environmental news

Public review period opens for Upper Santa Ana River Wash Habitat Conservation Plan

Members of the public will soon have an opportunity to review and comment on a draft environmental impact statement and supplemental environmental impact report associated with a new Habitat Conservation Plan for the Santa Ana Wash area. The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host two public meetings on the proposal, both on January 9, at the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District office, 1630 West Redlands Boulevard, Suite A, Redlands. The meetings will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Requests for sign language interpreting services, closed captioning or other accommodations should be directed to Karin Cleary-Rose, TTY 800-877-8339 by close of business on January 6. The meetings will review the Upper Santa Ana River Wash Habitat Conservation Plan (Wash Plan) as analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Supplemental Environmental Impact Report. The Wash Plan proposes a coordinated process for permitting and mitigating specific public and private projects such as aggregate mining, water conservation, wells and water infrastructure, transportation, flood control, trails, habitat enhancement and agriculture. Implementation…

First hydrogen-powered train in U.S. to be introduced as part of Redlands Passenger Rail Project in 2024

A contract signing Wednesday, Nov. 13 between Stadler U.S. and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) clears the way for the first hydrogen-powered passenger train to operate in the United States. The agreement marks a major milestone in bringing zero-emission passenger rail technology to the U.S. The hydrogen-powered FLIRT H2 vehicle will be introduced in 2024 as part of the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, a nine-mile connector between Redlands and San Bernardino’s Metrolink station.  Under the agreement, Stadler will develop the first hydrogen-powered train. The ordered vehicle consists of two cars with a power pack in between that holds the fuel cells and hydrogen tanks. The train is expected to seat 108 passengers in addition to generous standing room. The FLIRT H2 is projected to transport passengers at a maximum speed of up to 79 mph (130 km/h). The predicted delivery will be in 2023; the train is scheduled to enter passenger service in 2024. “Implementing innovative solutions like this first-of-its-kind passenger train is an excellent example of how we are demonstrating our commitment to the next generation in San Bernardino County,” SBCTA President…

San Bernardino youth join millions around the world in Global Climate Strike

Hundreds of San Bernardino youth and adults participated in the Global Climate Strike on Friday, September 20. The strike began at the Inland Regional Facility and ended at the Amazon Fulfillment center, located roughly 2.5 miles apart, both in San Bernardino. Photo Manny B. Sandoval: The Global Climate Strike in San Bernardino began at the Inland Regional Center and ended at the Amazon Fulfillment Center, both located in San Bernardino. “San Bernardino youth and residents are calling on Amazon and its developer Hillwood to agree to a Community Benefits Agreement that will prevent air pollution, guarantee safe family sustaining jobs and ensure the city’s infrastructure can handle the increased traffic flow,” said Anthony Victoria, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice member. At the strike in San Bernardino, many youth shared testimony on the state of the climate. “The Inland Empire has the worst ozone pollution in the nation due to air pollutants from trucks and planes,” said Sierra Club Youth Leader Angela Cardenas. “This pollution directly contributes to the extreme weather patterns, such as wildfires, that are depleting our most precious ecosystems.”  “Pollution from…

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