Subject: Studies in the News 02-8

Studies in the News
Environmental Supplement

Contents This Week

   Benefits of reduced air pollution
   Gnatcatcher as a conservation species
   Brownfield redevelopment
   The state of California rivers
   Global climate change policy reader
   Climate change mitigation
   Arsenic found in drinking water
   Farm runoff chlorination and human health
   Drinking water revolving fund
   Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems
   Investment plan for energy
   Reforming pollution control permitting
   Oak and tanoak dieback and mortality
   Then and now photographs of Sierra forests
   Greenhouse emissions reporting protocol
   Diesel soot and global warming
   Recycling hazardous waste
   Coping with used computer monitors
   Built and natural environments
   Survey of marine pollution
   San Francisco Bay seafood consumption study
   Klamath Falls and endangered fish
   Water allocation in Klamath basin
   Collaborative water policy
   Cadiz water storage project
   Terrorism and California water resources
   Saving a tidal estuary
   Managing wildlife damage
   Studies in the News, December 7, 2001
   Studies in the News, January 7, 2002
   Studies in the News, January 29, 2002
   Studies in the News, January 22, 2002
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:



Ancillary Benefits of Reduced Air Pollution in the United States from Moderate Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies in the Electricity Sector. By Dallas Burtraw and others. Discussion Paper 01-61. (Resources for the Future, Washington, DC) December 2001. 43 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper presents results from a model of the electricity sector called Haiku. The model calculates market equilibrium by season and time of day for three customer classes at the regional level, with power trading between regions. The model is used to simulate the effects of various moderate carbon taxes on investment, retirement and system dispatch for the year 2010."]

[Request #S4146]

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Evaluating the California Gnatcatcher as an Umbrella Species for Conservation of Southern California Coastal Sage Scrub. By Daniel Rubinoff, University of California, Berkeley. IN; Conservation Biology, vol. 15, no. 5 (October 2001) pp. 1374-1383.

["Designing reserves that preserve the habitat of many coexisting and threatened species often involves use of conservation surrogates, such as an umbrella species. Typically, animals with legal protection are used as umbrella species and these selections are overwhelmingly vertebrates... Reserve design based on vertebrate umbrella species, which assume that invertebrates will be protected, may result in the loss of a large portion of invertebrate diversity."]

[Request #S4147]

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Brownfields Redevelopment. By L. Cheryl Runyon and Molly Stauffer, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 10, No. 8. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) February 2002. 2 p.

["Forty-seven states have voluntary cleanup programs in place, according to the National Brownfields Association. State programs offer a wide variety of incentives -- tax breaks for cleanups and the creation of new jobs, low interest rate loans and grant-subsidized technical assistance -- to attract private investments.... More than 16,000 sites have been processed through state voluntary cleanup programs."]

[Request #S4148]

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The State of California Rivers. By Elise Holland, The Trust for Public Land. (The Trust, San Francisco, California) December 2001. 118 p.

["The State of California Rivers, the first-ever survey and report on the health of California's major rivers, considers each river in the context of its surrounding regional history. It concludes that the majority of California's rivers are both over-allocated and at risk for poor water quality." The Trust for Public Land Press Release (December 4, 2001) 1. NOTE: The State of California Rivers ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4089]

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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 Work & Why Their Results Differ,” “Innovative State Programs: Oregon & New Jersey Take the Lead,” and others.]

[Request #S2832]

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Discounting the Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation: How Much Do Uncertain Rates Increase Valuations? By Richard Newell and William Pizer, Resources for the Future. Prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. (The Center, Arlington, Virginia) December 2001. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper explores some of the analytic difficulties of applying conventional discounting techniques to long-term problems such as global climate change. In particular, the paper focuses on the influence of uncertainty in the discount rate on the valuation of future climate damages, finding that this uncertainty has a large effect on valuations at horizons of 100 years or more in the future."]

[Request #S4150]

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Arsenic in Drinking Water: 2001 Update. By the Committee on Toxicology, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, National Research Council. (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 than 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 Note: Arsenic in Drinking available for 3 day loan.]

[Request #S2459]

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Consider the Source: Farm Runoff, Chlorination Byproducts, and Human Health. By Sean Gray, Environmental Working Group, and others. (The Group, Washington, DC) October 2001. 59 p.

["More than 100,000 women are at elevated risk of miscarriage or of having children with birth defects because of chlorination byproducts (CBPs) in municipal tap water. CBPs are formed when chlorine reacts with organic material in the water."]

[Request #S4151]

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Department of Health Services: Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Financial and Federal Compliance Audit Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2001. By Nancy C. Woodward and others, California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) December 2001. 33 p.

Full Text at:

["In our opinion, The Department of Health Services complied, in all material respects, with the requirements... of its Capitalization Grants for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program for the year ended June 30, 2001.... The department needs to strengthen its controls over the processing of loan payments. It also needs to strengthen controls on the preparation of its revolving fund financial statements."]

[Request #S4152]

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"Catastrophic Shifts in Ecosystems" By Marten Scheffer and others. IN: Nature, vol. 413, no.6856 (October 11, 2001) pp.591-596.

["Nature is usually assumed to respond to gradual change in a smooth way. However...smooth change can be interrupted by sudden drastic switches... Sustainable management of such ecosystems should focus on maintaining resilience."]

[Request #S4153]

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Investing in Renewable Electricity Generation in California: Report to the Governor and the Legislature. By Tony Goncalves and others, California Energy Commission. P500-00-022. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) June 2001. 75 p.

["The Reliable Electric Service Investments Act requires the Energy Commission to create an investment plan for the Legislature's consideration that recommends an allocation of the funds collected over the first five years of the collection period.... This document was prepared in response to that requirement."]

[Request #S4154]

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Reforming Permitting: Report. By Terry Davies and others, Resources for the Future. (Resources for the Future, Washington, DC) December 2001. 104 p.

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["This report is intended to serve as a concise and realistic description of the U.S. pollution control permitting process.... The report provides an overview of the permitting reforms that are being tried in the United States, mostly at the state level, and in Europe.... It makes policy recommendations to improve a system that is suffering from major defects and weaknesses."]

[Request #S4155]

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Observations and Comments on Oak and Tanoak Dieback and Mortality in California. By Tedmund J. Swiecki, Phytosphere Research. (Phytosphere Research, Vacaville, California) November 25, 2001. 12 p.

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["Threat of Sudden Oak Death Hovers Over State; Disease Menaces Future of Many Species in Wild Lands: As researchers learn more about the fungus-like substance that has been found in more than a dozen types of plants and trees in 10 California counties, the more concerned they become about the future of the state's wild lands." San Jose Mercury News (January 15, 2002) 1E.]

[Request #S4149]

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Fire in Sierra Nevada Forests: A Photographic Interpretation of Ecological Change Since 1849. By George E. Gruell. (Mountain Press Publishing, Missoula, Montana) October 2001. 256 p.

["Contemporary photographs document dense forest and lush growth. Their historical twins show leaner country in which the trees were fewer, the ground more open, the meadows more abundant... Gruell's work, partly reimbursed by logging interests, touches on an impassioned debate about the Sierra Nevada's vast forest land. Logging levels, the role of fire and the decline in wildlife have been the subject of fierce political and environmental battles for years." Los Angeles Times (December 26, 2001) B1.]

[Request #S4156]

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The Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. By the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (The Institute, Washington, DC) 2001. 68 p.

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["International Standard Unveiled For Greenhouse Gas Reporting: The culmination of a three-year effort involving 350 companies, governments and non-governmental organizations in nine countries, the Initiative (GHG Protocol) will enable businesses to count and report emissions, a move that could spur corporate efforts to fight climate change." Energy Daily (October 24, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S4157]

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Control of Fossil-Fuel Particulate Black Carbon and Organic Matter, The Effective Method of Slowing Global Warming. As submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research. By Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University. (The Author, Palo Alto, California) 2001. 62 p.

["Soot may be the second-leading cause of global warming after carbon dioxide, says Jacobson.... Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of 50 to 1,000 years.... Soot leaves the atmosphere quickly and no longer has a warming effect. Yet the 1997 Kyoto Protocol failed to consider this climate-changing culprit, created by burning diesel fuels, jet fuel, coal, wood and other biomass.... Jacobson's computer model, developed over a 12-year period, does." Business Wire (December 11, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S4158]

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Fateful Harvest. By Duff Wilson. (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, New York) 2001. 336 p.

[Many industries have found the ideal use for their hazardous waste: They simply rename it fertilizer.... Soil supplements are tested only for the presence of growth-enhancing chemicals, there are no restrictions on what else can be in there. Comingled with the zinc, for example, can be dioxin, lead, mercury, chromium, and arsenic. These industrial by-products can be sold to farmers without so much as a warning label. It's all perfectly legal. It's called recycling."]

[Request #S3016]

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The Environment and the Information Age: The Costs of Coping With Used Computer Monitors. By Molly Macauley and others. IN: Resources no. 145 (Fall 2001) pp. 1-4.

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["One of the primary concerns is that the equipment often contains hazardous materials, which could be released into the environment during incineration or concentrated and then dispersed in the form of incineration ash.... Our focus was limited to the environmental and health damages associated with lead that may be released into the air during incineration of CRTs in computer monitors."]

[Request #S4159]

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Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions Between Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality. By ICF Consulting. Prepared for the Development, Community and Environment Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (The Agency, Washington, DC) November 2001. 102 p.

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["The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency summarizes technical research on the relationship between the built and natural environments, as well as current understanding of the role of development patterns, urban design, and transportation in improving environmental quality. The report is designed as a technical reference for analysts in state and local governments, academics, and people studying the implications of development on the natural environment."]

[Request #S4160]

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Marine Pollution in the United States. By Donald F. Boesch, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and others. Prepared for the Pew Oceans Commission. (The Commission, Arlington, Virginia) 2001. 50 p.

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["The commission has ... conduct[ed] a top-to-bottom review of the greatest challenges to the seas: over-fishing, coastal development and pollution.... The panel's investigations took them on fact-finding trips to the coastal towns of Maine to study the cod industry ... the Gulf of Mexico to study pollution -- and ... a city in the heart of the farm belt and 1,000 miles away from the nearest coast, Des Moines, Iowa." Morning Edition, National Public Radio (January 15, 2002)]

[Request #S4161]

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The San Francisco Bay Seafood Consumption Study. By the Office of Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Health Services and the San Francisco Estuary Regional Monitoring Program for Trace Substances. (The Program, Oakland, California) [November] 2001. Various pagings.

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["The goals of the study were to: Gather information on San Francisco Bay anglers and their fish consumption practice; Identify anglers who are at risk due to their fish consumption habits; [and] Aid the development of effective educational messages about the consumption of fish from the Bay... Asian and African-American anglers appear to be at greater risk of chemical exposure."]

[Request #S4162]

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River of a Thousand Promises. By Patty Wentz. IN: OnEarth, vol. 23, no. 4 (Winter 2002). pp 14-19.

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["The [Klamath] became the center of protests over federal restrictions on irrigation for farms. The limits were placed to conserve water for threatened and endangered fish. The cutoff forced farmers with no other source of water to sell cattle, let pastures and hay fields go brown and forgo annual plantings of potatoes, grain and other crops." New York Times (January 2, 2002) 12.]

[Request #S4163]

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Water Allocation in the Klamath Basin: An Assessment of Natural Resource, Economic, Social, and Institutional Issues; Draft. By Oregon State University and the University of California. (OSU Extension Service, Klamath County Oregon) December 2001. 301 p.

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["Oregon State University scientists offered a draft report on the Klamath Basin water wars identifying a lack of leadership and an undercurrent of racism as obstacles to solutions...'The big broad picture is we'd like to raise the quality of the discussion about policy through information,' said Jim Gallagher, an OSU Extension Service leadership trainer serving as facilitator on the project. 'We were very frustrated that there was no certainty about what this all meant to the community.'...Seventeen sections cover history, community impacts, fish and wildlife, water resources and law, agricultural resources, economics, public policy issues and alternative strategies for allocating water... The writers of the report hope to use comments from people at the presentation and e-mails from people reading it on the Internet to improve the report, then issue a final version in March." Associated Press (December 19, 2001) 1.]

[Request #S4164]

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Outcomes of Collaborative Water Policy Making: Applying Complexity Thinking to Evaluation. By Sarah Connick and Judith Innes, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California. Working Paper 2001-08. (The Institute, Berkeley, California) 2001. 35 p.

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["Collaborative dialogues have produced robust and lasting outcomes that extend well beyond the resolution of specific disputes.... The challenge now is to approach the evaluation task from a complex systems perspective and to identify and seek to develop a robust understanding of the significance of the first-, second-, and third-order outcomes of these processes in the contexts in which they occur."]

[Request #S4166]

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Cadiz Groundwater Storage Project, Cadiz and Fenner Valleys, San Bernadino County, California. By John Bredehoeft. (The Hydrodynamics Group, Sausalito, CA) August 2001. 21p. And Economic Evaluation of the Cadiz Groundwater Storage and Dry Year Supply Project, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. By Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security. (The Institute, Oakland, California) July 16, 2001. 14p.

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["Cadiz Inc. of Santa Monica is proposing a controversial project to pump large quantities of ground water from a Mojave Desert aquifier and sell it to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.... John Bredehoeft ... contends that the monitoring will belatedly detect serious groundwater problems... In a second report, the nonprofit Pacific Institute questions the economics of the pumping and storage project, asserting it will cost the water district much more than projected." Los Angeles Times. (August 8, 2001) B8.]

[Request #S4165]

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"Coping with the Threat of Terrorism." By Gary Pitzer. IN: Western Water. (January/February 2002) pp. 4-13.

["This issue of Western Water examines the issue of water security and the preparedness of federal, state and local agencies to the threat of terrorism. In addition to physical security and bioterrorism, it focuses on the long-term security measures being implemented to ensure a safe water supply."]

[Request #S4167]

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"Turning the Tide" By Jim Doyle IN: San Francisco Chronicle (Deceber 12, 2001) A1.

"Bolinas Lagoon is one of the last surviving tidal estuaries on the West Coast.... It was identified as the only West Coast wetland of 'global importance' outside Alaska.. Despite its timeless feel, it is slowly dying...To turn back the clock the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing an experimental $60 million dredging project, the first time the agency has tried to save a still-functioning estuary...Yet experts worry that the Corps may unintentionally damage or destroy the ancient lagoon."

[Request #S4168]

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Wildlife Services Program, Information on Activities to Manage Wildlife Damage. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-02-138. (The Office, Washington, DC) November 2001. 70 p.

["Considerable opportunity exists for developing effective nonlethal means of controlling damage by wildlife on farms and ranches -- for example, through wildlife contraceptives or through the use of scare devices triggered by motion sensors. In view of the growing controversy surrounding the use of lethal controls, Wildlife Services scientists are focusing most of their research on developing improved nonlethal control techniques."]

[Request #S4169]

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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.]

"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 1-36 (December 7, 2001)

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[Includes: "Public access to environmental information;" "State survey on land use and environment;" "Long gas lines in a few years;" and "Superfund monetary shortfalls."]

[Request #S4170]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 02-01 (January 7, 2002)

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[Includes: "Biotech crop regulation;" "Beach report card for summer 2001;" Mitigating encroachment to military installations;" "Geothermal power in Napa Valley;" and "Smarter urban growth."]

[Request #S4171]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 02-06 (January 29, 2002)

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[Includes: "Economic impacts of climate change;" "Renewable energy program;" and "Water infrastructure improvements."]

[Request #S4172]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 02-03 (January 22, 2002)

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[Includes: "Difficult choices and endangered species;" "Nation of poisons;" "Environment report for Canada, U.S. and Mexico;" and "Federal regulations on wetlands."]

[Request #S4173]

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