“Two years ago, [Marin] county supervisors approved a ban on grocery stores using plastic bags in an effort to get people to, instead, use re-usable bags. The county law followed Fairfax’s 2008 voter-approved ban.
“Marin cities have been talking about following their lead, but it had hoped the state Legislature would approve a statewide ban.”
From the San Jose Mercury News, in a commentary by Steve Holmes:
“One morning in October, an unusual sight appeared along Los Gatos Creek in the form of three black Shopping Cart Chinook salmon on the creek trail between Bascom and Hamilton Avenues. Blending the carts and fish in works of art seemed fitting after Friends of Los Gatos Creek volunteers pulled 18 shopping carts out of the creek at just one cleanup site. …
“We know how to restore fisheries in decline, but we need to act now.
“Year after year the trucks rolled in, dumping loads of sewage sludge and contaminated dirt at a soil-recycling plant in this tiny desert community. Thousands of deliveries were dutifully recorded in a state database. Anyone who checked it would have seen that the plant had no state permit to accept hazardous waste.
“Decades after industrial waste dumping turned part of Southern California’s seafloor into a toxic hot spot, scientists have dredged up a mystery. Chemicals fouling the ocean off the Palos Verdes Peninsula seem to be going away without being cleaned up.”
“The Davis City Council just voted to join the growing list of California cities that ban single-use plastic bags. The city of Sacramento is moving forward on a similar ordinance.
“Local governments are right to take this modest step to help keep our streets and streams cleaner. But it would be far better if the Legislature passed statewide rules for what is a statewide problem.”
A judge has ordered a metal plating company in Richmond, Calif., to remove large quantities of hazardous waste, including potentially deadly cyanide, after state officials argued that it poses a health threat to nearby residents.
“Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith Craddick gave Electro-Forming 14 days to dispose of some waste and 30 days for others.”
“Rural neighbors of an abandoned World War II-era copper mine that has leaked toxic chemicals in northern Nevada for decades have won up to a $19.5 million settlement from companies they accused of covering up the contamination.”
“Californians produce two million tons of hazardous waste every year. And the department that manages that waste has faced criticism for the way it operates. Now the department is trying to clean up its act.”
“It was hardly as dramatic as a raising of the Titanic, but when the nose end of the Captain Al, a 105-foot rust bucket of a tugboat, poked above the surface of the Oakland Estuary for the first time in more than 15 years Monday, a few men ashore got lumps in their throats.
“Seeking to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags cluttering California’s beaches and landfills, the state Legislature in 2006 passed a law requiring grocery stores and other large retailers to give consumers an easy way of returning used bags.
“Falcons and hawks trained and flown by Adam Chavez of San Juan Capistrano evidently have succeeded – at least for now – in scaring away sea gulls blamed for polluting the beach with their droppings in recent years. The birds hung out by the hundreds at a freshwater pond at the mouth of a Poche flood-control channel.”