Policy Solutions

All Policy Documents Tagged california

It Could Happen Here: The Exploding Threat of Crude by Rail in California
Fact Sheet
In the rush to transport land-locked unconventional new crude oil sources, old rail lines running through communities across America are now rattling with thousands of cars filled with crude oil. Federal regulators have few safeguards in place to protect communities and the environment from accidents, spills and explosions resulting from the race to move millions of barrels of crude by rail.
The Untapped Potential of California's Water Supply
Efficiency, Reuse, and Stormwater
Issue Brief
California is suffering from a third year of drought, with near-record-low reservoirs, mountain snowpack, soil moisture, and river runoff. As a direct result, far less water than usual is available for cities, farms, and natural ecosystems. There are far-reaching effects that will intensify if dry conditions persist. Several response strategies are available that will provide both near-term relief and long-term benefits.
Proceed with Caution: California’s Drought and Seawater Desalination
Issue Paper
Some observers wonder whether the long-term answer to California’s drought lies in the ocean through the
promotion of seawater desalination. This paper offers an overview of the science and policy related to seawater desalination and demonstrates why this option is generally the least promising option for drought relief.
California Snowpack and the Drought
Fact Sheet
Snowpack, vital to California's water supply, has long replenished the state's reservoirs naturally in advance of the dry summer and fall months. Snowpack normally provides one-third of the water used by California's cities and farms each year. But if drought conditions persist, 2014's April snowpack measurements could be among the lowest since state snow surveys began in 1930.
California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story
Saving Billions of Dollars and Curbing Tons of Pollution
Fact Sheet
California's long, bipartisan history of promoting energy efficiency -- America's cheapest and cleanest energy resource -- has saved Golden State residents more than $65 billion, helped lower their residential electricity bills to 25 percent below the national average, and contributed to the state's continuing leadership in creating green jobs.
California’s New Recycling Goal is a Green Jobs Creator
Achieving 75 percent recycling in California could produce more than 110,000 jobs.
Report
California already leads the nation in green jobs creation, and increasing recycling and the industry that supports it will create even more jobs.
America’s Underwater Parks
The Marine Life Protection Act Safeguards Our Special Undersea Places
Fact Sheet
More than 130 years ago, the United States began to protect our most treasured areas on land by creating National Parks. Now, California has extended that kind of protection to special marine areas by creating underwater parks. In December 2012, the state completed a network of marine parks along its entire coast to help sustain and revitalize the rich web of ocean life. Get document in pdf.
Implementation of the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act
70% of California’s Irrigation Districts Fail to Complete Required Agricultural Water Management Plans
Issue Paper
Irrigated agriculture is important to California, and draws upon roughly 80 percent of the state's developed water supplies. The industry produces diverse and important commodities, and employs thousands of people across a broad swath of the state. In recognition of its importance, the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act requires large irrigation districts to create comprehensive plans for their water futures.
Tackling Water Scarcity
Five Southern California Water Agencies Lead the Way to a More Sustainable Tomorrow
Issue Brief
Water scarcity has long been a fact of life across much of the southwestern United States. Changing climate patterns, growing populations, and over-tapped aquifer and river systems call for bold strategies to meet water supply needs for this region.
NRDC Support for SB 147
Comments
On April 4, 2011, Sarah Janssen and Victoria Rome of Natural Resources Defense Council sent a letter to Senator Curren Price, Chair of the California State Senate's Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee, in support of SB 147 -- the Consumer Choice Fire Safety Act. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of Dr. Sarah Janssen for California's SB 772
Testimony
On July 7, 2009, Sarah Janssen, senior scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council, testified for SB 772 before the California Assembly Committee on Health. The bill would have banned the use of certain flame retardants in children's products. Get document in pdf.
Testimony of Dr. Sarah Janssen on TB 117, the Upholstered Furniture Flammability Standard
Testimony
On July 23, 2012, Sarah Janssen, senior scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council, testified before California's Department of Consumer Affairs in Sacramento where a public workshop was held on TB 117, the Upholstered Furniture Flammability Standard. Get document in pdf.
Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
Helping California Break Its Addiction to Oil
Fact Sheet
The best solution to dealing with volatile California gasoline prices is to use less oil and encourage greater investments in cleaner, alternative fuels that help diversify our fuel supply. California's low-carbon fuel standard is one of the state's key measures developed to do just that.
AB 32 Status Report
California Hitting Clean Energy Targets
Issue Brief
California has a track record of implementing pioneering clean energy policies that provide direct economic and public health benefits to the state's residents. AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, continues this legacy by committing California to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 -- roughly a 20 percent reduction -- through a suite of complementary policies.
A Bold Plan for Sustainable California Communities
A Report on the Implementation of Senate Bill 375
Report
Southern California, Sacramento, and San Diego have become the first three regions in America to adopt transportation plans specifically designed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, implementing California's landmark Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Law (Senate Bill 375), passed in 2008.
Volumetric Wastewater Pricing
Volumetric pricing for sanitary sewer service in California would save water and money
Fact Sheet
Volumetric sewer pricing is the simple concept of billing a customer for the volume of water discharged to the sewer based on the water meter reading -- water the customer actually uses as opposed to a flat charge. The less water a customer uses, the less the bill will be.
Cabo Pulmo: Protecting Baja California's Thriving Coral Reef from Massive Tourism Development
Fact Sheet
Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, is home to the only living hard coral reef in the Gulf of California. Teeming with marine life, it is one of the healthiest marine reserves in the world. But Spanish developer Hansa Urbana plans to build a colossal tourism and real estate complex right next door, which would devastate the park's fragile ecosystem. To protect the reef and its marine life, NRDC is partnering with local and international groups in a multi-faceted campaign to stop Hansa Urbana and create a sustainable, long-term development plan for the area. Get document in pdf.
Smart from the Start: Renewable Energy Siting on Federal Land
Testimony
Testimony of Johanna Wald, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council before the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources regarding the California Desert Protection Act of 2010, S. 2921. Get document in pdf.
A Clear Blue Future
How Greening California Cities Can Address Water Resources and Climate Challenges in the 21st Century
Issue Paper
This NRDC and UCSB analysis shows that implementing low impact development, or LID,  practices at new and redeveloped residential and commercial properties in parts of California can increase water supplies by billions of gallons each year, providing an effective and much-needed way to mitigate global warming’s impact on California.
Communities Tackle Global Warming
A Guide to California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375)
Issue Paper
California's Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, SB 375, is the nation's first legislation to link transportation and land use planning with global warming. SB 375 is an important step toward a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous California. Locating housing closer to jobs and transit choices and creating walkable communities can reduce commute times, cut millions of tons of global warming pollution, and improve quality of life.
Making Every Drop Work
Increasing Water Efficiency in California’s Commercial, Industrial and Institutional (CII) Sector
Issue Paper
Across the nation, water shortages are triggering growing concern and an acceleration of efforts to increase water use efficiency. In this May 2009 issue paper, NRDC recommends a number of available and cost-effective measures that can help stretch limited water supplies, save businesses money, reduce energy consumption, improve water quality, and protect local, regional, and statewide ecosystems.
AB 32 and You
How California’s Global Warming Solutions Act Delivers Smart Solutions to Californians
Fact Sheet
California is leading the country in its effort to curb global warming with the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). In December 2008, the California Air Resources Board unanimously adopted the state's plan outlining steps to a cleaner and more prosperous future. This visionary plan, the most comprehensive of its kind, will recharge California's economy, improve public health and air quality, help Californians use energy more efficiently, and make the state the hub of clean energy technology development -- all while curbing global warming. Get document in pdf.
Reconsideration of California’s Request for a Waiver of the Motor Vehicle Emission Standards for Greenhouse Gases, 2009-2016
Testimony
Testimony of David Doniger, senior attorney and policy director of the NRDC Climate Center, before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Docket No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2006–0173, March 5, 2009 Get document in pdf.
Reconsideration of California’s Request for a Waiver of the Motor Vehicle Emission Standards for Greenhouse Gases, 2009-2016
Testimony
Testimony of Roland J. Hwang, NRDC vehicles policy director and vehicle technology expert, before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2006–0173, March 5, 2009 Get document in pdf.
Cleaning Up Diesel Trucks in California
Millions in Funding Available Each Year
Fact Sheet
Heavy-duty trucks in California are the largest single source of diesel pollution, leading to thousands of illnesses and deaths each year. Pollution from diesel trucks was responsible for roughly 1,500 premature deaths in 2005, and the costs of this loss of life in addition to disease, lost work days, and school absences adds up to $12 billion per year. However, diesel pollution could easily be prevented through upgrades to the existing truck fleet, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is seeking to do just that with the upcoming diesel truck regulation. While truck owners may be wary of the added costs of upgrades that will be required, much funding has been made available by the state to offset those costs. Get document in pdf.
An Uneven Shield
The Record of Enforcement and Violations Under California's Environmental, Health and Workplace Safety Laws
Issue Paper
California leads the nation in setting standards to protect the health of families, communities and the environment. Yet too little is publicly known about how effectively these standards are enforced. This October 2008 report examines data on known violations and law enforcement responses under six critical pollution, health and safety programs, and finds that enforcement of state environmental and health laws varies widely.
Fish Out of Water
How Water Management in the Bay-Delta Threatens the Future of California's Salmon Fishery
Issue Paper
This July 2008 issue paper examines the operation of water management projects in California as one of the most significant -- and reversible -- causes of fishery collapse and provides comprehensive policy recommendations for restoring and sustaining this treasured resource.
Boosting the Benefits
Improving Air Quality and Health by Reducing Global Warming Pollution in California
Issue Paper
California has the opportunity to combat global warming while simultaneously improving air quality and public health throughout the state. Measures being considered under the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) could save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of other negative health impacts each year -- saving billions of dollars in healthcare costs.
Testimony of David Doniger on the Oversight of EPA Administrator Johnson's Denial of Waiver for California's Global
Testimony
Testimony of David Doniger, Policy Director, Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, before the Environment and Public Works Committee, United States Senate on January 24, 2008.
California Takes on Power Plant Emissions
SB 1368 Sets Groundbreaking Greenhouse Gas Performance Standard
Fact Sheet
California is ensuring a clean energy future by adopting the world's first greenhouse gas emissions performance standard for power plant investments. Senate Bill SB 368 requires that any new long-term financial investment in "baseload" generation resources -- those workhorse power plants that supply electricity around the clock -- made on behalf of California customers must be in clean energy sources. Get document in pdf.
A Golden Opportunity
California's Solutions for Global Warming
Report
California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, AB 32, is the most ambitious global warming solutions law in the nation. The next step: putting in place specific measures to bring emissions levels back to 1990 levels by 2020 to meet AB 32’s limit. This June 2007 report describes how California is protecting the state from global warming pollution while growing its economy and encouraging the innovative clean technology industry.
Keeping Our Waters Clean in the Monterey Bay Region
How Smaller Communities Can Prevent Toxic Runoff
Fact Sheet
Stormwater runoff is a leading source of coastal pollution in California, damaging the environment and threatening public health. NRDC developed a three-part strategy of prevention, monitoring and enforcement that can help smaller and midsized cities deal with this toxic stormwater runoff before it pollutes local waterways and puts public health at risk. This effective and straightforward plan has already been adopted, and once fully implemented, will successfully manage runoff in coastal communities along the Monterey Peninsula in California.
Comments on CARB's Regulations to Control Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Motor Vehicles
Comments
Official comments from NRDC's global warming and clean-cars experts on the draft regulations for implementation of AB 1493, California's landmark law requiring automakers to reduce heat-trapping exhaust from new vehicles by about 30 percent over the next decade.
Creating the California Cleantech Cluster
How Innovation and Investment Can Promote Job Growth and a Healthy Environment
Issue Paper
Cleantech is a relatively new industry that uses innovative technology to create economically compelling, environmentally friendly products and services -- everything from alternative energy generation and wastewater treatment to "green" consumer products. This September 2004 paper by NRDC and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) demonstrates that a cleantech cluster can be a major driver for investments and job growth in California.
California's Contaminated Groundwater
Is the State Minding the Store?
Report
Despite the importance of groundwater to its population and economy -- and ample evidence of dangerous groundwater-contamination problems that will be expensive to address -- California does not effectively monitor or protect its groundwater supplies. This April 2001 report documents the lapses in the state's data gathering, monitoring, and protection of this vital resource, and makes recommendations for reforms.

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Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no...

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