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David Pettit, Director, Southern California Air Program, Santa Monica, CA

David Pettit

I grew up in the L.A. area and am a die-hard Dodgers and UCLA Bruins fan.  My wife, Lynn, is a sculptor and painter.  We have two grown daughters who we’d like to call us more often.  I also play guitar and bass in a klezmer band.

Recent Posts

China's New Environmental Law and the U.S. Clean Air Act

Posted July 7, 2014 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Greening China

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China recently overhauled its basic environmental law in a way that brings it closer to the structure of the U.S. Clean Air Act.  The new law also contains a provision authorizing public interest litigation by certain Chinese NGOs -- this...continued

A Victory for Cleaner Fuels

Posted July 2, 2014 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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On June 30, 2014, the last day of the 2013 term, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the oil companies' and ethanol manufacturers' appeals in the California low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) case.  This is a big step...continued

A Step Forward For Public Interest Litigation In China

Posted April 28, 2014 by David Pettit in Greening China

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China recently amended its Environmental Protection Law, the first amendment since the law was enacted in 1989.  My colleague Barbara Finamore has an overview of the amendments here.  I would like to focus on one of the new provisions that...continued

Lead And Arsenic Pollution In East Los Angeles

Posted January 9, 2014 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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A public hearing is scheduled to discuss how to clean up a chronically lead-contaminated site in East Los Angeles, home to thousands of working class, minority families.  On Friday, January 10, 2014, at 9 a.m., the South Coast Air Quality...continued

Exide Technologies Hearings Begin In Los Angeles

Posted December 16, 2013 by David Pettit in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Exide Technologies runs a lead-acid recycling operation in Vernon, California that has been emitting lead and arsenic into the neighboring communities for many years.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) held its first hearing on Saturday, December 14...continued

Don't Rebuild Jordan Downs On Polluted Soil

Posted November 4, 2013 by David Pettit in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Jordan Downs is a 700-unit low-income housing complex in South Los Angeles.  Originally constructed as housing units for returning WWII veterans, the apartments on site were built in the 1940s.  The current tenants are  Latino and African-American families, mostly headed...continued

SCAQMD Moves To Shut Down Lead Smelter Exide

Posted October 22, 2013 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Exide Technologies is a lead-acid battery recycling company in Vernon, California, with a history of air pollution and soil pollution problems.  Exide has been operating with an interim permit to dispose of its waste issued by the California Department of...continued

The Ninth Circuit Decides the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Case

Posted September 18, 2013 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Moving Beyond Oil

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Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, reversing a District Court opinion that held that California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) violated the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  You can read...continued

No Free Pass For Fracking In California

Posted September 4, 2013 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Moving Beyond Oil

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We are (regrettably) used to seeing end-of-session hijinks in Sacramento when “gut and amend” bills and other special interest tricks get rolled out.  But today we’re seeing a new one:  an entire industry that wants a free pass to pollute...continued

Challenges with environmental laws in China

Posted July 22, 2013 by David Pettit in Greening China

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NI hao.  NRDC has a China office in Beijing that has within it an environmental law program, headed by a very talented lawyer, my friend Yan Wang.  I'm on my third visit to China to work with her and her...continued

Take Me Out To The Ballgame By Public Transit

Posted April 15, 2013 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably

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I'm in Washington D.C. preparing for tomorrow's Supreme Court argument in the ATA v. City of Los Angeles port trucking case.  While here, I've taken in two ballgames at the Washington Nationals' park, a very comfortable venue to watch baseball. ...continued

In LA, the Army Corps of Engineers Bulldozes a Wildlife Refuge

Posted January 16, 2013 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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The San Fernando Valley, now the home of more than 1.75 million people, is a 260 square mile basin northwest of downtown Los Angeles.  In the 1930s and 40s, the Valley was plagued by floods from the Los Angeles and...continued

California's Landmark Environmental Law in Action - It Works

Posted January 15, 2013 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, U.S. Law and Policy

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There is a growing debate over whether and how to “modernize” California’s bedrock environmental review law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).    Industry critics say that the law generates too much litigation, restricting growth in the state.  Along with my...continued

Better Air Quality In Hong Kong

Posted December 18, 2012 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Greening China

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In early December of 2012 I attended the Better Air Quality conference in Hong Kong along with my colleagues Barbara Finamore and Rich Kassel.  I had never been to Hong Kong before and wound up cutting a wide swath through...continued

Global Toll of Air Pollution: Over 3 Million Deaths Each Year

Posted December 14, 2012 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice

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We have long known that many people die from air pollution.  What is surprising is how high the public health toll is and that it is largely preventable.  A new study in The Lancet, developed by an international group of...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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