Subject: Studies in the News 04-55 (August 17, 2004)

Studies in the News
Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material

   Air pollution and children's health
   Small fines for air polluters
   Air emissions at the port of Los Angeles.
   Indoor air pollution
   Beaches more polluted
   Safety of genetically engineered food
   Call to suspend pharmaceutical rice experiments
   Response to call to suspend pharmaceutical rice experiments
   Plan to limit car greenhouse gases
   Oceans absorb CO2
   Review of Hearst Ranch deal
   Pesticides threat to endangered species
   Major issues with the endangered species act
   Threatened status for tiger salamander
   Habitat enforcement too lax
   New rules for offroading in national forests
   Weakness of federal mad cow plan
   USDA reverses roadless rule in national forests
   Accommodating growth in Southern California
   TDRs and other market-based land mechanisms
   Toxic substances control plan
   Urban parks and youth development
   Tribes go to Scotland for Klamath salmon
   Colorado river basin water flow
   Federal water issues
   Audit of independent water districts
   Water flow in the Central Valley watershed
   Government policy draining wetlands
   Salt pond restoration plan
   Klamath River wildlife refuges
   Studies in the News, July 26, 2004
   Studies in the News, August 10, 2004
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.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Epidemiologic Investigation to Identify Chronic Effects of Ambient Air Pollutants in Southern California. By John M. Peters and others, University of Southern California. Prepared for the California Air Resources Board and the California Environmental Protection Agency. (The Board, Sacramento, California) 2004. 140 p.

["Results of a 10-year study concluded that air pollution in California contributes to lung problems and asthma in children. The Board said its report is a landmark in the study of the harmful health effects of pollutants such as particulate matter and ozone on school-age kids. Scientists monitored 5,500 children in a dozen Southern California communities from fourth grade into their high school years." United Press International, (June 24, 2004) 1."]

Full text at:

[Request #S3623]

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Still Above the Law: How California's Major Air Polluters Get Away With It. By Sonya Lunder, Environmental Working Group. (The Group, Oakland, California) July 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["Oil refineries, power plants and other large industrial operations in California typically pay fines of a few thousand dollars for exceeding air pollution standards, not enough to deter them from repeated violations, according to a review of enforcement penalties around the state.... The AQMD defended the agency's enforcement record and sharply questioned how the group arrived at its conclusions." Los Angeles Times (July 29, 2004) B5.]

[Request #S3624]

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Port-Wide Baseline Air Emissions Inventory. By Starcrest Consulting Group. Prepared for Port of Los Angeles. June 2004. And No Net Increase of Air Emissions at the Port of Los Angeles. By the Environmental Management Division, Port of Los Angeles. July 2004. (The Port, San Pedro, California)

["The Port of Los Angeles made public its first-ever list of air pollutants produced by port operations... The report is intended to be used as a baseline as city officials juggle the tasks of serving the ever-growing volume of cargo traffic at the port while also attempting to clean the air." Los Angeles Times (July 8, 2004) B3.]

Inventory of emissions. 20 p.

No net increase. 15 p.

Press release. 3 p.

[Request #S3638]

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Indoor Air Pollution in California: Report to the California Legislature: Draft for Public Review. By Dorothy Shimer and others, the California Air Resources Board, the California Environmental Protection Agency. (The Board, Sacramento, California) June 2004. 196 p.

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["This report summarizes the best scientific information available on indoor air pollution, including: information on common indoor pollutants and their sources; the potential health impacts of indoor pollutants, and associated costs; existing regulations and practices; options for mitigation in schools, homes, and non-industrial workplaces; and other information specified in the legislation."]

[Request #S3645]

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Testing the Waters 2004: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches. By Mark Dorfman, Natural Resources Defense Council. (The Council, New York, New York) August 2004.

["Los Angeles County beaches got more polluted in 2003, but authorities were unsure what caused the dirtier water and increased health hazards for swimmers.... Often, storm drains carrying toxics, metals and animal waste from city streets far inland are a prime source of contamination. Los Angeles County's Recreational Health Program conducts the water quality testing, but doesn't have the budget nor the expertise to track down the sources of pollution." Los Angeles Daily News (August 5, 2004) 1.]

Full Report. 231 p.:

California report. 38 p.

[Request #S3625]

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Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects. By the Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health, National Research Council. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) July 2004. 256 p.

Full Text at:

["Federal regulators should look more closely at the potential health effects of some genetically modified plants before they can be grown as commercial crops, a scientific advisory panel said.... The report said that genetic engineering of food crops, although relatively new, appears to be a safe technology and that there is no evidence it has harmed health." Washington Post (July 28, 2004) E3.]

[Request #S3507]

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Pharmaceutical Rice in California: Potential Risks to Consumers, the Environment and the California Rice Industry. By Bill Freese, Friends of the Earth, and others. (Center for Food Safety, Washington, DC) July 2004. 19 p.

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["Four consumer and environmental groups called on California officials to suspend the production of pharmaceutical compounds in rice, saying such novel crops inevitably will contaminate the food supply. During the proposed moratorium, the groups want an independent state examination of the economic, environmental and human health effects of the experimental crop." Sacramento Bee (July 22, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3626]

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Academic Community Supports Plant-Made Pharmaceuticals in California: Letter to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Department of Health Services, and the California Environmental Protection Agency. By Hilmar Stolte, Hannover Medical School, and Robert Rich, University of Illinois. (International Academy of Life Sciences, Champaign, Illinois) August 9, 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["Plants have been shown to be able to produce therapeutic proteins for innovative treatments for diseases.... Non-scientific opposition to this technology has had deleterious effects on entire sectors of biotechnology applications. It is clear that we need a science-based regulatory policy and coinciding programs to educate policy makers and the public on the facts versus politics of achieving appropriate public benefits of plant-made pharmaceuticals developed using modern biotechnology."]

[Request #S3627]

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Initial Statement of Reasons for Proposed Rulemaking, Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Regulations to Control Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Motor Vehicles: Staff Report. By the Air Resources Board, California Environmental Protection Agency. (The Board, Sacramento, California) August 6, 2004. 216 p.; Appendices.

Full Text at:

["California air regulators unveiled a final proposal for a regulation limiting greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks beginning in 2009. The proposal contained a series of technology packages that regulators said could result in reduced emissions and more efficient vehicle operation when used together." San Diego Union Tribune (August 7, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3628]

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"The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2." By Christopher L. Sabine, and others. And "Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 System in the Oceans." By Richard A. Freely, and others. IN: Science, vol. 305, no. 5682. (July 16, 2004) pp 362-371.

["Nearly half the excess carbon dioxide spilled into the air by humans over the past two centuries has been taken up by the ocean, a study says. If that continues, it could damage the ability of many ocean creatures to make their shells, says an accompanying report.... Carbon dioxide levels that may occur in the seas by the end of the century could reduce the amount of calcium in shells by 25 percent to 45 percent. That might mean a change in the structure of the food chain." San Francisco Chronicle (July 16, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3629]

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LAO Review of Proposed Hearst Ranch Conservation Transaction. By the Legislative Analyst's Office. (The Office, Sacramento, California) August 3, 2004. 6 p.

Full Text at:

["As state officials near a key decision on the $95-million deal to preserve Hearst Ranch, the terms of the transaction are coming under increasing criticism that the deal is too generous to the Hearst Corp. The latest critique contends that the deal may be based on a faulty appraisal and lacks specific, enforceable provisions to protect wildlife and rare plants." Los Angles Times (August 6, 2004) A1.]

[Request #S3630]

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Silent Spring Revisited: Pesticide Use and Endangered Species. By Brian Litmans and Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity. (The Center, Tucson, Arizona) July 2004. 67 p.

Full Text at:

["Pesticides are jeopardizing several hundred endangered species throughout the country — including California frogs and fish — and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to protect them when they approve the chemicals for use, according to the report." Los Angeles Times (July 27, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3631]

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Endangered Species: Difficult Choices. By M. Lynne Corn and others, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. (National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, DC) June 14, 2004. 14 p.

Full Text at:

["Major issues in recent years have included incorporating further protection for property owners, increasing protection of listed species, changing the role of science in decision-making, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, and changing the role of critical habitat, among others."]

[Request #S3632]

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Determination of Threatened Status for the California Tiger Salamander; and Special Rule Exemption for Existing Routine Ranching Activities: Final Rule. IN: Federal Register, vol. 69, no. 149. (August 4, 2004) pp. 47212-47248.

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["The 'threatened' designation for the Central Valley population of the California tiger salamander follows a decade of court battles.... According to federal biologists, tiger salamanders have lost 75 percent of their habitat and more than half of their breeding range in California.... The wildlife service evoked an obscure rule in the Endangered Species Act that allows ranchers to continue their current operations without risk they will be cited for 'taking' an endangered species." (July 27, 2004) A3.]

[Request #S3633]

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Gifford Pinchot Task Force, et al. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, et al. U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth District. 03-35279. August 6, 2004. 30 p.

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["Federal wildlife officials have been allowing too much destruction of endangered species and their habitat, a court ruled in a case that could affect large areas of California and other Western states.... The agency's rules allow logging that may harm the habitat, and kill individual owls, as long as it doesn't threaten the species' survival. The court said that the federal Endangered Species Act requires preservation of enough habitat to foster not just survival but recovery of a threatened species." San Francisco Chronicle (August 7, 2004) B3.]

[Request #S3634]

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Travel Management; Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use: Proposed Rule. IN: Federal Register, vol. 69, no. 135. (July 15, 2004) pp. 42381-42395.

["Citing environmental damage from a steady increase in four-wheeling on public lands, the U.S. Forest Service has proposed a new rule requiring all national forests to limit off-road vehicle use to designated roads and trails....Most forests already limit off-roading to existing roads. That's the policy in 16 of California's 18 national forests -- all but the Klamath and Shasta-Trinity." Modesto Bee (July 12, 2004) B2.]

Press release. 1 p.

Federal Register. 14 p.

[Request #S3646]

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A Review of the USDA's Expanded BSE Cattle Surveillance Plan. Testimony of Phyllis K. Fong, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Presented to the Joint Hearing of The House Government Reform and House Agriculture Committees. (The Department, Washington, DC) July 14, 2004. 24 p.

Full Text at:

["The inspector general said sampling gaps and human errors undermine the scientific soundness of a federal plan to guard the nation's beef supply from mad cow disease. Because of several weaknesses in the monitoring system, the department could significantly understate the prevalence of the deadly disease." Sacramento Bee (July 14, 2004) A1.]

[Request #S3635]

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Special Areas: State Petitions for Inventoried Roadless Area Management: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. IN: Federal Register, vol. 69, no. 136. (July 16, 2004) pp. 42636-42641. And Transcript of Remarks by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman at the Announcement of the National Forests Proposed Roadless Rule with Governor Dirk Kempthorne and Senator Larry Craig. By Secretary Ann M. Veneman. (Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, DC) July 12, 2004.

["The Bush administration ... announced a new rule that will allow the nation's governors to help decide whether roadless areas in their own states should be opened to logging or other commercial activity." San Francisco Chronicle (July 13, 2004) A1.]

Federal Register. 5 p.:
federal register

Transcript. Various pagings.

[Request #S3636]

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Growth Vision Report. By the Southern California Association of Governments. (The Association, Los Angeles, California) June 2004.

["Faced with the prospect of 6.3 million more residents being crammed into Southern California by 2030, regional planners released a blueprint for handling the housing and transportation crunch by clustering housing, shops and jobs near major transit lines.... The '2 percent strategy' is roughly the amount of property in the six-county SCAG region that would need a big change in land use or density to have a dramatic impact on traffic, air quality and housing affordability.." Los Angeles Daily News (June 30, 2004) 1.]

Report. 100 p.

Pamphlet. 14 p.

[Request #S3647]

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TDRs and Other Market-Based Land Mechanisms: How They Work and Their Role in Shaping Metropolitan Growth. By William Fulton, Solimar Research Group, and others. Prepared for the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy. (The Institution, Washington, DC) July 2004. 53 p.

Full Text at:

["Transfers of development rights seem an ideal solution to the incessant conflict between land conservation and property rights. They also can serve as a useful tool to reconcile urbanization pressures and the desire to preserve rural and exurban land. Using case studies and a national survey, this paper examines TDRs and other market-based land preservation techniques like mitigation banking and density transfer fees."]

[Request #S3648]

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Pollution Prevention Report and Two-Year Workplan: 2004-2006. By the Department of Toxic Substances Control, California Environmental Protection Agency. (The Department, Sacramento, California) June 2004. 97 p., appendices.

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["The plan describes activities including projects in the vehicle service and repair and auto body and painting industries.... The plan provides on overview of other efforts including forums for the petroleum refining and semiconductor manufacturing industries.... The plan also includes a review and analysis of hazardous waste generation trends."]

[Request #S3637]

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Urban Parks as Partners in Youth Development. By Margery Austin Turner, The Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) June 21, 2004. 8 p.

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["The latest thinking about youth development ... makes a powerful case that children and adolescents are best served by a constellation of community-based activities that help them build essential skills, knowledge, and aptitudes.... The assets children and youth need for healthy development fall into four major domains: physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional, and social."]

[Request #S3649]

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Four Native Tribes Head to Scotland to Save Klamath River Salmon: Press Release. By Friends of the River (The Friends, Sacramento, California) July 6, 2004. 1 p.

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["A delegation from some of California's poorest Indian tribes left for Scotland to urge a multinational company to modify six dams that tribal biologists say have contributed to a 90% decline in salmon on the Klamath River.... The dams are owned and operated by PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of the multinational energy giant, Scottish Power. The dams are currently undergoing relicensing by the US Government, a license that the Tribes and the salmon will have to live with for the next 30 years. " Los Angles Times (July 17, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3639]

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Climatic Fluctuation, Drought and Flow in the Colorado River. By the U. S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior. (The Survey, Washington, DC) June 2004. 4 p.

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["The Colorado River has been in a drought for the entire decade, cutting an important source of water for millions of people across the West, including Southern California. According to a recent report water flow in the Colorado River Basin from 1999 through 2003 was 20% lower than the previous record 500 years ago (based on tree rings).... Low California reservoirs and drought conditions in eight western states make energy efficiency paramount this summer." eNewswire (July 7, 2004) 1 p.]

[Request #S3650]

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Western Water Resource Issues. By Betsy Cody and Pervaze A. Sheikh, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. (National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, DC) June 15, 2004. 16 p.

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["California’s allocation of Colorado River water has spurred additional oversight of related issues, such as progress in restoring the Salton Sea. Action is also occurring on CALFED. The federal portion of the CALFED program has not been authorized since FY2000 and thus federal participation has been limited. Several other oversight issues may be addressed [by Congress], including oversight of, or changes to, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, management of the Columbia, Snake, Klamath, and Colorado River Systems. "]

[Request #S3640]

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California's Independent Water Districts: Reserve Amounts Are Not Always Sufficiently Justified, and Some Expenses and Contract Decisions Are Questionable. By The California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits. 2003-137. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) June 2004. 118 p.

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["This report concludes water districts do not always have sufficient policies guiding the accumulation and use of resources.... Further, some directors' expenses did not appear to be a reasonable and necessary use of public funds.... Finally, we noted that one water district director made questionable decisions in which she had financial interests in apparent violation of the State's conflict-of-interest laws."]

[Request #S3644]

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The Bay Institute Ecological Scorecard: The Year in Water, 2003. By The Bay Institute. (The Institute, Novato, California) July 2004. 36 p.

Full Text at:

["The report documents how much of the Bay-Delta watershed's runoff is actually released to Central Valley rivers, the Delta and the Bay, and how well water managers are doing in meeting targets for environmental flow restoration."]

[Request #S3651]

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Reckless Abandon: How the Bush Administration is Exposing America’s Waters to Harm. By Navis Bermudez, and others. Prepared for Earthjustice. (Earthjustice, Washington, DC) August 2004. 28 p.

["The administration has allowed developers to drain thousands of acres of wetlands under a policy adopted last year, according to a report issued by four environmental groups. The study, based on Freedom of Information Act requests, represents the first accounting of how the administration's interpretation of a 2001 Supreme Court decision affected isolated wetlands in states from New Mexico to Delaware.... Administration officials said that they are following the court's ruling and that critics are ignoring President Bush's drive to create, improve and protect 3 million acres of wetlands." Washington Post (August 12, 2004) A21.]

Press release. 1 p.

Report. 28 p.

[Request #S3641]

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Alternatives Development Framework: Public Draft. By Philip Williams & Associates, LTD, and others. Prepared for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project. (The Project, Oakland, California) June 2004. 32 p.

Full Text at:

["A collection of nearly thirty representatives from local agencies, environmental organizations, public access organizations, local businesses, elected officials, and community representatives, have held a number of public meetings to generate ideas and concerns to be addressed during the salt pond restoration planning process.... This document describes the preliminary restoration objectives, alternative evaluation criteria, and the overall project development process."]

[Request #S3642]

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Refuges In Peril: Fish, Wildlife, and the Klamath Water Crisis. By Steve Pedery, Oregon Natural Resources Council. (The Council, Portland, Oregon) April 2004. 20 p.

Full Text at:

["This report highlights the enormous importance of the Klamath refuges and explores the history of these special public lands, their value, and the many problems they face. While the current picture is grim, it also points the way to a better future by suggesting actions that can be taken today to restore and protect the amazing natural treasures of the Klamath Basin."]

[Request #S3643]

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[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement.]

"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-49 (July 26, 2004)

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[Includes: "Hearst Ranch transaction documents released;" "Misuse of science in policy;" and "Court rules for salmon in the Trinity River."]

[Request #S3652]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-53 (August 10, 2004)

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[Includes: "Mercury in lake fish;" "Air pollution is top environmental concern;" "States sue power companies;" "Old tires being recycled;" and "Arizona water conservation strategy."]

[Request #S3653]

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