Thursday, April 30, 2015

San Pablo Bay EPA

Introduction to preserving the Ecology -
Throughout human existence, history records how our minds manipulate our ecology to better suit our needs. Only since the 1850s has this behavior become toxic to the ecology, and now our hands threaten to kill everything we need to survive, and making extinct non-Human species of intelligence and many other lifeforms. The gifts of the ecology are being killed by our hands, unless we put a stop to this disastrous behavior. There is no other gift but what is in our means to create.
Continuing the legacy, the mission of the San Pablo Bay EPA -
Our inspiration - "It is possible: Saving the San Francisco bay", a history of a 1960s ecology movement posted here [link].
True sovereignty for the people can only be achieved by tending to the ecology of the region where the people inhabit. The potential fall-out of anti-life technologies include radiation and dioxins, which must be contained before we see cancer and mentally defected brains lower in incidence among our population.
Benefits abound with a viable eco-system:
* Agriculture is far more productive than monopolized methods.
* Cleaner water that is cheaper than bottled (monopolized) water.
* We, the People, secure long-term health benefits free-of-charge by virtue of living within a cleaner realm.
A philosophy of anti-Life known as Fascism has overtaken the bureaucracies of monopolist capitalism, whereby all that matters in life is "profit" at the expense of all other life. Fascism promotes the destruction of a sovereign eco-system as "progress".
Today, with the rise of acidification in the oceans, the loss of glaciers and rivers across California and the world, and the destruction wrought by fascists against all of Earth's living species, we find ourselves turning a new page in the Book of Life... and the question now is, what is your place in the Book of Life?


About the San Pablo Bay:
* Part of the Sacramento Delta Bio-region
* Home to endangered species and life-forms which exist nowhere else
* 5 petroleum refineries
- Valero petroleum refinery in Benicia [link]
- Tesoro Corp. Golden Eagle refinery [link]
- Phillips 66 refinery [link]
- Chevron refinery in Richmond
- Refinery pollution monitoring [link]

* 4 Military bases:
2 decommissioned
- Naval Shipyard at Mare Island in Vallejo
- Naval Base at Skaggs Island in the marshlands
2 active
- California National Guard base at Mare Island in Vallejo
- Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield

* Dispersed commuter cities
* Carquinez Cancer Alley [link]
* Monopolist Censorship of Ecology and Science news [link]
* The San Pablo Bay is located across the Pacific Ocean from north-east Asia. The ecological fallout from the pollution of China, Japan, Russia and Korea affect the ecology of north-west North America. [link]
* Maps of the San Pablo Bay [link]

More information:
* Risks to the Estuary [link]
* Breast Cancer in the San Pablo bay area, causes and concerns [link]
* Radioactive parcels of land [link]
* Preserving the Human Ecology [link]
* Nuclear threats: Examples of world-threatening negligence [link]
* Air quality [link], Air quality impact on human health [link]
* Fallout from limitless plastic bottles [link]
* BPA-Free Plastics are still toxic [link]
* 2013 Report: "Some chemicals in S.F. Bay near levels of concern" [link]
* Atrazine pesticide [link]
* Urban Gardening and the risks of soil contaminants [link]
* Veolia transnational corp. and hostility against the ecology, and human rights [link]
* Veolia, environmental crimes, and the City of Richmond, CA (2011) [link]
* Richmond City's residents battle against criminal pollution practices of Chevron (2014) [link]
* Tesoro Golden Eagle refinery banned Federal safety agency from investigating criminal workplace safety violations [link]

Endangered Species: 
Under the 1918 Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to destroy a migratory bird’s nest and eggs, though not their habitat.
* Suisun Thistle [link]
* Lessingia flowers of San Francisco city [link]
* Legless Lizards [link]
* Seal and Sea Lions in the San Pablo bay [link]
* River Otter [link]
* Salmon and agriculture in the Delta region [link]
and, Animal Rights in the San Pablo Bay, ("for by whose right should life serve but for the existence of life itself") [link], for all members of the web of life, including those not threatened with extinction!
* Osprey Raptors [link]
* Campaign to Save the Bistate Sage Grouse [link]

Regions:

* Northeast San Pablo Bay (Solano & Contra Costa Counties) [link]
* Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta [link]

Officially Protected areas: 

* Lynch Canyon (Solano County) [link]
* Rush Ranch (Solano county) [link]
* Golden Gate National Recreation Area [link]
* North-West Napa Valley regional parks [link]
* Rush Creek Open Space Preserve [link]
* Hamilton/Bel Marin Keys Wetlands Restoration [hamiltonwetlands.scc.ca.gov]
* San Pablo Bay Wildlife Refuge [link]
* Mt. Diablo native flowers in bloom after seasonal fire [link]
* Breuner Marsh restoration project [link]
* San Francisco Mountain Lake wetland rehabilitation [link]

Campaigns:
* Vallejo-Benicia Buffer Greenbelt habitat renewal [link]
* Valero Benicia's bringing increased mercury pollution and ecocide through it's "crude-by-rail" project... [link]
* Save the Delta and California Rivers! [link]
* Suisun Marsh ecology threatened by Super-Dump [link]
* Educating the public about Radiation from Fukushima [link]
* Save the Birds! [link
* Save the Bees! [link]
* Demand safer drinking water in California! [link]
* To Mitigate Ecological Fallout from Activities at the Lake Herman Quarry [link]
* The San Pablo Bay Ecological Preservation Association (SEPA) advocates for the placement of info signs with advice about how to deal with seals and sea lions, like what fish they eat and what to do when they get snagged on fishing lines. These info signs will be placed at recreational fisher areas, and as pamphlets at marinas.
* Environmental Justice: 2014 Study from the University of Minnesota [link]
* Suisun Estuary threatened by Potrero Hills "superdump" landfill [link]
* Adapting Human-Altered Landscapes for the benefit of ecological niches [link]

Ecology Solidarity with other campaigns!
* "Put the Brakes on Caltrans" campaign [link]
* Occupy Willits Bypass! Save Little Lake Valley! [link]
* Friends of the Gualala River ask Artesa Vineyards & Winery: "Don’t destroy redwood forest for vineyards" [link]
* Save Richardson Grove! [link]
* "Stop Green Diamond" campaign page [link]
* LNG refinery in the San Pablo Bay? No Way! [link]
* Preserve the Klamath River watershed [link]
* Campaign to preserve the San Vincente Redwoods near Santa Cruz [link]
* The corporate poisoning of Columbia, Mississippi [link]
* Protect the migrating Monarch Butterfly of North America [link]
* Arctic Sea Ice, live satellite feed [link]
* PFOA poisoning covered-up by DuPont corporation [link]
* Preserve the Boreal Bird Habitat of North America [link]
* Amphibian preservation efforts in the Bay Area (2014-04) [link]
* Efforts to preserve pollinator insects in California (2014-04) [link]

Projects:
* Butterfly Gardening [link]
* Inviting Wildlife into your backyard [link]
* Seed Balls [link]
* Creating a Backyard Habitat [link]
* DIY Mosquito Trap [link]
* Hummingbirds at Home guide from the Audubon Society [hummingbirdsathome.org]. "Together, we can help hummingbirds Join us as a citizen scientist to help learn more about hummingbirds and how to protect them."

"New Technique Allows Frequent Water Quality Monitoring For Suite of Pollutants", 2014-03 [link]

** The Profit Motive and the Government Mandate of Environmental Protection, antagonistic in it's implementation, has lead to a foundation of corruption at the Federal and State EPAs, as accounted for here [link] **

"A poison kills you," says biology professor Frederick vom Saal. "A chemical like BPA reprograms your cells and ends up causing a disease in your grandchild that kills him."


Ecological Preservation Resources:
Organizations who help preserve the ecology through field studies, advocacy, fundraising, and advice -

For the preservation of amphibians -
* [www.amphibiaweb.org]
* [SavetheFrogs.com]

For the preservation of native species habitat -
* [napavalleycnps.org/index.php/native-plant-links]
* Solano Conservation and Restoration Manual [link] from CAFF.org

Annual "Pulse of the Bay" report, focusing on different aspects of monitoring data. [www.sfei.org/content/pulse-of-the-bay-2013].

Biennial "State of the San Francisco Estuary" Conference in Oakland. [www.sfestuary.org/SOE].

San Francisco Bay Keeper
[baykeeper.org]


"Toxins in your house", 2013-11-05 message from Bay Wise: Most people do not realize that seemingly innocent household and gardening products can cause storm-water pollution. This is an issue that the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, a consortium of local storm-water-pollution-prevention agencies, is dealing with daily. One of our key goals is to educate the public about polluting products to help residents make changes to reduce pollution they might be causing, without realizing it. Our website, at [www.baywise.org], offers a room-by-room house guide for making less-toxic choices.
In 2014, we'll also be releasing an app to make it easy for Bay Area consumers to make better choices when shopping for gardening products and avoid pesticides that cause toxicity in creeks throughout the Bay Area and the state. Changing consumer behaviors can help water quality.

Earth Defense for the Environment Now! (EDEN) of Napa Valley
[edennapa.org]

Friends of the San Pablo Bay Wildlife Refuge
[pickleweed.org/aboutus.htm]

Vallejo Watershed Alliance
[PO Box 1630, Vallejo, CA 94590] [VallejoWatershedAlliance.org]
2011-12-01 "Vallejo Watershed Alliance Improving Vallejo" by Craig Whittom from "Vallejo News" newsletter Issue 9, published by the City of Vallejo: In 2005, a local fisherman approached the Vallejo Sanitation & Flood Control District with a simple problem. He was concerned about water quality in Lake Chabot, and hoped that the District would help him find solutions to the urban impacts facing the lake. That early idea formed the basis of the Vallejo Watershed Alliance, a community based volunteer group of interested residents, local public agencies and non-profits who get together once a month to enhance and protect the waterways of Vallejo.The Alliance hosts creek cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and sees itself as a force for positive change in Vallejo. The next Vallejo Watershed Alliance activity will take place on Saturday, January 21 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will plant native trees and shrubs in Hanns Park. The group supplies tools and refreshments, and strongly recommends wearing sturdy clothes, closed-toe shoes, hats and gloves. Attendees should park in the Hanns Park parking lot on Skyline, just off Redwood Parkway, and follow the signs up the bike path to the restoration site. For more information, visit the VWA website at: www.VallejoWatershedAlliance.org.

Friends of Chabot Lake
[friendsoflakechabot.com]
Doug Darling [ddfish4life@sbcglobal.net] [707-373-1766]
"Education, recreation and preservation for a healthy watershed and a healthy community"
What is a Friend? A "Friend" could be a fisherperson, a child, an adult.
A "Friend of Lake Chabot" is just that, someone who doesn't intentionally litter or harm the environment in some way, someone who simply appreciates nature.


Solano Land Trust
[solanolandtrust.org] [solanolandtrust.org/CalendarList.aspx]

Napa River Steelhead
[PO Box 6291, Napa CA 94581] [707-256-9129] [napariversteelhead@gmail.com]

Wholly H2o (California's Integrated Water Reuse Management Center)
[whollyh2o.org]

Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County
[NapaWildlifeRescue.org] [707-224-HAWK (4295)]

Napa County Wildlife Conservation Commission [www.countyofnapa.org/Wildlife]

California Association of Resource Conservation Districts [www.carcd.org/home0.aspx]
* Marin County RCD [www.marinrcd.org]
* Sonoma RCD [www.sonomarcd.org]
* Southern Sonoma RCD [sscrcd.org/news.php]
* Gold Ridge RCD [www.goldridgercd.org]
* Napa County RCD [www.naparcd.org]
* Solano County RCD [www.solanorcd.org]
* Dixon RCD [www.dixonrcd.org]
* Yolo County RCD [www.yolorcd.org]
* Contra Costa County RCD [www.ccrcd.org]
* Alameda County RCD [www.acrcd.org]
* San Mateo County RCD [www.sanmateorcd.org]
* Mendocino County RCD [mcrcd.org]
* Humboldt County RCD [humboldtrcd.org]

Death of a Million Trees
[milliontrees.me]
"Saving trees from needless destruction in the San Francisco Bay Area"

North Coast Stream Flow Coalition (NCSFC)
OUR MISSION IS TO RESTORE HEALTHY NORTH COAST STREAM FLOWS
[www.ourstreamsflow.org] [707-255-7434] [2945 Atlas Peak Rd. Napa, CA 94558]
NCSFC, formed in 2010 to improve the health of the North Coast streams due to dewatering of streams from human impacts. North Coast streams provide vast ecosystems values including fishing, swimming and recreation for the public and are part of California’s natural heritage. These rivers and streams are national treasures and must be protected to the fullest extent possible by resource agencies as they have been in rapid decline due to pollution and water diversions. Despite grassroots stewardship, advocacy and litigations these mighty rivers are loosing their ecosystems values and native fisheries are vanishing in our generation.
North Coast Stream Flow Coalition Member Organizations:
* Environmental Protection Information Center
* Community Clean Water Institute
* Coast Action Group
* Friends of the Navarro Watershed
* Friends of the Gualala River
* Friends of the Eel River
* Humboldt Baykeeper
* Institute for Conservation Advocacy, Research and Education
* Klamath Forest Alliance
* Klamath Riverkeeper
* Maacama Watershed Alliance
* Willets Outlet Creek Watershed Group
* Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
* Institute for Fisheries Resources
* Sonoma County Water Coalition
* Living Rivers Council
* Earth Defense for the Environment Now
* Save Mark West Creek Conservation Corps North Bay [conservationcorpsnorthbay.org]

UC Master Gardeners of Napa County
[ucanr.edu/sites/ucmgnapa]


Conservation Corps North Bay
[conservationcorpsnorthbay.org]


Friends Of The River
[friendsoftheriver.org] [info@friendsoftheriver.org] [1418 20th St., Suite 100, Sacramento CA 95811] [888.464.2477]

Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
[stewardsofthecoastandredwoods.org] [stewards@mcn.org] [PO Box 2 Duncans Mills, CA 95430]  [707-869-9177]


Napa-Solano Audubon Society
[napasolanoaudubon.com]

San Francisco Bay Whale Watching
[sfbaywhalewatching.com]


Napa River Steelhead
[PO Box 6291, Napa CA 94581] [707-256-9129] [napariversteelhead@gmail.com]
Working together to preserve a true Napa Valley Native - Our mission: Napa River Steelhead (NRS) is a community-based organization committed to restoring and preserving the native steelhead trout population in the Napa River and its tributaries. NRS is working diligently to accomplish its goals in the following ways: - Tributary Barrier Removal - Community Awareness & Education - Habitat Restoration - Steelhead Census - Fundraising & Grant Applications - Improving Water Quality and Instream Flow - Stranded Fish Rescue
NRS is currently engaged with other common-goal organizations both locally and state wide, such as: - California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) - National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) - Napa County Resource Conservation District (NCRCD) - Friends of the Napa River (FNR) - Watershed Information Center & Conservancy of Napa Valley (WICC)

Greenbelt Alliance
[greenbelt.org]

Eco Center Calender
[ecologycenter.org/calendar]

Richmond, Ecuador
[richmondecuador.wordpress.com]
Exploring connections between Richmond, California and Lago Agrio, Ecuador.

Nuclear Free California
[nuclearfreecal.org]

Bay Area Environmental Education Resource Fair
[baeerfair.org/baeerfair_resources.html]

Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa County
[napawildliferescue.org] [707-224-4295 (HAWK)]

Clean Cargo Center: Community Resources for Reducing Diesel Air Pollution from the Freight Industry
[nrdc.org/air/diesel-exhaust/community-resources.asp]


California Native Plant Society
[cnps.org]
- Willis Linn Jepson (Solano County) [cnpsjepson.dreamhosters.com]
- Sanhedrin (Ukiah) [cnps-sanhedrin.org]
- Napa Valley [napavalleycnps.org]
- Milo Baker (Sonoma County) [milobaker.cnps.org]

West County Hawk Watch Raptor Study Group (WCHW) [westcountyhawkwatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/bay-area-birds-of-prey-upcoming-tours.html]
West County Hawk Watch is a North Bay Area Group that brings attention to threats that North American Birds of Prey face. We provide Identification and Education programs, hikes, tours and workshops. WCHW monitors the encroachment of wind turbines into Sonoma and Marin. We do Nest site protection. Raptor Migration counts, studies and documentation. Children’s Educational Program providing hawk books for kids. Event dates are on the right hand side below. Please Help Support our efforts.

San Francisco Bay Joint Venture
[sfbayjv.org]

Center for Biological Diversity
[biologicaldiversity.org]

San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
[sfbaynerr.org/about-us]

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Court Throws Out Lumber Liquidators’ Lawsuit Against Environmental Group" (2015-04-16)

* Court Deems Lumber Liquidators’ Case a “SLAPP” Suit
* Orders Flooring Giant to Pay Attorneys’ Fees and Costs
* Also see "GCM announces new testing results of Lumber Liquidators Chinese-made laminates; All Chinese-made laminates purchased for testing failed CARB standards" (2015-03-02) [https://archive.today/pIgiw].
(Oakland, CA) Yesterday a California environmental advocacy group won a resounding Court judgment against flooring giant Lumber Liquidators’ claims of defamation.  In a strongly worded 21-page decision, a judge ruled that Lumber Liquidator’s lawsuit against Global Community Monitor (GCM) was a strategic lawsuit against public participation and a clear violation of California’s anti-SLAPP law.
The court battle stemmed from a Proposition 65 lawsuit GCM filed last year against the company for high levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde found in Chinese-made laminate flooring sold by the company.  Lumber Liquidators responded with a defamation suit, which was struck down yesterday.
“Lumber Liquidators tried to silence us and the court saw through it,” stated Denny Larson, Executive Director of Global Community Monitor.  “The court recognized that we have a constitutional right to free speech and the public likewise has a right to know if any product they buy may be harmful to their families’ health.”
California’s anti-SLAPP statute provides for the “early dismissal of unmeritorious claims filed to interfere with the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances.” As Judge Carvill noted in his decision, “The anti-SLAPP statute is ‘construed broadly’ to achieve its goal of ensuring that ‘participation in matters of public significance’ is not ‘chilled through abuse of the judicial process.’” The judge goes on to conclude that Lumber Liquidators’ defamation claims against GCM do not “have any likelihood of success.”
In addition, the Court ordered Lumber Liquidators to pay the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by GCM for having to defend the meritless SLAPP suit.  GCM’s attorney, Richard Drury of Lozeau Drury LLP stated, “This is a good day for free speech and for the consumers of the State of California who are concerned that Chinese-made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contains cancer-causing formaldehyde far above levels allowed by law.”
###

Global Community Monitor is a nonprofit environmental health and justice organization empowering communities to prevent their exposure to toxic chemicals and promote healthy outcomes for all. Global Community Monitor is joined in the Proposition 65 lawsuit by Sunshine Park, a firm affiliated with private investment companies that have substantial short financial exposure to Lumber Liquidators. Sunshine Park and its affiliates have financed extensive testing and have conducted substantial on-the-ground investigation regarding Chinese-made laminate flooring production.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Collins Pine Company Sued by Global Community Monitor & Community Health Watch For Clean Water Act Violations and Toxic Releases Into Drinking Water Supply

Hundreds of Self-Reported Violations - Polluted Discharges into Drinking Water -
(2015-04-09, Chester, CA) A Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water and Toxics Enforcement Act (“Proposition 65”) lawsuit was served today in the federal Eastern District Court of California against Collins Pine Company for its sawmill and biomass incinerator operations, which have caused pollution for years in this small community of approximately 2,000 residents. The suit was filed by Aqua Terra Aeris (ATA) Law Group on behalf of local group, Community Health Watch (CHW), and an international toxics watchdog, Global Community Monitor (GCM) (who was recently featured on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper (http://www.gcmonitor.org/watch-gcm-on-60-minutes). Community Health Watch and Global Community Monitor seek an injunction to halt the habitual and pervasive pollution caused by Collins Pine Company’s discharges, emissions and dumping of toxic pollutants, in addition to civil penalties.
State and federal law prohibit discharges of carcinogens, reproductive toxics and pollutants as a means to avoid harm to persons and the environment. Hundreds of hours of research on official reports revealed significant, continuing pollution caused by the Collins Pine Company to drinking water sources, forested land, and surface waters in Chester, CA and the surrounding areas.
“These discharges and releases of toxics and water pollutants were more than the occasional lapse – the self-reported violations suggest an unlawful pattern and practice engaged in by CPC. Despite violations noted by regulators over a number of years, we continue to discover additional violations,” said Matthew Maclear of ATA Law Group.
With hundreds of self-reported violations and other discharges and emissions of Proposition 65 listed chemicals, the public health of the local community has been adversely affected according to information collected by local leaders of Community Health Watch.
The families in the Chester deserve clean air and water free of cancer causing chemicals," said Denny Larson of GCM.  "The apparent rampant releases from the outdated incinerator and treatment technologies must stop."
The violations noted to date, include disposals and discharges containing known carcinogens, reproductive toxicants and other pollutants. Ineffective government oversight has failed to stop the ongoing pollution. CHW and GCM are requesting that Collins Pine Company be required to manage its operations properly in conformance with state and federal laws.
CHW is an unincorporated citizen group located in Chester, California. The mission and focus of CHW is to protect the combined social, health, environmental and cultural conditions that influence individuals and the community in the Chester and Lake Almanor area of Plumas County, California
GCM is a nonprofit public-benefit corporation, based in El Cerrito, California, whose mission is to protect the global environmental through education, community mobilizing, training and focus on underserved communities harmed by industrial pollution.
ATA Law Group represents nonprofits, community groups, property owners, environmental justice communities and individuals impacted by pollution.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"GCM Announces New Testing Results of Lumber Liquidators Chinese‐made Laminates; All Chinese‐made Laminates Purchased for Testing Failed CARB Standards" (2015-03-02)

CONSUMERS CONTACT:  Linda Dardarian, 800‐538‐1467

Why These Tests Matter -
As noted in the 60 Minutes report, which aired on March 1, 2015, probably tens of thousands of households in California and probably hundreds of thousands of households nationwide are being exposed to formaldehyde emissions from Lumber Liquidators Chinese‐made laminate flooring. According to its website, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) "evaluated formaldehyde exposure in California and found that one of the major sources of exposure is from inhalation of formaldehyde emitted from composite wood products containing urea‐formaldehyde resins. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified formaldehyde from "probably carcinogenic to humans" to "carcinogenic to humans" in 2004, based on the increased risk of nasopharyngeal cancer. Formaldehyde was also designated as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) in California in 1992 with no safe level of exposure. State law requires [C]ARB to take action to reduce human exposure to all TACs" [http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/compwood.htm].
Lumber Liquidators (LL) has stated that it had "over 620,000 customer transactions" in 2014 alone. LL also states that Laminate, Bamboo, Cork, and Vinyl Plank together accounted for 38% of net sales in 2014. In previous years, LL also disclosed that laminates were 22%, 23%, and 21% of net sales in 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively (Source: Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. SEC filings)

The Standards -
CARB's emissions standards regulate the formaldehyde emissions from "composite wood products"such as particleboard, plywood, and medium density fiberboard (MDF). These composite wood products are used in finished goods such as laminate flooring, furniture, or shelving. The underlying particleboard, plywood, or MDF is sometimes referred to as the "core" of the finished good. CARB's emission standards make it unlawful to sell products, including laminate wood flooring, in California that contain composite wood cores that exceed certain formaldehyde levels set by CARB.

The Test Method & Results -
The tests analyzed Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring purchased in California both in stores and online - the same flooring that consumers would purchase. Lumber Liquidators states that this laminate flooring complies with the CARB Phase 2 Formaldehyde standard. Three different laboratories conducted extensive testing on this flooring - these labs performed over 80 "deconstruction tests" (of which 76 were on Chinese‐made laminates) using the CARB‐approved finished goods methodology and over 200 other formaldehyde tests.
Every single U.S.‐made Lumber Liquidators laminate product purchased for testing passed the CARB standard. Every single Chinese‐made Lumber Liquidators laminate product purchased for testing failed the CARB standard - and by a large average margin. The average formaldehyde emissions of the Chinese‐made products tested was over 6x the CARB legal limit for the MDF core.

Average Formaldehyde Emissions in Tested Lumber Liquidators' Chinese‐Made and US‐Made
Laminate Flooring Purchased by Plaintiffs for Testing.
China: 76 Tests / USA: 5 Tests.
CARB Phase II Limit: MDF 0.11 ppm


All Three Laboratories Used the CARB‐Approved Test Method -
Each of the testing laboratories used the finished goods sample preparation method and test method developed by CARB and published on CARB's website. This is the official CARB test method. CARB has only one published test method for testing for formaldehyde in finished products containing composite wood cores, and that is the test method the independent laboratories used.  
The purpose of the deconstruction is to expose the composite wood core so that its emissions can be compared against CARB's numeric limit. CARB has published a "Standard Operating Procedure" for finished goods testing. This SOP can be found in the "Test Methods" section of CARB's website [http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/outreach/testmethods.htm].
According to this SOP, this procedure "is to be used to prepare a finished good for laboratory testing to determine if the finished good complies with" CARB standards [http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/outreach/compwood_sop_fg_decon_091313.pdf]. Senior CARB  personnel have confirmed that the SOP is the official CARB methodology for analyzing formaldehyde emissions from finished goods.  
Lumber Liquidators has criticized the CARB test method, but that industry argument has long since been rejected by CARB. CARB's official legislative history from 2007 states (Agency Response, 24‐Landry‐070423‐CWIC [http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2007/compwood07/fsorcompwood07.pdf]) [begin excerpt]: Yes it is correct that finished products must be deconstructed to test for compliance. But, we disagree that there is great uncertainty in the enforcement program. Deconstructive testing is needed for finished goods to verify compliance with the emission standards. We are currently developing the sample preparation and testing protocols that we will use to enforce the ATCM (see page 127 of the ISOR). The sample preparation and emission testing protocol we use to  enforce the ATCM will be technically sound and will be more than adequate to identify non‐compliant composite wood products found in finished goods for California. [end excerpt]
Although Lumber Liquidators says it has done testing, it does not say that it has performed   deconstructive testing. The company also posted a chart of "Fiberboard Core Testing" on its website. If these tests were performed by "Third Party Certifiers" (TPCs) in China, it would only indicate that the core manufacturer is capable of producing CARB‐compliant cores - not that the cores used in Lumber Liquidators' products are actually CARB compliant. As noted by 60 Minutes, "[e]mployees at the mills openly admitted that they use core boards with higher levels of formaldehyde to make Lumber Liquidators laminates, they also admitted falsely labeling the company's laminate flooring as CARB2". In addition, TPCs sometimes conduct testing on pre‐scheduled dates (rather like announcing the location of highway "speed traps.")
CARB defines a Third Party Certifier as "an organization or entity approved by the Executive Officer that verifies the accuracy of the emission test procedures and facilities used by manufacturers to conduct formaldehyde emission tests, monitors manufacturer quality assurance programs, and provides independent audits and inspections" [http://www.arb.ca.gov/toxics/compwood/certifiers.htm].
Therefore, TPC tests do not, and cannot, prove that all of Lumber Liquidators' Chinese‐made products sold in the United States comply with CARB standards. Lumber Liquidators has acknowledged as much in a public court filing: "A [third‐party certification] is obtained from an approved, third‐party testing lab that tests samples of products - not every product - for formaldehyde levels. Thus, LL's statement that it obtains [third‐party certifications] from its suppliers (mills) is in no way a representation that every single product meets CARB's standards." See Donnie Williamson, et al., v Lumber Liquidators, Inc. Case #1:14‐00035‐GBL‐TCB. "Memorandum in Support of Defendant Lumber Liquidators, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6)."
---

Update, 2015-03-12:
Lumber Liquidators Admits CARB Tests Resulted in a Preliminary Agency Finding That Some Products Exceed Formaldehyde Limits -
Today, Lumber Liquidators acknowledged that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has tested Lumber Liquidators’ products and preliminary results show that some of the products exceed the CARB formaldehyde standard.  The admission was made by the company’s CEO, Robert Lynch during a conference call.  Lumber Liquidators also announced, for the first time, that it is offering free formaldehyde tests and potentially the replacement of floors which may be found to exceed acceptable levels of formaldehyde.
The transcript from today’s briefing states:  “CARB has ‘deconstructed’ our products in routine inspections, as well as we believe others in the industry, in order to try to determine if the core materials complied. In CARB's preliminary findings, some of our samples they deconstructed and tested (due to the variability of the test) exceeded the limits for raw cores.”
“CARB testing is the standard to which Lumber Liquidators’ laminate products must be held,” said Denny Larson, Executive Director of GCM.  “They admitted today that CARB has made a preliminary finding that some of their products have failed to pass the formaldehyde test conducted by CARB.  Lumber Liquidators must go farther to make sure that all of their laminate products comply with the standard and provide increased protection for the consumers.”  GCM has asked Lumber Liquidators to disclose which products failed the CARB testing and by how much above the CARB formaldehyde standard.  Lumber Liquidators’ laminate products have now failed to pass the CARB formaldehyde test conducted dozens of times by 60 Minutes, at least three independent laboratories, and apparently by CARB itself.  While Lumber Liquidators continues to dispute the test method, the test method has been adopted, published and applied by CARB itself.
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About the authors:
Global Community Monitor is a nonprofit environmental health and justice organization empowering   communities to prevent their exposure to toxic chemicals and promote healthy outcomes for all. Global Community Monitor is joined in the Proposition 65 lawsuit by Sunshine Park, a firm affiliated with private investment companies that have substantial short financial exposure to Lumber Liquidators. Sunshine  Park and its affiliates have financed extensive testing and have conducted substantial on‐the‐ground investigation regarding Chinese‐made laminate flooring production.

City of Napa has detected levels of disinfection byproducts above drinking water standards

More information about Trihalomethanes at [https://archive.today/xUBcU].

Thursday, February 5, 2015

To Mitigate Ecological Fallout from Activities at the Lake Herman Quarry

Goal:
* To verify whether or not there are Cinnabar deposits at the area of the quarry.
* To place wind barriers along the hillsides of the region and gauge particulate pollution originating from activity at the quarry.
* To preserve water resources.


"Company seeks to expand its strip mining in Solano County", 2013-08-07 by Tony Burchyns from Vallejo Times-Herald [http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_23811618/company-seeks-expand-its-strip-mining-solano-county] [https://archive.today/MHg7x]:
Syar Industries is seeking Solano County approval to nearly double its strip-mining operation near Vallejo. The project would expand the quarry pit from 113 to 211 acres and increase the permitted annual extraction rate from 2 million to 4 million tons. It would also deepen the pit by 200 feet and allow 24-hour operation during times of emergency or unusually high demand, according to its environmental impact report. Solano County planners released the environmental document on July 22. The public comment period ends Sept. 4.
The project is of interest to the city of Benicia, which has raised concerns about aesthetics, agriculture, traffic and natural habitats as well as air and water quality. The city's Sky Vallejo Open Space Committee is scheduled to review the environmental document on Aug. 21.
Located in unincorporated Solano County on the slopes of Sulphur Springs Mountain, the quarry is bordered to the north, east and south mostly by range land and open space. The Blue Rock Springs Golf Course, owned by Vallejo, is located northwest of the property.
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* "Mining Napa's eastern hills" (2013-07-13) [http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/mining-napa-s-eastern-hills/article_c6ca0fb0-ec15-11e2-bff9-001a4bcf887a.html] [https://archive.today/5vDSP]


Bay Area Concrete Aggregates: Syar - Lake Herman Quarry
[http://www.act-right.net/AggregateProject/syar-herman.shtml] [https://archive.today/HdHyw] (the webpage includes an erroneus map placing the quarry 20 miles away in another county!):
Lake Herman, Vallejo is a quarry producing 100% crushed basalt rock. This is currently mostly used for asphalt and aggregate base, since thus far it has been uneconomical to use for concrete aggregates.
Quarry total output is approximately 2 million tons per year, and supply is estimated at 50 years, although the quarry is up for re-permitting in three years.


Vallejo/Lake Herman Readymix Plant
[http://www.syarconcrete.com/concreteLakeHerman.html] [https://archive.today/gxH8t]:
Syar’s high production Vallejo/Lake Herman Readymix Plant, located in Vallejo, Solano County, primarily services Contra Costa, Napa and Solano counties as well as areas of Marin County with Caltrans specified concrete products. This plant is connected to Syar Concrete’s other locations through a centralized dispatch system which serves the needs of customers by dispatching readymix concrete products to construction projects from the plant with the quickest haul. Among other significant regional projects, this plant supplied much of the concrete poured at both Carquinez Bridges.


Syar quarry in Vallejo (2007) [https://archive.today/80XiQ]



Syar Vallejo gravel quarry 1993-2012 [https://archive.today/IHzrc]
Sulfur Mt will vanish - Syar industries at work since 1980's. (photo 2009-05)



Dark bluish-gray basaltic and the burnt-red tuffic rock line a Syar Industry Quarry in Vallejo as seen from the air on May 25, 2013 [https://archive.today/93Cjx]



Near St John's Mine, Vallejo [https://archive.today/9saaP]
* St. John's Mine (Wikipedia, retrieved 2015-02) [https://archive.today/mnxH2]: Principal ongoing impact is from mercury contamination of spring water flowing beneath the site. Furthermore, the drainage from St. John's Mine flows to receiving waters of Rindler Creek and thence to Lake Chabot. Miles of underground shafts were driven in the course of working the quicksilver deposits in the area. In 1989, Earth Metrics reviewed old 1918 maps of workings of the Hastings and St. John's Mines and found that mine shafts were not driven into the site prior to the year 1918.


More on the ecological fallout from closed mercury mines:
"Alaska seeks cleanup of mercury mine threatening villages" (2012-08-20) [https://archive.today/8Bal6]

Saturday, January 31, 2015