Energy Exchange

Tech for change video series: No peace of mind

This post is part 2 of EDF’s Tech for Change series, which aims to spotlight the way pollution-sensing technology can protect public health and the environment in California. Watch part 1 here.

Oil and gas operations have existed for decades in California’s Central Valley and the greater Los Angeles area, but many people may not realize that over 3,500 active oil and gas wells dot LA County alone. These wells exist near schools, hospitals, and homes – which is cause for concern since oil and gas wells are known to emit dangerous chemicals like benzene, a known carcinogen.

So, what’s being done to ensure we have accurate, timely information about pollution coming from these oilfields? Very little. Few regulations require pollution monitoring at California’s oil and gas wells.

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Posted in Air Quality, California, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Tech for change video series: Backyard oilfields

This post is the first of EDF’s Tech for Change series, which spotlights the way pollution-sensing technology can protect public health and the environment in California.

Imagine having an oilfield in your backyard. That’s a fact of life for many Los Angeles residents. Nearly 600,000 people in the city live within ½ mile of an active oil well, and the city is home to the country’s largest urban oilfield (view on Google Maps).

Living so close to active oil and gas facilities is not without its risks. Public health studies have shown that communities near oil and gas operations are at increased risk of exposure to harmful pollution. The problem is that a lack of pollution monitoring near these well sites means neighboring residents don’t know what’s leaking into the air they breathe.

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Posted in Air Quality, California, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Report: LA County oil and gas sites require stronger oversight

A new report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) provides yet more evidence that greater oversight is needed to address health and safety concerns with the region’s oil and gas facilities.

Los Angeles sits directly on top of 68 active oil fields, meaning many of the city’s residents live in close proximity to harmful emissions associated with oil and gas development, including compounds that can cause cancer, respiratory diseases like asthma, severe headaches, neurological problems, and other health consequences.

LA DPH assessed the impact of urban drilling on communities in east and south LA and considered existing research to identify actions for regulators to reduce public health threats, including:

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Posted in Air Quality, Aliso Canyon, California, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

How community air monitoring projects provide a data-driven model for the future

Nicoyia Hurt, EDF Oil and Gas Health Policy Intern, contributed to this post

Downtown Los Angeles with misty morning smog.

This month marks the one year anniversary since the residents in Imperial County California did something pretty amazing.

After experiencing some of the highest asthma hospitalization rates in the state, the community got together to launch the IVAN air monitoring project– a community website that provides real time air quality data collected from 40 different pollution monitors across the county.

Frances Nicklen said the air monitors make a huge difference to her community.

"The placement of these 40 air monitors throughout the Imperial Valley will be very beneficial so that the people can make educated decisions to protect their health and that of their families," she told the Comite Civico Del Valle. “We only have one valley, and we have to live here, and we need to make it a better place for all of our residents.” Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, California, Climate, Data Access, Energy Innovation, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

How Los Angeles is walking the walk on climate

Cities across the U.S. are taking the reins on climate leadership, and Los Angeles has emerged as a hotbed for new solutions that will improve air quality and move the needle toward reaching local and state climate goals.

Strong mayoral commitment across the country

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has made it clear that growing the city sustainably is a priority. In his State of the City address in April, he assured that “if the White House pulls out of the Paris climate agreement, we’re going to adopt it right here in L.A.” – and so far he has shown commitment to that promise. The Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, co-founded by Garcetti, established a network of 367 U.S. mayors and counting, representing over 67 million Americans, committed to implementing the Paris climate agreement of limiting atmospheric temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius in their own localities. This commitment from cities across the country demonstrates that local solutions are leading the way, and Los Angeles is at the forefront.

Looking to a clean energy future in the City of Angels

Under the LA Sustainability Plan, Los Angeles must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2025, 60% by 2035 and 80% by 2050. A crucial part of reaching these aggressive goals is transitioning to a clean energy future. To that end, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), launched a study to analyze how the largest municipal utility in the U.S. can run on 100% clean energy. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Climate / Comments are closed

New Reports Raise Health Concerns About Emissions From California’s Oil and Gas Industry

For decades communities in California who live close to oil and gas facilities have reported experiencing unbearable odors of gas, headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and even cardiac complications as a result of the industry’s emissions. The health impacts of oil and gas pollution were made crystal clear last year after a massive gas leak at a Southern California storage facility led to mass hospitalizations and forced hundreds of families to evacuate their homes.

But massive gas leaks like the one at Aliso Canyon aren’t the only cause for alarm. A string of new reports confirm what many concerned communities have known for years: oil and gas emissions from across the entire supply chain can wreak havoc on our health, and are often higher than experts previously thought. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Aliso Canyon, General, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed