SEPTEMBER 2005 HEADLINES

New
Analysis: California Can Cut Water Use And Meet Growing Needs

California
can cut its wasteful use of water by 20 percent in the next 25
years while satisfying a growing population, maintaining a healthy
agricultural sector, and supporting a vibrant economy. That’s
the central message of “California Water 2030: An Efficient
Future” by Dr. Peter H. Gleick, Heather Cooley, and David
Groves. Presented as the missing piece of the forthcoming 2005
California Water Plan, the report details how smart technology,
strong management, and appropriate rates and incentives can allow
the state to meet its needs well into the future.

The report
is available in print for $20 and can be downloaded without charge
from
our website
.

New
Clean Air Campaign: “Don’t Sit Idle”

Building on
the Pacific Institute’s ongoing work on reducing diesel pollution,
the Institute and the Bay Area Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative
will kick off a new campaign to reduce idling with a “Don’t
Sit Idle” day of action. Nearly every day in the U.S., vehicles
idle away the amount of oil spilled in the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Residents, environmental justice advocates, and community organizations
will educate truckers, bus drivers, and residents about new laws
that limit the idling of trucks, buses and other diesel vehicles.
Want to help? Then join us for outreach activities and a celebration
in West Oakland afterwards.

To get involved,
contact Meena Palaniappan at 510-251-1600 or via our Contact
page
.

California
Air Resources Board Undercuts Diesel Reduction Efforts With Secret
Memo

Public participation is critical to effective public policy. But
instead of hewing to an open and transparent planning process,
the California Air Resources Board, Union Pacific, and BNSF Railroad
have created a secret agreement that purports to reduce diesel
pollution from rail yards, but is really just a poison pill to
prevent real action. The agreement implements idling reduction
technologies and other actions to reduce emissions from rail operations
in the state, but fails entirely to clean up old, dirty switching
trains, which are one of the primary concerns of communities impacted
by rail yards. Most importantly, the agreement was negotiated
without any public participation and contains a “poison pill”
provision that renders it null if any legislation attempts to
regulate rail pollution. This is especially significant for communities
in Southern California who were working with the Air District
on southcoast rail legislation, that is now effectively dead on
the vine due to this agreement.

The Pacific
Institute, West Oakland EIP, and other Bay Area environmental
justice groups have co-authored a comment letter to the ARB’s
Chairperson and Board discussing our concerns. The Air Board will
meet on September 22 in Southern California to make a final decision
regarding the agreement. Environmental justice organizations throughout
the state will be organizing a rally at the Board meeting to demand
this agreement be rescinded. For more information, contact Emily
at 510-251-1600.

For more information,
contact Emily at 510-251-1600.

New
Communications Director Takes the Reins

The Pacific
Institute is proud to announce the addition of Ian Hart as Communications
Director. Mr. Hart was previously External Affairs Coordinator
for the Conservation Law Foundation and is a recent graduate of
Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. He will be taking
the reins from long-time director Nicholas Cain who is leaving
to travel and work on various writing projects.

Ian can be
reached at 510-251-1600, extension 106 or via email at ian (at)
pacinst.org.

UPCOMING

9/20/05, Diesel Pollution, [West Oakland,
Calif], Truck Route will be heard before City Council for its
second reading and final passage before it becomes a city ordinance.
Info: Contact Emily Lee at 510-251-1600.

9/20/05, Business
Risks of Water
, [Sierre, Switzerland], Peter Gleick will speak
at the water meeting of the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development on the economic risks of water problems.

9/30/05, Desalination,
[Austin, Texas], Peter Gleick will speak at the meeting of the
Society of Environmental Journalists on a panel devoted to desalination.

9/30/05, Diesel Pollution,
[Contra Costa, Calif.], Pacific Institute and community partners
will present “Deluged by Diesel: Healthy Solutions for West
County” to the Board of the West Contra Costa Transportation
Advisory Committee.

10/14/05, Diesel Pollution,
[Oakland, Calif.], The Bay Area Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative
and Pacific Institute will host a “Workshop on Alternatives
to Diesel” to share ideas to reduce diesel pollution. 1:00
to 5:00 pm at the State Building, 1515 Clay St. Info: Meena Palaniappan
at 510-251-1600 or via
email
.

10/25/05, Diesel Pollution,
[Bay Area, Calif], The Pacific Institute and the Bay Area Ditching
Dirty Diesel Collaborative will kick off our anti-idling campaign
with the “Don’t Sit Idle” day of action (see Headlines
for more information).


STAFF UPDATES

9/7/05, Heather Cooley presented
an early look at the Institute’s new High Efficiency scenario report
at the Plenary session of the California Urban Water Conservation Council
meeting.

9/7/05, Peter Gleick spoke at the Hollywood opening
of the new film “Running Dry.” This documentary takes a hard
look at the global challenges around water supply and sanitation, and
features Gleick and other water experts including Mikhail Gorbachev,
Shimon Peres, Aaron Wolf, and Kader Asmal.

9/7/05, Author Chris Mooney presented his new book,
“The Republican War on Science” at the African American Museum
and Library. More details on our website.

8/31/05, Jason Morrison attended an NGO strategy meeting
in London focusing on ISO’s Social Responsibility standard. The goal
of the one-day event, which drew 25 representatives from a wide range
of organizations, was to ensure that all NGOs have the information they
need to make informed assessments on the opportunities and threats presented
by ISO’s recent SR initiative.

8/30/05, Emily Lee and Meena Palaniappan met with
the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network to discuss health insurance
needs among West Oakland residents and the model of Health Impact Assessment.

8/29-8/30/05, Jason Morrison attended the semi-annual
meeting of the US national mirror body to ISO Technical Committee 207
– Environmental Management. At the meeting, held in Washington DC, the
group approved the U.S. response to a TC 207 survey on national-level
stakeholder consultation in standards development. The Pacific Institute
drafted the U.S. submission that was finally endorsed by the mirror
body, and also played a leading role in developing the questionnaire
itself, which was circulated to the 60 plus member countries participating
in ISO’s environmental committee.

8/29/05, As part of the West Oakland Toxics Reduction
Collaborative Steering Committee, Meena Palaniappan helped develop an
action plan to reduce air pollution in West Oakland. The Toxics Reduction
Collaborative, jointly chaired by the U.S. EPA and the West Oakland
Environmental Indicators Project, brings together agencies and residents
to improve public health.

8/26/05, Emily Lee and Margaret Gordon hosted a bus
tour of the proposed West Oakland Truck Route for CalTrans staff, city
staff, truckers, and residents. The truck route ordinance goes before
City Council on Sept 20th for its 2nd reading and final passage.

8/24/05, Heather Cooley presented an early look at
the Institute’s new High Efficiency scenario report at the 12th Annual
California Urban Water Conference, “California and the Southwest
— Looking to the Future.”

8/24/05, Emily Lee and Margaret Gordon participated
in the Truck Workgroup meeting of the West Oakland Air Toxics Reduction
Collaborative. The workgroup discussed potential project proposals ranging
from developing legislation to issuing a statement on land use in West
Oakland.

8/22/05, Meena Palaniappan convened a meeting of the
environmental health and justice organizations involved in the Bay Area
Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative’s Steering Committee.

8/18/05, Meena Palaniappan hosted a delegation of
officials from Sri Lankan environmental agencies and NGOs to share ideas
as part of the Institute for International Education’s Environmental
Exchange.

8/17/05, Peter Gleick presented an early look at the
Institute’s “California Water 2030” report at the Public Advisory
Committee meeting of the California Department of Water Resources (see
Headlines for more information on this report).

8/17/05, Emily Lee presented results from the recent
report “Deluged by Diesel: Healthy Solutions for West County”
to the Laidlaw Bus Drivers in the Richmond District. Laidlaw has agreed
to apply for funds from the Bay Area Air District to reduce their Richmond
fleets’ diesel emissions.

8/16-8/17/05, Jason Morrison attended a meeting of
the U.S. national mirror body to the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility
in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting was to identify areas
of consensus and disagreement among U.S. interests and to provide strategic
guidance for the U.S. multi-stakeholder delegation attending the next
meeting of the Working Group in Bangkok in September. (Morrison will
serve as the NGO representative on the six-person delegation.)

8/11/05, Peter Gleick provided testimony on climate
change and California water challenges at a special hearing of the California
Assembly Select Committee on Air and Water Quality, Fran Pavley, Chair.

8/11/05, The Pacific Institute co-hosted an industry-NGO
dialogue on corporate transparency and accountability. Sponsored by
the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the event was
held in Oakland and attended by several dozen environmental organizations
and U.S.-based multi-national corporations who came together to discuss
GEMI’s recently released guidance on transparency.

8/11/05, Meena Palaniappan and Margaret Gordon participated
in the first meeting of the Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative,
which is working to develop and implement a campaign to improve environmental
health in the region.

8/10/05, Meena Palaniappan and representatives from
West Contra Costa County presented the results of the Pacific Institute’s
recent report on air pollution, “Deluged by Diesel,” to the
executive staff of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The
Air District agreed to partner with the community to implement recommendations,
and provide grant funds to West County businesses to transfer to cleaner
diesel fleets.

8/9/05, Meena Palaniappan hosted a meeting to plan
the Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative’s anti-idling campaign.

8/8/05, Peter Gleick presented a briefing on climate
change and water to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Citizens’
Advisory Committee.

8/4/05, Meena Palaniappan hosted a subgroup of the
Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative to discuss moving forward with a
campaign to reduce pollution from the growing Goods Movement sector.

8/2/05, Meena Palaniappan met with U.S. EPA, the Port
of Oakland, NRDC and PG&E to discuss options to reduce pollution
from the Port of Oakland through the use of “No Net Increase”
legislation.


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