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Pacific
Institute Online Update for April 2004



In
This Issue

Get
More Value Out of Your EMS
S.F.
Bay Sea Level Report Re-Released Online

Environmental
Indicators Leader Wins Award

Institute,
W. Oakland Begin to Update Indicators


HeadlinesInstitute
coauthors MSWG report on Environmental Management
Systems

Environmental
Management Systems (EMS) are a systematic approach
to managing environmental impacts and their growing
popularity represents an enormous change. In an
effort to make EMSs more useful to businesses, environmentalists,
decision makers, and the public, the Multi-State
Working Group on Environmental Performance has released
“The External Value Environmental Management
System Voluntary Guidance: Gaining Value by Addressing
Stakeholder Needs.”

The
report and the media release are both available
free of charge from our website.

S.F.
Bay Sea Level Report Re-Released Online

As ice melts and the oceans expand, climate change
will likely cause a rise in sea level. For coastal
metropolitan areas like the San Francisco Bay, even
a modest increase in sea level may prove highly
destructive. To help policy makers in the Bay Area,
and elsewhere, understand and respond to global
warming, the Pacific Institute has electronically
re-published “Assessing The Costs Of Adapting
To Sea-Level Rise: A Case Study Of San Francisco
Bay.” The report, originally published in 1990
and available only in print, has now been re-published
as an electronic document.

The
report is available free of charge from our website.

Indicators
Community Leader Wins Award

Margaret
Gordon, a long time member of the West Oakland Environmental
Indicators Project (EIP) Committee, won the East
Bay Community Foundation’s first ever Power of Effective
Giving Award. Ms. Gordon was recognized for her
tireless volunteer work on behalf of the Committee,
and her work on environmental and health issues
in West Oakland. As part of the Pacific Institute’s
limited indoor air monitoring study in West Oakland,
Ms. Gordon, an asthma sufferer, volunteered to have
her home tested. Measurements found that levels
of toxic diesel soot were five times higher in her
home than in Oakland homes in other neighborhoods.
As a result of this, Ms. Gordon has initiated a
Healthy Homes Project to begin to clean up the indoor
air in West Oakland homes.

Institute,
W. Oakland Begin to Update Indicators

Catalina
Garzon, Azibuike Akaba, and a team of graduate students
have been working to update the West Oakland Environmental
Indicators Report. Residents on the West Oakland
EIP Committee have emphasized the importance of
using the indicators to track the progress of the
area’s clean-up. Several key indicators have already
been updated and will be shared with the community
in upcoming Committee meetings.

Indicators
Project Wins New Grant:
In related news, the
West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project won
a $100,000 Environmental Protection Agency Collaborative
Problem Solving Grant for its work to take over
the Environmental Indicators Project from the Pacific
Institute.


Staff
Updates

3/25/04,
Water Efficiency, Peter H. Gleick gave a presentation
to the San Francisco Environment Commission Planning
and Policy Committee on the Pacific Institute’s
recently release urban conservation report, “Waste
Not, Want Not.”

3/24/04-3/26/04,
Environment and Health, Catalina Garzon attended
the National Environmental Public Health Conference
in Philadelphia, PA as part of Pacific Institute’s
stakeholder involvement work with the Alameda County
Environmental Health Tracking Pilot Project.

3/23/04,
Salton Sea, Michael Cohen participated in the Resource
Agency’s Salton Sea Advisory Committee meeting.

3/22-3/23/04,
International Standards, Jason Morrison and Mari
Morikawa attended the semi-annual meeting of the
US mirror body to TC 207 – Environmental Management
held in San Francisco. As the Vice Chair of the
mirror group, Morrison provided a report on the
status of ISO’s examination of the possible development
of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) standards.
He also gave a briefing on the efforts of a subgroup
to revise the mirror body’s operating procedures
to make the more “NGO friendly.”

3/19/04,
Environment and Health, Meena Palaniappan presented
on critical issues in community-based research on
health and environment to the California Environmental
Health Tracking Network’s Planning Consortium. The
Environmental Health Tracking Network seeks to understand
the relationships between environmental hazards
and disease.

3/17/04,
Environmental Indicators, Catalina Garzon conducted
a workshop on the progress of updating West Oakland’s
Environmental Indicators for the West Oakland Environmental
Indicators Committee Meeting.

3/12/04,
Colorado River, Michael Cohen participated on a
panel entitled, “Is Peace Working on the Colorado
River?” at the Water Education Foundation’s
21st Annual Executive Briefing in Sacramento.

3/10/04,
Environmental Justice, Meena Palaniappan participated
in an all day forum on “Race, Class, Power
and Gender in the Environmental Justice Movement,”
sponsored by the San Francisco Foundation.

3/3/04,
Environmental Justice/Air Quality, Meena Palaniappan
presented at the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District’s Board Meeting to support the use of $1.5
M in state and local air quality funds to clean
up diesel trucks at the Port of Oakland, and to
strongly recommend community oversight over the
funds. Nate Miley, Alameda County Supervior, strongly
supported the need for community oversight. Jack
Broadbent, the Executive Officer of the BAAQMD,
requested that the West Oakland Environmental Indicators
Project (EIP) and the Pacific Institute develop
a proposal to ensure community oversight over the
mitigation funds.

3/1/04,
Water Efficiency, Peter H. Gleick gave a briefing
to the Santa Clara Valley Water District on the
Pacific Institute’s water conservation work.

3/1/04,
International Standards, Jason Morrison met with
senior management of the American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) and U.S. EPA’s Standards Executive,
Mary McKiel, to discuss ways of improving NGO participation
in ISO standards development.

3/2-3/3/04,
Environmental Indicators, Peter H. Gleick gave a
talk at the Electric Power Research Institute on
water indicators.

Upcoming

4/13-4/18/04,
International Standards, [Daejon, Korea], Michael
Cohen and Jason Morrison will attend the ISO TC
224 meetings, which aim to develop a reasonable
standard for water and wastewater systems.

4/20/04,
Water and Sustainability, [St. Paul, Minnesota]
Peter Gleick will give the annual Kolshorn Lecture
at the University of Minnesota on “The Power
of Water: A Vision for the 21st Century” More
info online.

4/26/04,
Sustainable Development, [Santa Clara, CA], Sustainable
Silicon Valley will be hosting a one-day workshop
to discuss water and sustainability in Silicon Valley.
Attendees will discuss current limits, long-term
challenges, and sustainable solutions. More info
online.

4/27/04,
Salton Sea, [El Centro, CA], Michael Cohen will
participate in the Resource Agency’s Salton Sea
Advisory Committee meeting.



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2004. Pacific Institute for Studies in Development,
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