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Regulators

NATIONAL
March 28, 2014 | By David Zucchino
MONCURE, N.C. -- Regulators in North Carolina cited Duke Energy on Friday for a crack in an earthen dam holding back coal ash slurry at a retired coal-burning plant, where the utility was cited March 20 for illegally dumping coal ash waste into the Cape Fear River. The "notice of deficiency" is the latest allegation against Duke Energy, which was responsible for a massive coal ash spill Feb. 2 that left 70 miles of the Dan River coated with coal ash sludge in North Carolina and Virginia -- the third-largest such spill in U.S. history.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler under fire for contaminating nearby homes with lead and threatening the health of more than 100,000 people with its arsenic emissions is in trouble once again for emitting more than the permitted level of lead, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. As a result, the agency will order Exide to curtail its operations by 15%. On March 22 and 23, an air monitor on the northeast side of the Exide Technologies plant, near the Los Angeles River, picked up lead levels that were high enough to cause the outdoor air concentration to exceed 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter based on a 30-day average - a violation of rules designed to protect public health.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari unveiled a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for corporate tax breaks, hydraulic fracturing of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business and increased spending on water storage. The 10-point plan, focused on manufacturing, water, energy and the business climate, is the first policy Kashkari has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. The former U.S. Treasury official said his plan would "unleash" the private sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
OPINION
March 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
There's no clearer sign that state environmental regulators have failed to protect public health than the warning issued this month to parents living in the shadow of the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon: Don't let children play in the dirt in your backyard. Tests of 39 homes and one preschool within two miles of the plant revealed that all had levels of lead in the soil that should trigger health evaluations. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause children to develop learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II
California officials on Friday announced that they were beginning to draw tsunami flood maps in Huntington Beach, Crescent City and other communities that cities could use to regulate development in areas along the coast at risk during a large tsunami. The California Geological Survey made the announcement Friday in advance of the 50th anniversary of the deadliest tsunami that has hit modern California. Fifty years ago next Thursday, a tsunami triggered by a 9.2 earthquake in Alaska killed 13 people in California alone.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
In a landmark settlement of criminal charges, Toyota Motor Corp. admitted deceiving regulators about deadly safety defects and agreed to pay $1.2 billion, the largest penalty ever imposed on an automaker. In the unprecedented deal with the U.S. Justice Department, the world's largest automaker admitted it misled consumers about two defects that caused unintended sudden-acceleration incidents - sticking gas pedals and floor mats trapping the pedals. “Toyota put sales over safety, and profit over principle,” said George Venizelos, assistant director of the FBI. “The disregard Toyota had for the safety of the public was outrageous.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Cities, counties and law enforcement officials across California are bristling at a 6-year-old law that they contend prevents regulation of massage parlors they suspect offer more than therapeutic bodywork. A profusion of massage parlors, often near schools and neighborhoods, creates blight, they complained at a legislative hearing. Local government officials told lawmakers last week that they're frustrated by a 2008 law that sought to regulate illicit massage parlors and support legitimate spas and other businesses.
NEWS
March 10, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
Monday morning, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Police Chief Charlie Beck will announce an effort to help property owners and real estate agents comply with Proposition D, which banned all but about 100 medical marijuana dispensaries that opened before 2007. Proposition D was essentially a compromise between medical marijuana advocates and City Hall to impose some regulation on pot shops in the city after previous attempts to control the industry were blocked in court. L.A.'s convoluted attempts to control medical marijuana are by no means unique.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
Elevated levels of lead have been found in the soil of homes and a preschool near a battery recycling plant in Vernon, prompting officials to issue health warnings and order more testing in adjacent neighborhoods. State toxic waste regulators said the initial results from 39 homes as well as two schools concerned them enough that they have directed Exide Technologies to create a plan to protect children and pregnant women living in affected homes, as well as perform the additional testing.
BUSINESS
March 8, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY - A Mexican regulatory agency has ordered the massive companies that dominate this nation's telephone and broadcast television sectors to share their network infrastructure with competitors, a move that could seriously alter Mexico's telecommunications landscape in the months and years to come. The rulings by the Federal Telecommunications Institute appeared to be a "step in the right direction" for the Mexican economy, said George W. Grayson, a Mexico specialist at the College of William and Mary.
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