Subject: Studies in the News 05-12 (May 4, 2005)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News
Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
   Increase in California's agricultural exports
   Conserving agricultural land through compensation
   Indoor air pollution
   Limiting carbon dioxide emissions
   Clear Skies proposal less effective
   Increase in power plant pollution
   Economic and environmental impacts of GM rice
   Biotech regulation on small business
   Brownfield redevelopment
   Regulations on vehicle greenhouse gases
   Evidence of arctic warming
   Uncertainty in analyzing climate change
   Reducing global warming and creating jobs
   Hydrogen's empty environmental promise
   Public use of coastline may be lost
   Perchlorate in breast milk
   Public or private drinking water?
   Federal wildlife scientists forced to alter findings
   School air quality and environmental justice
   'The Death of Environmentalism'
   Response to 'The Death of Environmentalism'
   Success of private conservation efforts
   Environmental technologies and growth
   America losing clean technology edge
   Californians must pay to restore levees
   Americans want close-in growth
   Effective management of invasive weeds
   Future development in San Joaquin Valley
   The costs of banning MTBE
   Parks' teaching needs not being met
   The state of state parks
   Reducing pesticide use on farms
   Report disputes mercury pollution
   Mercury regulation case study
   Reassessment of Owens Valley water trades
   New world of wetlands regulation
TRANSPORTATION
   State of Bay Area transportation
   Hybrids may clog carpool lanes
   Cell-phone drivers may get better
   Effectiveness of red light cameras
   America's infrastructure
   Handbook for multimodal decisionmaking
   New ideas for transit
   Toll roads a solution to congestion
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, November 1, 2004
   Studies in the News, November 9, 2004
   Studies in the News, November 22, 2004
   Studies in the News, December 9, 2004
   Studies in the News, December 30, 2004
   Studies in the News, January 7, 2005
   Studies in the News, April 15, 2005
   Studies in the News, April 20, 2005
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California's Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library's website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

AGRICULTURE

California's International Agricultural Exports in 2003. By Jose E. Bervejillo and Daniel A. Sumner, University of California Agricultural Issues Center. (The Center, Davis, California) December 2004. 6 p.

Full Text at: aic.ucdavis.edu/pub/briefs/brief28.pdf

["In 2003 California's agricultural exports increased 14 percent over 2002, reaching $7.5 billion, the highest value for the past six years in real terms. The data reported in this report ... are the product of a seven-year collaborative effort between the Agricultural Issues Center and the Agricultural Export Program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to develop accurate estimates of the value of California agricultural products shipped to international markets."]

[Request #S51201]

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Conserving Agricultural Land through Compensation: A Guide for California Landowners. By Alvin D. Sokolow and Mica Bennett, University of California, Davis. (The University, Davis, California) December 2004. 83 p.

Full Text at: aic.ucdavis.edu/research1/land.html

["If maintained as a working landscape instead of being converted to urban uses, the land can provide such open space benefits for the general population as scenic views, natural habitat, flood control, ground water recharge, and greenbelts between urban communities."]

[Request #S51202]

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AIR POLLUTION

Report to the California Legislature: Indoor Air Pollution in California. By California Air Resources Board. (The Board, Sacramento, California) February 2005. 31 p.

Full Text at: www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/ab1173/report0205/rpt0205-es.pdf

["This report summarizes the best scientific information available on indoor air pollution, including: information on common indoor pollutants and their sources; the potential health impacts of indoor pollutants, and associated costs; existing regulations and practices; options for mitigation in schools, homes, and non-industrial workplaces.]

[Request #S51203]

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Limiting Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Prices Versus Caps. By the Congressional Budget Office, U.S. Congress. (The Office, Washington, DC) March 2005. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/61xx/doc6148/03-15-PriceVSQuantity.pdf

["One area of consensus is that any steps taken to control emissions should do so at the lowest possible cost. Two different forms of economic incentives could achieve that goal: one would reduce emissions by setting a price on them, and the other would cap the overall level of emissions. But given current information about the potential for near-term emissions to trigger abrupt and catastrophic damages, the price approach is more likely than a cap to maximize the difference between the policy's total benefits and total costs."]

[Request #S51204]

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Interim Report. By the Committee on Changes in New Source Review Programs for Stationary Sources of Air Pollutants, National Research Council (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) January 2005. 208 p.

Full Text at: www.nap.edu/catalog/11208.html

["The Bush administration's 'Clear Skies' proposal to rewrite the nation's chief air-quality rules for power plants would not reduce pollution as much as existing Clean Air Act regulations, according to an interim report.... The New Source Review rules, in effect since 1977, require power plants to install costly upgrades to reduce emissions if the plants are being upgraded.... The Clear Skies legislation would establish a national 'cap and trade' program for three major pollutants -- mercury, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide." Los Angeles Times (January 14, 2005) A21.]

[Request #S51205]

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Pollution on the Rise: Local Trends in Power Plant Pollution. By Zachary Corrigan, and Emily Figdor, U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Prepared for Clear the Air. (U.S. PIRG, Washington, DC) 2005.

["Power plants are the nation's largest industrial source of air pollution, fueling global warming and causing other serious public health and environmental problems. This report examines U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides from 1995 to 2003 and finds that emissions are on the rise at many plants."]

Report. 63 p.:
http://uspirg.org/reports/pollutionontherise.pdf

Executive Summary. 2 p.:
http://uspirg.org/uspirg.asp?id2=15501&id3=USPIRG&

[Request #S51206]

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BIOTECHNOLOGY

Economic and Environmental Impacts of Adoption of Genetically Modified Rice in California. By Colin A. Cartern and others, Giannini Foundation of Agricultural and Natural Resources, University of California, Davis. (The Foundation, Oakland, California) February 2005. 28 p.

Full Text at: giannini.ucop.edu/ResearchReports/350_GMO_Rice.pdf

["The report reviews available information on transgenic rice and describes the potential impacts on grower adoption in California, including market-acceptance issues.... Environmental regulations for rice production and potential environmental impacts of the new technology are evaluated."]

[Request #S51207]

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Impacts of Biotech Regulation on Small Business and University Research: Possible Barriers and Potential Solutions. By the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. (The Initiative, Washington, DC) 2004.

["Much of the underlying technology that made the current commercial products of agricultural biotechnology possible was developed by small business and university-based innovators, and the scientists in these laboratories continue to push the technology forward. As we move towards the next generation of biotech products, however, some observers are concerned that our regulatory system can make it difficult for smaller enterprises to bring new products of that research to market."]

Conference Proceedings. 27 p.
http://pewagbiotech.org/events/0602/proceedings.pdf

Conference Highlights. 2 p.
http://pewagbiotech.org/events/0602/highlights.pdf

[Request #S51208]

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BROWNFIELDS

Brownfield Redevelopment: Stakeholders Report that EPA's Program Helps to Redevelop Sites, But Additional Measures Could Complement Agency Efforts. By the U.S. Government Accountability Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) December 2004. 48 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d0594.pdf

["Brownfields are properties whose use may be hindered by the threat of contamination. Cleaning up and redeveloping these properties can protect human health and the environment and provide economic benefits.... GAO was asked to: 1) obtain stakeholders' views on EPA's contribution to brownfield cleanup and redevelopment; 2) determine the extent to which EPA measures program accomplishments; and 3) obtain views on options to improve or complement EPA's program."]

[Request #S51209]

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CLIMATE CHANGE

Legislative Review of Regulations Adopted Pursuant to AB 1493, 2002, Vehicular Emissions, Greenhouse Gases: Hearing. Presented to the Assembly Committee on Transportation. (The Committee, Sacramento, California) February 7, 2005.

[Includes: "Proposed Amendments to the California Code of Regulations;" "Climate Change Emission Control Regulations Fact Sheet;" "Automaker Carbon Burdens in California;" "Climate Control: Global Warming Solutions for California Cars;" and "Climate Change in California: Choosing Our Future."]

[Request #S502]

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Two Degrees is Too Much: Evidence and Implications of Dangerous Climate Change in the Arctic. By Lynn Rosentrater, LDR Consulting, and others. Prepared for the World Wildlife Fund International. (The Fund, Washington, DC) January 2005. 70 p.

Full Text at: www.panda.org/downloads/arctic/050129evidenceandimplicationshires.pdf

["World temperatures could surge in just two decades to a threshold likely to trigger dangerous disruptions to the earth's climate, the WWF environmental group said. It said the Arctic region was warming fastest, threatening the livelihoods of indigenous hunters by thawing the polar ice-cap and driving species like polar bears towards extinction by the end of the century." Rueters (January 31, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51210]

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Uncertainty in Analyzing Climate Change: Policy Implications. By the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) January 2005. 54 p.

Full Text at: www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/60xx/doc6061/01-24-ClimateChange.pdf

["The report provides an overview of the sources of uncertainty that CBO believes may limit the understanding of climate change and complicate the assessment of policies to address it. The report provides examples of the different ways that analysts have addressed those uncertainties in formulating policy recommendations, illustrates the practical difficulties in doing so, and demonstrates the sensitivity of policy results to variations in assumptions about uncertain elements." Transportation Research Newsletter (February 1, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51211]

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Jobs and the Climate Stewardship Act: How Curbing Global Warming Can Increase Employment. By James Barrett, Redefining Progress, and others. (National Research Defense Council, New York, New York) February 2005. 23 p.

Full Text at: www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/csa/CSAjobs.pdf

["Reducing carbon dioxide emissions can create or destroy jobs, depending on how the policies are selected and how they are implemented. The proposed Climate Stewardship Act incorporates, explicitly promotes, or allows for certain key policy features that tend to reduce the costs or increase the economic benefits of energy efficiency and environmental programs. These include the use of flexible, market-based approaches; recycling the revenues generated by these systems to reduce distorting taxes on work or investment; gradual phase-in to allow for planning and effective use of capital replacement cycles; and policies to encourage the development, commercialization, diffusion, and adoption of new clean technologies and remove market barriers to their adoption."]

[Request #S51212]

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Hydrogen's Empty Environmental Promise. By Donald Anthrop, San Jose State University. Prepared for the CATO Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) December 7, 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp90.pdf

["Politicians ... have increasingly embraced subsidies for hydrogen powered fuel cells as a promising way to move America away from reliance on petroleum.... Given current technology, switching from gasoline to hydrogen-powered fuel cells would greatly increase energy consumption even if the hydrogen were extracted from water rather than from fossil fuels.... Moreover, a transition from gasoline to hydrogen would nearly double net greenhouse gas emissions attributable to passenger vehicles, given the current fuel mix in the electricity sector."]

[Request #S51214]

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COASTAL RESOURCES

Improving Coastal Access and Development Mitigation. By Michelle Baass, Office of the Legislative Analyst. (The Office, Sacramento, California) January 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.lao.ca.gov/2005/coastal_comm/coastal_comm_011905.pdf

["Coastal land set aside for the public's benefit has gone unused and may be lost forever under California Coastal Commission practices, according to a report. The commission, responsible for protecting California's coastline, needs better oversight of agreements in which oceanfront landowners offer to give up a portion of property at a future date in exchange for development permits, the report noted." Sacramento Bee (January 20, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51215]

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DRINKING WATER

Perchlorate and Iodide in Dairy and Breast Milk. By Andrea B. Kirk, and others. IN: Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 39, no. 3 (February 23, 2005) online.

Full Text at: pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/feb/science/rr_perchlorate.html

["A team of researchers has found a contaminant from rocket fuel in women's breast milk at five times the average level found in dairy milk. This first study in breast milk of perchlorate indicates that the majority of breast-feeding infants would be exceeding the safe daily dose set by the National Academy of Sciences.... The number considers exposure to perchlorate only from drinking water and doesn't take into account exposure from food." San Francisco Chronicle (February 23, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51216]

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Public or Private Drinking Water? The Effects of Ownership and Benchmark Compliance and Household Water Expenditures. By Scott Wallsten and Katrina Kosee. AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. (The Center, Washington, DC) March 2005. 48 p.

Full Text at: aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=1128

["In this paper [the authors] use a panel dataset that includes every community water system in the U.S. from 1997-2003 to test the effects of ownership and benchmark competition on regulatory compliance and household water expenditures. [The authors] find that when controlling for water source, location fixed effects, county income, urbanization, and year, there is little difference between public and private systems."]

[Request #S51217]

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ENDANGERED SPECIES

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Survey Summary. By the Union of Concerned Scientists and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. (The Union, Cambridge, Massachusetts) February 9, 2005. 2 p.

Full Text at: ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/page.cfm?pageID=1601

["Scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they've been forced to alter or withhold findings that would have led to greater protections for endangered species, according to a survey.... The two groups said the large number of responses reflect concern by many Fish and Wildlife Service employees that political appointees are inappropriately influencing the science that drives decisions to list species and protect their habitat." San Francisco Chronicle (February 10, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51218]

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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Reading, Writing, and Breathing: Schools, Air Toxics, and Environmental Justice in California: By Manuel Pastor, Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community, UC Santa Cruz, and others (The Center, Santa Cruz, California) January 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at: cjtc.ucsc.edu/docs/ej_Reading_Writing_Breathing.pdf

["This report examines one measure of environmental quality, the level of respiratory hazard associated with estimated outdoor air toxics near school sites. We find that there are indeed differences, with children of color and poorer children seeming to face higher respiratory hazards. Aside from potential health concerns, there is also evidence suggesting a relationship between our respiratory hazard measure and school-level academic performance, even after accounting for many of the other factors that often explain such performance."]

[Request #S51219]

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ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Death of Environmentalism: Global Warming Politics in Post-environmental World. By Michael Shellenberger, The Breakthrough Institute, and Ted Nordhaus, Evans/McDonough. (The Institute, El Cerrito, California) September 2004. 37 p.

Full Text at: thebreakthrough.org/images/Death_of_Environmentalism.pdf

["Environmentalism is a dead movement walking. So goes the theme of a controversial essay circulating among environmentalists and their funding organizations....'What the environmental movement needs more than anything is to take a collective step back to rethink everything,' Shellenberger and Nordhaus argue. 'Our thesis is this: the environmental community's narrow definition of its self-interest leads to a kind of policy literalism that undermines its power.'" San Diego Union-Tribune (December 5, 2004) G3.]

[Request #S51220]

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Response to 'The Death of Environmentalism': There is Something Different About Global Warming. By Carl Pope, the Sierra Club. (The Club, San Francisco, California) December 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.sierraclub.org/utilities/printpage.asp?REF=/pressroom/messages/2004december_pope.asp

["Carl Pope, the current Sierra Club director, sent grant-makers a remarkable 6,650-word counter-argument to the 'Death of Environmentalism' treatise. He called it divisive, self-serving, less than original, based on 'shoddy research,' and that it has 'actually muddied the water and made the task of figuring out a comprehensive and effective set of strategies more difficult.'" San Diego Union-Tribune (December 5, 2004) G3.]

[Request #S51221]

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ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

Conservation Through Private Initiative: Harnessing American Ingenuity to Preserve Our Nation's Resources. By Michael DeAlessi, Reason Public Policy Institute. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) January 2005. 37 p.

Full Text at: www.rppi.org/conservation_private_initiative_study.pdf

["Conservation is out there. It's happening. And it's going on amidst commercial activities, especially on private lands.... Why have private conservation efforts been successful? Largely because they concentrate on the end result of environmental protection, rather than the bureaucracy of environmental protection, which doesn't guarantee a result."]

[Request #S51222]

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ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES

How New Environmental Technologies Can Stimulate Economic Growth. By David Rejeski, Progressive Policy Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) December 2004. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.ppionline.org/documents/envirotech_1201.pdf

["The study notes that other governments, notably the Netherlands, are replacing prescriptive 'one-size-fits-all' mandates and relying on government-industry covenants that free companies to come up with the most efficient steps to meet strict pollution-control goals. In response, European and Asian firms have begun surging ahead of U.S. corporations in pioneering new pollution-abatement technology and developing alternative-energy sources." Governing (February 2005) 108.]

[Request #S51223]

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ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY

How America Lost Its Clean Technology Edge. By Shamarukh Mohiuddin, Progressive Policy Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) December, 2004. 11 p.

Full Text at: www.ppionline.org/documents/cleantech_1201.pdf

["The purpose of this policy backgrounder is to compare and contrast clean growth policies in the United States, The European Union, and Japan in order to better understand why other countries are surging ahead of the United States in the quest to capitalize on the global clean technology market."]

[Request #S51224]

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FLOODS

Responding to California's Flood Crisis. By the California Department of Water Resources. (The Department, Sacramento, California) January 2005. 21 p.

Full Text at: www.publicaffairs.water.ca.gov/newsreleases/2005/01-10-05flood_warnings.pdf

["Californians relying on the state's antiquated web of levees for flood protection must pony up to restore the decaying system or risk its catastrophic failure, according to a new report. The report recommends raising money by assessing fees from those who own property in Central Valley floodplains or on higher ground that drains into floodplains." Sacramento Bee (January 14, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S51225]

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GROWTH MANAGEMENT

2004 American Community Survey. By Belen, Russonello and Stewart. Prepared for Smart Growth America and the National Association of Realtors. (Smart Growth America, Washington, DC) October 2004. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.smartgrowthamerica.com/NAR-SGAsurvey.pdf

["Despite the trend to build large housing developments far outside cities, most Americans would rather see investments focus on older suburbs and cities to give them shorter commuting times, sidewalks and places to walk, according to a poll. Prospective home buyers in particular place a high value on limiting commuting times. The survey also finds that most Americans believe traffic problems are more likely to be curbed by improving public transportation and building neighborhoods less dependent on driving than by building more roads." Los Angeles Times (October 24, 2004) A4.]

[Request #S51226]

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INVASIVE SPECIES

Cooperation and Coordination Are Important for Effective Management of Invasive Weeds. By U.S. Government Accountability Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 2005. 99 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d05185.pdf

["In this report, GAO describes 1) the entities that address invasive weeds in natural areas and the funding sources they use; 2) federal state, and local weed management officials' views on the barriers to weed management; and 3) their opinions about how additional resources for weed management could be distributed."]

[Request #S51227]

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LAND USE

Urban Development Futures in the San Joaquin Valley. By Michael B. Teitz and others, Public Policy Institute of California. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) 2005. 138 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/R_205MTR.pdf

["[The report] provides a fascinating glimpse at the valley's alternate futures, each vision dependent on a different set of public policy decisions. The report makes clear that while the valley will grow significantly more crowded under any scenario, what it ultimately looks like will depend on decisions that voters and their elected leaders make in the near future. The one thing not in doubt is that the valley will be the destination for much of the state's growth in the next half-century." Sacramento Bee (February 10, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51228]

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MTBE

The Social Costs of an MTBE Ban in California. By Gordon C. Rausser, UC Berkeley, and others. (University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Oakland, California) December 2004. 60 p.

Full Text at: giannini.ucop.edu/ResearchReports/349_MTBE.pdf

["While the widespread use of MTBE has had adverse impacts on water quality, removal of MTBE from gasoline will impose significant costs on society -- in terms of both gasoline production costs and prices and possible impacts on air and water quality by fuel blending components that replace MTBE in gasoline.... Overall, the analysis indicates that continued use of MTBE in California gasoline would have had clear and significant benefits relative to the use of either ethanol or non-oxygenated reformulated gasoline."]

[Request #S51229]

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NATIONAL PARKS

Making the Grade: Educational Opportunities and Challenges in California's National Parks. By Diane Boyd, and others, National Parks Conservation Association. (The Association, Washington, DC) January 2005. 36 p.

Full Text at: www.npca.org/across_the_nation/npca_in_the_field/pacific/education/education.pdf

["National parks in California do not get enough money to provide the educational programs and services schoolchildren need, according to a report released by park supporters and backed by various education officials.... The study looked at 11 of the state's 24 National Park Service sites. The study said that they need an additional $7 million to the $12 million they now get annually for educational uses,." Contra Costa Times (January 27, 2005) F4.]

[Request #S51230]

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PARKS & RECREATION

California's Magnificent State Parks Endangered: The State of Our State Parks: 2005. By the California State Parks Foundation. (The Foundation, Kentfield, California) February 2005. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.calparks.org/images/S_of_SP_05.pdf

["A new report concludes California's state parks are in big trouble, beset by boondoggle transportation schemes, deferred maintenance and inadequate funding.... The other major threats to parks identified by the report are: development; inadequate resource conservation and restoration; overuse of parklands and concomitant short staffing; and environmentally harmful activities in adjacent areas, such as logging and agriculture. San Francisco Chronicle (February 24, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51231]

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PESTICIDES

Investing in Clean Agriculture: How California Can Strengthen Agriculture, Reduce Pollution and Save Money. By Gary Wolff, Pacific Institute. (The Institute, Oakland, California) January 2005. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.pacinst.org/reports/clean_ag/investing_in_clean_agriculture.pdf

["Pollution is the byproduct of pesticide use, but it doesn't have to be. Wolff said educating farmers is key to cleaning the state's water. But he acknowledges that education doesn't come cheap, so the study suggests raising taxes on pesticides to pay for classes. Farmers who enroll will receive rebates that would more than make up for the tax increase, according to the report." Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (February 16, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51232]

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POLLUTION

Mercury in Perspective: Fact and Fiction About the Debate Over Mercury. By the Office of the Chairman, Resources Committee, U.S. House of Representatives. (The Committee, Washington, DC) February 2005. 33 p.

Full Text at: resourcescommittee.house.gov/Press/reports/mercury_in_perspective.pdf

["Dangers of toxic mercury pollution in the environment have been overstated, says a report issued in anticipation of new regulatory proposals from the Bush administration. The report, written by aides to the committee's majority Republicans, also says no link between mercury from coal-burning power plants and levels of mercury in fish has been scientifically established.... The report said mercury levels in fish have remained constant or declined slightly since the 1970s." Associated Press (February 16, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S51233]

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REGULATORY REFORM

Designing Environmental Policy: Lessons from the Regulation of Mercury Emissions. By Ted Gayer and Robert Hahn, AEI - Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. (The Center, Washington, DC) April 2005. 54 p.

Full Text at: www.aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=1126

["We find that the benefits of the proposed mercury regulation are likely to fall far short of the cost. In addition the emission trading proposal is roughly $15 billion less expensive than the command-and-control proposal. We offer some general lessons for policy design and political economy that can be gleaned from this case study. We highlight some of the dangers associated with regulating small risks, the importance of considering the appropriate jurisdiction for regulation, and the need to define the policy problem carefully in order to increase potential net benefits."]

[Request #S51234]

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WATER RIGHTS

Rescuing Water Markets: Lessons from Owens Valley. By Gary Libecap, Property and Environment Research Center. (The Center, Bozeman, Montana) January 2005. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.perc.org/pdf/ps33.pdf

["The image of the Owens Valley trades has cast a shadow on water trading -- even when the goal of trades is environmental protection. Gary Libecap takes a second look at the Los Angeles-Owens Valley transfers. He shows that the actual events have become distorted in the retelling, but also reveals the genuine problems that surrounded the negotiations. He applies the lessons to water trades today." PERC Press Release (January 20, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51235]

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WETLANDS

The New World of State and Local Wetlands Regulation. By Wendy Lee Bogdan. IN: California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter, vol. 14, no. 6. (March 2005) pp. 143-148.

["The end result of state and local efforts in combination with the SWANCC decision is that currently: 1) some wetlands may not be regulated by the Corps at all, but may nonetheless remain subject to state and local regulation; and 2) even where the Corps exercises jurisdiction over a wetland, state and local agencies are more willing to impose additional regulatory oversight. This article examines the vehicles by which state and local agencies regulate wetlands as well as the public policy advantages and disadvantages or increased state and local regulation."]

[Request #S51236]

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TRANSPORTATION

CALIFORNIA

Bay Area Transportation: State of the System: 2004. By the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Caltrans District 4. (The Commission, Oakland, California) January 2005. 50 p.

Full Text at: www.mtc.ca.gov/library/state_of_the_system/2004/State_of_the_System_04.pdf

["Bay Area freeways have become less congested, transportation authorities said.... The report, based on 2003 driving patterns, showed that congestion in the Bay Area overall was down 18 percent, the fourth consecutive annual decline. It's not that fewer people are driving they are simply on different time schedules and using different stretches of roads." San Francisco Chronicle (January 7, 2005) A1.]

[Request #S51237]

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COMMUTERS & COMMUTING

Second Report of the High-Occupancy Vehicle Enforcement Task Force. By Dennis C. Morrison, Virginia Department of Transportation, and Captain Mike Counts, Virginia Department of State Police. (The Department, Richmond, Virginia) January 2005. 88 p.

Full Text at: www.virginiadot.org/infoservice/resources/HOV%20Task%20Force%20Report%201-4-05.pdf

["Solo drivers in certain hybrid cars may soon enjoy a great commuting perk on California freeways: using a carpool lane to zip to work. But is it a good idea? There is growing angst over the hybrid-carpool issue, after a recent study in Virginia where hybrids have clogged the carpool lanes in the suburbs around Washington, D.C., to the point of rendering them useless. Bay Area transportation planners fear a hybrid exemption will kill a parallel attempt to charge solo drivers to use carpool lanes." San Jose Mercury News (January 24, 2005) A1.]

[Request #S51238]

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DRIVERS

Effects of Practice on Interference from an Auditory Task While Driving: A Simulation Study. By David Shinar and Noam Tractinsky. Prepared for the Office of Research and Technology, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (The Administration, Washington, DC) October 2004. 49 p.

Full Text at: www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/research/auditorytask/images/Interference%20Simulation%20Study.pdf

["The NHTSA has released a report that examines repeated experiences of cell phone use during simulated driving. According to the report, the harmful effects of conversing on the phone are very real initially, but may not be as severe with continued practice at the dual task, especially for young or middle-age drivers." Transportation Research Board Newsletter (December 28, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S51239]

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HIGHWAY SAFETY

Evaluating the Use of Red Light Running Photographic Enforcement Using Collisions and Red Light Running Violations. By Christopher M. Cunningham, and Joseph S. Hummer, Institute for Transportation Research and Education, North Carolina State University. (The Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina) December 2004. 182 p.

Full Text at: www.itre.ncsu.edu/ITREmain/research/05RedLightRunningCamera.pdf

["The report indicates that red light running cameras appear to have a positive effect on driver behavior based on findings from previous literature, focus groups, and analyses of collisions and red light running violations. Based on the comparison group study, total, red-light running-related, angle, and rear end collisions were all reduced."]

[Request #S51240]

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INFRASTRUCTURE

Report Card for America's Infrastructure. By the American Society of Civil Engineers. (The Society, Reston, Virginia) 2005.

[Crowded schools, traffic-choked roads and transit cutbacks are eroding the quality of American life, according to an analysis by civil engineers that gave the nation's infrastructure an overall grade of D. The report assessed the four-year trend in the condition of 12 categories of infrastructure, including roadways, bridges, drinking water systems, public parks, railroads and the power grid. The overall grade slipped from the D-plus given to the infrastructure in 2001 and 2003." USA Today (March 9, 2005) 1.]

The Report Card. Various pagings.:
http://www.asce.org/reportcard/2005/index.cfm

California. 1.:
http://www.asce.org/reportcard/2005/page.cfm?id=44

[Request #S51241]

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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

From Handshake to Compact: Guidance to Foster Collaborative, Multimodal Decision Making. By Sarah Campbell, and others, Transmanagement, Inc. Prepared for the Transit Cooperative Research Program and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. (Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC) February 2005. 79 p.

Full Text at: gulliver.trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_536.pdf

["Transportation managers must find creative ways to share ideas, information, funding, facilities, and even staff. This has led many agencies to identify partners and to realign roles based on who can best deliver a given service or function. The purpose of this handbook is to provide overall guidance on the characteristics of successful collaboration and on the steps that can be taken to enhance the probability of success."]

[Request #S51242]

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TRANSIT

New Ideas for Transit: Transit IDEA Program Annual Report. By the Transit Cooperative Research Program, Panel for the Transit IDEA Program, Transportation Research Board. (The Board, Washington, DC) January 2005. 83 p.

Full Text at: trb.org/publications/sp/transit-idea_report_jan2005.pdf

["TRB's Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) program has issued its report, which summarizes recent investigations conducted under the Transit IDEA program....Four IDEA programs promote innovation beyond the scope of traditional research programs in the areas of transit, safety, high-speed rail, and highways." TRB Newsletter (February 14, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51243]

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USER FEES

Building for the Future: Easing California's Transportation Crisis with Tolls and Public-Private Partnerships. By Robert W. Poole, Jr., Reason Foundation, and others. (The Foundation, Los Angles, California) January 2005. 80 p.

Full Text at: www.rppi.org/ps324.pdf

["A study recommended building more toll roads throughout California, including a $3 billion toll tunnel through the San Gabriel Mountains to cut travel times between Palmdale and Pasadena. The study said such public-private partnerships, in which private investors help build and maintain roads in exchange for toll revenue, represent the future of traffic relief in the state's congested urban areas." Los Angles Daily News (January 20, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S51244]

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PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement.]

ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-71 (November 1, 2004)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2004/0471.htm

[Includes: "Sitting in traffic is a health risk" and "Mercury levels in the U.S. population."]

[Request #S51245]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-73 (November 9, 2004)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2004/0473.htm

[Includes: "Air pollution may reduce California rainfall," "Brownfields and community revitalization," "Growth management in California." and "Airport screeners training."]

[Request #S51246]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-76 (November 22, 2004)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2004/0476.htm

[Includes: "Climate change scenarios for California," "Clean air reductions in San Joaquin Valley," "Labeling of transgenic corn recommended," "Climate change effects," and "State policy for hydrogen."]

[Request #S51247]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-80 (December 9, 2004)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2004/0480.htm

[Includes: "Ozone and death rates," "State and federal roles in ag biotech," "Endangered species protection challenged," and "Perchlorate in lettuce and milk."]

[Request #S51248]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-83 (December 30, 2004)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2004/0483.htm

[Includes: "California air fails particulate standard," "Montana miners can sue state," "Public opinion on genetically modified foods," "Global warming in the arctic," "Forest Service has new management plan," "Court stops big-box retail," "Security at general aviation airports," and "Pedestrians and safety."]

[Request #S51249]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 05-2 (January 7, 2005)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2005/0502.htm

[Includes: "Inventory of greenhouse gases in the U.S.," "Global warming disrupts wildlife," "California water subsidies," "Timeline of Oakland Bay Bridge seismic retrofit," and "Audit of Bay Bridge retrofit project."]

[Request #S51250]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 05-8 (April 15, 2005)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2005/0508.htm

["Includes: "Action needed to save diversity in crops," "Health effects of diesel engines," "Water fight in the Mojave," and "Groups sue over forest management rules."]

[Request #S51251]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 05-10 (April 20, 2005)

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2005/0510.htm

[Includes: "Indoor air pollution in California," "Canadian greenhouse gas agreement," "Marine life protection draft plan," "World ecosystem assessment," "Nuclear waste at risk from attack," and "Driver's license and ID card requirements."]

[Request #S51252]

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