Energy & Environment

USDA: 42 Calif. counties declared drought disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 42 California counties, including most of the Central Valley, as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses from the drought.

Gas prices fall, extending summer decline

(AP) — A national survey says the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has dropped another 9 cents over the last two weeks, to $3.37, bringing the decline to 34 cents over the last 13 weeks.

Fresno cuts water use in July, August

Tighter watering restrictions in Fresno have led to drops in usage in July and August, according to city officials.The City of Fresno reports that water usage in the city dropped in the months of July and August, heeding a call from Gov. Jerry Brown to cut water use statewide.

Governor signs first California groundwater rules 

(AP) — California will no longer be the only western state with a pump-as-you-please approach to groundwater.

Dominion to buy 2 solar projects in Calif.

(AP) — Dominion Resources is planning to buy two solar projects in California.

Field Poll: Water bond leads among likely voters

(AP) — A new Field Poll finds slightly more than half of likely voters approve of a $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot, however the share was less in the Central Valley.

Solar systems turned on at Coalinga prison, hospital

Coalinga State Hospital and Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga will now get a portion of their power from two new solar system built by SunEdison.

Air district opens waste truck grant period

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has opened a round of grants to fund new heavy-duty waste transfer trucks.

California environmentalists decry feds' fire plan 

(AP) — U.S. Forest Service officials say they tried to balance competing interests in a plan that will allow loggers to remove trees killed in a massive central California wildfire last year, but environmentalists have called it a travesty and are threatening to sue.

EPA to clean up Downtown Fresno site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will remove several underground tanks from a former gas station in downtown Fresno at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.