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Tell the EPA to Keep Pollution in Check and Protect our Beaches

Peter Lehner

United States

Hitting the beach this summer? So is car grease and oil, cigarette butts, human and animal waste—all the pollution that stormwater can move.

It’s disgusting, and it’s the biggest known cause of beach closures and swimming advisories every year. Stormwater runoff also overloads many older sewer systems and sends sewage spilling into our waterways.

New rules would reduce runoff and prevent it from contaminating waterways by naturally filtering stormwater into the ground or letting it evaporate. The Environmental Protection Agency was supposed to propose improvements to modernize its stormwater regulations in June—but it hasn’t. Tell the EPA to put limits on stormwater runoff and keep our beaches safe.

Image via Shutterstock:

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  • urban_sustainability

    Hello! Just in case any of you are interested in further developing your tool kits as environmental change-makers (in Los Angeles and elsewehere), I wanted to reach out on behalf of the M.A. in Urban Sustainability Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles.

    You can learn more about our program here:, but if any of you would like to talk more about the interdisciplinary degree, drop us a line at We'd love to chat.

    Thanks, and hope this doesn't feel too spammy!

  • Daniel Ferra

    "Right now the course of our future is being set by the fossil fuel industry, the most powerful corporations in the history of the world, and they’re steering us off a cliff into a raging inferno. They fight each day to blow up more mountains for coal, demolish more land and oceans for oil and shatter more of the ground beneath our feet by fracking for oil and gas with a cocktail of the most toxic chemicals known to humankind. With each passing day that these interests set our course, with every additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted like a poison in our atmosphere, the drier the ink becomes on the bleak future written by the fossil fuel industry.

    That future is one where oceans drown our coastal homes and cities, where biodiversity is diminished. It’s a future where droughts will parch our agricultural fields and allow wildfires to run rampant. It’s a future where clean, freshwater will be among the world’s scarcest resources, and where smog and pollution suffocate our lungs and the planet’s.

    Given the fossil fuel industry’s seemingly unlimited money and political influence, changing their course and taking control of our future is a tall order. But again, we must. And all of you, can make the choices that lead you to seize that control.
    I can tell you how significant a difference each of us can make, how important the choices we make can be and the power we have in this country." John Armstrong

    "The motivation and the goals of Germany’s unprecedented solar policy are neither a secret nor hard to research (EEG 2004, Article 1). For decades, the main problem of solar had been identified as it being too expensive to deploy. But, at the same time, only deployment and mass production would lead to significant cost reductions. To overcome this barrier, the German parliament adapted the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) in 2004 to incentivize the installation of solar PV systems, thus creating the first uncapped mass market for solar power. It was the goal to reduce the technology’s cost through deployment, innovation, and market forces within the solar industry. The plan has succeeded a lot faster than anticipated and the cost of PV is expected to decline by at least another 50% by 2020." Paul Gipe

    The Feed in Tariff is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in Renewable Energy, the California FiT allows eligible customers generators to enter into 10- 15- 20- year contracts with their utility company to sell the electricity produced by renewable energy, and guarantees that anyone who generates electricity from R E source, whether homeowner, small business, or large utility, is able to sell that electricity. It is mandated by the State to produce 33% R E by 2020

    FIT policies can be implemented to support all renewable technologies including:
    Photovoltaics (PV)
    Solar thermal
    Fuel cells
    Tidal and wave power.

    So long as the payment levels are differentiated appropriately, FIT policies can increase development in a number of different technology types over a wide geographic area. At the same time, they can contribute to local job creation and increased clean energy development in a variety of different technology sectors.

    FIT policies are successful around the world, notably in Europe. This suggests that they will continue to grow in importance in the United States, especially as evidence mounts about their effectiveness as framework for promoting renewable energy development and job creation.

    With the worlds carbon levels at 400-410 parts per million and rising, globally emitting over 32 Gigatons of CO2 each year, causing Global Warming and life changing pollution, Renewable Energy will address these issues and start us on the road back to 350 parts per million of carbon, Thank You Bill McKibben

    California law does not allow Homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy systems

    Allowing homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy systems, is a true capitalistic tool, that will give us the potential to challenge the utility monopolies, democratize energy generation and transform millions of homes and small business into energy generators, during Sandy, Solar homes where not utilized to their full potential, because there was no disconnect and or transfer switch, to turn off incoming grid and start in home Solar power. how comforting it would be, to have mandatory transfer switches on all residential and small business renewable energy installations.

    We don't even take into account the tremendous health cost to us and our planet, when we burn oil, coal, and natural gas, which would make them more expensive than Renewable Energy.

    Since 2000-2001, according to the California Energy Commission, power plants with maximum output totaling about 20,000 megawatts have become operational. An additional 3,900 megawatts are under construction and 4,700 more have been approved and are in pre-construction phases.

    The new plants should boost California's energy independence. The state currently produces about 71% of the electricity it consumes, while it imports 8% from the Pacific Northwest and 21% from the Southwest.

    Natural gas was burned to make 45.3% of California's power generated in-state in 2011. Nuclear power from San Onofre and Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County accounted for 18.3%, large hydropower 18.3%, renewable 16.6% and coal 1.6%.

    We need a National Feed in Tariff, for Renewable Energy, with laws that level the playing field, this petition starts with homeowners in California.

    Japan, Germany, and our state of Hawaii, will pay residents between 21- 52 cents per kilowatt hour, here in California they will pay a commercial FiT in a few counties at 17 cents per kilowatt hour, No Residential FiT and they wont let us oversize our Residential Renewable Energy systems.

    Want to change our Feed in Tariff? Campaign to allow Californian residents to sell electricity obtained by renewable energy for a fair pro-business market price. Will you read, sign, and share this petition ?

  • Lloyd Lutterman

    How do we break the consume and pollute mentality corporations have trained us in their image??

  • kara king

    My mother works for the EPA and they work very hard day in and day out to keep our nation clean. I really hope that while this "Tell EPA to keep our Beaches Clean" You might want to also tell the tons of people that come to the beaches and leave Cluter on the sand to PICK IT UP and take it with them and put it in the trash cans or recycle bins. - Just a thought

    • Jeff Wheeler

      Well said, Kara.
      Training ourselves to be responsible beats paying a government Agency to clean up after us makes really good sense.
      Whine the current Los Angeles "Clean Beaches" initiative holds some merit. It has some serious flaws. Capture and recharge of stormwater is one aspect that we should be willing to help fund; but upstream "Pretreatment" (capture of pollutants and valuable water) is a responsibility that each of us can help.

      • kara king

        Jeff, thank you for the nice reply.