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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

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

CEQA Litigation: What The Numbers Show

Posted August 9, 2012 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice

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There are proposals to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) now floating around Sacramento, based on the idea that CEQA litigation is flooding the courts and impeding good development projects.  So my colleagues and I decided to look at...continued

Thank you, Your Honor, I do have a few questions for this witness.

Posted June 21, 2012 by David Pettit in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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I've been a litigator my entire career.  I love trial court work.  Few things are more fun during a trial than cross-examining an expert witness who is making things up.  I was thinking about this Tuesday during an industry-sponsored conference...continued

New Lawsuit Fights Oil Spill Amnesia

Posted June 19, 2012 by David Pettit in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Moving Beyond Oil, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Today’s post is co-authored with my colleague Jamie Friedland. If we don’t learn from our catastrophic oil spills, we are doomed to repeat them.  That’s why on Monday, NRDC and a coalition of conservation groups filed a lawsuit pressing the...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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