Over the past fifty years, EPA has overseen incredible reductions in auto pollution.
This is part of an occasional series of posts about the evolution of pollution standards. Today’s subject is pollution control for new vehicles, which have been known to cause smog since the 1960s. The history of these pollution standards is quite distinctive. At the high temperatures in internal combustion engines, some of the nitrogen in …CONTINUE READING
A new UCLA report recommends policies to green existing buildings in a way that protects and supports residential tenants.
Los Angeles’ ambitious “Green New Deal” calls for, among other things, eliminating or offsetting building emissions and reducing building energy use by 44%, both by 2050. This is an impressive and ambitious target, and while the city has begun restricting some emissions from new buildings, it is still figuring out how to tackle the far …CONTINUE READING
There’s a favorable settlement in the case brought by Earthjustice on behalf of EYCEJ with help from UCLA law students.
Last year, the South Coast Air Quality Management District was accused of not properly enforcing a state law that requires petroleum refineries to install air-quality monitoring systems around their perimeter. Essentially, the air quality watchdog exempted smaller refineries from having to follow the rules. Now, the SCAQMD has agreed to reverse course and move to …CONTINUE READING
A recent case shows why the law is so important – and how it can be abused
Even the best and conscientious developers gnash their teeth at CEQA, California’s environmental review law, and one can see why: it can allow NIMBYs to block useful housing and supercharge exclusion. But there’s a reason why the law was passed and why it has persisted, and we saw it three days ago: Trees of Los …CONTINUE READING
Local measures like Measure W are working. But more needs to be done to capture stormwater and rainwater.
At least nine atmospheric rivers blasted California between December 20th and January 15th, causing flooding and extensive damage, while also delivering much needed precipitation to our parched state. The Los Angeles County Public Works Department announced recently that more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater have been captured in the early months of the winter …CONTINUE READING
Failure To Install Smart Water Meters Is Wasting Billions of Gallons Each Year
I felt at least decently about myself when I paid my water bill recently, because I was told that my usage was somewhat better than other people in my neighborhood (which is a low bar, but you take what you can get). But when I tried to figure out why it was better, I got …CONTINUE READING
A new Pritzker Environmental Policy Brief discusses the benefits of parks and affordable housing joint development
Los Angeles needs more parks and more affordable housing. When compared to other major cities across the country, the City of L.A. ranks 78th out of 100 in terms of park access, acreage, amenities, investments, and equitable distribution. More than 1.4 million people in the City of L.A. and nearly five million people in Los …CONTINUE READING
Los Angeles is about to require that new buildings be electric, but there’s a bigger decarbonization hurdle waiting.
The City of Los Angeles is going into the new year with a big new building-decarbonization ordinance: starting this year, nearly all new buildings in the city will have to be entirely electric. This means that, with few exceptions, new buildings will need to exclusively use electric appliances, and will not be allowed to contain …CONTINUE READING
If you read Legal Planet, you know why the work we do matters.
Like everyone else, I’m sure you find fundraising appeals annoying. That’s why we only do them two days a year on Legal Planet. But there couldn’t be a more important time for the work we do. It’s really now or never to address climate change. That means that the environmental work we do at Berkeley …CONTINUE READING
Affordable housing and the Transit-Oriented Communities program
This is the second post in a short series on income-targeted environmental policies. You can read the first post, introducing the concept of “Area Median Income,” here. In this second part of my series on income-targeted environmental programs, I want to talk about affordable housing, and one particular housing program, Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC). TOC has …CONTINUE READING