Los Angeles

How Much Rain is L.A. Capturing?

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 …

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…In Which I Attempt To Read My Water Bill

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 …

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Parks and Housing Together: A Win for Communities and the Environment

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 …

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LA’s big step toward building electrification

A photograph of Los Angeles, taken at night

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 …

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Yes, It’s That Time of Year Again

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 …

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Income-targeted environmental policies, Episode 2

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 …

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Why CEQA is a Useful Tool for Environmental Justice Communities in California

A local environmental justice group’s victory in a recent California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) exemption case highlights the importance of CEQA for environmental justice communities in California. After the group, Cudahy Alliance for Justice, challenged the City of Cudahy’s approval of an elementary and middle school on a hazardous waste site, Los Angeles Superior Court …

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L.A. City’s Oil and Gas Ban: A Major Win for Environmental Justice Communities

A vote last week by the Los Angeles City Council will initiate a process to ban new oil and gas wells and phase out existing wells within the City’s limits. This historic vote is a major victory for environmental justice communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the harmful impacts of neighborhood oil drilling for …

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The Latest Chapter in Los Angeles’ Century-Long Water War With the Eastern Sierra’s People & Environment

LADWP’s Unilateral Revocation of Water Allocation to Mono County’s Farmers & Ranchers Triggers County’s CEQA Challenge

There LADWP goes again. Recently the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced it was walking away from its longstanding obligation to provide Mono County residents and the environment with a tiny fraction of the water it transports from Mono County to LADWP’s urban customers in Los Angeles.  When efforts by county officials to …

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Debating Environmental Racism in the Ninth Circuit

A recent case occasioned a sharp exchange about accusation of environmental racism.

 Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. FAA is a Ninth Circuit opinion decided before the Thanksgiving break. It involved to a legal challenge to the FAA’s refusal to prepare a full-scale environmental impact statement before approving a major Amazon distribution center at the San Bernardino airport. I probably wouldn’t have read the decision …

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