Author: Joe Eaton

Cleaner Air, Fewer Health Hazards from Bay Area Refineries

In July, the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District voted 19-3 to amend its Regulation 6, Rule 5, requiring fossil fuel refineries under its jurisdiction to reduce particulate matter emissions from their fluidized catalytic cracking units (“cat crackers” in refinery parlance), a major point source of pollution. The move gave the Bay Area the nation’s most health-protective and stringent regulation on particulate emissions, a recognized health hazard.

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Butterflies in Residence Hedge Against Climate Change?

While monarch butterfly numbers at traditional winter roosts on the California coast hit an all-time low of about 2000 last winter, citizen-science observers have noticed that some remain in the San Francisco Bay Area year-round. Biologists Elizabeth Crone (Tufts University) and Cheryl Schulz (Washington State University) estimate a resident population of 12,000 in northern and central California, extrapolating from a Berkeley survey.

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