pollution

As the rainy season approaches, multiple state, regional and local agencies are preparing for the potential impacts of the recent wildfires on urban and rural communities. There are 617 streams in the areas affected by fire in Sonoma County. Drinking water is safe and continually monitored, but because the county’s natural watersheds filter drinking water, it is critically important that ash, debris and other pollutants are prevented from entering stream systems to the maximum extent possible.

“How do you move from a place of simply trying to stop bad things and asking instead how would you make products and services in a sustainable manner?” asks managing partner of Ecosystem Investment Partners, Adam Davis. Now that the trouble with pollution has been internalized, we need the economy to follow. Is is possible to protect profits and the planet? Despite claims that a win for the environment is a loss for the economy, corporations are finding innovative ways to have it both ways.

Across the country, thousands of public schools are within 500 feet of pollution-choked roads like highways and truck routes. Next time on Reveal, we investigate the high levels of exhaust surrounding U.S. schools and how the bad air is affecting the millions of children who are breathing it in.  

Reveal is the Peabody Award-winning investigative journalism program for public radio from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.  

Best Practices for Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation

Aug 17, 2016

  Legal or not, there are right ways and wrong ways to grow cannabis outdoors A new document from Mendocino County covers them in detail.  Reporter Valerie Kim has details.

Available in both English and Spanish versions, the Growers Guide can be downloaded here.

Re-Thinking Cement

Aug 9, 2016
Encyclopedia Brittanica

  One of the most common building blocks in the developed world—cement—is also hugely polluting. So a Petaluma businessman is working to scale up an alternative to it.

Runoff and the Russian River

Jan 28, 2016
Sonoma County Water Agency

  Industry and agriculture both contribute to the degradation of water quality in California’s waterways. But the even greater source of pollutants—some 60 million tons each year--is us. But with an assist from Mother Nature. 

Jose C. Silva/Flickr

  Wildfire smoke is a temporary air quality issue, but as Suzanne Potter reports, the bigger problem of poor air  in much of California has a far more persistent cause.

Health Costs of Environmental Hazards Specified

Jun 16, 2015
Cheryl Holt/Morguefile.

  Known environmental hazards carry high health costs. And, as Suzanne Potter reports, a new report is getting specific about how high those prices may be.

Responding to Pollution's Health Impacts

May 13, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Science has shown that the trigger for cancer and other serious illnesses is often exposure to something harmful in the world around us. But translating that knowledge into protective public policy remains difficult. In this report, we hear from someone deeply engaged in that struggle.

Locals heading for Oakland Climate March

Feb 4, 2015

 Thousands of people from all over California are preparing to converge in Oakland Saturday to show their support for more aggressive measures to combat global warming. And Sonoma County will be well represented among them.

    For Denny Rosatti, Executive Director of Sonoma County Conservation Action , the biggest worry--among many--about fracking is it's potential impact on California's groundwater reserves.

Environmental Groups Sue State Over Pesticide Plan

Jan 30, 2015

  A sweeping plan to give the California Department of Food Agriculture free rein in applying pesticides statewide is being contested by a broad coalition of food and environmental groups that contend it violates the state’s Environmental Quality Act.

   During the public comment period, before the environmental document was finalized, thousands of people offered thoughts, suggestions and feedback. Yet very little of that was acknowledged, says Nan Wishner of the California Environmental Health Imitative.

public domain

It’s good news for the bay. Scientists have spotted a steep decline in the levels of toxic flame-retardant chemicals. 

Researchers at the San Francisco Estuary Institute were pleased to recently announce [PDF] that levels of PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) have declined dramatically since a state-enacted ban.

ASU

Visit the grocery store and you’ll find row after row of washes, toothpastes, cosmetics, and plastic toys labeled “anti-bacterial.” Researchers speaking at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco this week suggested the risks of using antibacterial products probably outweigh the benefits. 

Scouring the Seas for Plastic

Dec 18, 2014
Carolynn Box, Five Gyres

Carolynn Box is a Sonoma County native and 1996 Analy High School grad who has spent much of the past four years at sea, trawling the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans for plastic particles with the activist non-profit, Five Gyres. And finding them virtually everywhere.

 It has been suggested that specially outfitted ships could scoop up plastic particles from the gyres and recycle them. But having seen the scale of the problem first-hand, Carolynn Box is skeptical.

Banning Microbeads

Dec 4, 2014

  The California legislature came within a single vote, earlier this year, of passing a bill to prohibit the use of tiny plastic microbeads in cosmetic products sold in the state. Backers of the measure are vowing to try again next year. KRCB’s science reporter Danielle Venton examines why they are a problem.

Air Quality and Asthma

May 21, 2013

Sonoma and Marin Counties are a clean air oasis in the Bay Area, but statewide, asthma and related health impacts associated with air pollutants remain a huge concern.

  One reason the air is so clear in the coastal North Bay Counties, explains the American Lung Association’s Jenny Bard, is because the prevailing winds carry our locally-generated pollution to other areas.