City of Stanton Launches “Cease the Grease” Campaign

When grease, fats, and other oils are poured down kitchen drains, they tend to clog up the pipes. Many studies have shown that pouring used cooking oil down kitchen sinks can lead to clogging. This is because as the grease travels from the kitchen sink into the sewers and water treatment plants, they tend to cool, harden, and eventually build up on the pipes. They can accumulate over time and block certain pipes, causing very costly damage. Not only that, but clogging the pipes in cities can cause sewage and other wastes to be directed instead to waterways and other bodies of water, which can be harmful to both the environment and to residents of surrounding areas. On July 24, 2013, the city of Stanton officially started the “Cease the Grease” campaign with a press conference and light reception for residents. Although it shares the same name as a Dallas campaign to educate residents on proper grease disposal, Stanton’s campaign takes it a step further. With local government-provided services that will actually enable residents to properly dispose of their grease, the campaign is geared to protect the environment, and reduce potential costs that can be caused by sewer and pipeline blockages. Local leaders are thinking ahead, not just to save residents tax dollars in the future, but to save the environment, as well. Residents are now encouraged to recycle fats, oils, and grease rather than risk improper disposal. They can collect their oils and grease and with the help of the Orange County Sanitation District and CR&R Environmental Services, a Stanton-based recycling company, eventually recycle the grease. Residents can call...

Stricter Regulations Approved for Southern California Beach Fire Rings

More than 500 fire pits dot the Southern California coast to be used by beachgoers year-round, free of charge. For many, spending the day in the water and starting a bonfire in the fire pits at night are a cheap and almost traditional way to spend summer—and definitely not something they are ready to give up anytime soon. Last month, however, the Southern Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) regulators suggested the removal or relocation of many fire pits down the Southern California coast. They claim that small particle pollution, which come from the bonfires pose a serious health risk to the residents of the beachfront houses on the coast. A study conducted has shown that the pollution from one fire pit alone is comparable to standing next to three diesel-run vehicles. Since more than one fire pit is located on each given beach—with Huntington Beach boasting over 500 fire pits on its shores—the accumulation of the small particle pollution has made beachfront residents and air regulators worried for their health. Additionally, as they are now, most of the fire pits are too close to the homes of residents; the buffer zone is less than 700 feet, especially in beaches like Newport. The air district proposed that new regulations be imposed on the fire rings. Studies supported by the air quality regulators found that over 700 feet away, the particle pollution becomes more distributed and scattered than when they are closer. This led to the proposal that fire pits must be at least 700 feet away from any residences, unless they are spaced out 100 feet apart. The new proposal...

Energy Efficiency Investments : The Safest Type of Investment

Finance guru Zvi Bodie had recently claimed that the best and safest investments are on I-bonds, inflation-adjusted bonds from the US government. This means that the rate of interest is guaranteed to be at least the rate of inflation. They are backed with the credit and full faith of the US government for 30 years, and can be cashed out anytime with the security that it is adjusted and the purchasing power has been maintained. In response to this article, however, one Hilton Dier, owner of Renewable Energy Designs, argues that it is not the safest investment out there. Instead, he claims that energy efficiency investments have the best return, and are the safest type of investment. First, he stresses that this type of investment only works for people who own property–homes or businesses–but does not work for people who rent. One of the key points that he underlines is that investments do not necessarily mean earning money, but can also mean saving money. If you save $100 on an electric bill, for example, it is the same as earning $100 on an investment, but perhaps even better, since saved money is not taxable. He also adds that just as I-bonds are inflation-adjusted, so are personal energy investments. In fact, it might be well over than just inflation-adjusted since it seems that the cost of energy–all the different kinds–is going up faster than inflation. So, the money saved in the first year, is guaranteed to adjust in the next year, as the costs go up and efficiency lowers the money spent. Finally, perhaps the biggest advantage of energy efficiency...

$280K of EPA Water funding is available for innovative source reduction projects targeting marine debris.

U.S. EPA Region 9 seeks proposals for innovative projects that reduce land-based sources of marine debris. Funding: $283,660 is available for one to three projects. Eligibility: States, local governments, public/private nonprofit institutions/organizations, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, U.S. territories or possessions, and interstate agencies are eligible. Deadline: Proposals are due Friday, June 8, 2012, 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time (PST). Request for Proposals: Interested parties should read the complete RFP at...

Calif. Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s Green Fuels Bill Passes Key Hurdle

SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — California Assembly Bill 1900, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), a bill that would change the state’s rules on Renewable Natural Gas, passed the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce on Monday by a vote of 11-1. The bill would change the rules for Renewable Natural Gas (also known as biomethane), a natural, renewable-energy source fuel. Current rules have been described by many as bizarre or simply counter-productive.   To read full article:...