April 6, 2011 |
The operator of Japan's stricken nuclear plant said Wednesday that it had apparently contained at least one leak that was allowing radiation to seep into the sea. Tokyo Electric Power Co. had said Tuesday that it had found iodine-131 at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials instituted a health limit for radioactivity in fish. Other samples were found to contain radioactive cesium at 1.1 million times the legal limit.
March 16, 2011 |
New federal regulations improving access for the disabled took effect Tuesday at more than 7 million facilities nationwide, including many used for recreation. The changes, required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, affect places such as amusement parks and movie theaters. "If you went on vacation and your family was going to go play a game of miniature golf, up until now, a child in a wheelchair would have to sit on the side and watch everybody else have fun," said Maureen Fitzgerald, director of disability rights at the Disability Policy Collaboration, an advocacy group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2011 |
The federal government has approved a state plan that calls for significant reductions in pollution from agricultural runoff and dam operations on the Klamath River, setting the stage for a long-awaited cleanup of one of California's major salmon rivers. The new water quality standards are intended to help restore a river once home to bountiful salmon runs but more recently known as a polluted, water-starved battleground for farmers, tribes and salmon fishermen. "It's nice to have a victory like this after so many years of litigation," said Glen Spain, northwest regional director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Assns.
January 4, 2011 |
In a move that could signal a long-awaited return to business as usual in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration announced Monday that it would allow 13 companies to resume deep-water oil and gas drilling that was suspended after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion last spring. The administration had imposed a drilling moratorium after the April 20 accident at the BP well, which killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the gulf in the country's worst offshore oil disaster.
December 16, 2010 |
The most comprehensive overhaul of motor vehicle safety laws in a decade, which once seemed certain in the wake of Toyota's sudden-acceleration problems, may never reach a vote in Congress. "It is hanging on by a thread," said Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who became deeply involved in pushing for the overhaul. "It is a once-in-20-year opportunity. A bill like this is not going to come by again. " The legislation, S.3302, has 23 major provisions that would create new safety standards, increase fines against automakers for violating federal rules and put an emphasis for the first time on safeguarding the electronic systems now ubiquitous in motor vehicles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 2010 |
Southern California air pollution officials have moved to clamp down on toxic emissions from two battery recycling plants in Los Angeles County. The regulations, announced this week, are designed to meet the first new federal standards for airborne lead pollution in three decades, which were adopted in 2008. But Shankar B. Prasad, a physician with the Sacramento-based Coalition for Clean Air, said the South Coast Air Quality Management District "missed a great opportunity to enforce a more health-protective limit on lead emissions, even when the technology is readily available.
November 4, 2010 |
Twice a year, my husband and I plan our battle strategy. "You take upstairs; I'll take downstairs and outbuildings," he says. "OK," I say. "You do the cars; I'll do cameras and phones. " I dread the biannual time change. It's a bothersome task to synchronize all the devices around the house. Last spring, just for fun, I tallied up all the time indicators we own. Many of them aren't even clocks ? their primary purpose is to take photos, make phone calls or cook food. I counted 40. In our household of two souls there are nine clocks, four watches, four computers, four land-line phones, two car clocks, two TVs, two cable boxes, two cameras, a stove, microwave, coffeemaker, pool timer, sprinkler-system timer, VCR, cellphone, weather station, portable GPS, digital voice recorder and my bike computer, which tells me how far and fast I've ridden.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 2010 |
Despite the struggling economy, most California voters oppose suspending the state's landmark global warming law, which would place strict new environmental regulations on business, a new Los Angeles Times/ USC poll shows. Proposition 23, which would put the new emissions standards on hold, is trailing 48% to 32% among likely voters, according to the survey. But as voters look inclined to stay the course with the state's global warming policies, they appear ready to radically change state budget policy.
September 24, 2010 |
The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it would sharply limit access to the diabetes drug Avandia because of concerns that it increases the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Patients who are now taking the drug will have to sign an informed consent statement acknowledging that they understand all the risks before they will be allowed to refill their prescriptions. New patients will not be able to receive the drug unless their doctors certify that they are unable to control their blood sugar levels with other therapies and that medical problems preclude them from taking Avandia's primary competitor, Actos.
August 10, 2010 |
The California Interscholastic Federation has reached agreement with Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) on new safety standards for metal bats, which is expected to result in Huffman withdrawing his bill, AB 7, that would have imposed a one-year moratorium on non-wood bats for high school baseball games next season. Huffman said he will hold a news conference Wednesday in Sacramento with Marie Ishida, the CIF's executive director. On Friday, during a conference call, the executive committee of the CIF passed a requirement that aluminum bats used for 2011 must meet the new BBCOR performance standards if the bats are commercially available by Jan. 1. BBCOR gauges the trampoline effect of a ball coming off a bat instead of simply the speed of the ball after it's hit, and the new standard is aimed at decreasing bat performance by 10% to 15%, making the game safer.