Subject: Studies in the News 06-18 (April 28, 2006)

Studies in the News
Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement

Contents This Week

   Mexican trucks may deliver pollution
   Tobacco smoke is an air pollutant
   Utilities producing less smog, more CO2
   Cutting greenhouse gases boost economy
   Municipal action to reduce global warming
   Some companies responding to climate change
   Protecting against floods saves money
   Children, families and disasters
   Critical habitat suit settled
   Toxic waste fees not properly adopted
   Disputing the market-source myth
   Mineral leasing payments to states increase
   Funding falls short for Yosemite
   Los Angeles needs neighborhood parks
   Protecting against eminent domain abuse
   CalFed action plan
   More water ordered for fish on the Klamath
   Errors in water rights assessments
   The high cost of no car
   Unlicensed drivers back on the road
   Problems with federal transportation funding
   The costs of disrupting container shipments
   Engaging the public in transportation planning
   Solving traffic congestion
   Studies in the News, March 2006 - April 2006
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:



Air Quality Concerns Relating to the North American Free Trade Agreement and Free Commercial Vehicle Travel in California: Report to the California Legislature. By the California Air Resources Board. (The Board, Sacramento, California) January 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["The report estimates that the daily truck traffic from Mexico will increase from 3,500 to 17,500, spewing about 50 tons of smog in its wake. Roughly a quarter of those trucks are pre-1980 models, which means their engines emit 'very high' levels of nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions.... The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District ... has no regulatory authority when it comes to cars, so if emission levels go up, they'll have to enforce even tighter controls on the local level." Bakersfield Californian (April 7, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61801]

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California Identifies Second-Hand Smoke as a "Toxic Air Contaminant." By the California Air Resources Board. (The Board, Sacramento, California) January 26, 2006.

["The board voted unanimously to declare secondhand smoke a toxic air contaminant, opening the door to possible additional regulation of cigarette smokers in coming years.... The board acted after state environmental health regulators found that secondhand smoke causes premature births, breast cancer and other deadly illnesses and respiratory diseases.... Once a substance is declared a toxic air contaminant, the air board is required to separately consider within three years whether additional measures are needed to protect the public." Los Angeles Times (January 27, 2006) 1.]

Press Release. 1 p.

Executive Summary. 21 p.

[Request #S61802]

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Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States, 2004. By Sandra Goodman and Michael Walker, E3 Ventures. Prepared for CERES, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Public Service Enterprise Group. (CERES, Boston, Massachusetts) April 2006. 71 p.

Full Text at:

["The nation's big power companies are creating smaller amounts of gases that cause smog and acid rain than they were 15 years ago, but they're producing more greenhouse gases. That's the conclusion of a joint industry/environmentalist report. If the American electric industry can cut its air pollution in response to toughened standards, the reasoning goes, then strict controls on greenhouse gases could do the same." Christian Science Monitor (April 6, 2006) 3.]

[Request #S61604]

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Cost-Effective GHG Mitigation Measures for California: An Independent Analysis of Measures to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2010 and 2020 to Meet Executive Order S-3-05. By the Center for Clean Air Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 19, 2006.

["The report found that the state could meet its 2010 emissions reduction goals at no cost to consumers and that they would save money if the 2020 goals were met. The study described a number of cost-effective ways to cut emissions, including capturing methane from landfills and manure and using it to generate energy, and switching freight transport from diesel trucks to rail." Los Angeles Times (January 26, 2006) 1.]

Report. 15 p.

Press Release. 2 p.

[Request #S61605]

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Cool Cities: Solving Global Warming One City at a Time. By Glen Brand and Brendan Bell, Sierra Club. (The Club, San Francisco, California) March 2006. 14 p.

Full Text at:

["So far, 218 mayors in 39 states, representing nearly 44 million Americans, have signed on to its 12-step program for their own cities to meet or beat Kyoto's original target for the U.S.-- cutting greenhouse-gas emissions to 7% below 1990 levels over the next six years....'The idea is to solve global warming one city at a time,' says Glen Brand, an energy specialist for the Sierra Club." Time Magazine (April 3, 2006) 46.]

[Request #S61803]

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Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection. By Douglas G. Cogan, Investor Responsibility Research Center. Prepared for the Coalition for Environmentally Responsive Economics. (The Coalition, Boston, Massachusetts) March 2006.

["After years of denial or uncertainty, many of the world's largest corporations have started taking global warming seriously.... The report found that some businesses -- including the Bay Area's Calpine Corp., Chevron Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. -- have taken specific steps to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases and pursue cleaner forms of energy. But many others haven't. Exxon Mobil Corp. and San Diego's Sempra Energy were singled out for criticism." San Francisco Chronicle (March 22, 2006) C1.]

Report. 290 p.

Summary. 29 p.

[Request #S61806]

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National Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Access the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities. By the Multihazard Mitigation Council. (The Council, Washington, DC) 2005. 19 p.

["An ounce of prevention may actually be worth a pound of cure, especially if the actions taken are to reduce losses from natural hazards, such as tornados, hurricanes or flooding.... For every dollar spent on mitigation, on average, four dollars would not need to be spent in the future to repair the damage and to compensate for death and injury caused by natural hazards. The report noted that grants to mitigate the damages done by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes from 1993 to 2003 are expected to save more than 220 lives and prevent nearly 4,700 injuries over about 50 years." (January 24, 2006) 1.]

Volume 1 - Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations. 19 p.

Full Report. Various pagings.

[Request #S61807]

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When Their World Falls Apart: Helping Families and Children Manage the Effects of Disasters. Book/CD-Rom edition. By Lawrence B. Rosenfeld, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and others. (National Association of Social Workers Press, Washington, D.C.) 2005. 488 p.

["This volume is an examination of the effects of disasters on children and families from cognitive and behavioral, family systems, and ecological perspectives. It provides a guide to understand the various dynamics of manmade, natural, and technological disasters; how these traumas affect those impacted; the behavioral and cultural criteria to be considered; and identifying and dealing with one's own issues." NOTE: When Their World Falls Apart ... is available for loan.]

[Request #S61808]

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Home Builders Association of Northern California, et al. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, et al. U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California. 05-CV-01363. Settlement Agreement and Stipulation of Dismissal. March 14, 2006. 10 p.

Full Text at:

[“The Bush administration has settled a lawsuit by California builders and ranchers by agreeing to reconsider protection of 288,000 acres of habitat for five imperiled plant and animal species, including 23,900 acres inhabited by a dwindling population of butterflies in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The settlement was praised by a property-rights lawyer as 'a victory for a balanced approach to environmental policy.' It was also endorsed by two environmental groups that have accused the administration in the past of sacrificing wildlife and resources in collusive agreements with developers.” San Francisco Chronicle (March 28, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61809]

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Morning Star Company v. State Board of Equalization, et al. California Supreme Court. S123481. April 24, 2006. 27 p.

Full Text at:

["The state's toxic waste fees, assessed against companies to pay for cleaning up hazardous materials, were never legitimately adopted but can stay in effect while state officials seek public input and write regulations.... The Department of Toxic Substance Control had decided that all corporations, with minor exceptions, would be covered, because all use some type of hazardous material -- batteries, cartridge toner, inks and fluorescent lights, for example.... The court said the department's policy is a reasonable interpretation of the law, but not the only reasonable interpretation." San Francisco Chronicle (April 25, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61810]

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Zoned Out: Regulation, Markets, and Choices in Transportation and Metropolitan Land-Use. By Jonathan Levine, Resources for the Future. (Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.) 2006. 223 p.

["In reality, the existing laws that spawn sprawling development are distortions of market forces that restrict the housing and living style choices of millions of American households. Leaving powers over land-use planning solely in the hands of parochial local governments will forever enshrine exclusionary zoning and prevent affordable housing from becoming more widespread." Zoned Out ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S61822]

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Mineral Leasing Payments to States Increase Threefold in Four Years. By Federal Funds Information for States. FFIS Issue Brief 06-11. (FFIS, Washington, DC) March 7, 2006. 3 p.

["Under provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act, states share in the receipts collected from the sale, lease or development of mineral resources located on onshore federal lands. These funds are provided through a permanent appropriation. With recent increases in the value of such resources, payments to states have risen markedly. At the same time, the fiscal year 2007 budget proposed to reduce the share of revenues provided to counties under a related program."]

[Request #S61811]

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Major Operations Funding Trends and How Selected Park Units Responded to Those Trends for Fiscal Years 2001 Through 2005. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-6-431. (The Office, Washington, DC) March 2006. 100 p.

Full Text at:

["Yosemite National Park has been forced to leave some crucial law enforcement positions vacant because of consistent funding shortfalls.... Yosemite's relative funding decline, moreover, has been more severe than at most of the other 12 national parks studied. Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, for instance, saw inflation-adjusted funding fall by 1.4% over the past five years, while Yellowstone National Park saw a slight inflation-adjusted increase." Fresno Bee (April 7, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61812]

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Park Use and Physical Activity in a Sample of Public Parks in the City of Los Angeles. By Deborah Cohen, and others, RAND Corporation. (The Corporation, Santa Monica, California) January 2006.

["A study that argues for the city of Los Angeles to build more parks in underserved areas, found that 81% of park users live within one mile of the parks. Even if a large park is only a few miles away from a particular neighborhood, most neighborhood residents will not use that large park.... The most common activity was sitting. Nevertheless, most have engaged in light or moderate physical activity just to get there, since most park users walk to the park." Los Angeles Times (February 1, 2006) 1.]

Executive summary. 8 p.

Report. 91 p.

[Request #S61813]

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Statewide Regulatory Takings Reform: Exporting Oregon's Measure 37 to Other States. By Leonard C. Gilroy, Reason Foundation. (The Foundation, Los Angeles, California) April 2006. 58 p.

Full Text at:

["The study demonstrates how Oregon voters got fed up with restrictive urban planning laws and passed a piece of landmark legislation.... The study serves as a how-to guide for government officials and citizens groups designing statewide regulatory takings protection measures in their own states. It shows how these laws can be coupled with eminent domain laws to comprehensively protect landowners." Reason Foundation press release (April 20, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61814]

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CalFed 10 Year Action Plan. By Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor, Mike Chrisman, Secretary for Resources, and P. Joseph Grindstaff, California Bay-Delta Authority Director. (The Authority, Sacramento, California) April 2006.

["The Schwarzenegger administration released a plan to reorganize a wide-ranging government program launched six years ago to repair the ailing heart of California's water system.... A new governing body would be created, composed of the directors of 14 state and federal agencies. Co-chair of that entity would be the state resources secretary, who administration officials said would be the ultimate state decision-maker and held accountable for state actions." Los Angeles Times (April 21, 2006) 1.]

Plan. 73 p.

Highlights. 16 p.

[Request #S61815]

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Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, et al. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. C02-02006. Order Granting Motion for Injunctive Relief Following Remand. March 27, 2006. 16 p.

["A judge delivered a stinging defeat to the Bush administration over its decision to reduce flows on the Klamath River. The judge ordered the Bureau of Reclamation to return more water to the river in dry years to help ensure that the endangered coho salmon doesn't slide into extinction in the Klamath. The judge also ordered the National Marine Fisheries Service to produce a biological study that would yield a more equitable distribution of water between the imperiled fish and family farmers in the Klamath Basin." Los Angeles Times (March 28, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61816]

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State Water Resources Control Board: Its Division of Water Rights Uses Erroneous Data to Calculate Some Annual Fees and Lacks Effective Management Techniques to Ensure that It Processes Water Rights Promptly. By the California Bureau of State Audits. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) March 2006. 58 p.

Full Text at:

["The division does not accurately assess some annual fees using its Water Rights Information Management System, causing it to overcharge some fee payers and undercharge others. Some errors occur because the data the division uses to calculate the annual fees does not include the amount of storage authorized by the water right or because the division did not update its system to reflect the maximum annual diversion and relevant seasons and rates of diversion authorized by a fee payer's water right."]

[Request #S61817]

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High Cost or High Opportunity Cost? Transportation and Family Economic Success. By Margy Waller. The Brookings Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) December 2005. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["Recent reports quantify the additional money required to own and operate personal vehicles, as compared to the lower cost of traveling on public transit. However, this method of accounting fails to consider the fact that poor workers without a car may not be able to search for or accept a better-paying job because public transit doesn't take them there, causing these workers to lose income or benefits as a result. This report outlines opportunity costs experienced by transit-dependent poor households, and concludes that when all costs are considered along with benefits of private vehicles, it makes sense to press for more assistance and policies that reduce car ownership costs for poor workers."]

[Request #S61818]

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"Undocumented, Unlicensed and Back on the Road; Easy Access to Cars Fuels the Cycle of Seizure, Impound, Resale and a Return to Driving," "Crash Victim Opposes Licensing Illegals," "Revolving Door for Unlicensed Drivers Back on the Road," and "Breaking an 'Unjust' Law: Good Samaritans Help Illegal Immigrant Get His Car Back After Impound." By Martin Espinoza and others. IN: The [Santa Rosa] Press Democrat (April 9, 2006) A1+.

["California stripped undocumented immigrants of their driving privileges in 1993 when it adopted a law that requires residents to provide a Social Security number and proof of legal residency to obtain a driver's license.... California motor vehicle laws allow undocumented immigrants to transfer ownership of a vehicle in their names without proof of insurance. The process is fueled by a huge supply of cheap cars, some of them unknowingly provided by people making a tax-deductible contribution to charity.... For a few hundred dollars you can get a car with no questions asked."]

[Request #S61819]

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Funding for Transportation: What the New Federal Act Means for California. By the California Legislative Analysts Office. (The Office, Sacramento, California) January 19, 2006. 20 p.

Full Text at:

["The report lays out, as best it can, how the new five-year federal transportation financing program will affect California.... California would be entitled to $23.4 billion in federal transportation funds. That sounds like a lot but is somewhat less than California motorists would be paying in federal fuel taxes during the period.... Five of California's 22 major earmarked projects, representing nearly 30 percent of their set-aside funds, are in Kern County, home to one-half of 1 percent of the state's population." Sacramento Bee (January 20, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S61820]

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The Economic Costs of Disruptions in Container Shipments. By Bruce Arnold, and others, Congressional Budget Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) March 29, 2006. 27 p.

Full Text at:

["The security threat posed by the nearly 24 million shipping containers that arrive each year at U.S. ports is a major concern for policymakers.... The analysis focuses on two specific disruption scenarios: 1) An unexpected one-week halt to all container traffic through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the country’s two largest ports for such shipments; and 2) An unexpected three-year halt to all container traffic through those two ports as well as an initial precautionary one-week stoppage of container shipments at all U.S. ports."]

[Request #S61821]

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How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decision Making. By PBS&J. Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. (The Administration, Washington, DC) February 2006. 60 p.

Full Text at:

["The report includes a six-step process that planning and project-development practitioners may employ during planning, project development, right-of-way acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance. This process provides a range of references, tools, techniques, insights, and approaches to engage the target audience." TRB Newsletter (February 28, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61823]

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Solving Traffic Congestion. By Matt Sundeen, National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL Legisbrief. Vol. 14 No. 14 (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) March 2006. 2 p.

["Traffic congestion is a growing problem.... Solutions include improving operations of existing for congestion need not depend on road construction."]

[Request #S61824]

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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", "Transportation" IN: Studies in the News, 06-11 - 6-16, March 2006 - April 2006

[Includes: "Indoor mold prevention and remediation," "State action on climate change," "Californians and the environment," "Federal Interior Department appropriations," "Central Valley levee grade card," "Court approves suit against paint manufacturers," "Court blocks changes to air pollution review ," "Green chemistry plan proposed," "Sierra Nevada watersheds," "The price of smog," "Report to Governor on climate change," "Cost to save endangered species," "Salmon season restricted, "Changes in work commutes," "Transportation program in shambles," and "Radiation detection equipment at ports."]

[Request #S61825]

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