Geology 300: Physical Geology

Geology 301: Physical Geology Lab

Geology 305: Earth Science

Geology 306: Earth Science Lab


Instructor: Arthur Reed


July 2018 Earth Sciences topics/events making news…

 ...with emphasis on California news


Remember the principles of the scientific method when evaluating news stories!


·               (link to 2017 news articles)

·               (link to 2016 news articles)

·               (link to 2015 news articles)

·               (link to 2014 news articles)

·               (link to 2013 news articles)

·               (link to 2012 news articles)

·               (link to 2011 news articles)

·               (link to 2010 news articles)

·               (link to 2009 & older news articles)



(news updated as time permits…)





3.6-magnitude earthquake shakes parts of Bay Area

Many Bay Area residents felt a big jolt this afternoon. The 3.6 magnitude earthquake was centered in the North Bay, the largest of small quakes the area has seen in twenty years.

ABC 7 News TV, 7-31-18


Seismic woes for Kern County hospitals

It’s not just the Kern Valley Hospital that is contending with approaching deadlines for its main building to meet state earthquake standards. Nearly every hospital in Kern County has buildings with inpatient beds that will not meet seismic codes unless costly changes are made.

Kern Valley Sun, 7-31-18




Livermore oil driller to be forced to shut down after county decision

One of Northern California’s only oil fields will have to stop drilling after nearly 50 years following a county decision that denied its use permits.

East Bay Times, 7-31-18


California Sets New Rules for Injection and Idle Wells

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) has proposed final regulations to better safeguard against drinking water contamination from oil and natural gas operations involving underground injection control (UIC) wells and abandoned idle wells.

Contra Costa Times, 8-1-18

Annual crop report shows Ventura County's agricultural industry in slight decline

The estimated gross value of the county’s agricultural industry declined for the second year in a row, according to the 2017 Ventura County Crop & Livestock Report, which was released Tuesday.

Ventura County Star, 7-31-18



Death toll from Indonesian earthquake rises to 14

At least 14 people died and 162 others were injured in the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck Indonesia’s Lombok island Sunday, an official said.

Daily Republic,  7-30-18


3.9-Magnitude Earthquake Reported Near Novato

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.9 was reported this afternoon near Novato, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bay City News Service, 7-30-18




New Study on Health Effects After Aliso Viejo Gas Leak

The Aliso Viejo gas leak that blew more than two years ago in Porter Ranch had lasting effects on nearby residents and now one Porter Ranch physician wants to examine levels of benzene in their blood.

KFI AM Radio, 7-30-18




4.0 magnitude earthquake south of the border felt in San Diego

A small earthquake in Baja California could be felt in parts of San Diego County Sunday morning.

KGTV San Diego, 7-30-18




After 10 years, drilling for oil in the Whittier Hills may be resurrected thanks to an appellate court ruling

In a stunning reversal, an appellate court has given the city of Whittier a second chance at drilling for oil and gas in the Whittier-Puente Hills nature preserve by throwing out five years of court rulings that had left the project for dead.

Orange County Register, 7-30-18




Scientists Use Satellites To Measure Vital Underground Water Resources - Shows Permanent Loss Of California Central Valley Water Storage Capacity In The Aquifer System

The availability of water from underground aquifers is vital to the basic needs of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.

Sierra Sun Times, 7-30-18




When it comes to cancer, there is no safe level for benzene, a component of the massive gas leak in Aliso Canyon

The issue of just how much benzene was released when 100,000 metric tons of methane spewed out of a pressurized gas field nearly three years ago has been playing out in court in recent weeks, as the effects of the potentially harmful chemical benzene have become a source of growing concern.

Los Angeles Daily News, 7-29-18



Magnitude 3.5 earthquake strikes near Dollar Point, CA

The United States Geological Survey reports a preliminary magnitude 3.5 earthquake struck near Dollar Point, CA on Wednesday.

SFGate, 7-27-18


USGS free public lecture on Iron Mountain

The U.S. Geological Service will hold a free public lecture on its Menlo Park campus at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 26, about the Iron Mountain acid mine drainage site, an EPA Superfund site in the Klamath Mountains above Redding.

The Almanac, 7-25-18


OVER IT: Public piers replace old Bay Bridge pilings

Caltrans has big plans for four pilings that once held the eastern span of the old Bay Bridge. It will be converted to a public pier on the Oakland and Yerba Buena Island landings.

ABC 7 News TV, 7-25-18


Golden Gate towers holding up well after eight decades

The results from a dizzying spring inspection of the Golden Gate Bridge’s massive twin towers are in and show they are in pretty good shape after 81 years of exposure to wind, rain and of course the seemingly ubiquitous fog.

Marin Independent Journal, 7-26-18


French film crew coming to Mendocino College Field Station near Point Arena

A French documentary film crew will be coming to the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station near Point Arena this fall to film part of a documentary, “California, the Land of Extremes,” which focuses on life in California earthquake areas, the college announced.

Ukiah Daily Journal, 7-26-18


3.5 earthquake strikes Lake Tahoe-area

A moderate earthquake stuck the Lake Tahoe-area Thursday morning.

Associated Press, 7-26-18


(OPINION) Lori Dengler: A little excitement in the Gorda plate

I got up as usual on Tuesday, grabbed a cup of tea, and logged on to the USGS earthquake site to update the Humboldt Earthquake Hotline. I notice a cluster of earthquakes far offshore of Del Norte County. Local earthquakes always pique my interest and the process I went through on Tuesday is a good illustration of the seismic information flow, the importance of caution with preliminary results and how it fits in to the North Coast tectonic story.

Times-Standard, 7-25-18


4.4 earthquake near Ensenada felt in San Diego County

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake occurred near Ensenada, Mexico at 1:17 p.m. on Wednesday, generating shaking that was felt in San Diego County, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was initially reported as 4.6.

CBS San Diego News TV, 7-25-18


Magnitude 3.4 earthquake strikes near The Geysers, CA

The United States Geological Survey reports a preliminary magnitude 3.4 earthquake struck near The Geysers, CA on Wednesday.

SFGate, 7-26-18


Work Scheduled To Begin on Former Fred Segal Site in Santa Monica

After a four-year wait, the former Fred Segal retail compound in Santa Monica, Calif., will see construction start in August to transform the former shopping hot spot into a seven-story residential building with commercial space.

California Apparel News, 7-26-18




Weigh the costs of climate change 

If we ban fracking and new oil wells in SLO County, Sentinel Peak warns "eventually" we will lose jobs: "20-plus employees and more than 100 contract workers." What's even worse, we will lose money: "$1 million to the county's general fund" and "$64 million in economic input."

San Luis Obispo New Times, 7-26-18




Tahoe blues

Climate change is gradually warming Lake Tahoe, clouding its clarity and threatening its fabled “blueness,” scientists at UC Davis warned Thursday. In its annual State of the Lake report, surface water temperatures in July 2017 spiked to an average 68.4 degrees. That was the highest since researchers began taking Tahoe’s temperature in 1968, and 6 degrees higher than the year before.

Sacramento Bee & UC Davis, 7-26-18




A key SoCal Gas engineer gives 8 hours of testimony on Aliso Canyon gas leak

After being blocked from testifying, a key witness in the trial involving the Aliso Canyon gas leak was deposed for eight hours Wednesday by the lawyer representing 9,000 plaintiffs from Porter Ranch who are suing Southern California Gas Co.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 7-26-18




4.5 earthquake strikes off Northern California coast

A 4.5 earthquake has hit off the Northern California coast on Tuesday night, the United States Geological Survey said.

KRON, 7-24-18




Governor Brown Announces Appointments

Pablo Garza, 44, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the State Mining and Geology Board. Garza has been California director of ecosystems at the Environmental Defense Fund since 2017.

Carmichael Times, 7-24-18




California’s largest reservoir project in decades gets an $800 million boost. But is it feasible?

California officials Tuesday awarded $816 million in voter-approved bond money to build Sites Reservoir, an hour north of Sacramento, providing a financial boost for what would become the largest water storage project built in the state since the 1970s.

Sacramento Bee, 7-25-18






Swarm of earthquakes strikes off West Coast

A swarm of earthquakes went off Tuesday morning off the coast of northern California. Nine earthquakes, ranging from a magnitude 2.8 to 5.6, registered within three hours. The quakes occurred west of Crescent City, Calif., according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

KING (Seattle television), 7-24-18


3.1 magnitude quake recorded in Cabazon

A minor earthquake was centered west of Palm Springs near Cabazon Monday morning. The US Geological Survey said the 3.1 magnitude quake was recorded at 6:40 a.m. and centered due south of Malki Road within a half mile south of Interstate 10.

KESQ (Thousand Palms television), 7-23-18




Monitoring Agricultural Water Use Remains Challenging Despite New Oversight Rules

A new program in California aimed at tracking agricultural water consumption is off to a bumpy start, highlighting the challenges of monitoring an industry that has historically enjoyed limited oversight.

Water Deeply, 7-23-18


The Water Wars of Arizona

Early one morning in July 2014, Lori Paup awoke in her new home in the Sulphur Springs Valley of Arizona and began unpacking boxes of clothes, hanging photographs and prepping the day’s home-schooling lessons for her two teenage children.

New York Times Magazine, 7-19-18




Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes

Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days.

The Guardian, 7-22-18




A key witness, after months of SoCal Gas’ efforts to block her testimony, is expected to tell the full story on toxic gas at Aliso Canyon

After nearly three years since the largest gas blowout in U.S.history, residents of Porter Ranch still worry whether their health will be compromised five, 10 or 20 years down the road after breathing in not just methane gas, but an array of toxic, often cancer-causing chemicals spewed from an underground gas storage facility in and around their suburban neighborhood.

Los Angeles Newspaper Group, 7-22-18


National rig count decreases by 8 to 1,046; Texas loses 5

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by eight this week to 1,046.

Associated Press, 7-20-18




Mud Creek slide: Officials marvel at work to reopen Highway 1

As fog burned off of the Big Sur Coast while vehicles traveled unencumbered on Highway 1 on Friday, dignitaries gathered to celebrate the opening of the roadway atop the massive Mud Creek slide.

Bay Area News Group, 7-21-18




San Francisco studies impacts of sea level rise as state projections double

State projections for how high the ocean could rise this century have as much as doubled, giving new urgency to efforts to plan for mitigation efforts, San Francisco planning officials said this week.

San Francisco Examiner, 7-21-18


California hit its climate goal early — but its largest source of pollution keeps rising

California hit its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels four years early, a milestone regulators and environmentalists are cheering as more proof that you can cut pollution while growing the economy.

Los Angeles Times, 7-22-18


If California is serious about fighting climate change, lawmakers have to commit to 100% clean energy

One of the great success stories in California’s fight against climate change has been the rapid greening of the state’s electrical grid.

Los Angeles Times editorial, 7-21-18


Should housing developers be allowed to pay their way out of climate pollution?

Top air-quality regulators in California are increasingly warning policymakers all over the state that allowing developments far from urban job centers will eventually undermine mandates to curb greenhouse gases from cars and trucks.

San Diego Union Tribune, 7-22-18




The $20 Billion Question for Guyana

Guyana is a vast, watery wilderness with only three paved highways. There are a few dirt roads between villages that sit on stilts along rivers snaking through the rain forest. Children go to school in dugout canoes, and play naked in the muggy heat. Hugging the coast are musty clapboard towns like Georgetown, the capital, which seems forgotten by time, honeycombed with canals first built by Dutch settlers and African slaves. The power grid is so unreliable that blackouts are a regular plague in the cities, while in much of the countryside there is no electricity at all. Such is the unlikely setting for the world’s next big oil boom.

New York Times, 7-20-18




Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones debunks earthquake myths

It's always earthquake season in California. Just last week, there were several small earthquakes. One hit Buena Park and two others were felt in Ontario. Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones recently joined the Eyewitness New desk to explain why these little quakes happen and what they mean in terms of predicting a bigger one:

KABC (Los Angeles television), 7-19-18




Napa County handling of Williamson Act agricultural land contracts draws grand jury scrutiny

Napa County’s grand jury says a decades-old program giving property tax breaks to agriculture land owners suffers from a lax of oversight and puts the county in the role of “subsidizing a lifestyle.”

North Bay Business Journal, 7-18-18



Arvin council passes oil and gas restrictions; will others follow?

When the Arvin City Council began working on an ordinance that would place restrictions on new oil and gas operations near neighborhoods in Arvin, the local oil industry began to get a little nervous.

Bakersfield Californian, 7-18-20


San Francisco Judge Rejects Calls to Move Fracking Lawsuits to Wyoming

A federal district court judge in San Francisco has denied motions by the Trump administration and the oil and gas industry to move a pair of lawsuits concerning an Obama-era rule governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public and tribal lands to more friendly territory -- a district court in Wyoming.

NGI Shale Gas Daily, 7-18-18




California Almond Growers Struggle Amid U.S.-China Tariff Battle

California almond growers are celebrating the upcoming harvest this fall, which is expected to be record-breaking. But in retaliation for tariff’s issued by the Trump administration, China imposed a 50 percent tariff on U.S. almonds — all of which come from California.  

Capital Public Radio, 7-18-18

New generation finds link into capital for farming operations

Early in their careers, Aurora Wilson and Paul Hamilton traded four hours of farm work every day for room and board in New Zealand. Later, they lived in a tent in the middle of a cornfield in order to learn about raising organic chickens. Sometimes, new entrants to the farming industry have to get downright creative to find mentors, capital and land. The nonprofit California FarmLink seeks to help.

Half Moon Bay Review, 7-18-18




California's scenic Highway 1 fully reopened for the first time in more than a year

The emails started landing in Stan Russell’s inbox Monday morning, a day before Caltrans officials would confirm anything on the record. “When are you going to put the word out that the highway is reopening?” they wanted to know from the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive.

Los Angeles Times, 7-18-18


'Monumental' undertaking: Workers finally tame an epic landslide that reshaped the coast and blocked Highway 1

Drivers along Highway 1 — coming and going to Big Sur — typically ignored Mud Creek. Most maps overlooked this most prosaically named feature along the California coast.

There were no landmarks here, nothing to call attention to anything but the road, which hugged a cliff high above the surf below. To do otherwise would invite tragedy.

Los Angeles Times, 7-19-18




Climate change has come to your neighborhood, and the sizzle may never subside

A colleague once observed, many years ago, that California has two seasons. Green and brown. We are in the latter, and death has visited my neighborhood this summer. Half the ground cover in my frontyard has burned to a crunchy crisp. Across the street, a neighbor draped white sheets over shrubbery that hadn’t already gone brittle.

Los Angeles Times column, 7-18-18




River flows: Water agencies, farmers say plan would cause pain

Saying the state water board appears to have ignored or discounted the significant impacts on people from its plan for stream flows in the San Joaquin River watershed, water agencies, farm organizations and other groups organized opposition to the plan in advance of its potential adoption next month.

Ag Alert, 7-18-18




Public Gives Input on Draft EIR for Cat Canyon Oil-Drilling Project Proposed by ERG Resources

A draft environmental impact report on the ERG Resources proposal to build and operate up to 233 new oil and gas production wells using the cyclic steaming method in Cat Canyon has drawn assorted comments of support and concern.

Santa Barbara Noozhawk, 7-17-18


Oleo Sponge successful in real-world conditions off California coast

The Oleo Sponge, a patent-pending technology to clean oil spills invented at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, has lived up to its promise in an experiment conducted off the coast of Southern California in April., 7-17-18




Study suggests buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise

Thousands of miles of buried fiber optic cable in densely populated coastal regions of the United States may soon be inundated by rising seas, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon., 7-16-18




Delta tunnels get ‘real’ as backers seek $1.6B loan from Trump administration

Critical permits and legal challenges are still pending, and some farming groups still haven’t committed to paying for part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial $17 billion Delta tunnels project.

Sacramento Bee, 7-17-18




California gets new enforcement arm for oil and gas regulation

The state agency that regulates oil and gas in California is gaining a new enforcement arm this week, capable of issuing big new fines. The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, also known as DOGGR, has often been criticized as being too close to the industry.

Southern California Public Radio, 7-16-18


Anterra seeks 30-year extension for oil waste disposal site near Oxnard

Anterra Energy Services is seeking permission to operate an Oxnard-area facility that disposes of oil waste fluids for another 30 years.

Ventura County Star, 7-16-18




A way out of California's water crisis

California’s chronic water problems were once again national news when Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation establishing a code of water-use restrictions that would be more fitting for an undeveloped nation.

Ventura County Star commentary, 7-14-18




California is cutting greenhouse gases, but not from cars. Can that change?

California’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling faster than state leaders hoped when they launched their fight against climate change 12 years ago. But there’s a glaring exception.

San Francisco Chronicle, 7-16-18




Federal lawsuit accuses Orcutt Hill oil company of violating Clean Water Act

A federal lawsuit has been filed against the company that operates Orcutt Hill oil, accusing them of illegally discharging polluted water to local waterways in northern Santa Barbara County, which is threatening endangered species.

Santa Maria Times, 7-13-18


Benzene's role in the Aliso Canyon gas blowout

Porter Ranch residents who live near the Aliso Canyon gas storage field have long wanted to know what chemicals they ingested living next door to that long-lasting leak.

Southern California Public Radio, 7-13-18



Porter Ranch doctor wants new health study on effect of Aliso Canyon leak, this time on benzene levels

A Porter Ranch physician is poised to examine levels of a cancer-causing chemical in the blood of hundreds of residents who live near the site of a massive San Fernando Valley natural gas leak that blew more than two years ago

Los Angeles Newspaper Group, 7-13-18


Porter Ranch Residents Concerned about Aliso Canyon Benzene Levels

Claims about unhealthy levels of benzene that were reported in and around the Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage field swirled through a Porter Ranch community meeting last Wednesday as some residents seek to shut the facility down permanently.

NGI Shale Gas Daily, 7-16-18


North Dakota oil production has record May

North Dakota's oil production in May climbed to nearly 1.25 million barrels per day, hitting another record for the nation's second-largest producer of oil.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 7-13-18


National rig count increases by 2 to 1,054; Texas gains 2

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by two this week to 1,054. At this time a year ago there were 952 active rigs.

Associated Press, 7-13-18




Magnitude 3.0 Earthquake Strikes in Castro Valley: USGS

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.0 shook the East Bay on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

KNTV (San Jose television), 7-15-18




Public comment for limestone quarry expansion begins July 13

Starting Friday, July 13, members of the public can share their thoughts on the proposed expansion of two limestone quarries located 5 miles north of Big Bear Lake. The public can view the draft environmental impact report online or in person, and will have 45 days to either email or mail comments.

Big Bear Grizzly, 7-13-18




Fight continues over Field and Pond event center

Nearly two years after the Yolo County Board of Supervisors approved a use permit for the Field & Pond event center and bed-and-breakfast near Winters, a Superior Court judge has ordered the county to prepare an environmental impact report addressing the event center’s impacts on three species: the tricolored blackbird, the valley elderberry longhorn beetle and the golden eagle.

Davis Enterprise, 7-15-18


Safari Highlands Ranch housing development moving toward final decisions

A proposal to build a gated community of 550 luxury homes on mountainous land north of the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, the largest housing development proposed for Escondido in decades, is inching forward.

San Diego Union Tribune, 7-15-18





How Rare Earths (What?) Could Be Crucial in a U.S.-China Trade War

Amanda Lacaze grabbed her iPhone and rattled off the names of the special minerals needed to make it. The screen was polished with lanthanum and cerium. The inside has a magnet made with neodymium and praseodymium.

New York Times, 7-12-18




‘It was just a wall of mud’

Authorities shut down Highway 18 for hours after a flash flood caused powerful mudslides that washed out roadways and left several motorists stranded Thursday afternoon. Motorists heading up to Big Bear and vice versa suddenly found themselves in muddy waters — literally — when rainfall began to pound the region just after noon Thursday.

Victorville Daily Press, 7-12-18




The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water

Completed during Harry Truman’s presidency, the Friant-Kern Canal has been a workhorse in California’s elaborate man-made water-delivery network. It’s a low-tech concrete marvel that operates purely on gravity, capable of efficiently piping billions of gallons of water to cities and farms on a 152-mile journey along the east side of the fertile San Joaquin Valley.

Sacramento Bee, 7-13-18




California's ranking as an oil-producing state is slipping

In many ways, the oil business in the U.S. has never been better, with domestic producers in a growing number of states churning out barrels of crude in record numbers.

San Diego Union-Tribune, 7-11-18



Conflicting visions: Measure G puts a decision about the future of oil in SLO County on the November ballot 

The clicking whir and mechanical clanging is different at each pump-jack (think hobby horse) that works to pull oil up from the depths below this section of Price Canyon. The new-style linear rod pumps (which look exactly as their namesake describes them) are almost silent in comparison; a gentle gushing noise is all that gives them away.

San Luis Obispo New Times, 7-12-18


Planning Commission takes pass on potential ban on oil, gas outside South County

Asked to weigh in on a potential ban on oil and gas exploration outside southern Monterey County, the county Planning Commission demurred on Wednesday. By a consensus, the commission agreed to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that it would not be advisable to move ahead with a “comprehensive” prohibition on oil and gas operations in certain parts of the county while an appeal is pending of a court ruling striking down much of voter-approved Measure Z. 

Monterey County Herald, 7-11-18


U.S. is set to become world's top oil producer, government says

The U.S. government sees oil production further climbing next year even amid transportation logjams in the country’s most prolific shale play. The Energy Information Administration sees U.S. crude output averaging 11.8 MMbpd in 2019, up from its 11.76-MMbpd estimate in the June outlook.

World Oil, 7-10-18


California's ranking as an oil-producing state is slipping

In many ways, the oil business in the U.S. has never been better, with domestic producers in a growing number of states churning out barrels of crude in record numbers.

But California’s output is going in the opposite direction — part of a larger, steady decline that began in the mid-1980s.

San Diego Union Tribune, 7-12-18




Will California’s Commercial Skyscrapers Be Able to Withstand a Major Earthquake?

In an effort to reduce traffic and improve quality of life by creating pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, major West Coast cities are encouraging developers to build higher buildings to avoid pushing the surrounding suburbs further and further outward.

National Real Estate Investor, 7-11-18




Judge rules for and against Harmony plans

San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Donald Alvarez has issued two rulings on the proposed Harmony master-planned community in east Highland. The Center for Biological Diversity sent out a press release last week calling the rulings “an important victory against sprawl.”

Highland Community News, 7-11-18


Antioch: Dueling open-space initiatives go before council

Backers of competing initiatives to preserve all or part of Antioch’s Sand Creek Focus Area open space have collected enough signatures to qualify both proposals for the November ballot.

East Bay Times, 7-11-18




State water plan could cut into Central Valley farm production

The plan to save a declining salmon population in Northern California comes with a cost to Central Valley farmers. After nine years of research, the California State Water Control Board is finalizing a plan to help bring the salmon population back, after sharply declining by 90 percent in recent years.

Bakersfield Now, 7-10-18


What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?

The most expensive state public works project ever would be financed primarily by Southern California water users. But it’s not exactly clear what they’d be buying.

Los Angeles Times column, 7-12-18


California regulators ignore scientific arguments against water plan

California’s agricultural industry suffered another blow when the State Water Resources Control Board released the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan’s Supplemental Environmental Document (SED). Details in the SED confirm that the Water Board’s Plan will leave thousands of acres of farmland with zero surface supply in certain water year types, stripping the Central Valley of over 6,500 jobs and $1.6 billion in economic output.

Western Farm Press commentary, 7-11-18




California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years early

California greenhouse gas emissions fell below 1990 levels, meeting an early target years ahead of schedule and putting the state well on its way toward reaching long-term goals to fight climate change, officials said Wednesday.

Associated Press, 7-11-18


California slashes emissions, hits major greenhouse gas goal years early

In a major win for California’s fight against global warming, the state appears to have hit its first target for cutting greenhouse gases — and it reached the goal early.

San Francisco Chronicle, 7-11-18


California Cap-and-Trade is Working — For Other States

A new report indicates California's much-heralded carbon trading program may actually be harming the neighborhoods it was designed to protect.

KQED (San Francisco television/radio), 7-11-18




Council prepares for legal battle over hillside and ridgeline development

During the June 27 Moraga Town Council meeting $250,000 from the Palos Colorados developer's fund was transferred to the general fund for litigation purposes. After the meeting, members moved into a closed session with legal counsel to discuss the situation further. The subject of the legal proceeding is related to the hillside and ridgeline regulations that the town adopted last April.

Lamorinda Weekly, 7-11-18




Aliso Canyon Sits Idle During Southern California Heat Wave

California's beleaguered and largest underground natural gas storage field sat unused in recent days as Southern California battled its first heat wave of the summer in which triple-digit temperatures prevailed in the inland valley and desert regions.

NGI Shale Gas Daily, 7-11-18


Citing Public Safety and Taxpayer’s Financial Interest, Controller Releases Review on City’s Oil & Gas Wells

L.A. Controller Ron Galperin today released a review about the more than 1,000 active or idle oil and gas wells within the city of Los Angeles. The Controller’s review touches on three main themes: (1) protecting Angelenos’ public safety and health, (2) protecting taxpayers’ financial interests and (3) increasing transparency.

Los Angeles Sentinel, 7-5-18



CEMEX USA and Clean-Water Advocates Reach Pollution-Fighting Agreement

The CEMEX USA building materials company has essentially agreed to clean up its act in Orange County and elsewhere in Southern California to settle a dispute with regional clean-water advocacy groups.

Orange County Weekly, 7-10-18




Summer Nights Are Getting Hotter. Here's Why That’s a Health and Wildfire Risk.

Well after dinner time in Southern California on Friday, the thermometers read 100 degrees. In Santa Barbara County, fires lit up the skies and destroyed homes.

Inside Climate News, 7-11-18


On the Yuba River, Climate Change Means It’s Time for a Dam Makeover

Among the California rivers, the Yuba is one of the most dramatic. Draining the Sierra Nevada just north of Lake Tahoe, it is steep and flashy – one of the most flood-prone rivers in the state.

KQED (San Francisco television/radio), 7-10-18


California will face a terrible choice: Save cliff-side homes or public beaches from rising seas

Like an ax slowly chopping at the trunk of a massive tree, waves driven by sea-level rise will hack away the base of cliffs on the Southern California coast at an accelerated pace, a recent study says, increasing land erosion that could topple some bluffs and thousands of homes sitting atop them.

Washington Post, 7-11-18




Southern California water agency agrees to spend $11 billion on Delta tunnels – again

Southern California's powerful water agency reaffirmed its commitment to the Delta tunnels project Tuesday, agreeing for a second time to spend nearly $11 billion on a majority stake in the twin tunnels.

Sacramento Bee, 7-10-18




Earthquake Near San Martin Rattles South Bay

A 3.1-magnitude earthquake Monday rattled parts of the South Bay, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The epicenter of the quake recorded at 5 p.m. on the Calaveras Fault was about 5 miles east-northeast of San Martin, 8.7 miles north-northeast of Gilroy and 6.8 miles east of Morgan Hill, according to the USGS website.

Gilroy Patch, 7-9-18




Record Crop For California Almonds As Growers Uncertain About Tariffs

California has set a new record for its almond crop: 2.4 billion pounds are expected to be harvested starting next month.

Capital Public Radio, 7-9-18




Record heat put thousands of Californians in the dark Friday. Scientists predicted this from climate change.

Temperatures shot up over 110 degrees in Southern California on Friday, obliterating all kinds of long-standing heat records, and the lights went out for tens of thousands of customers. Californians were powerless, without air conditioning, in the hottest weather many had ever experienced.

Washington Post, 7-9-18




Feds eye changes to a bedrock environmental law

A linchpin environmental law is now being scrutinized by the Trump administration and could be targeted for reforms. The National Environmental Policy Act, commonly referred to as NEPA, dictates the environmental planning process for federal agencies. Any changes to the NEPA process could have far-reaching impacts on the vast public lands and infrastructure of the West.

High Country News, 7-6-18




Meet the New Entity in Charge of California’s Water Tunnels Project

California is about to embark on one of the biggest public works projects not just in its own state history, but in any state’s history. The $17 billion WaterFix tunnel project was approved by the state Department of Water Resources in June 2017 after a decade of study, and now moves into the nitty gritty of construction planning.

Water Deeply, 7-3-18


Until we learn to make it rain, water conservation regs here to stay

The most frequent question that people have been asking me in the month since Gov. Jerry Brown signed a pair of bills that set permanent overall targets for indoor and outdoor water restrictions is, “How do those regulations affect me?”

Ukiah Daily Journal column, 7-8-18


New Groundwater Woes, and Regulations, in California Wine Country

California’s premier wine-growing region has been identified for more regulation under the state’s new groundwater law, likely resulting in new fees and limits on water extraction for the industry.

Water Deeply, 7-2-18




Bill Would Create Statewide Plan For Checking If Buildings Are Earthquake-Safe

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would develop a new tool to keep us earthquake-safe. Supporters say it’ll help Californians know whether their buildings may still be standing when a major earthquake strikes, but critics say the legislation is structurally flawed.

KOVR (Sacramento television), 7-6-18


Earthquake Rattles San Bernardino County

A magnitude 3.5 earthquake struck Saturday near Ludlow, according to the United States Geological Survey. The temblor was reported just after 8:37 a.m.

Redlands Patch, 7-7-18


Here's Why The Internet Could Be The Most Powerful Earthquake Detection System Ever

The internet isn't your phone. It's not Instagram, YouTube, or Netflix. Behind those apparitions, the internet is actually a sprawling matrix of hundreds of undersea data cables, criss-crossing the ocean for some 885,000 km (550,000 miles).

Science Alert, 7-6-18




Bankrupt energy producer Venoco seeks to abandon offshore pipelines

Bankrupt energy producer Venoco LLC has asked for court permission to abandon a series of pipelines linking drilling platforms off the California coast after Chevron Corp declined to exercise an option to buy them.

Reuters, 7-5-18


Southern California's heat wave puts the power grid under pressure (Aliso Canyon-related)

Summer’s first heat wave has Southern California utility officials and managers of the state’s electric grid working to make sure the power system doesn’t wilt.

Los Angeles Times, 7-6-18




A record 2.45 billion-pound almond harvest could be hurt with Chinese tariffs

Almond growers project a record crop forecast at 2.45 billion pounds for the 2018 season, up 7.9 percent from 2017’s crop yield. However, the booming crop faces uncertainty over possible retaliatory tariffs by China in response to President Donald Trump's trade policies.

Sacramento Bee, 7-6-18




How Trump Signed Something That Could Actually Mitigate Climate Change

In an otherwise dour outlook on the world's chances of recovering from climate change, the International Energy Agency director named one bright prospect that arrived this year bearing President Trump's signature.

Forbes, 7-8-18


How burying CO2 under the sea can help the climate change fight

A Cold War-era joke has an American economist asking a Soviet peer how the communist economy is progressing. "In a word: good," the Russian responds. "In two words: not good."

Bloomberg, 7-8-18




Big Sur: Highway 1 at Mud Creek could reopen before July 20

Highway 1 will reopen at Mud Creek by July 20, or perhaps earlier, meaning travelers will be able to traverse the scenic coastal highway along the entire Big Sur Coast for the first time in 18 months. Caltrans will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 20 at 11 a.m. to mark the completion of a project in which a new road was built on top of a massive landslide that covered Highway 1 with 35 to 40 feet of dirt and rocks.

Monterey County Herald, 7-5-18


4.6 earthquake shakes California-Nevada state line

A magnitude-4.6 earthquake has shaken a remote desert area on the California-Nevada state line. The U.S. Geological Survey says the tremor occurred at 8:17 a.m. Thursday.

Associated Press, 7-5-18




Arvin one step away from new restrictions on oil and gas operations

An ordinance that would place restrictions on new oil operations near neighborhoods in Arvin, but leave existing operations alone, has passed another hurdle and could be voted into law later this month.

Bakersfield Californian, 7-5-18




A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra — or less water for L.A.

When dust storms began rising off the dry bed of Owens Lake, authorities in the Eastern Sierra blamed Los Angeles’ thirst. The city had, after all, drained the lake in the 1920s to serve its faucets.

Los Angeles Times, 7-5-18




Berkeley Lab aims to develop next-generation supercomputer to run earthquake simulations

The Energy Geosciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, or Berkeley Lab, is working in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on a project to create a next-generation supercomputer that can predict the effects of earthquakes.

UC Berkeley Daily Californian, 7-5-18


Keeping hospitals open after big shaker boosts Vallejo's Earthquake Protection Systems

Among the numerous cavernous buildings at the former Navy shipyard on Vallejo’s Mare Island is the home of Earthquake Protection Systems.

North Bay Business Journal, 7-3-18


Funds for Earthquake Warning App Approved by L.A. City Council

Plans for an earthquake early warning system mobile app for Angelenos were approved today by the Los Angeles City Council, which cleared funding for the project.

Los Angeles City News Service, 7-5-18




Larger Working Natural Gas Volumes Ordered for Aliso Canyon Storage

California regulators on Monday ordered Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) to increase the range of working gas volumes to 34 Bcf at the Aliso Canyon underground natural gas storage facility in Southern California, the state's largest.

NGI Shale Gas Daily, 7-3-18


California Unveils Final Natural Gas Storage Rules

California has finalized regulations for underground natural gas storage that take effect Oct. 1 aimed at public health and safety nearly three years after the four-month-long methane leak at Aliso Canyon, the state's largest storage facility.

NGI Shale Gas Daily, 7-3-18




Wilk’s Call For Federal Stop To Soledad Canyon CEMEX Mine Headed To President Trump

A resolution put forward by State Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, that calls on the federal government to intervene and stop the Soledad Canyon CEMEX mining operation passed the California Senate Monday, paving the way for the memo to be sent to numerous branches of the  federal government, including the desk of President Donald Trump.

KHTS (Santa Clarita radio), 7-2-18




A Napa County Environmental Initiative Fails By A Vote Of 51% To 49%

California’s voter initiative, Measure C, was narrowly voted down last month 51% to 49%. The vote had little to no national interest, but it certainly was important to Napa County residents, farmers and wineries: A yes vote would have protected nearly 800 oak-laden acres from being demolished without a permit; it would have established buffer areas along streams and wetlands in an agricultural watershed; and it would have reduced by about one-third the number of trees taken down.

Forbes, 7-2-18




Did Brown fix California’s budget mess? Nope

Jerry Brown signed the 16th and final state budget of his two-part gubernatorial career last week, and bragged a bit.

CalMatters column, 7-5-18




Model suggests sequestering CO2 in deep sea sediments might be viable option

A pair of researchers at Peking University has found evidence that suggests liquid CO2 could be safely sequestered in deep sea sediments. In their paper posted on the open access site Science Advances, Yihua Teng and Dongxiao Zhang describe a model they built to mimic CO2 injections beneath the ocean floor and what it showed., 7-5-18




Earthquake Resilience White Paper Released

Growing concern over the threat of a major earthquake in California has sparked a statewide movement for resiliency and pending legislation that calls for the identification of buildings most vulnerable to seismic damage and collapse.

Facility Executive, 2-27-18


Sonoma County Braces for Upcoming Rainfall, Possible Mudslides, Flooding

The Santa Rosa Fire Department issued a weather warning for burned regions of Sonoma County, citing concerns over potential flooding and mudslides.

KQED-TV (San Francisco), 2-28-18






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