NRDC Golden State Newsletter July 2014, Vol 1, Issue 77
NRDC's Annie Notthoff, Joel Reynolds

Comedy and conservation came together this month when TV host Conan O'Brien joined our battle to save water in the face of California's epic drought with a series of fun PSAs. Working with NRDC's drought awareness program and the State of California's Save Our Water campaign, O'Brien and funnyman sidekick, Andy Richter, humorously deliver important tips on reducing personal water use, from toilets to car washes and more.

State leaders took action to address the worst drought in the state's history, by replacing the bloated water bond on the November ballot with a new & improved slimmer version. NRDC supports the new bond. It will support local water supply programs and help reduce dependency on the Delta for water. Join #TeamCocoH2O.


Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director
Joel Reynolds, Western Director

California's Monumental Groundwater Management Win

wastewater management

In more water news, a Sacramento County trial court recently ruled California's public trust doctrine -- a common law doctrine stating the state owns all navigable waterways within its borders as a public trust for the benefit of its people -- applies to groundwater pumping if extraction of groundwater adversely impacts a navigable waterway to which the public trust doctrine does apply. In line with NRDC's recent groundwater analysis, this decision marks the first time a state court has decided the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater interconnected to nearby rivers. This big win stands to not only to protect our rivers, but will also to force California to rethink the management of groundwater resources.

Crude Oil Danger Zones: New Maps Detail Vicinity of Hazardous Rail Routes

power plant

Nearly four million California Bay Area and Central/San Joaquin Valley residents remain at risk as dangerous crude oil rail lines roll through their communities. Rail routes in close proximity to population centers and not to mention "high hazard areas" for derailments (generally located along waterways), pose extreme safety risks to those that live and work in these environments. Recently, NRDC released a series of detailed rail route maps showing which areas are at risk. As California experiences a proliferation of new crude by rail terminal proposals this year, these findings provide useful information about which communities and schools are located in the vicinity of hazardous crude oil rail routes and deserve safeguarding.

Mexico and California's Climate Action Pact

LA benefit

California took another step in leading on climate action when Governor Jerry Brown signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Rodolfo Lacy and the Mexican National Forestry Commission Director General Jorge Rescala Perez to align on greenhouse gas reduction programs and climate adaptation strategies. Gov. Brown also signed a similar MOU with Mexico's energy secretary, Pedro JoaquĆ­n Coldwell -- calling for technical cooperation and joint implementation of programs to boost low-carbon energy, biofuels, energy efficiency, energy storage and other emissions-reducing technologies. Nearly 90 delegates from private and public sectors -- including NRDC California advocates -- went to Mexico to discuss common key issues we face: climate change, environment protection and the economy.

A Scientist's Mission to Protect Bay Area Communities

Pierre Delforge

A nature lover from day one, NRDC senior health scientist Diane Bailey works to promote the reduction of diesel exhaust, air toxics, and global warming pollution negatively impacting our health and the economy. Raised in a small town in New York, she was inspired to protect the environment when she learned as a child that the town well's water was contaminated with TCE and other chemicals. After receiving her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University and an MS in Environmental Engineering from Rice University, Diane began her career with Citizens for a Better Environment. Since arriving at NRDC in June of 2001, Diane has brought the dangers of crude oil transportation to the forefront, putting pressure of the rail industry and empowering city leaders to demand public safety, and gone after diesel truck polluters and oil refineries dumping air pollution into our backyards.

© 2014 Natural Resources Defense Council

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