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‘Right’ to Clean Air and Water Tested in California

Should the right to clean air and water and a healthy environment be enshrined in the California Constitution?

Environmentalists Sound the Alarm on Salton Sea as Oasis is Left in the Dust

More than a century ago, an accidental oasis in the California desert created a popular residential and vacation spot for families.

But over the last few decades, environmental experts say climate change and drought in the Salton Sea have led to a destination that’s been plagued with dust bowls, receding waters and other hazards.

‘The Air is Toxic’: How An Idyllic California Lake Became a Nightmare

Just to be safe, Noemí Vázquez keeps inhalers in almost every room of her house. She stashes them in her kitchen cupboard, a couple in her purse, one in the bathroom, and, of course, by her bedside.

And then there’s the large, black Puma knapsack where she keeps her nebulizer, several inhalers, and the montelukast pills she takes to treat her wheezing. Her four-year-old granddaughter has her own asthma kit – a neon pink and purple Trolls-themed lunch box that holds a small, child-sized nebulizer and a few inhalers. “She’s smart! She knows: this is her bag,” Vázquez said.

Rep. Ruiz Introduces Salton Sea Bill in Congress to Provide Funding, Increase Air Quality Requirements

Southern California Democrats Rep. Raul Ruiz and Rep. Juan Vargas introduced a new bill on Thursday that would force the federal government to take a more active role in funding and managing Salton Sea habitat restoration and dust suppression.

HR 8775, the Salton Sea Public Health and Environmental Protection Act, would create an interagency working group called the Salton Sea Management Council to coordinate projects around the lake’s receding shoreline.

Special Report: Restoration Projects at the Salton Sea

Nearly $47 million dollars have been secured in California’s state budget for the next year to begin mitigation efforts at the Salton Sea and the New River.

It’s a major win for a decades-long problem that has contributed to the environmental and health impacts in Imperial County.

Although, millions of dollars are being poured into helping improve the environmental health crisis Imperial County is facing, will it be enough and will residents see a change in their lifetime?

Teichert Ponds Fish Dying Due to Ash, Poor Air Quality and Lack of Oxygen

Over the last week the city of Chico has received several calls from nearby residents informing staff members of dead fish floating in Teichert Ponds near Highway 99 in Chico. The Park and Natural Resource Manager for Chico and Butte County Linda Herman confirmed the dead fish being reported are on the back side of the pond near the fresh water area, saying the fish have succumbed to lack of oxygen in the water due to a thick layer of ash that has formed atop many parts of the pond.

As California Burns, the Winds Arrive and the Lights Go Out

New wildfires ravaged bone-dry California during a scorching Labor Day weekend that saw a dramatic airlift of more than 200 people trapped by flames and ended with the state’s largest utility turning off power to 172,000 customers to try to prevent its power lines and other equipment from sparking more fires.

Sunday Special Report: Toxic Dust From Salton Sea Could Complicate Coronavirus Recovery

Health experts say the Salton Sea poses a health risk to the residents who live around it, especially in the age of coronavirus. The lake’s continued evaporation is already making Valley residents sick, and it could make virus patients even sicker. Farmlands in Imperial County use less water from the Colorado River than ever before. Most of the river’s water now goes to cities like San Diego and Los Angeles. That means less irrigation water drains into the Salton Sea. It’s rapidly shrinking.

Opinion: Changing the Climate for Environmental Racism

Environmental toxic exposure suffered in many minority neighborhoods is part of the systemic racism evident in society, and environmental justice belongs near the top of discussions to right those wrongs, writes Kevin McKie, an attorney at the Environmental Litigation Group P.C. Communities can take several steps, including passing legislation requiring industries to comply with stricter environmental regulations or pay additional fines, requiring that stringent environmental impact studies be performed before construction of new plants or the installation of toxic emission monitoring stations, and offering free medical monitoring.

Officials Urge Water Conservation, Caution in Face of Raging Wildfires

With the North Bay’s LNU Complex Fire topping 124,000 acres Wednesday and new state evacuation orders emerging every few hours, local and state officials urged Bay Area residents to take a variety of precautions. The city of Healdsburg said Wednesday evening that all of its roughly 12,000 residents should be prepared to evacuate their homes “soon.”