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Thursday, July 2 2015

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State Reduces Water Use by Nearly 29 Percent In Advance of June Conservation Mandates

As the State continues to experience near-record and record hot conditions, increasing the severity of the drought’s effects on communities, agriculture and the environment, California’s urban water suppliers reported the highest level of conservation achieved to date for the month of May.

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Kamala Harris rejects second gay murder ballot measure; author of measure cites Bible
Full story: Sacramento Bee


Mendocino National Forest enters fire restrictions

The Mendocino National Forest is entering into fire restrictions beginning Thursday, July 2 due to dry conditions and increased risk of wildfires. The fire restrictions will continue through the end of fire season.

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Highest Threat from Oil Trains in California Aligned with Race and Income: New Environmental Justice Report Links Dangerous Rail Routes with Census Data

Public interest groups today released the Crude Injustice on the Rails report evaluating the disparate threat to people of color and low-income communities from explosions and pollution from crude oil trains in California.

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Happy and safe Independence Day from your Modoc National Forest

It is looking like a great Fourth of July on your Modoc National Forest.

All campgrounds are open and accessible. Campers share the land with other forest users, as well as wildlife including the occasional black bear. Campfire safety is always a must and fireworks are illegal on all National Forest lands.

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U.S. EPA to approve California’s newest list of impaired waterways

More than 40,000 miles of California’s rivers and streams are currently threatened by pollution, according to a list of impaired waterways submitted by the state to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Monitoring of rivers, lakes and coastal waters in California continue to show harmful pollutant levels, based on updates to the list from three of the state’s nine regional Water Quality Control Boards — North Coast, Lahontan and Colorado River regions.

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Fire Restrictions on the Klamath National Forest Begin Thursday July 2nd

In order to provide for public safety and protect natural resources, fire restriction rules will begin on the Klamath National Forest starting on July 2, 2015 and continue through the end of the official 2015 fire season. These rules will apply to higher elevation areas in the Marble Mountain, Russian, Siskiyou and Trinity Wilderness areas.

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State Health Officer Warns of the Dangers of Excessive Heat

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith is reminding everyone to stay cool and hydrated as temperatures around the state continue to climb.

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New Tests Find Toxic Cocktail in Santa Barbara Spill

Numerous toxic chemicals known to pose severe threats to human health and marine life contaminated the Pacific Ocean and beaches when more than 100,000 gallons of oil spilled from a ruptured pipeline in Santa Barbara County, according to independent test results released today by Water Defense. The non-profit organization’s testing of spilled oil deposited on the beach and water samples collected from the May 19 Refugio State Beach oil spill confirmed the presence of several toxic chemicals including, but not limited to, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Naphthalene. The test results also confirmed the presence of Glutaraldehyde – a biocide that is also a key additive in drilling, fracking and acidizing injections – in the pipeline oil deposited on the beach. These chemicals, which are known to be a severe threat to human health, were released onto the beach and into the Pacific Ocean, contaminating ocean waters and threating marine life.

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Californians urged to severely limit outdoor watering this summer

With California in the grip of the worst drought in a generation, Save Our Water – California’s official statewide conservation education program – is launching a new public education campaign urging Californians to step up and make even more cuts in their water use. The campaign comes at the start of a hot, dry summer and potentially dangerous fire season.

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Feds Find Gaping Holes in Cal/OSHA Safety Net

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the worker health and safety program in California for falling below minimum performance standards in response to a complaint filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the state Division of Occupational Safety & Health (Cal/OSHA) must upgrade its enforcement and inspection programs or face federal sanctions.

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What the Heck a Flex Alert is and Why You Should Care

You know how the lights seem to dim or flicker when the three vacuums, two margarita blenders and seven hair dryers are running on high? Don’t forget the air conditioner, either. That’s your house’s power supply under duress.

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Tax Rate on Gasoline Drops in Time for 4th of July Weekend

The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) announces the state excise tax on gasoline will drop by six cents per gallon on July 1, 2015. This will lower the excise tax rate from 36 cents to 30 cents per gallon.

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State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Applauds Governor for Signing Vaccine Bill

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson praised Governor Jerry Brown for signing the vaccine legislation today and issued the following statement:

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New report explores how trout and salmon streams can be restored in the face of climate change

Climate change is perhaps the most immediate threat to the long-term survival of trout and salmon in the western United States, including not only higher stream temperatures but more intense drought, wildfires and floods. Fortunately, well-designed restoration work on specific streams and throughout entire watersheds can help alleviate the worst of its impacts and give trout and salmon a fighting chance, according to a new paper published this week by the journal Fisheries.

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Op-Ed: Ed Beck: Victory! California Governor Signs Bill to End "Personal Belief" Vaccine Exemptions

After an acrimonious 4-month battle in California between doctors, public health advocates, epidemiologists, historians, and the celebrity-speckled anti-vaccine fringe, sound medical science has finally won the day. Earlier this afternoon Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 277, which ends “personal belief” vaccination exemptions—religious or otherwise—for children attending public or private schools in California.

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Governor Brown Signs Vaccination Bill

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed the following bills.

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PG&E Contributes $250K to NCLR’s Groundbreaking Work

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has awarded the National Center for Lesbian Rights a $250,000 contribution as part of the utility company’s long-standing commitment to LGBT workplace equality. The contribution comes on the heels of the NCLR’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court marriage victory and will provide thousands of LGBT individuals with continued resources.

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Fire Officials Urge Extreme Caution As Fireworks Go On Sale

With the Independence Day holiday rapidly approaching, CAL FIRE is reminding all Californians and visitors to do their part to prevent fires caused by illegal fireworks or the misuse of “Safe and Sane” fireworks. On Sunday, June 28 “Safe and Sane” Fireworks went on sale in approximately 300 communities throughout California. Although fireworks are a symbolic display of patriotism during this time of celebration, they can be dangerous when handled incorrectly or used in the wrong environment.

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Winnemem Wintu and Allies to Protest Exclusion of California Indians from Gov. Brown's California Water Summit

The Winnemem Wintu tribe, allies and other tribal representatives will be rallying and waving signs outside the 2nd California Water Summit this Tuesday, June 30, beginning 8 a.m. at the Westin Sacramento to protest Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to exclude California tribes, environmentalists and other important stakeholders in this public meeting about massive state water infrastructure projects. Today's protest follows one held at the same location on Monday morning.

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Shasta Lake: The Golden State's largest reservoir has warmed and become depleted over the past decade (NASA SATELLITE PHOTOS)

The ongoing drought in the western United States is evident in the water levels of Shasta Lake, a large reservoir in northern California that counts on rainfall for replenishment. Low water levels can lead to hazardous conditions for local recreation. Many more people are affected by how this limited water resource is allocated for ecological, urban, and agricultural needs downstream.

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Beachgoers Asked to "Fish, Swim, and Play from 50 Yards Away" To Protect Newly Hatched Birds

As millions of vacationing Americans head to their nearest beach destination for surf and sun this summer, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is urging beachgoers to be mindful of the many beach-nesting birds that will be tending to their nests and newly hatched young.

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Why are seabirds abandoning their ancestral nesting grounds in Mexico and moving into California harbors?

Isla Rasa, in the Gulf of California, is renowned for its massive aggregations of nesting seabirds. Over 95 percent of the world populations of Elegant Terns and Heerman's Gulls concentrate unfailingly every year on this tiny island to nest. Ever since the phenomenon was described by L. W. Walker in 1953 the island has been a magnet for tourists, naturalists, filmmakers, and seabird researchers.

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Calif.'s quirky water rights system is showing its age
Full story: eenews.com

Modoc National Forest June 27 Lightning Fire Update

The first of several predicted dry lightning cells passed over the Forest last night with relatively little impact.

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Public Urged To Avoid Large Algal Bloom in Pyramid Lake

California’s four-year drought has reduced the amount of water flowing through the State Water Project and into bodies of water along the project, including reservoirs and lakes frequented by the public. As a consequence, a large algal bloom has developed in Pyramid Lake, and the public is advised to avoid body contact with algal scum or visible blooms and take precautions during recreation at the lake.

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Equality California Cheers Historic Decision by U.S. Supreme Court

In response to today’s historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that marriage restrictions in 13 remaining states violate the constitutional rights of same-sex couples, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:

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Shasta-Trinity National Forest Prepares for Hot Dry Weather and Lightning This Weekend

Shasta-Trinity National Forest is increasing fire fighter staffing due to the increased chance of dry lightning and strong winds from thunderstorm activity throughout Northern California through this weekend. Additional fire engines, handcrews and helicopters have been staged throughout the forest in preparation for fires during this forecasted weather.

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Drought Prompts Fish Evacuation at American River and Nimbus Hatcheries

With a fourth year of extreme drought conditions reducing the cold water supply available, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is moving fish out of the American River and the Nimbus hatcheries for the second year in a row.

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Op-Ed: Kim Delfino: House Drought Bill Disastrous for Environment

Environmental protections for wildlife did not create the drought in California and overriding bedrock environmental laws isn’t a credible solution to our state’s water woes. Representative Valadao and others need to stop scapegoating wildlife for the simple fact that we haven’t had enough rain.

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