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Pacific
Institute Online Update for July 2003


In
This Issue

Smart
Sprinklers Feed Interest in Water Savings
Diesel Reduction Project Begins Truck Counts
EJ Water Coalition Hires Director
Staff Updates


Headlines

Smart
Sprinklers Feed Interest in Water Savings

A
recent National Public Radio piece on “smart”
sprinklers is causing a shower of interest. The
June 9 report features the Pacific Institute’s resident
water-efficiency expert, Dana Haasz, and details
the water saving benefits of the new sprinklers.
Currently being used by farmers and those with lots
of turf, smart sprinklers can save homeowners as
much as 40 gallons of water a day.

How
do they work? The sprinklers are linked by satellite
to a central computer that pulls weather reports
from 100 weather stations throughout the state.
Using this weather data, CIMIS (which stands for
California Irrigation Management System), can calculate
how much water the sprinklers in a given area need.
The system then issues commands to the computer-controlled
sprinklers to adjust their water output accordingly.
More information on CIMIS
and the NPR
piece
are both available online.

Diesel
Reduction Project Begins Counting Trucks

West
Oakland residents are about to begin counting trucks.
Why? West Oakland is heavily impacted by diesel
pollution from truck traffic and many of these trucks
serve the Port of Oakland, which is embarking on
a large expansion project that will increase traffic.
To reduce the amount of pollution in the area, the
Pacific Institute is helping local residents measure
the amount of truck traffic in their neighborhood,
characterize the extent of diesel pollution, and
identify ways to reduce the amount of pollution
in the community. The Study is being funded by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency and
the California Department of Health Services. More
information about our work in West Oakland is available
online
.

EJ
Water Coalition Hires Director

The
Environmental Justice Water Coalition is pleased
to announce the hiring of the organization’s first-ever
Director, Rochelle Johnson. Ms. Johnson brings six
years of experience managing tobacco control programs
for California Department of Health Services. She
earned a B.A. in Psychology from Fresno State University
and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from
Hayward State University, where her focus was public
management and organizational change. More information
on the EJ Water Coalition is available
online
.



Staff Updates

6/28,
Environmental Justice | Meena Palaniappan and Catalina
Garzon, the Pacific Institute’s summer Sustainable
Communities Leadership Program (SCLP) Fellow, attended
an organizing retreat for the Environmental Career’s
Organization’s SCLP program.

6/26-27,
EJ Coalition for Water | The EJ Coalition for Water
held a two-day strategic planning retreat to hone
its priorities for the next 2-3 years. The coalition
has recently doubled in size with the hiring of
a Legislative Analyst and a Director, and is increasing
both scope and range of its work.

6/16,
Environmental Justice | Meena Palaniappan participated
in the Planning Consortium meeting of the California
Department of Health Services Environmental Health
Investigations Branch for the Environmental Health
Tracking System. The Consortium will develop a plan
for tracking the relationship between environmental
pollution and health impacts in the state of California.

6/12-13,
International Standards | Jason Morrison participated
in a strategic meeting on international standard
setting and certification, and their relationship
to sustainable development and trade rules. Organized
by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, WWF International,
GTZ and Pi Environmental Consulting, the roundtable
brought together experts from different circles
and locations to identify the major threats to the
field of “ethical labeling,” and to define
an action plan to minimize them. The meeting was
held in Geneva, Switzerland.

6/11,
International Standards | Jason Morrison attended
an international workshop on Best Practice for Setting
Voluntary Standards held in Brussels, Belgium. The
event, organized by the International Social and
Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL),
worked to strengthen voluntary social and environmental
standards through a candid discussion of best practices
for how standards are set. This workshop was part
of the ISEAL Alliance initiative to define an international
Code of Good Practice for Voluntary Standard-Setting
Procedures.

Upcoming

7/12/03,
Environmental Justice (Richmond, Calif.) | Residents,
activists, and community leaders will hold a rally
and picnic to protest planned development of the
Breuner property, located just south of Point Pinole
Regional Park. More information is available
online.



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Copyright
2003 Pacific Institute for Studies in Development,
Environment, and Security