Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on With Santa Rosa pact, most ratepayers eligible for Sonoma Clean Power

With Santa Rosa pact, most ratepayers eligible for Sonoma Clean Power

Eric Gneckow, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Several rounds of voting remain before Santa Rosa officially signs on for service from a renewable energy-focused public power agency under development in Sonoma County. But in voting unanimously to solidify its conditions for membership Tuesday, representatives of the county’s largest city said that they plan to be part of the agency’s rollout as it begins serving customers early next year.

Representing nearly 34 percent of power customers countywide, the Santa Rosa decision marks what many consider to be a significant advancement of Sonoma Clean Power‘s goal to ultimately displace Pacific Gas & Electric Co. as the predominant supplier of electricity to Sonoma County.

via With Santa Rosa pact, most ratepayers eligible for Sonoma Clean Power – North Bay Business Journal – North San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma, Marin, Napa counties – Archive.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Time has come to ban plastic bags

Time has come to ban plastic bags

Editorial, PETALUMA ARGUS-COURIER

“Paper or plastic?” It’s a question we hear from clerks just about anytime we go shopping. But before long, that question should change to “Did you bring a reusable bag?”

Based on indisputable evidence showing that the proliferation of single-use plastic bags is doing substantial harm to the environment, city and county officials are finally poised to approve a countywide ban on carryout plastic bags at grocers and retailers.

It’s been several years since the county first began to explore enacting such a ban, so it’s high time for action on the proposal.

via Petaluma360.com | Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on Santa Rosa strikes deal on Sonoma Clean Power

Santa Rosa strikes deal on Sonoma Clean Power

Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A last-ditch effort to assuage Santa Rosa’s concerns about the structure of the Sonoma Clean Power Authority succeeded Tuesday, convincing the city to join the launch of the fledgling public power agency.

The tentative, unanimous vote ends the long and at times tense political stand-off over whether the city would allow its residents and businesses to sign up for the program that aims to supplant PG&E as the county’s dominant energy supplier.

via Santa Rosa strikes deal on Sonoma Clean Power | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories WaterTags Leave a comment on Sonoma Valley Draft Salt and Nutrient Management Plan Release

Sonoma Valley Draft Salt and Nutrient Management Plan Release

Ann DuBay, SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY

The Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District will hold a public workshop on the Draft Salt and Nutrient Management Plan (SNMP) at 3:30 pm on July 18th. The purpose of the SNMP is to promote local sustainable water sources and manage salts and nutrients to ensure water quality objectives are met and beneficial uses of groundwater are protected.

In 2009, the State Water Resources Control Board established the Recycled Water Policy, requiring local water and wastewater entities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a SNMP for each groundwater basin in California.

via Press Releases | Sonoma County Water Agency.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, Sustainable LivingTags Leave a comment on Electric vehicle sales grow in Sonoma County

Electric vehicle sales grow in Sonoma County

Matt Brown, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Once the bailiwick of tinkers and hobbyists, electric vehicles are popping up all over Sonoma County as green-minded and tech-savvy drivers warm up to plug-in cars.

The market for EVs has expanded dramatically since December 2010, when the Nissan dealership in Petaluma became the first car dealer in the nation to sell the Leaf, the world’s first mass market all-electric car.

via Electric vehicle sales grow in Sonoma County | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories WaterTags Leave a comment on Workshop Scheduled on Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Study

Workshop Scheduled on Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Study

Ann DuBay, SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY

Santa Rosa, CA – A public workshop will be held on July 11th to discuss a significant groundwater study completed by the US Geological Survey,(USGS). The study’s purpose is to characterize the surface water and groundwater resources of the Santa Rosa Plain Watershed and develop tools to better understand and manage the groundwater system. The workshop will take place at 6:00 pm at the Santa Rosa Finley Center (details below).

The Santa Rosa Plain Watershed is home to approximately half of the population of Sonoma County. The groundwater system beneath the Santa Rosa Plain provides numerous benefits to the region, including rural residential and municipal water supplies, irrigation water for agriculture, and water that supplies creeks, streams and the ecosystem.

via Press Releases | Sonoma County Water Agency.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on Syphers named interim CEO for Sonoma Clean Power

Syphers named interim CEO for Sonoma Clean Power

Eric Gneckow, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Energy consultant Geof Syphers will serve as interim CEO for Sonoma Clean Power, guiding the rollout of the countywide public power agency during its formative stages.

The agency’s five-member board of directors appointed Mr. Syphers during a closed-door session Tuesday. It is the first hire for the renewable energy-focused power agency, which would purchase power for its customers and deliver it over the existing grid maintained largely by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Mr. Syphers was previously hired as lead consultant for the group developing the proposed agency at the Sonoma County Water Agency in mid-2012, under a $124,000, two-year contract.

via Syphers named interim CEO for Sonoma Clean Power – North Bay Business Journal – North San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma, Marin, Napa counties – Archive.

Posted on Categories Sonoma CoastTags , Leave a comment on Coastal Commissioner Steve Blank resigns position

Coastal Commissioner Steve Blank resigns position

John Howard, CAPITOL WEEKLY

Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was viewed as a strong environmental voice on the California Coastal Commission, has resigned his position, saying that the commission’s role was weakened by the death of long-time executive director Peter Douglas, and other factors.

Blank, who was appointed in 2007 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and later reappointed by Gov. Brown, said the commission has been successful in protecting the coast because “it took unpopular positions upsetting developers who have fought with the agency.” The key to the effectiveness of the commission and staff was their being "unreasonable" — uncompromising — in their desire to protect the coast, he said.

“For the last three decades, the Coastal Commission has protected the coast while miraculously managing to avoid regulatory capture,” he added in his June 27 resignation letter to Gov. Brown.

“Unfortunately, Peter Douglas is gone. Current commissioners, including your appointees want the commission to be reasonable. In fact, they want a new reasonable director,” he wrote.

In a separate interview, Blank said environmentalists were not following the commission as closely as in years past, there has been a series of pro-development commissioners and those who appoint commissioners have not selected aggressive coastal protectionists.

via Capitol Weekly: Coastal Commissioner Steve Blank resigns position.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on Santa Rosa raises Sonoma Clean Power stakes; Sebastopol votes to join

Santa Rosa raises Sonoma Clean Power stakes; Sebastopol votes to join

Kevin McCallum & Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The prospects for Santa Rosa joining the launch of Sonoma Clean Power dimmed Tuesday after the City Council strongly signaled it won’t participate unless several changes to the agency’s governing structure are met prior to a July 9 vote.

The move upped the ante in the high-stakes game of power politics that’s been going on for weeks between Sonoma County and its largest city, which is considered a key to the program’s long-term success.

via Santa Rosa raises Sonoma Clean Power stakes; Sebastopol votes to join | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Land UseTags , , Leave a comment on Work on Hobbs vineyard conversion halted by county

Work on Hobbs vineyard conversion halted by county

David Abbott, SONOMA WEST TIMES

The Sonoma County Ag commissioner’s office has ordered work stopped at the site of the Paul Hobbs vineyard conversion on Watertrough Road after a complaint of water runoff in the wake of storms earlier this week.

County and Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) officials investigating the complaint found that sediment had been washed into the creek on the property and further that Hobbs had cleared riparian vegetation along the creek.

via Work on Hobbs vineyard conversion halted by county – Sonoma West Times and News: News.