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Oroville marks anniversary of tree removal from in front of cemetery - 0 views

  • Oroville >> Marking the one-year anniversary of the removal of trees from in front of Oroville Cemetery, community members lamented the loss of the elder trees but celebrated coming together.Pastor Kevin Thompson told the group of 65 people that had gathered on the Feather River Boulevard sidewalk that the trees didn’t have to come down.“When you look at the before and after photos, our hearts truly break at what took place,” Thompson said.The last of 13 elder sycamore and elm trees were removed on Feb. 5, 2015, ending more than two months of protests against the removal led by the community group Save Oroville Trees. Efforts included protests, occupying the site and seeking relief from court, but PG&E ultimately prevailed.
  • Robyn DiFalco, the outgoing executive director of the Butte Environmental Council, said she was proud that Oroville residents mobilized in the face of the tree removal. She said their actions led to few trees being removed in Chico and along the Midway north of Durham and PG&E agreed to help pay to maintain replacement trees.

Chico News & Review - Map quest - Sustainability - Green - September 3, 2015 - 0 views

  • In spots around Butte County, particularly in south Chico and south Oroville, ecological hazards threaten health and safety. Some residents know; some don’t. Polluters tend not to advertise when they’re breaking the law, and residual toxins from decades past represent some of the biggest risks.
  • According to Robyn DiFalco, executive director of the Butte Environmental Council, “a clean and healthy environment versus dirty, unhealthy, polluted environments really have a lot connected with geography.” Wealthy neighborhoods don’t have to deal with these problems because residents there tend to “squawk very loud if dirty industrial sites were in their backyard—and they would prevent them from going in, and choose not to live near those sites.” Lower-income individuals don’t always “have those opportunities to speak out and prevent those sites from going in,” she continued, and neighborhoods with less expensive housing often are located “near these sites that are visually less attractive and have these health problems that their families may be affected by. “So, to be able to see a geographic dispersion of contamination sites, environmental and public health issues, is very telling,” DiFalco continued. “That’s why it’s so important to give visibility to that—that’s why it’s so important to have the EJSCREEN tool and the one that California does … otherwise, a lot of these communities are out of sight, out of mind.”

Butte County Planning Commission discusses buffers between houses, land used for agricu... - 1 views

  • Oroville >> The Butte County Planning Commission has delayed making a recommendation on altering how a 300-foot agricultural buffer applies in residential areas.
  • The county’s current rules call for the agricultural buffer to apply next to properties with agricultural use, which may include properties zoned as residential. The proposal would limit this buffer to development next to agriculturally zoned properties, although an amendment would allow people to use their residential, commercial and industrial properties an acre or larger for farming and grazing.
  • John Scott said the proposal was a violation of the public’s trust as eliminating the buffer could expose residents to sprayed pesticides that drift onto their properties. He said the Development Services Department was working to bring in money from development at the risk of others. “Inappropriate development should not drive this ordinance,” Scott said.
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  • Robin DiFalco of the Butte Environmental Council said the changes don’t alter the green line, but increases the potential of development on the farming side. “It is in fact directly contrary to the goals of the General Plan and the green line,” DiFalco said.

Butte County, PG&E emphasize need for communication with future tree removals - 0 views

  • Flowers placed on a stump of a tree removed by PG&E at the Oroville Cemetery as part of the utility’s Pathways Pipeline Project. As the tree-removal work continues in Butte County, efforts are be made to avoid or ease the controversy that happened in Oroville.
  • Chico >> No one wants another Oroville tree fiasco.Butte County, PG&E and other stakeholders are working together to try to prevent another controversy surrounding tree removals planned to take place around Chico as part of the Pathways Pipeline Project. Final tree removal numbers and locations have not been established but both the county and PG&E pledge that communication is a critical factor.
  • “We are very hopeful we can have a collaborative process and the public can be very informed,” said Paul Hahn, Butte County’s chief administrative officer. “There will be no quick decisions and trees are not going to just start disappearing.”
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  • The eventual removal of about 15 trees on Feather River Boulevard in front of the Oroville Cemetery was the subject of months of protests by citizens. The protest began in late November, with PG&E insisting the project was necessary for safety and access to its high-pressure gas-transmission line, and protesters arguing the trees were not a risk and strapping themselves to trees to protect them.
  • In all, 240 trees were removed in Oroville as part of the Pipeline Pathways Project. Tree removals in Paradise are next on the list for the Butte County area, although some trees in and near Chico have also been identified.
  • Conversations about planned tree removals have included Butte County supervisors, Sheriff Kory Honea and Public Works Director Mike Crump, as well as representatives from Butte Environmental Council, which is particularly concerned with the tree replacement plan.On Friday, BEC members met with PG&E and discussed 62 trees to be removed in the Comanche Creek greenway, including some sizeable oaks. PG&E agreed to follow Chico tree protection and mitigation guidelines, which could involve planting 150 trees to replace those to be removed, said BEC board member Mark Stemen.
  • “We stated in no uncertain terms that we are not issuing any permits for tree removal within the county until we have had a robust public process, including some of the neighbors’ involvement and the Board of Supervisors, possibly,” Hahn said.
  • “We will be open to listening. I think none of us want a repeat of what happened in Oroville.”

Letter: Oroville residents need to speak out for trees - 1 views

  • Oroville residents need to speak out for treesSeveral of us gathered at Oroville Cemetery last Friday morning. Under old sycamores that have stood for four generations, Bill Caspers played “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes. I had tears in my eyes. Not just because he plays beautifully, but because of my friend’s reaction.
  • Hellen Dennis sat in her wheelchair beneath an umbrella in the cold rain and cried. She felt Bill was “playing for the trees.” She and others from Save Oroville Trees have been on watch by the sycamores for two months. She’s there from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. No matter the weather, she sits in her wheelchair waving at passersby. Every day. SOT members have spoken at two City Council meetings. The mayor and council members have not been moved by our pleadings, and PG&E will cut those trees if the encroachment permit isn’t rescinded.
    BEC is now acting as fiscal sponsor for Save Oroville Trees.

Chico News & Review - Toxicity tests - News - Local Stories - October 2, 2014 - 0 views

  • An Oroville group concerned about area ground contamination has made new strides in a bid to test soil around the city for cancer-causing dioxin. The Oroville Dioxin Education Committee (ODEC), whose goal is to “educate and prepare community members, to raise awareness, and to lead the effort to safeguard our community against dioxin,” recently received $3,000 in grants from The Rose Foundation, an Oakland-based organization concerned with environmental health issues.
  • Don Rust, Oroville planning and development services director, said he has met with representatives from the Butte Environmental Council—which formed ODEC last year—to talk about the grants, but warned they may not meet ODEC’s needs. “It can’t go to dioxin testing,” he said. “It goes to brownfield assessment. Basically this is for people to volunteer to help clear their properties so they can be developed.”
  • Mark Stemen, a Chico State professor and president of the BEC board of directors, offered an analogy comparing the EPA grants with those from the Rose Foundation. “BEC’s grant allows them to look for the needle in the haystack,” he said. “Oroville’s grant helps them build a new barn for the haystack.”
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  • Still, he said, the two projects are “compatible and complementary,” and that BEC has received letters of support from both the Butte County Public Health Department and Supervisor Bill Connelly.

Everyone's Backyard - 0 views

    Center for Health, Environment, and Justice's Winter newsletter features BEC and ODEC in their Action News, with a picture of the dioxin billboards that were up in Oroville in November and December. CHEJ has supported our work on dioxin since its inception, and has provided technical guidance and materials, enabling us to maximize our effectiveness. Thank you CHEJ! (Page 9)

Billboards go up to spread awareness of dioxin in Oroville - 0 views

    By MARY WESTON-Staff Writer Posted: 11/05/2013 12:05:09 AM PST OROVILLE - A local citizens group and an environmental group started putting up dioxin billboards Friday to educate people about dioxin and the possible impacts in the Oroville area. The Oroville Dioxin Education Committee met on Friday with Julia Murphy of the Butte County Environmental Council.

Chico News & Review - Toxic education - News - Local Stories - November 21, 2013 - 0 views

  • Toxic education Environmental group shines light on Oroville By Tom Gascoyne This article was published on 11.21.13.
  • The Butte Environmental Council has launched an educational campaign in Oroville to help alert citizens to the dioxin contamination that has plagued the southern part of town for decades. Billboards demanding action and a series of public forums have been funded by grants from Ventura-based outdoor-clothing company Patagonia Inc. and the Clif Bar Family Foundation. Mark Stemen, president of BEC’s board of directors, said Clif Bar and Patagonia both have campaigns aimed at helping low-income communities deal with the toxic problems they may face. “They were very inspired by the issues and the work we’ve been doing in south Oroville,” Stemen said.
    The Butte Environmental Council has launched an educational campaign in Oroville to help alert citizens to the dioxin contamination that has plagued the southern part of town for decades. Billboards demanding action and a series of public forums have been funded by grants from Ventura-based outdoor-clothing company Patagonia Inc. and the Clif Bar Family Foundation. Mark Stemen, president of BEC's board of directors, said Clif Bar and Patagonia both have campaigns aimed at helping low-income communities deal with the toxic problems they may face. "They were very inspired by the issues and the work we've been doing in south Oroville," Stemen said.

Chico News & Review - Burning questions - News - Local Stories - September 12, 2013 - 0 views

  • The controversial cogeneration plant in south Oroville that burned biofuel to produce electricity for 30 years before shutting down last October may have some suitors looking to fire up operations again. The Pacific Oroville Power Inc. plant (POPI) is owned by New Jersey-based Covanta Energy and for years was under scrutiny by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office for possible environmental violations. The DA is currently in negotiations with Covanta on the payment for final cleanup of the plant and removal of contaminated ash that was deposited in Butte and Glenn counties. In the meantime, Covanta has maintained its operating permits to keep the plant financially attractive to potential buyers.
  • One inquiry Ramsey was not aware of is from a local group that contacted the Butte Environmental Council, which has been tracking dioxin levels in chicken eggs and other sources located near the plant.
  • Robyn DiFalco, executive director of BEC, said the organization had first heard about this proposal a couple of weeks ago.

Central Valley Business Times - 0 views

  • Opponents of a Wal-Mart “supercenter” store planned for Oroville have scored a partial victory with the California 3rd District Court of Appeal in their legal battle. The project is a relocated and expanded Wal-Mart Supercenter to replace an existing Wal-Mart of traditional dimension and retail offerings. In their legal action, Friends of Oroville and two individuals are challenging Oroville’s approval of an environmental impact report.
  • The appellate court agrees with two issues: whether the environmental impact report approved by the city inadequately analyzed the project’s greenhouse gas emissions and whether the new store might put too much traffic on Oroville Dam Boulevard, where the nearly 200,000-square-foot building, supermarket and garden center with its 24-hour retail and grocery services is to be located. “We reverse the judgment to the extent it denied plaintiffs’ petition for writ of mandate — and we remand this matter to the trial court to grant the petition,” the appellate panel says.

Dioxin checks: BEC offers blood tests for POPI neighbors - 0 views

    The Butte Environmental Council has received $11,000 in two grants that it will use to give blood tests to five people who lived close to the Covanta-owned cogeneration plant Pacific Oroville Power Inc.

BEC tests: Dioxin levels remain high in some areas of south Oroville - Chico Enterprise... - 0 views

  • BEC tests: Dioxin levels remain high in some areas of south Oroville
  • Preliminary results indicate that dioxin levels are still high in some areas of south Oroville, 25 years after a large fire at the Koppers Wood Treatment Facility, according to the Butte Environmental Council, even though the average overall levels appear to have decreased.
  • dioxin in eggs of chickens
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  • Mary Muchowski
  • former Koppers facility after a fire in 1987
  • pentachlorophenol, PCP
  • the California Department of Public Health conducted dioxin tests on backyard chicken eggs in 1988 and 1994
  • a grant from The California Wellness Foundation
  • Dioxin levels at various sites ranged between .004 parts per trillion and 14.7 ppt. That compared to .08 ppt to 18 ppt at sites in earlier testing.
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