Hexbyte Glen Cove California agency approves warehouse rule for air quality thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove California agency approves warehouse rule for air quality

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A semi-truck turns into an Amazon Fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Southern California air quality regulators are considering a rule that would curb emissions from trucks that ferry goods from the growing number of massive warehouses run by Amazon and other companies. Areas around the facilities have weathered increased pollution affecting largely minority communities. The “warehouse rule” will be voted on, by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)

Southern California air quality regulators on Friday approved a rule that would curb diesel emissions from thousands of trucks that ferry goods from the growing number of massive warehouses in the region run by Amazon and other companies.

Areas around the facilities have weathered increased pollution affecting their largely .

The so-called warehouse rule was approved 9-4 by the South Coast Air Quality Management District board.

It institutes a points-based system requiring about 3,000 distribution centers to choose from a menu of options to reduce or offset emissions. Those could include choices such as replacing diesel trucks and other equipment with electric models, putting in rooftop solar panels or installing air filters at nearby schools or day care centers.

“Warehouse operators could prepare and implement a custom plan specific to their site, or they could pay a mitigation fee,” the proposal read. The fees would go toward funding similar air quality improvements in surrounding neighborhoods.

South Coast district officials said they acted in order to meet federal smog-reduction deadlines in 2023 and 2031.

The Air Quality Management District said in a socioeconomic impact assessment report earlier this year that the regulations would provide public health benefits worth $2.7 billion from 2022 to 2031—including 5,800 fewer asthma attacks and 300 fewer deaths.

Environmental and activist groups praised the vote, saying it will reduce pollution while providing local clean energy jobs.

The rule “is the first step in eliminating toxic emissions from one of the nation’s largest and most profitable industries,” said a joint statement from the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, People’s Collective for Environmental Justice and the Partnership for Working Families.

“Squinting through the smog, California is charting a better future for the sake of our lungs, ” said Adrian Martinez of Earthjustice. “The health benefits will be immense, but the Indirect Source Rule is just the beginning. The way we move goods in this country has got to be electric, for the sake of clean air and a breathable future.”

A semi-truck turns into an Amazon Fulfillment center in Eastvale, Calif. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Southern California air quality regulators are considering a rule that would curb emissions from trucks that ferry goods from the growing number of massive warehouses run by Amazon and other companies. Areas around the facilities have weathered increased pollution affecting largely minority communities. The “warehouse rule” will be voted on, by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP)

But the Los Angeles County Business Federation said the rule amounts to an unauthorized job-killing tax and called the Air Quality Management District’s action “irresponsible” and “a travesty.”

“The staff advised the board that this rule and tax will eliminate tens of thousands of jobs, with no evidence it will actually reduce emissions,” the business group said. “What’s more, these job losses will disproportionately impact communities of color, the same communities the board is claiming to support. This is not how public policy should be made.”

B.J. Patterson, chief executive of Pacific Mountain Logistics, which employs more than 65 people at a 200,000-square-foot (18,580-square meter) warehouse in San Bernardino, told the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t know which of the compliance options his company would select.

Most of the forklifts used inside are already electric, he said, and he does not control which trucks come in and out.

Opting to pay the mitigation fees would cost his business close to $200,000 a year, he estimated.

Environmental and community groups have for years pushed for tighter regulations to help neighborhoods inundated with smog-forming nitrogen oxides from trucks driving to and from sprawling warehouse complexes owned by Amazon and other distributors across the inland region east of Los Angeles.

“These communities are often disadvantaged and people of color. So it’s part of our ongoing commitment to address the inequity, as well as addressing the overall regional air quality pollution,” Wayne Nastri, the South Coast district’s executive officer, said a day before the vote.

More than 2.4 million people live within half a mile of at least one large warehouse, and those areas have higher rates of asthma and heart attacks, and are disproportionately Black and Latino, district officials said.

Presentation of the proposal began after board members honored clean-air trailblazer William A. Burke, who is retiring after 23 years as chairman.

“Today is historical. It couldn’t be a better day to go home,” Burke said.



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California agency approves warehouse rule for air quality (2021, May 8)
retrieved 9 May 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Flexible diet may help leaf-eating lemurs resist deforestation thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Flexible diet may help leaf-eating lemurs resist deforestation

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A new study sequencing the genome of four species of sifakas (Propithecus), a genus of lemurs found in Madagascar’s forests, reveals that these animals’ taste for leaves runs all the way to their genes, which are also more diverse than expected for an endangered species. Credit: Lydia Greene, Duke University

Fruits and veggies are good for you and if you are a lemur, they may even help mitigate the effects of habitat loss.

A new study sequencing the genome of four species of sifakas, a genus of lemurs found only in Madagascar’s forests, reveals that these animals’ taste for leaves runs all the way to their genes, which are also more diverse than expected for an endangered species.

Sifakas are folivores, meaning that the bulk of their diet is composed of leaves. Leaves can be difficult to digest and full of toxic compounds meant to prevent them from being eaten. Unlike our carefully selected spinach, tree leaves also don’t taste great, and are not very nutritious.

Because of that, leaf-eaters typically have all sorts of adaptations, such as a longer with special pouches where bacteria help break down the food.

In a new study appearing April 23 in Science Advances, researchers sequenced genomes from Coquerel’s (Propithecus coquereli), Verreaux’s (P. verreauxi), golden-crowned (P. tattersalli), and diademed (P. diadema) sifakas. The individuals sequenced had been wild-born but were housed at the Duke Lemur Center, with the exception of two Verreaux’s sifakas, one wild and one born in captivity.

These four species are found in different habitats in Madagascar, ranging from arid deciduous forests to rainforests, but share a similar diet.

The genomes showed molecular evidence for adaptations to neutralize and eliminate leaves’ toxic compounds, optimize the absorption of nutrients, and detect bitter tastes. Their genome shows patterns of molecular evolution similar to those found in other distantly related herbivores, such as the colobus monkeys from Central Africa, and domestic cattle.

Yet despite being such fine-tuned leaf-eating machines, sifakas can eat more than just leaves. They eat lots of fruits when those are in season and will also happily munch on flowers.

“Sifakas can take advantage of foods that are higher energy and are more nutrient dense, and can fall back and subsist on leaves in times of scarcity,” said Elaine Guevara, assistant research professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and lead author of the study.

This dietary flexibility may have given them an advantage over their strictly leaves-only or fruit-only cousins in the face of threats such as forest fragmentation and disturbance.

A new study sequencing the genome of four species of sifakas (Propithecus), a genus of lemurs found in Madagascar’s forests, reveals that these animals’ taste for leaves runs all the way to their genes, which are also more diverse than expected for an endangered species. Credit: Lydia Greene, Duke University

Indeed, the analysis also showed that sifakas are genetically more diverse than would be expected for a critically on an island of shrinking habitats.

“These animals do seem to have very healthy levels of genetic diversity, which is very surprising,” said Guevara.

Guevara and her team gauged genome heterozygosity, which is a measure of genetic diversity and an indicator of population size. Species at high risk for extinction tend to have only left, and very low heterozygosity.

Sifakas do not follow this pattern and show far higher heterozygosity than other primates or other species of critically endangered mammals. Heterozygous populations tend to be more resilient to threats such as climate change, habitat loss, and new pathogens.

However, sifakas have very long generation times, averaging 17 years, so the loss of genetic diversity may take decades to become obvious. Guevara says that the genetic diversity found in this study may actually reflect how healthy populations were 50 years ago, prior to a drastic increase in deforestation rates in Madagascar.

“Sifakas are still critically endangered, their population numbers are decreasing, and is accelerating drastically,” said Guevara.

There is still room for optimism. By not being picky eaters, sifakas may be less sensitive to deforestation and fragmentation than primates with more restricted diets, allowing them to survive in areas with less-than-pristine forests.

“I’ve seen sifakas at the Lemur Center eat dead pine needles,” said Guevara. “Their diet is really flexible.”

Their greater genetic diversity may therefore mean that there is still hope for sifakas, if their habitats receive and maintain protection and strategic management.

“Sifakas still have a good chance if we act. Our results are all the more reason to do everything we can to help them,” said Guevara.



More information:
“Comparative genomic analysis of sifakas (Propithecus) reveals selection for folivory and high heterozygosity despite endangered status” Science Advances (2021). advances.sciencemag.org/lookup … .1126/sciadv.abd2274

Citation:
Flexible diet may help leaf-eating lemurs resist deforestation (2021, April 23)
retrieved 26 April 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-flexible-diet-leaf-eating-lemurs-resist.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —