Subject: Studies in the News 02-75 (December 16, 2002)

Studies in the News

Contents This Week

   Zero emission vehicle program
   Woodland bird conservation plan
   Bush plan for climate change research
   Activity expansion at China Lake
   Seismic safety and schools
   Smart growth in Vacaville
   Recycling computers and electronic waste
   Unexploded ordnance
   Computer waste and overworked workers in China
   Military installations and sprawl
   Strategies for saving open space
   Tuna fishing still harming dolphins
   US-Mexico plan to reduce border pollution
   Groups sue over snowmobiles in Yellowstone
   Management plan for Giant Sequoia National Monument
   Suit says farm pesticides drift to Sierra Nevada
   Range and watershed management
   Farm fish lice cause crash of wild salmon stocks
   Effects of salmon fish farms
   Sustainable agriculture
   Economic analysis of Klamath water
   Studies in the News, November 8, 2002
   Studies in the News, November 22, 2002
   Studies in the News, December 12, 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:



Driving Emissions to Zero: Are the Benefits of California's Zero Emission Vehicle Program Worth the Costs? By Lloyd Dixon and others, RAND Science and Technology. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2002. 139 p.

Full Text at:

["This report examines whether zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) are a cost-effective way to achieve air quality standards in California.... It examines the promise of technologies that could be used to satisfy ZEV program requirements. It examines the costs of ZEVs, the emission benefits that ZEVs generate, and the cost per ton of emissions reduced through the use of ZEVs.... It concludes with recommendations for policies on ZEVs and on California's strategy for controlling emissions for passenger cars and light-duty trucks more generally."]

[Request #S6915]

Return to the Table of Contents


The Oak Woodland Bird Conservation Plan: A Strategy for Protecting and Managing Oak Woodland Habitats and Associated Birds in California. By Steve Zack, Wildlife Conservation Society, and others. Prepared for the California Oak Foundation. (The Foundation, Oakland, California) 2002. 126 p.

Full Text at:

["This plan has focused on data concerning bird species that are dependent on Oak woodlands, but conservation recommendations have broad applicability for all oak woodland habitats and, if implemented, would benefit many oak woodland species. The plan is meant to provide a source of information on oak woodland bird conservation for landowners, managers, agencies and non-governmental organizations."]

[Request #S6916]

Return to the Table of Contents


Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program: Draft. By the agencies and staff of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. (The Program, Washington, DC) November 19, 2002. 177 p.

Full Text at:

["Bush administration officials mapped out a strategy for researching climate change and its causes over the next five years. The administration strategy calls for more accurate projections of the potential economic impacts of climate policy changes and gives the White House more control over the research efforts of more than a dozen federal agencies." Sacramento Bee (December 4, 2002) A9.]

[Request #S6917]

Return to the Table of Contents


Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Executive Summary. By the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. (The Station, China Lake, California) November 22, 2002. 10 p.

Full Text at:

["The U.S. Navy released an environmental report on a planned expansion that could bring 25 percent more aircraft and weapons testing to the Mojave Desert base and nearly triple the number of troop-training operations conducted each year....'China Lake is a special place and largely the Navy has been very good stewards of that land,' said Daniel Patterson, desert ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. 'Expansion of that type of on-the-ground, Army-type impact training onto China Lake is going to be a concern. Introduction of tanks is going to be something the conservation community will not support.'" Bakersfield Californian (December 3, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S6918]

Return to the Table of Contents


Seismic Safety Commission Findings: A Report to the Governor and the Legislature on Lessons Learned from Recent Earthquakes In Turkey, Greece and Taiwan. By Seismic Safety Commission. (The Commission, Sacramento, California) 2002. 13 p.

Full Text at:

[“Educators reacted with pragmatic shrugs to a long-delayed state report that showed some 7,500 unnamed California public school buildings could crumble in a major quake. The report, while worrisome, was not a surprise to many school districts officials, who said they already knew seismically-shaky buildings were within earshot of major Bay Area fault lines.” Contra Costa Times (November 20, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S6919]

Return to the Table of Contents


Vacaville at a Crossroads: The Path to Smart Growth or a Highway to Sprawl. By Solano Orderly Growth Committee. Greenbelt Alliance. (The Alliance, Fairfield, California) November 2002. 43 p.

Full Text at:

[“A pair of environmental groups is urging this fast-growing city to slow down by protecting its open space and expanding affordable housing options. In a new report … they warn the city against its plans for future sprawl, saying it would have a negative effect on housing, transportation, public health and the environment. “] Contra Costa Times (November 13, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S6924]

Return to the Table of Contents


Recycling Computers and Electronic Waste. By L. Cheryl Runyon and Barbara Foster, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 10, No, 43. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) November/December 2002. 2 p.

["More than 315 million computers will become obsolete in the United States between 1997 and 2004. This adds up to 1.2 billion pounds of lead ... [and] 7 billion pounds of plastic.... Massachusetts became the first state to ban discarding old computers and television monitors in landfills and incinerators in April 2000."]

[Request #S6921]

Return to the Table of Contents

Used or Fired Munitions and Unexploded Ordnance at Closed, Transferred and Transferring Military Ranges: Interim Report and Analysis of EPA Survey Results. By the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. April 2000. And Bombs in Your Backyard: PEER's Map of Unexploded Ordnance Locations. By Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. (PEER, Washington, DC) November 2002.

["The federal government has understated the scale of the safety problem posed by old bombs and chemical and biological weapons buried at former military sites throughout the United States, including three in California, according to documents disclosed by a group that airs accusations from whistle-blowing bureaucrats.... Most of those findings were either modified or omitted from the final EPA report, which was later made public, a comparison shows." Los Angeles Times (November 25, 2002) A7.

PEER press release (with links) 1.p

EPA Interim Report, 210 p.

Bombs in Your Backyard, 1 p.

[Request #S6922]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Poor Cities in China Become Dumping Ground for E-waste," "Excessive Overtime Puts Burden on Chinese Factory Workers," and "Recycling Solutions for PCs Are Limited and Face Obstacles." By Karl Schoenberger. IN: San Jose Mercury News. November 24-26, 2002. Various pagings.

["A computer may spend its working days in a comfortable home in Boston or in a programmer's cubicle in San Jose. But at both ends, the dirty work behind a typical PC's life is done in China. This is the dark secret of a famously 'clean industry.' At the front end, the industry relies on cheap overseas labor working long hours to make a profit on computers even as they fall in price. At the back end, the industry downplays its responsibility for the toxic chemicals and metals used in its short-lived products."]

[Request #S6923]

Return to the Table of Contents


Military Installations Pressured by Sprawl. By National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. (The Center, Washington, DC) October 11, 2002. 6 p.

Full Text at:

["Incompatible residential and commercial development of land close to military installations can affect the ability of an installation to carry out its mission. Such development also threatens public safety because accidents sometimes occur in the areas surrounding an institution. The economic health of a community is affected if military operations and missions must relocate because of urban encroachment. States and local governments have begun to take action to prevent encroachment and more measures are likely with heightened concerns about national security and economic health."]

[Request #S6925]

Return to the Table of Contents

Land Use in the Upper Mississippi River Basin: New Strategies for Saving Open Space. By Larry Morandi and L. Cheryl Runyon, National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) October 2002. 47 p.

["This report provides case studies and policy options to conserve land in the Upper Mississippi River Basin, but the information is applicable to other states as well that are interested in pursuing land conservation and growth management strategies."]

[Request #S6926]

Return to the Table of Contents


Report of the Scientific Research Program under the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act. By the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. (Earth Island Institute, San Francisco, California) August 23, 2002. 96 p.

Full Text at:

["Populations of dolphins aren't rebounding in some areas of the Pacific Ocean where Mexican, Colombian and Venezuelan tuna boats kill about 3,000 a year, according to a study by U.S. government scientists.... The study lies at the heart of a trade versus environment battle. The Commerce Department wants to broaden the 1990 'dolphin safe' label on canned tuna as a way to increase trade with Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and other nations....Based on the study, Commerce Secretary Donald Evans is supposed to determine whether the fishing methods are harming the dolphins. " San Francisco Chronicle (December 5, 2002) A10.]

[Request #S6927]

Return to the Table of Contents


Border 2012: U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program. By the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. (The Agency, San Diego, California) September 23, 2002. 26 p.

Full Text at:

["The Environmental Protection Agency came to National City to unveil its latest program for cleaning up water, air, pesticides and chemical pollution at the border. But when it came time for public comment, many in the audience had the same question: Where's the money? The answer: There isn't any yet. Federal officials hope that by building public support for the 10-year project, government funding and private investment will follow." San Diego Union Tribune (November 9, 2002) B1.]

[Request #S6928]

Return to the Table of Contents


The Fund for Animals, et al. v. Gail Norton, et al. U.S. District Court, District of Columbia. 1:02CV02367. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief. December 3, 2002. 33 p.

Full Text at:

["Four environmental groups sued the Bush administration to block changes that would allow more people to ride snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to block a recent Interior Department decision that would undo a Clinton administration ban on snowmobiles in the popular Western parks by next winter. " Sacramento Bee (December 4, 2002) A12.]

[Request #S6929]

Return to the Table of Contents

Giant Sequoia National Monument: Draft Environmental Impact Statement. By the Sequoia National Forest. (The Forest, Porterville, California) August 2002. 281 p.

Full Text at:

["The U.S. Forest Service has released the long-awaited proposed management plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The document details six alternatives to operate the 327,769-acre monument, which former President Clinton created nearly three years ago to protect giant sequoia groves. A 90-day public comment period will begin Dec. 13 to allow people to voice their opinions about the alternatives, which on the surface appear similar, but are sharply different." Fresno Bee (December 5, 2002) A1.]

[Request #S6930]

Return to the Table of Contents


Californians for Alternatives to Toxics v. California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Sacramento County Superior Court. Petition for Writ of Mandate. November 20, 2002. 11 p.

Full Text at:

["An environmental group filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Pesticide Regulation, charging that it fails to control farm pesticides that drift to the Sierra Nevada and very likely harm frogs and other amphibians. The group argues that the pesticide agency should obey a state law that requires re-evaluation of pesticides if they are likely to contaminate the environment or present a hazard to wildlife." San Francisco Chronicle (December 5, 2002) A26.]

[Request #S6931]

Return to the Table of Contents


Grazing for Change: Range and Watershed Management Success Stories in California. By Dan Macon, AgResource Solutions. Prepared for the California Cattlemen's Association. (The Association, Sacramento, California) 2002. 36 p.

["While domestic livestock grazing has had a controversial past, land managers and policy makers are beginning to understand its value in improving rangelands and restoring native species. The ranches and groups highlighted in this publication are outstanding examples of innovative range and watershed management.... Ranchers throughout the state are finding ways to improve the economic positions of their operations through ecosystem improvements."]

[Request #S6932]

Return to the Table of Contents


The Protection of Broughton Archipelago Pink Salmon Stocks: 2002 Advisory. By the Pacific Resource Conservation Council. (The Council, Vancouver, British Columbia)) November 2002. 12 p.

Full Text at:

["The environmental impacts of commercial salmon fish farms on the west coast likely caused the collapse of one set of wild salmon stocks, according to a fisheries council report.... The report identifies sea lice escaping from open net salmon farming pens as the probable cause of a collapse last summer of wild pink salmon stocks in the Broughton Archipelago on northern Vancouver Island. " Environmental News Service (November 25, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S6920]

Return to the Table of Contents

Fish Farms Become Feedlots of the Sea. By Kenneth R. Weiss. IN: Los Angeles Times. December 9, 2002. A1.

["Industrial fish farming raises many of the same concerns about chemicals and pollutants that are associated with feedlot cattle and factory chicken farms.... Of all the concerns, the biggest turns out to be a problem fish farms were supposed to help alleviate: the depletion of marine life from overfishing. These fish farms contribute to the problem because the captive salmon must be fed. Salmon are carnivores and, unlike vegetarian catfish that are fed grain on farms, they need to eat fish to bulk up fast and remain healthy.']

[Request #S6934]

Return to the Table of Contents


Sustainable Agriculture and Common Assets: Stewardship Success Stories. By Paige Brown. (Redefining Progress, Oakland, California) October 2002. 48 p.

Full Text at:

["Common assets are ecological and social resources that belong equally to a community of owners and frequently provide benefits beyond what the market system can measure.... The current condition of our common-asset stewardship is distressing. We use agricultural assets faster than they can regenerate and often allow them to be degraded by pollution or shortsighted practices.... This report profiles farmers who are finding ways to protect common assets while providing benefits for themselves and their communities now and into the future."]

[Request #S6914]

Return to the Table of Contents


Estimating Recreation Trip Related Benefits for the Klamath River Basin with TCM (Travel Cost Method) and Contingent Use Data. By Aaron J. Douglas, U.S. Geological Survey, and Andrew Sleeper, Successful Statistics LLC. (Earthjustice, Oakland, California) 2002. 18 p.

Full Text at:

["California's lower Klamath River provides recreationists with an ensemble of activities including swimming, wading, canoeing, whitewater rafting, and angling. In the early 1900s, the Klamath was widely regarded as one of the nation's finest salmonid fishing streams. In this paper we estimate the nonmarket recreational benefits provided by the lower Klamath River with the travel cost method (TCM) and compare the benefits with the cost of restoring the fishery."]

[Request #S6933]

Return to the Table of Contents

[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environmental Supplement.]

"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 02-68 (November 8, 2002)

Full Text at:

[Includes: "Environmental risks and national security," "Drinking water in urban areas," "Effects of fishing on marine ecosystems," "Smart growth practices," and "Transportation and land use in the Sacramento region."]

[Request #S6935]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 02-71 (November 22, 2002)

Full Text at:

[Includes: "Smart growth and metropolis," "Regional livability strategies," "Poll of attitudes on land use," "Herbicides effects on frogs," and "California's impaired water bodies."]

[Request #S6936]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 2-74 (December 12, 2002)

Full Text at:

[Includes: "Health impacts of power plant emissions," "DWP and use of clean energy," "State government and climate change," "Public attitudes on land use," "Court blocks coastal oil drilling," "DFG findings on Salton Sea agreement," "Corporate managed waterworks," and "Economic analysis of vernal pools."

[Request #S6937]

Return to the Table of Contents