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Sacramento, CA, United States

The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the "clean air agency" in the government of California. Established in 1967 when then-governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the cabinet-level California Environmental Protection Agency. California is the only state that is permitted to have such a regulatory agency, since it is the only state that had one before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act. Other states are permitted to follow CARB standards, or use the federal ones, but not set their own.The stated goals of CARB include attaining and maintaining healthy air quality; protecting the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants; and providing innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations.The governing board is made up of eleven members appointed by the state's governor. Half of the appointees are experts in professional and science fields such as medicine, chemistry, physics, meteorology, engineering, business, and law. Others represent the pollution control agencies of regional districts within California - Los Angeles region, San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, the San Joaquin Valley, and other districts. Wikipedia.

Kozawa K.H.,California Air Resources Board | Winer A.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Fruin S.A.,University of Southern California
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2012

High ambient ultrafine particle (UFP) concentrations may play an important role in the adverse health effects associated with living near busy roadways. However, UFP size distributions change rapidly as vehicle emissions dilute and age. These size changes can influence UFP lung deposition rates and dose because deposition in the respiratory system is a strong function of particle size. Few studies to date have measured and characterized changes in near-road UFP size distributions in real-time, thus missing transient variations in size distribution due to short-term fluctuations in wind speed, direction, or particle dynamics. In this study we measured important wind direction effects on near-freeway UFP size distributions and gradients using a mobile platform with 5-s time resolution. Compared to more commonly measured perpendicular (downwind) conditions, parallel wind conditions appeared to promote formation of broader and larger size distributions of roughly one-half the particle concentration. Particles during more parallel wind conditions also changed less in size with downwind distance and the fraction of lung-deposited particle number was calculated to be 15% lower than for downwind conditions, giving a combined decrease of about 60%. In addition, a multivariate analysis of several variables found meteorology, particularly wind direction and temperature, to be important in predicting UFP concentrations within 150 m of a freeway (R 2 = 0.46, p = 0.014). © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Exploiting surface albedo change has been proposed as a form of geoengineering to reduce the heating effect of anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases (GHGs). Recent modeling experiments have projected significant negative radiative forcing from large-scale implementation of albedo reduction technologies ("cool" roofs and pavements). This paper complements such model studies with measurement-based calculations of the direct radiation balance impacts of replacement of conventional roofing with "cool" roof materials in California. This analysis uses, as a case study, the required changes to commercial buildings embodied in California's building energy efficiency regulations, representing a total of 4300 ha of roof area distributed over 16 climate zones. The estimated statewide mean radiative forcing per 0. 01 increase in albedo (here labeled RF01) is -1. 38 W/m 2. The resulting unit-roof-area mean annual radiative forcing impact of this regulation is -44. 2 W/m 2. This forcing is computed to counteract the positive radiative forcing of ambient atmospheric CO 2 at a rate of about 41 kg for each square meter of roof. Aggregated over the 4300 ha of cool roof estimated built in the first decade after adoption of the State regulation, this is comparable to removing about 1. 76 million metric tons (MMT) of CO 2 from the atmosphere. The point radiation data used in this study also provide perspective on the spatial variability of cool roof radiative forcing in California, with individual climate zone effectiveness ranging from -37 to -59 W/m 2 of roof. These "bottom-up" calculations validate the estimates reported for published "top down" modeling, highlight the large spatial diversity of the effects of albedo change within even a limited geographical area, and offer a potential methodology for regulatory agencies to account for the climate effects of "cool" roofing in addition to its well-known energy efficiency benefits. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

News Article | March 28, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Make that another recall for Volkswagen. After announcing a recall for its Touareg SUV due to a potential problem with its pedal systems Thursday, there's now another recall for a different VW model. CNET's Road Show spotted a data sheet from the automaker dated March 7 on which it specifies a "critical battery condition" affecting the 2015 and 2016 models of the e-Golf, its fully-electric hatchback. That data sheet was written under the topic of "high-voltage battery management system software" for immediate release to dealers earlier this month. "Under certain conditions, oversensitive diagnostics in the high-voltage battery management system may inadvertently classify a brief internal electrical current surge/peak as a critical battery condition," Volkswagen wrote under the problem description on the data sheet. "This can cause an emergency shutdown of the high-voltage battery, which in turn deactivates the vehicle's electrical drive motor. Unexpected shutdown of the vehicle's electrical drive motor ('stalling') can lead to a crash. Other vehicles systems like power steering, brakes, lights and airbags remain unaffected as they are powered by the 12V low voltage system." VW says an update to the high-voltage battery management system software will be the corrective action necessary to resolve the battery issue. Reuters reports the company is recalling close to 5,600 electric e-Golf cars. This particular recall was spotted just four days after VW and Porsche announced a worldwide recall for about 800,000 Touareg and Cayenne SUVs due to their faulty pedal systems. The troubling part of this e-Golf recall, though, is that it affects an all-electric model and EVs are part of the way that the embattled automaker could forseeably power out of its emissions scandal, getting away from diesels. Last Thursday, a federal judge gave the automaker and U.S. regulators like the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board a one-month deadline to present a detailed proposal for how it's going to bring nearly 600,000 compromised diesel vehicles into compliance standards. Under that extension, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer demanded to know the specifics of the timing of the massive fix and about any planned payments to affected owners from VW's emissions crisis by April 21. "I would hope by the 21st that as many astounding issues as possible will be wrapped up," Breyer said, according to CBS, on Thursday. Breyer sounded encouraged by the fact that ex-FBI director Robert Mueller informed him that VW, the EPA, CARB and attorneys representing class-action lawsuits for affected owners have made progress.

« Paice files complaint against VW Group with ITC alleging hybrid patent infringement | Main | FTA selects 7 projects to receive $22.5M in grants for battery-electric and fuel cell buses, infrastructure » California Air Resources Board (ARB) Chair Mary Nichols today is leading a rally of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles with Energy Commissioner Janea Scott and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) Deputy Director Tyson Eckerle on a 400-mile journey from Los Angeles to ARB headquarters in Sacramento in celebration of Earth Day. The rally is intended to highlight that these hydrogen-fueled electric vehicles are now available for sale or lease, and there is a rapidly growing statewide network of hydrogen filling stations to support them. California leads the US in developing hydrogen fueling stations, with 15 retail stations open now and more than 30 additional in development. In an effort to put my money where my mouth is, I’ve become an early adopter of electric vehicles and just recently extended my range with a new fuel cell electric vehicle. Thanks to California’s hydrogen infrastructure investments, my Toyota Mirai FCEV can get me anywhere I need to go. This rally puts the network to the test and gives us a fun opportunity to highlight that hydrogen-powered cars are essential to meeting our climate goals and a crucial tool in the state’s effort to clean up our air—especially in the Central Valley. Fuel cell electric vehicles in the rally include models from Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz. The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program is providing cost-sharing for an initial network of at least 100 stations through 2023 by investing up to $20 million each year for stations located where customers driving fuel cell electric vehicles live, work and travel. About $100 million has been invested to date to support the construction, operation and maintenance of 49 hydrogen refueling stations, including a mobile refueler. There are more than 300 fuel cell electric vehicles on the road in California today; ARB staff projects 6,650 fuel cell electric vehicles will be registered in the state in 2017, and 10,500 in 2018.

"Congressman, environmentalists say California regulators endangered public health in telling SoCal Gas to maintain supplies for heating, electricity." "Fearing a depletion of its emergency fuel reserve California regulators ordered Southern California Gas Co. to stop pumping all natural gas out of its Aliso Canyon storage facility, the main way it has been reducing the amount of methane escaping from a ruptured well. The drawdown has lowered the volume of leaking gas by 68 percent since emissions peaked Nov. 28, according to the California Air Resources Board, but regulators are now worried the effort might be tapping too much of Los Angeles’ emergency natural gas reserves. The leak has blown 4.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas into the atmosphere since it was detected Oct. 23, according to state regulators, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, whose district includes a portion of the Porter Ranch neighborhood in northwest LA, said the regulators’ top priority should be stopping the leak. “There is only one thing that has been successful or partially successful so far, and that is SoCal Gas has drained the facility down to about 25 billion cubic feet of working gas,” Sherman said at a Porter Ranch town hall meeting Friday. "Efforts to reduce the pressure and reduce the leak are [now] going to stop. Not only is that an outrage for anybody who breathes air in the North San Fernando Valley, it is also a violation of the governor’s emergency order.”"

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