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San Joaquin County Environment Digest

PG&E Hit With $225-Million Lawsuit for 2021 Dixie Fire Damages


A coalition of timber businesses filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the embattled Pacific Gas & Electric Co., alleging $225 million in damages caused by the 2021 Dixie Fire.

California Requires New Homes to Have Solar Panels. Should Wildfire Victims Get a Break?


A California Republican’s bill would exempt low and middle income wildfire victims from solar panels requirements on rebuilt homes that didn’t have them when they burned down.

California's Largest Reservoir Is Close to Full


California's reservoirs are brimming with water, and even Shasta Lake could fill up.

Part of Highway 1 Near Big Sur Crumbles as New Landslide Closes More of Historic Roadway


Highway 1 is closed indefinitely from Palo Colorado Road to Rocky Creek Bridge, the California Department of Transportation said on social media after a new landslide eroded part of the roadway.

Salmon Populations Are Struggling, Bringing Economic Woes for California's Fishing Fleet


Captains of fishing boats on the California coast are bracing for salmon fishing to be severely restricted — or possibly canceled for a second year.

Free Drive-Thru Recycling in Lathrop April 20


The City of Lathrop is hosting an Earth Day Recycling Event on Saturday, April 20 at Mossdale Landing Community Park, 700 Towne Centre Drive, from 9AM to noon.

Feds Propose Killing Nearly 500,000 'Invasive' Owls to Save Calif. Native Owls


The goal is to eliminate habitat competition between "invasive" owls and native owls.

You Might Spot a Mountain Lion in California, but Attacks Like the One That Killed a Man Are Rare


If hikers, bikers, campers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts haven't encountered a mountain lion while in the California wilderness, they might know somebody who has.

Manteca Wastewater Treatment Costs to Rise


The City of Manteca is preparing for alternative means of disposing of biomass solids resulting from the treatment of city wastewater to comply with a state mandate.

Alan G. Sieroty, Former State Senator Who Helped Create the Coastal Commission, Dies at 93


Sieroty, of Beverly Hills, served as a state Assembly member and senator, championing disability rights and efforts to protect California's coast.

California Unlikely to Meet Landmark Goals for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions


California will miss its goals unless it can increase emission reductions threefold, according to a new study.

Four Tribes in California Receive Federal Funds to Boost Access to Electricity


For many living on the Yurok Tribe’s reservation, which lies in and around Humboldt County, access to electricity has been spotty for years — if that access has existed at all. 

Environmental Groups Sue to Block Wildfire Cleanup


Cleanup of the wildfires of 2020 and 2021 in the Sequoia National Forest is facing opposition from environmental groups.

San Joaquin County Seeks Volunteers for Community Cleanups


The County is inviting residents, businesses and local organizations to participate in upcoming cleanup events to help clear refuse and debris from community locations and waterways.

Wildfires Are Killing California’s Ancient Giants. Can Seedlings Save the Species?


Ecologists estimate that up to 14,000 sequoias have been killed in recent wildfires. The National Park Service for the first time has begun replanting some severely burned areas.

After Heavy Storms, Death Valley Is Now Open to Kayakers


A temporary lake in Death Valley National Park doubled after recent rains and is now deep enough to launch a kayak. Prior to August, ghostly Lake Manly hadn’t appeared in 19 years.

How Are Atmospheric Rivers Affected by Climate Change?


Atmospheric rivers are well-known weather phenomena along the West Coast. But the intensity of recent atmospheric rivers is almost certainly affected by human-caused climate change.

Some Experts Are Proposing a Category 6 Storm Rating


A handful of super powerful tropical storms in the last decade and the prospect of more to come has a couple of experts proposing a new category of whopper hurricanes: Category 6.

The Terrifying Forces That Created a California Monster Storm


The storm fed off of unusually warm waters as it grew. It also reached “bomb cyclone” status as it neared California.

Imperiled Monarch Butterflies Cling to Survival in California


Monarch butterflies have a long way to go before reaching stable population numbers.

A Fire Burning Inside an L.A. County Landfill is Raising Alarms Over Toxic Air


As an underground fire burns deep within Chiquita Canyon Landfill, air regulators are raising alarms over the possible spread of toxic vapors.

Scientists Debunk California Biblical-Storm Hysteria Swirling on Internet


What is an ARkStorm and why is everyone talking about it on social media right now?

‘Hot Droughts’ Are Becoming More Common in the Arid West, New Study Finds


Take a period of limited rainfall. Add heat. And you have what scientists call a “hot drought”—dry conditions made more intense by the evaporative power of hotter temperatures.

Sunken WWII Tugboat Removed From the Delta, Heads to Scrapyard


The Mazapeta, a 1940s-era military tugboat, is on the way to its final port of call. The city of Stockton coordinated with Lind Marine, which barged the vessel to Mare Island, where it will eventually be dismantled for salvage.

Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History Begins


The removal entered a critical phase with the lowering of dammed reservoirs on the Klamath River. “This is historic and life-changing,” tribal attorney Amy Cordalis said. “And it means that the Yurok people have a future.”

Climate Change Might Lessen Bay Area Fog


The Bay Area’s fog is iconic. But the latest episode of KQED podcast “Bay Curious” looks at how climate change could reduce the number of foggy days in the area.

WWII-Era Dump Site Found Off LA Coast


Munition boxes, depth charges and smoke floats have been found 3,000 feet underwater off the coast of Los Angeles. More than 100 square miles of ocean might be contaminated.

Snow Shortage Followed by Potential Whiteout in Sierras


Heavy snow is projected in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Previously, warmer storms had been bringing precipitation mainly to higher elevations in the Sierras.

The Chickadee in the Snowbank


Research shows that a mountain chickadee facing deep snow is like a canary in a coal mine—its survivability tells us about the challenges ahead.

Bright Blue Waves Return to Southern California


Bright blue waves have been spotted in Long Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach. The bioluminescence is caused by organisms known as dinoflagellates and can impact fish populations.

Sierra Snowpack at 25% of Usual Levels


The California Department of Water Resources has found that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is at just 25% of normal levels for this time of year. This could potentially impact water supply and wildfire protection.

Galt Winter Bird Festival to Be a Week-Long Event


The Galt Winter Bird Festival returns in late January, and the event will be running a bit longer than it had in previous years.

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