Starting on September 30, 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will begin groundwater and geologic testing using a low-flying helicopter to collect and record geophysical measurements for scientific research purposes. The work will occur near the towns of Lost Hills, Buttonwillow and Cawelo in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The testing is being done in cooperation with the California State Water Resources Control Board and will last one to two weeks. USGS issued an advisory in accordance with FAA regulations and to serve the public interest.

Jeff Janas

Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1383 (Lara) on Monday, which establishes the nation's toughest restrictions on short-lived climate pollutants including black carbon, fluorinated gases and methane. Specifically, the law will require the California Air Resources Board to approve and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants to achieve a reduction in methane emissions by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gas emissions by 40% and black carbon emissions by 50% below 2013 levels by 2030.

Stephanie Thara

On Tuesday, the Assembly approved SB32—the climate change legislation that would increase and make permanent statewide greenhouse gas emission reductions mandates.

SB32 would set a new statewide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The current climate law, AB32, required the state to reach 1990 levels by 2020. If passed, SB32 would have a direct impact on agriculture-related companies, including an increase in costs, reduced flexibility in operations and being mandated to utilize unproven or non-efficient technology.

Stephanie Thara

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to not implement pesticide buffer zones around schools, parks, daycare centers or anywhere children might congregate was justified. The ruling was part of the Court’s decision to deny the petition filed by the Pesticide Action Network North America, United Farm Workers, and Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste in 2009 requesting that the EPA impose interim buffer zones around schools to protect children from pesticide drift.

Stephanie Thara

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Will this year be The Lost El Niño?

El Niño has already brought major rain and snow to California. But most of it is going straight out to the ocean. Why are we missing this opportunity to recover from the drought?