Council. (The National Academy Press, Washington, DC) September 2001. 264 p.

["The report reinforces that the cancer risks are high even for low levels of arsenic in tap water.... While their report makes no recommendations more specific than that the standards should be set lower then 50 ppb, its authors studied the health effects of establishing a standard of 3, 5, 10 or 20 ppb.... At each level, the study found, the cancer risks were much higher than the EPA had estimated." Associated Press (September 12, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S2459]

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Farming Up Marine Food Webs. By Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. (The Centre, British Columbia, Canada) 2001.

["A new study shows that the increased trend toward farming carnivorous fish means that many types of aquaculture are contributing to a worldwide collapse of wild fisheries….The new study discovered that traditional aquaculture -- farming fish that eat plants and bottom muck -- is being replaced by modern intensive farming of large, carnivorous fish because overfishing has decimated these fish in the wild." Environment News Service (March 1, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S1468]

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