Environment

Interior Department won’t eliminate national monuments but some may shrink |Aug 24, 2017

The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, as well as others ordered reviewed by President Donald Trump, will not be eliminated, but many should be reduced in size, according to documents released Thursday.

Senior passes to national parks will soon cost $80. Here’s how to get one for $10 |Aug 24, 2017

If you’re a senior citizen who likes to visit national parks, there’s a deal you should know about before it’s gone. The National Park Service is boosting the price of a lifetime pass for seniors — known as the America the Beautiful, National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass — from $10 to $80 on Monday, Aug.

Why City of Industry got 2,500 acres for half its $100 million offer |Aug 24, 2017

CITY OF INDUSTRY >> The City of Industry secured 2,500 acres of ranch land outside its borders eyed for a solar farm for less than half the appraised value after agreeing to forever protect the land from housing development.

Report: California needs to address housing crisis to meet long-term climate change goals |Aug 22, 2017

California’s economy grew robustly during the past decade even as state-imposed environmental standards to combat climate-change helped lower greenhouse gas emissions. But authors of a report released Tuesday cautioned that the future might not be so rosy: They found that transportation-related emissions have begun to rise due in part to longer commute times for California workers who can’t afford to live in the cities where they work.

100 supporters, 4 local members of Congress blast Trump’s review of national monuments |Aug 22, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> At a rally Tuesday, four local members of Congress blasted President Trump’s executive order that called for the review of dozens of national monuments, which they fear could mean scaling back or eliminating those protected natural areas entirely.

Drinking lead: Why California may force all schools to test their water |Aug 20, 2017

When a therapy dog refused to drink at a San Diego grade school, it was the first clue that something was wrong with the water. Tests revealed why the pup turned up its nose—the presence of polyvinyl chloride, the polymer in PVC pipes that degrade over time.

Move by California climate regulators could net big bucks for polluters |Aug 19, 2017

Against the sparkling backdrop of sailboats bobbing on San Francisco Bay, Gov. Jerry Brown last month signed a bill extending California’s cap-and-trade program, assuring that the most high-profile piece of the state’s fight against climate change persists for another decade.

What’s best weapon for battling species invading California waters? Data |Aug 19, 2017

There’s an invasion plaguing the coastal waters of Southern California. Waves of tiny interlopers spark havoc at fisheries, clog municipal water pipes and frustrate boaters who must dislodge buckets of sea crud.

Riverside residents asked to help save state’s citrus industry from deadly disease |Aug 18, 2017

RIVERSIDE >> Agriculture and citrus experts told Riverside residents at a meeting Thursday it will take a coordinated community effort to protect not only local citrus trees but the state’s $3.

Here’s what happened in Southern California the year of the last total solar eclipse |Aug 17, 2017

Do you remember the last time that a total solar eclipse could be seen from the United States? Well, it was Feb. 26, 1979. A lot of other things happened that year. It’s also when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female prime minister, the Iran Hostage Crisis began, Saddam Hussein became the President of Iraq, ESPN was founded and much more.

Video depicts bear family at play in Monrovia backyard |Aug 16, 2017

A Monrovia resident caught a tender moment on camera Tuesday as a mother bear played with her two cubs in a backyard. The matriarch gently wrestled with her offspring in the shade of a small tree in a backyard at the north end of Monrovia, according to Amber Ryan Mckenzi, who shot the adorable 44-second-long footage.

Kuwait battles oil spill in Persian Gulf waters |Aug 13, 2017

KUWAIT CITY >> Kuwait battled Sunday to control an oil spill off its southern coast that stained its beaches, threatened to damage power plants and water stations, and left long black slicks in the Persian Gulf.

The possible downfall of cleaning the air, according to JPL study |Aug 13, 2017

Can smog be beneficial? A new study says yes, sort of. Tiny pieces of air pollution — also called fine particulates — contribute to human cases of asthma, lung disease, even premature death and therefore are a target for removal by state and federal air quality agencies looking to protect public health.

Solar eclipse inspires Mars-related scientific experiments |Aug 13, 2017

A total solar eclipse is an opportunity for serious science and not just another chance to be entertained, though you’re excused if, this month, you can’t tell the difference. First, a future fact: A total eclipse is expected to be visible in a 70-mile-wide swath of North America starting at about 10:21 a.

Pomona woman charged by bear: ‘If it wasn’t for that officer, I’d be dead right now’ |Aug 10, 2017

POMONA >> Traci Lowe received the shock of her life Thursday morning when she took her poodle, Fozzy, for a walk in Pomona and was confronted by a large bear. “It noticed me when I noticed it, and when it saw me it started charging,” said Lowe, who lives in the Copacabana mobile home park in the 2700 block of Arrow Highway.

Diamond Bar, Chino Hills to City of Industry: We want details on solar farm |Aug 10, 2017

The cities of Diamond Bar and Chino Hills are pushing back against plans the industrial-dominated City of Industry has to purchase a huge swath of open space within the two cities’ boundaries.

Here’s the newest baby penguin at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach |Aug 8, 2017

The Aquarium of the Pacific went into cuteness overdrive Tuesday as the newest little resident waddled into its new home Tuesday morning. The yet unnamed, months-old chick joined its family and more than a dozen other Magellanic penguins at the aquarium’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat.

San Bernardino rep asks Trump to shrink San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, citing ski resort and mining |Aug 8, 2017

A San Bernardino County congressman is calling on the Trump administration to shrink the boundaries of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, causing anxiety among some of the monument’s ardent supporters.

Tuna won’t be listed as endangered, Trump administration says |Aug 7, 2017

Rejecting a petition from environmental groups, the Trump administration announced Monday that it will not list Pacific bluefin tuna — a torpedo-shaped fish that can grow to 1,000 pounds and which sells for $100,000 or more per fish in Japanese sushi markets — as endangered, despite that fact that the animal’s population has fallen 97 percent.

How Industry could lose a $9M bet on solar farm at Tres Hermanos Ranch |Aug 6, 2017

The City of Industry has quietly put more than $9 million in public funds at risk as it pursues an ambitious and uncertain proposal to develop a sprawling solar farm in the open hills connecting Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

City of Industry’s contact on solar farm development owed $50M from past defaults |Aug 6, 2017

A developer who has been a primary business contact for the City of Industry as its seeks to create a large, urban solar power farm owes millions of dollars to creditors because of troubled past developments, government records show.

Bloomington Fire prompts 650-gallon oil spill; hazmat team called in |Aug 4, 2017

About 650 gallons of used motor oil and hydraulic fluid spilled from plastic containers at an industrial lot in Bloomington after a fire broke out there Friday morning, Aug. 4, a fire official said.

Industry meets with Tres Hermanos neighboring cities to discuss solar plant proposal |Aug 3, 2017

At a meeting with representatives from four surrounding cities, City of Industry City Manager Paul Philips broke the silence about the city’s plans for developing Tres Hermanos ranch, confirming publicly for the first time that the city is pursuing a massive solar farm on the property.

Taking aim: gophers in cross hairs at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes |Aug 2, 2017

It was a scene that would make Carl Spackler proud: a groundskeeper at Trump National Golf Club, eye to the scope of a rifle, taking aim at a hardened golf course menace — a gopher.

Citrus greening disease devastated Florida’s oranges. Ground zero for California’s battle is in Riverside |Aug 2, 2017

Workers with the California Department of Food and Agriculture are methodically checking what are likely hundreds of citrus trees in a mostly residential area north of the 60/91/215 freeway interchange in Riverside for signs of a deadly disease.

Fed up with ‘trash islands,’ LA County leaders consider ban on some food containers |Aug 1, 2017

A study to examine a wide-ranging ban on the use of take-out containers, plastic cups and single-use straws was approved unanimously by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, but not before several people spoke out in opposition to the idea.

See the alligator that was loose in New York state |Jul 31, 2017

WHITNEY POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities in upstate New York have captured an alligator that got loose. According to Animal Adventure Park, New York state Department of Environmental Conservation crews captured the renegade reptile Saturday behind the fairgrounds in rural Whitney Point.

Humpback whale discovered off San Clemente freed from most entanglements |Jul 30, 2017

DANA POINT >> An entangled and wounded juvenile humpback whale found 4 miles off San Onofre was mostly freed of Dungeness crab fishing gear and heading south toward San Diego on Sunday afternoon.

Are new-tech trucks ready to replace diesel, keep California’s pollution-fighting promise? |Jul 30, 2017

The race to replace Southern California’s biggest polluter is on. It’s going to take science, time, money — and maybe an assist from Elon Musk.

Clean energy industry workshops to be held at 5 CSU campuses |Jul 30, 2017

The Cal State University will offer workshops at five local campuses to encourage study of clean energy entrepreneurship, officials announced this week. The university system received a $250,000 grant from the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s new Energize California initiative.

How bedbugs are making an unwelcome comeback in Southern California |Jul 29, 2017

Gary Shelton tossed clothes, a wooden bed frame, a director’s chair and cardboard boxes stuffed with papers from his community-activist campaigns. Other clothes the 68-year-old Long Beach man washed, dried and bagged.

Rescuers working to free entangled humpback whale off San Pedro |Jul 29, 2017

Marine-mammal rescuers on Saturday struggled to free a humpback whale entangled in fishing line off the Palos Verdes Peninsula, but will have to make another try Sunday. Whale-watching boats rushed to get eyes on the whale when it was spotted at about 9 a.

Firefighters rescue woman entangled by boa constrictor |Jul 28, 2017

SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say firefighters have rescued an Ohio woman after a boa constrictor wrapped around her neck and began biting her face. The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports the unnamed 45-year-old Sheffield Lake woman called 911 Thursday afternoon asking for help.

Pomona Fairplex launches bike sharing program for employees |Jul 23, 2017

POMONA >> Road bikes and beach cruisers — some of them equipped with handy baskets — are among the 10 new bicycles that recently arrived at Fairplex for use in a pilot bicycling sharing program.

Latest California innovation: A Republican case for cap and trade |Jul 22, 2017

Minutes after a bipartisan coalition of California lawmakers voted to extend the state’s landmark climate change policy for another decade, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown stood in front of a bank of television cameras and compared the plan to one championed 30 years ago by GOP icon Ronald Reagan.

Why California’s most polluting vehicles aren’t required to get smog checks |Jul 22, 2017

It’s California’s dirty little emissions secret. As Gov. Jerry Brown and the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach promise an emissions-free future, some diesel fumes aren’t going anywhere.

Residents say chupacabra stalks mountains of Riverside County |Jul 21, 2017

On a foggy morning more than a week ago, Cary Shuker’s cat raced inside his Riverside home, terrified of something outside. “This thing was standing out there, looking at me” said Shuker, a private contractor who lives at the base of Box Springs Mountain, which divides Moreno Valley and Riverside.

California Assembly GOP leader faces calls to quit after supporting cap-and-trade program |Jul 21, 2017

Pressure is mounting on Assemblyman Chad Mayes to step down as Assembly GOP leader after he helped Democrats extend an anti-pollution program loathed by conservatives who already feel marginalized in deep-blue California.

One way to save the environment from invasive species? Eat them |Jul 21, 2017

In an oak woodland between canyons of the Angeles National Forest, Pascal Baudar paused in a tangle of vibrant green shoots of perennial pepperweed and purple blossoming wild radishes that many would consider unremarkable weeds.

How extending cap-and-trade affects the Inland Empire |Jul 20, 2017

Inland residents will no longer pay a fire-prevention fee but might end up paying even more at the gas pump after California lawmakers approved an extension of the state’s pollution-fighting cap-and-trade program.

LA, Long Beach ports’ plan to clean up air pollution will cost as much as $14 billion |Jul 19, 2017

Declaring it the largest environmental investment ever undertaken by a cargo complex to wean itself off diesel dependency, Los Angeles and Long Beach port officials Wednesday unveiled their Clean Air Action Plan update, with a price tag that could reach $14 billion.

See dog’s daring rescue of drowning baby deer |Jul 18, 2017

PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. (AP) — A dog that saw a baby deer in danger of drowning in New York jumped in and dragged it to shore. The daring rescue in Long Island Sound was caught on video by his owner Mark Freeley.

8 California Republicans defy national party line, support climate change regulation |Jul 18, 2017

SACRAMENTO >> An almost surreal 2017 political scene was on display Monday in Sacramento: Republicans and Democrats, including Gov. Jerry Brown, standing on a stage together at a late-night news conference — celebrating a climate-change policy victory.

‘It’s raining needles’: Drug crisis creates pollution threat |Jul 17, 2017

LOWELL, Mass. — They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets.

California lawmakers extend landmark climate change law |Jul 17, 2017

SACRAMENTO >> California lawmakers voted Monday to extend a climate change initiative that Gov. Jerry Brown holds up as a model for states and nations looking to lower carbon emissions. Brown’s signature will add another decade of life to the state’s cap-and-trade program, bolstering the Democratic governor’s quest to portray California as a leader in the fight against climate change at a time when President Donald Trump is pulling back.

House Appropriations Committee could determine the fate of wild horses and burros on public lands |Jul 17, 2017

A Tuesday, July 18, meeting in Washington, D.C., could determine whether thousands of wild horses and burros on public lands will face euthanasia or sale to slaughterhouses. At the meeting, the House Appropriations Committee will review the fiscal 2018 spending bill for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and related areas.

Ports of LA, Long Beach at clean-air crossroads as they update pollution battle plan |Jul 15, 2017

Can one of Southern California’s biggest sources of pollution turn itself into a model of green energy? That’s what the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach aim to do this week when they release their much-anticipated update to the Clean Air Action Plan.

Toxic blue-green algae found at Silverwood Lake, prompting beach closures |Jul 15, 2017

jsteinberg@scng.com @JamesDSteinberg The discovery of toxic blue-green algae at Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains closed two beaches to swimming for at least a week, according to officials from the California Department of Water Resources.

What do a comedian and a mountain lion have in common? Enough for a movie, it turns out |Jul 15, 2017

The great cat moves silently through the Griffith Park night, defying the odds by staying alive. It’s amazing that the mountain lion we know as P-22, named that way because he was the 22nd puma identified by Santa Monica Mountains National Park Service biologists, came to this urban-adjacent park.

How a donation will help the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park to expand |Jul 14, 2017

CLAREMONT >> Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is about to get bigger now that Pomona College has announced plans to donate 463 acres of wilderness to the city.