March 2015 Pacific Southwest Newsletter

EPA Pacific Southwest - Region 9
Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with a ship passing beneath

Protecting San Francisco Bay

Sandpipers and dowitchers flying over bay sloughs at low tide, South Bay Salt PondsIn March 2015 EPA awarded over $8.7 million from the San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund (SFBWQIF) to local and state organizations to restore tidal marshes and river habitats, and improve water quality in and around the bay. These restoration efforts will make the bay more resilient in the face of drought and climate change. EPA has also recently issued a progress report which includes a summary of the grants, recipients, and accomplishments of the SFBWQIF over the past six years.

Reducing Food Waste in Las Vegas

Rooftop Garden utilizing compost made from kitchen waste at the Bellagio, Las Vegas

MGM Resorts International has been recognized by EPA and the state of Nevada for reducing food waste. The company's 13 properties in Las Vegas diverted a total of 25,398 tons of food from landfill to compost, a 50% increase over 2012. Composting this food conserved the energy equivalent of more than 50,300 gallons of gasoline.

Improving Water Quality in Arizona

EPA has awarded $2.5 million to the state of Arizona for projects to help restore the state's polluted water bodies. An additional $1.6 million leveraged by the state for these activities means that more than $4 million is available this year to improve surface water quality. Recent data show that a significant percentage of surface waters in Arizona are listed by the state as impaired.

Enforcement Update

Geospatial Monitoring of Air Pollution

Identifying air pollution can be difficult because of changing pollution conditions and the fact that harmful substances are usually invisible to the naked eye. A new vehicle being tested in Los Angeles, Calif., provides real time data about toxic substances in the air. This could be useful to regulators as they decide which facilities to prioritize for inspections.