Subject: Studies in the News 03-8 (February 11, 2003)

Studies in the News
Environmental Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material

   Confined animal feedlots
   Nine states sue EPA on air pollution regulations
   Pennsylvania sues EPA on air pollution regulations
   New pollution rules for plant modifications
   The Mojave desert tortoise recovery program
   Compliance with environmental regulation
   Abalone recovery plan
   Logging in the Giant Sequoia National Monument
   Safety of genetically engineered foods
   Global warming effects on plants and animals
   Environmental movement uses false science
   Human exposure to environmental chemicals
   Marine reserves
   Recycling fly ash
   Salton Sea report
   Bush Administration's environmental policies
   Federal rules on isolated wetlands
   Cargill salt pond documents
   Studies in the News, December 31, 2002
   Studies in the News, January 10, 2003
   Studies in the News, January 24, 2003
   Studies in the News, February 3, 2003
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:



Livestock Agriculture: Increased EPA Oversight Will Improve Program For Concentrated Animal Feeding Programs. Report To the Ranking Member, Committee On Agriculture, Nutrition And Forestry, U.S. Senate. GAO-03-285. (The Office, Washington,DC). January 2003. 25 p.

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["Although the U.S. EPA's new regulations governing Confined Animal Feedlot Operations address some of the weaknesses that have plagued the program, for the measure to be effective EPA will need to increase its oversight of the states' implementation of the measure and develop plans for carrying out the new responsibilities, according to a new report." Greenwire (January 31, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S7288]

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Nine States Sue Bush Administration for Gutting Key Component of Clean Air Act: Press Release. By Office of Attorney General, New York State. (The Office, Albany, New York) December 31, 2002. 1 p.

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["The Bush administration issued rules to make it easier for industrial plants and refineries to modernize without having to buy expensive pollution controls - and immediately was sued by nine states charging that the changes undermine their efforts to protect public health. The Environmental Protection Agency regulations, which go into effect in March, amount to a major change in the way older industrial plants will have to deal with air pollution when they expand, make major repairs or modify operations to increase efficiency." Associated Press (December 31, 2002) 1.]

[Request #S]

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Rendell Administration Files Petition in U.S. Court of Appeals Challenging EPA Changes in New Source Review Air Pollution Regulations: Press Release. By Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (The Department, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) January 27, 2003. 1 p.

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["The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has sued the Bush administration over new rules that would make it easier for industrial plants and refineries to modernize without having to buy expensive pollution controls." Associated Press (January 28, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S7289]

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Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review. And Routine Maintenance and Repair. By the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. IN: Federal Register, vol. 67, no. 251 (December 31, 2002) pp. 80186-80314.

["The Bush administration announced that it was relaxing rules for emissions by older power plants, effectively allowing such facilities to expand without having to invest in costly pollution controls.... An EPA spokesman insisted that the eased restrictions 'will be positive for the environment' by encouraging energy companies to invest in long-in-the-tooth facilities." San Francisco Chronicle (January 5, 2003) G1.]

Federal Register
Routine Maintenance and Repair
Federal Register

[Request #S7290]

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Endangered Species: Research Strategy And Long-Term Monitoring Needed For The Mojave Desert Tortoise Recovery Program. By The U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-3-23 (The Office, Washington, DC) December 2002. 58 p.

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["GAO Questions Closing Desert to Aid Tortoises; Federal agencies need to find evidence that protections are helping the species: Tortoise populations have been declining for about 30 years.... Research is being conducted on such things as life cycle and a disease affecting the tortoise. But the GAO report concludes that more study is required to assess whether land use restrictions protect the species." Press Enterprise (December 20, 2002) B12.]

[Request #S7292]

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Social License and Environment Protection: Why Businesses Go Beyond Compliance. By Neil Gunningham and others, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California. Working Paper 1. (The Center, Berkeley, California) 2002. 46 p.

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["Traditionally, corporations which complied with the dictates of applicable legislation would have regarded not just their legal, but also their social obligations, as ending at that point.... Two decades of tightening regulatory rules and legal threats have led many business people to assume that any hazards and harms that their enterprise engenders, even if not clearly legal today, will sooner or later be subject to public censure."]

[Request #S7293]

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Draft Abalone Recovery and Management Plan. By the California Department of Fish and Game. (The Department, Sacramento, California) December 30, 2002. Various pagings.

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[“A state plan to restore abalone populations -- some of which are nearing extinction along parts of the California coast -- would continue harvesting restrictions and expand the number of marine protected areas that provide a refuge for the mollusks. It's the first plan to manage the state's abalone fishery and to restore depleted stocks along the coast.” San Diego Union-Tribune (January 27, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S7294]

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Giant Sequoia National Monument: Draft Environmental Impact Statement. By USDA Forest Service, Sequoia National Forest. (The Service, Porterville, California) August 2002. 284 p.

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["The U.S. Forest Service released a proposal for managing the Giant Sequoia National Monument that has flabbergasted environmentalists and revived their quarrel with the agency's stewardship of sequoias.... It would permit the felling of trees, including sequoias, as much as 30 inches in diameter -- a size the Forest Service is now barred from cutting in much of the rest of the Sierra Nevada.... Art Gaffrey, supervisor of the monument and the national forest, dismisses the criticism of the logging plan as unwarranted political spin. He said the proposed timber cutting is necessary to improve forest conditions." Los Angeles Times (January 28, 2003) A1.]

[Request #S7295]

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Holes in the Biotech Safety Net: FDA Policy Does Not Assure the Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods. By Doug Gurian-Sherman, Center for Science in the Public Interest. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 2003. 26 p.

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["The Food and Drug Administration lacks both the authority and the information to adequately evaluate the safety of genetically engineered foods, according to...a new report. The group says that while the few GE food crops now on the market appear to be safe, the FDA is ill-equipped to assure the safety of future foods that will be engineered in increasingly complex ways." CSPI Press Release (January 7, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S7296]

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“Fingerprints of Global Warming on Wild Animals and Plants.” By Terry L. Root and others. IN: Nature, vol. 421, no. 6918 (January 2, 2003) pp. 57-60 .

[“No longer a subject only of computer forecasts and speculation, effects of climate change are visible right now in the growth and migration patterns of hundreds of species of plants and animals around the world…. Nature is showing signs of change … what is surprising – and sobering – is how many species have reacted already. It shows how sensitive plants and animals are.”]

[Request #S7297]

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Global Warming and Other Eco Myths: How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death. Edited by Ronald Bailey, Competitive Enterprise Institute. (Prima Publishing, Random House, Inc. Roseville, California) 2002. 423 p.

["Environmentalism now stands as the only global ideological competitor to liberal democratic capitalism ... Like communism before it, ideological environmentalism wants to claim the mantle of objective science to justify its political programs because in the post-Enlightenment world, science is the final arbiter of what is objectively true or not. However, as the communists discovered, the failure of one's ideology to correspond to reality is ultimately fatal."]

[Request #S7298]

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Second National Report On Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. By the Centers for Disease Control and the National Center for Environmental Health. NCEH Pub. No. 02-0716. (The Center, Atlanta, Georgia) 257 p.; Appendices.

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["The amount of toxic chemicals such as lead and cigarette smoke in American bloodstreams has fallen over the last few years, suggesting that environmental regulations are working, according to a new report ... which measured levels of 116 toxic chemicals in the blood and urine samples of 10,000 Americans.... However, millions of people still carry elevated levels of a wide range of chemicals, including some, such as PCBs and the pesticide DDT, that were banned long ago." Boston Globe (February 1, 2003) A1.]

[Request #S7299]

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Marine Reserves: A Tool For Ecosystem Management And Conservation. By Stephen R. Palumbi, Stanford University. Prepared for the Pew Oceans Commission ( The Commission, Arlington, Virginia) 2002. 52 p.

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["More Marine Reserves Urged: A new strategy of setting aside 'no take' marine reserves offers hope for saving ocean ecosystems and depleted stocks of commercial fish, according to a study.... Scientists have recommended that 20 percent of the world's oceans be turned into protected reserves, which prohibit the capture of any type of marine organism." San Francisco Chronicle (January 15, 2003) A3.]

[Request #S7291]

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Recycling Fly Ash. By Molly Stauffer, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 10, No. 48. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) November/December 2002. 2 p.

["Using fly ash ... a noncombustible mineral portion of coal produced in a coal combustion power plant: Reduces its disposal in landfills; Reduces carbon dioxide emissions; Saves energy; Decreases permeability, increases durability.... If all the fly ash generated each year were used in producing concrete, the reduction in CO2 emissions would be equal to eliminating 25 percent of the world's vehicles."]

[Request #S7300]

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Salton Sea Study: Status Report. By U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region. (The Bureau, Boulder City, Nevada) January 2003.

["In its report to Congress, the Interior Department did not take a stand on any of the proposed projects to dilute salinity at the Salton Sea. The review cites costs ranging from $1 billion to $35 billion.... Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, a longtime sea advocate, said the Interior Department has sent the message that it is 'not interested in fixing the sea.'" San Diego Union-Tribune (January 29, 2003) 1.]

Salton Sea study, 44 p.
Cover letter to Rep. Hunter, 2 p.

[Request #S7301]

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Rewriting the Rules, Year-End Report 2002: The Bush Administration's Assault on the Environment. By Robert Perks and Gregory Wetstone, Natural Resources Defense Council. (The Council, Washington, DC) January 2003. 52 p.

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["The report warns that 'America's environmental laws face a fundamental threat more sweeping and dangerous than any since the dawn of the modern environmental movement in 1970.'... If the dire predictions are realized over the next two years, environmental protection and conservation could emerge as decisive issues in the presidential election of 2004 perhaps setting the stage for a defining moment in the American struggle to balance progress with environmental stewardship." Albuquerque Tribune (January 23, 2003) C2.]

[Request #S7302]

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Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act Regulatory Definition of "Waters of the United States." By the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. IN: Federal Register, vol. 68, no. 10. (January 15, 2003) pp. 1991-1998.

["As many as 20 million acres of the nation's wetlands may lose federal protection from industrial pollution or unlawful development as a result of new guidelines announced by the Bush administration. Officials said the step was necessary to comply with a Supreme Court ruling, but environmentalists said it was part of an industry-backed effort to gut key protections under the 30-year-old Clean Water Act." Sacramento Bee (January 11, 2003) A12.]

Federal Register
Federal Register
Press release

[Request #S7303]

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Overview of Environmental Site Assessments and Investigations: Cargill Salt Ponds, San Francisco Bay, California. By California Department of Fish and Game. (Resources Agency, Sacramento, California) January 2003. 10 p.

["State and federal environmental officials involved in a $100 million deal to buy 16,500 acres from Cargill Inc. offered assurances that the salt ponds could be restored to wetlands without creating new pollution problems in the San Francisco Bay. Dealing with the legacy of mercury waste from an old mine in Santa Clara County and the saline waters from commercial salt production will be the two hardest tasks, according to environmental studies released by agencies." San Francisco Chronicle (January 17, 2003) A17.]

Overview, 10 p.
Other Cargill documents, Various pagings

[Request #S7304]

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

"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 02-78 (December 31, 2002)

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[Includes: "Floodplain management," and "Effects of glacial melting."]

[Request #S7305]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 03-2 (January 10, 2003)

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[Includes: "Formula grant categories," "Regulating environmental risks," "Floodplain management," and "Federal wetlands mitigation plan."]

[Request #S7306]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 03-4 (January 24, 2003)

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[Includes: "Refineries are source of air pollution," "Better directions for clean air," "Court finds Coastal Commission unconstitutional," "Fish kills on the Klamath River," "Timber harvesting and water quality," "Imperial Irrigation sues Interior Department," and "Economic effect of Klamath crisis."]

[Request #S7307]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 03-6 (February 3, 2003)

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[Includes: "Court overturns grape industry advertising," "Marine reserves and fisheries," "History of environmental justice," "Court bars Mexican trucks from U.S." "Case studies of California groundwater pollutants," and "Runoff pollution rules upheld."

[Request #S7308]

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