NRDC Golden State Newsletter March 2014, Vol 1, Issue 72
NRDC's Annie Notthoff, Joel Reynolds

California received some desperately needed rain and snow recently although everyone realizes that we need much much more to replenish reserves to alleviate this persistent drought. NRDC's water team is hard at work on near term drought solutions and policies to produce a more drought resilient California in the long-term -- including speaking on a panel before the State Water Resources Control Board about how California farms can conserve more water and contribute to the Governor's call to conserve 20%. NRDC testimony also focused on urban conservation strategies presenting a total of nineteen recommendations for drought resiliency.

These recommendations are intended to build on the great work of the California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown who signed a much needed $687 million drought-relief package in March.


Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director
Joel Reynolds, Western Director

Polluting Battery Operation Poisons the Community

Polluting Battery Operation Poisons the Community: pollution

Exide Technologies -- a giant battery acid recycling operation in California -- has emitted lead and arsenic into the neighboring communities for many years. Lead is a very dangerous neurotoxin with negative effects on IQ and learning ability that can last a lifetime. Arsenic is a known carcinogen. Exide has been operating for more than 30 years with an interim permit to dispose of its waste issued by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control -- with no environmental review. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has filed an Order for Abatement to push Exide to mitigate the health impacts on surrounding communities or else be shut down. The district has also adopted new regulations to further reduce Exide’s toxic emissions; Exide is challenging those regulations in court. NRDC intends to file a motion to intervene to support the regulations and protect communities in South East Los Angeles.

An Impassioned Climate Change Community: “This is OUR Future”

An Impassioned Climate Change Community: dissent

The call for action to combat climate change keeps growing louder. And more young people are getting active and willing to take a stand in some very public and even demanding ways. Earlier this month 398 young people marched on Washington to ask President Obama to “Dec-line the Pipe-line” -- and reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline; a dirty energy project that has no place in leaving a healthy climate legacy. About the same time here in California, our friends at the March for Climate Action began their nine-month, 3,000-mile cross country climate action fight in Wilmington -- the site of a proposed new rail and refining capacity for crude oil -- to emphasize that further burning fossil fuels will only result in further climate disruption. NRDC President Frances Beinecke endorsed the march, and we remain with the marchers in spirit on their journey to advance this very important goal.

10-City Energy Project Targets LA

City Energy Project Targets: map of cities

The City Energy Project -- a groundbreaking national initiative to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings -- has launched in ten cities, including Los Angeles. City buildings account for the majority of energy use and carbon pollution -- even more than the transportation and industrial sectors. We know that improving the energy performance of these buildings will yield significant, rapid results. Working in partnership, the project and participating cities will produce innovative, practical solutions to boost local economies, reduce pollution, and create healthier communities nationwide. The initiative is a joint enterprise of NRDC and the Institute for Market Transformation.

Setting High Standards: NRDC Energy Fellow Targets Buildings

Setting High Standards: Kim Narita

From the San Fernando Valley to Alaska’s Supreme Court to NRDC’s Chicago office, Kimi Narita has helped establish and defend various renewable energy projects. Having earned her joint J.D./M.S. in Environment and Resources Portfolio Standards at Stanford Law, Kimi’s passion and appreciation for natural resources, renewable energy and efficiency has been applied in projects across Kansas and Missouri, in Chicago, and now in her home of California. Kimi’s most recent effort -- outreach on the above-mentioned City Energy Project -- is taking center stage here in our Golden State. When she’s not busy thinking of ways to cut energy waste and reduce harmful pollution, Kimi can be found baking her famous non-dairy cupcakes.

© 2014 Natural Resources Defense Council

Photo Credits: Los Angeles Banner,; XL March,; Recycling Plant, smax/Flickr; City Energy Project Map,