A deep dive on the health impacts of air pollution

This blog takes a deep dive into the vast array of impacts that air pollution has on human health, exploring how poor air quality affects nearly every area of the human body — from head to toe. Research shows that air pollution is a major environmental risk factor for a slew of diseases, from Alzheimer’s disease to lung cancer to osteoporosis, and can significantly lower lifespan and quality of life. Air pollution accounts for extensive damages to public health, as well as vast economic losses due to healthcare costs and lost school and workdays. While air pollution exposure can impact everyone, its damage is not distributed equally. Children, elderly individuals, those with pre-existing conditions, and those living in low socioeconomic neighborhoods or environmental justice communities bear a disproportionate burden of its impacts — emphasizing the need to protect vulnerable populations by taking better care of our air quality.

Click here to view the article.

Community Earth Month 2022 Events

Although we honor the earth every day, April is often known as Earth Month. Here is a compilation of Earth Month events happening in the Greater Sacramento Region this April!

Thursday, April 21

11:00am – 3:00pm Sacramento City College Earth Day Event.

Friday, April 22

4:00pm – 9:00pm Auburn Earth Day Festival. Hosted by the Placer High School Environmental Club. Overlook Park, 855 Pacific Ave, Auburn, CA 95603. Details: https://enviroalliance.org/events/earth-day-festival/

Saturday, April 23

9:00am – 1:00pm The Great Sacramento clean-up event! Details: https://www.handsonsacto.org/opportunity/a0C5c00000O4XwnEAF/the-great-sacramento-clean-up-event

10:00am – 12:30pm Sacramento EJ Coalition Earth Day Mixer. Details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacramento-ej-coalition-earth-day-mixer-tickets-303165806087

12:00pm – 6:00pm Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum Community Earth Day Celebration. 2251 Florin Rd, Sacramento, CA 95822. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/295569172716632

1:00pm – 9:00pm Earth Day Celebration Hosted by Sac Yard. Sac Yard Community Tap House, 1725 33rd St, Sacramento, CA 95816.

Sunday, April 24

11:00am – 4:00pm SACRAMENTO EARTH DAY! Hosted by ECOS. Southside Park, 700 T St, Sacramento, CA 95818. Details: https://www.ecosacramento.net/our-work/events/sacearthday/about-sacramento-earth-day/

April 22 – 26

Wild and Scenic Film Festival selections. Hosted by Sacramento Citizens Climate Lobby. Details: www.tinyurl.com/WSFF2022

Wednesday, April 27

6:30pm – 7:30pm What Will it Take to Tackle Climate Change? — Kathy Dodson. Hosted by Sacramento Citizens Climate Lobby. (Free Zoom Event) Details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/earth-day-climate-change-speaker-series-tickets-289994510387

Saturday, April 30

Environmentalists’ Spring Social. Hosted by the Sierra Club Sacramento Group, ECOS and the Sacramento Climate Coalition. Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95818. Details: https://www.ecosacramento.net/2022/03/environmentalists-spring-social/

Wednesday, May 4

6:30pm – 7:30pm Hope in the Face of Climate Change – Lisa Howard. Hosted by Sacramento Citizens Climate Lobby. (Free Zoom Event) Details: www.tinyurl.com/SACCCL

Regional Groundwater Sustainability – The Plans are Finished so what’s Next?

Over the past several years local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) charged with managing the region’s groundwater have been assessing the condition of the region’s groundwater resources and developing monitoring systems and management plans and projects to maintain the sustainability of these resources for the foreseeable future. These efforts have resulted in the completion of three Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) that cover each of the region’s groundwater subbasins – North American Subbasin, South American Subbasin, and Cosumnes Subbasin. The GSPs respond to State required planning criteria outlined in the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The California Department of Water Resources webpage has information about SGMA, the GSP planning process, and a public portal containing the three GSPs for the Sacramento region.  

ECOS, through the Water Committee, has participated in the development of these GSPs by attending public meetings and workshops, and providing comments on the draft plans. We have condensed these comments into a matrix comparing comments for each of the three GSPs. The matrix contains a summary of each original comment and, in bold, the actions taken by the GSAs to address each comment as documented in the final adopted GSPs. The full text of each ECOS comment letter can be found on the ECOS web site.

While some comments have been addressed in the final plans, others were not. For example, key aspects of the GSPs are six sustainability indicators that establish thresholds for when management actions must be taken to assure continued subbasin sustainability. The North American Subbasin GSP calls for management actions to be taken after one year of one or more of the GSP sustainability indicators exceeding action levels thus indicating the subbasin is in trouble. Unfortunately, the South American Subbasin allows three years of indicator exceedance that may lead to no actions being taken until the fourth year of an indicator being exceeded. The Cosumnes Subbasin did adjust their corresponding exceedance time periods but still allow a problem to exceed one or more threshold criteria for at least two years before actions to remedy the situation are taken. ECOS has argued that a one year exceedance criteria is acceptable and should be utilized in all three GSPs.

ECOS also believes climate change is not effectively addressed in the plans. All three GSPs base their management actions on a climate scenario that seems less realistic than current climate experience and the latest climate science indicates. This errant planning assumption may significantly overestimate the amount of groundwater available to meet demands in the future. If not corrected, sustainable management of the subbasins may be very difficult within the next decade.

ECOS members are meeting with the local GSA representatives to explore options to address our concerns prior to the next GSP updates which are due in 2025. Depending on the outcome of these meetings ECOS may find it necessary to participate in the State’s GSP public comment process.

Click here to view the matrix.

California calls for more local water conservation

By Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press | March 29, 2022 | The Sacramento Bee

Californians will be asked to further cut back on their water use, state officials said Monday as they warned water scarcity will shape the future of the drought-stricken state. But those cut backs would come from cities and local water districts, not the state, with members of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration saying allowing local retailers to set conservation needs is the best approach in a state of nearly 40 million people where water needs vary.

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article259883770.html#storylink=cpy

Third Act Sacramento Gets Boomers Involved in Climate Fight

By Hannah Holzer | March 27, 2022 | The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento facilitators Ferris and Laurie Litman have wholeheartedly committed the third acts of their own lives – post-retirement – to climate activism. Both worry about the futures their children and grandchildren will face. Litman says the fact that young people have inherited a planet polluted by older generations is “an intergenerational injustice.” “This is the most important thing people my age can be doing,” Litman said. “We overconsumed. We’ve taken a lot, and now we’re leaving a depauperate future for our kids.”

Sacramento’s Third Act working group is still in its early days, but as it grows, so does excitement about the future. The group meets virtually on the third Monday of each month at 6 p.m. and anyone who lives in or around the Sacramento region is encouraged to get involved by emailing thirdactsac[at]gmail[dot]com. Fighting a planetary crisis on a personal scale can feel futile. But people of every generation must do everything in our power to ensure a livable future.

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/article259152778.html#storylink=cpy

ECOS Letter to Sac County re Climate Action Plan

On March 23rd, 2022, Sacramento County held a workshop on their CLimate Action Plan. ECOS, Sierra Club, 350 Sacramento, as well as several other organizations and many residents, provided testimony during the workshop.

ECOS submitted a letter preceding the meeting, stating:

We’re grateful for the effort that County staff has made developing this CAP draft. However, it doesn’t address the biggest change we need to make: we need to increase housing in ways that don’t increase commute distances and thereby make our air and climate less healthy.

Click here to read our letter in full.