Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Reaches New High Despite Pandemic, Scripps Reports

Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory peaked for 2021 in May at a monthly average of 419 parts per million, the highest level since accurate measurements began 63 years ago, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego reported Monday.

Scripps scientist Charles David Keeling initiated on-site measurements of carbon dioxide atop the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1958. NOAA began measurements in 1974, and the two research institutions have made complementary, independent observations ever since.

Tensions Rise Over Red Hill Bay in Part III of Hearing

Tensions grew in a series of back-and-forth exchanges between attorneys for the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District and the Imperial Irrigation District regarding the Red Hill Bay project site during a third day of hearings over an air-pollution violation order against the district.

A hearing board met Friday, Feb. 19, for the third part of its hearing to discuss a petition from Air Pollution Control Officer Matt Dessert for an order for abatement against the district for violations of air district rules and regulations. An order for abatement is an enforcement action that requires an owner or operator who is out of compliance to take specific action to get back into compliance with air district rules.

County Supervisors Declare Public Health Crisis in Tijuana River Valley

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to declare pollution at the Tijuana River Valley a public health crisis.

Supervisor Nora Vargas said the action is needed because of the decades-long contamination of River Valley, which has resulted in environmental and health damage. According to the county, the region has long suffered from poor air quality, sewage leaks, waste from industrial plants, tire waste, plastic pollution, sediment, and trash.

Tired of Waiting on Salton Sea Fixes, Desert Shores Residents Take a Stand

These days, the house where Donna and John Winters planned to retire in the Southern California desert reflects in a stagnant pool of blood red water, their dream home becoming something of a nightmare.

Trump Signs Spending Bill That Could Send Millions of Dollars to the Salton Sea

President Donald Trump on Sunday signed a roughly $900 billion stimulus package meant to tackle both COVID-19 relief as well as federal spending. Tucked in the 5,593-page-long law, courtesy of Southern California Democrats, are provisions that hold the potential to unlock millions of dollars of new federal spending to address the Salton Sea.

The bill notably modifies the Water Resources Development Act by authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite a study on the feasibility of constructing a perimeter lake around the Salton Sea. It’s one of the large-scale plans floated to address the lake’s woes, and this move could speed up the process.

The law also includes more than $150 million for the Army Corps to carry out such studies on water issues at the Salton Sea and elsewhere.

Will California Finally Fulfill its Promise to Fix the Salton Sea?

Red flags flutter outside the schools in Salton City, California, when the air quality is dangerous. Dust billows across the desert, blanketing playgrounds and baseball diamonds, the swirling grit canceling recess and forcing students indoors. Visibility is so poor you can’t see down the block. Those days worry Miriam Juarez the most.

ICAPCD Issues Notices of Violation to Protect Public Health

The Imperial County Air Pollution Control District issued Notices of Violation to California Department of Water Resources, California Natural Resources Agency, and United States Fish and Wildlife Service for failure to implement adequate dust control on the Salton Sea playa on the Species Conservation Habitat project site near Westmorland, California.

In addition, as landowners of the project site, the Imperial Irrigation District and United States Bureau of Land Management were also issued NOVs, according to a press release.

Calif. Democrats Decry Federal Inaction in Congress’ First Hearing on Salton Sea in 23 years

In a congressional hearing Thursday that starkly illuminated partisan divides, California Democrats called on the federal government to provide greater assistance in remedying environmental and public health crises at the Salton Sea. All but one GOP members were absent, and the one who did attend criticized the organizers for holding the hearing.

Opinion: A Greater Sense of Urgency Needed for Crises at the Salton Sea

The Salton Sea presents one of California’s most pressing ecological and environmental justice crises. The shrinking sea threatens habitat for millions of fish and birds, and as the sea’s shoreline recedes, a pollutant-laced dust spills into nearby communities and threatens the health of 650,000 people living nearby.

Extraordinary Heat, Rare Summer Snow Brought Unprecedented West Coast Firestorms

The West Coast had just experienced a record-shattering heat wave when news came last week of a rare late-summer snowstorm in Colorado. To those still sweltering in California, Oregon and Washington, it sounded like a dream come true. In fact, it was an omen of a greater disaster to come.