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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

Tentative Settlement in the Deepwater Horizon Case

Posted July 7, 2015 by David Pettit

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There was a tentative settlement last week in the Clean Water Act lawsuit that the US government brought against BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The settlement is tentative in the sense that the parties have agreed but...continued

Santa Barbara says 'no' to ExxonMobil's request to transport oil by road

Posted June 10, 2015 by David Pettit

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On May 19, 2015, an oil pipeline broke near the coast in Santa Barbara County, harming wildlife and coating local beaches with oil. (For details about the spill, see recent blogs by my colleagues Anthony Swift and Damon Nagami.) The...continued

Environmental Law Progress In China

Posted April 16, 2015 by David Pettit

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We take it for granted in the United States that citizens can involve themselves in the environmental review of proposed projects, either on their own or with the help of organizations like NRDC. This has not been true in China,...continued

Cleaner Ships and Trains Coming Your Way

Posted January 6, 2015 by David Pettit

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On January 1, 2015, two sets of regulations became effective to help reduce air pollution: one involving large oceangoing ships and another involving US locomotives. The shipping regulations come from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a body under the United...continued

BP Cries Pauper over Gulf Spill Penalties, Blames Low Gas Prices

Posted December 23, 2014 by David Pettit

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It was reported today that British Petroleum, the folks who brought you the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is asking that the Clean Water Act penalties that it must pay should be reduced because the...continued

Proven Pathways to Clean up China's Ports, a Major Source of China's Air Pollution Problem

Posted October 28, 2014 by David Pettit

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For twelve years, NRDC has been working with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to clean up the pollution that comes from ships, trucks and trains that serve those ports.  As a result, diesel particulate pollution in the...continued

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

Posted July 7, 2014 by David Pettit

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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