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Environment and Energy

Shaping the Coast with Permits: Making the State Regulatory Permitting Process Transparent with Text Mining

How do agencies use the permitting process to shape policy outcomes? This article unveils the black-box by using various text mining techniques to retrieve valuable empirical data from unstructured texts, namely public meeting agendas and staff reports of the California Coastal Commission. The data reveal that outright rejection of permit applications is rare.

Overcoming Psychological Resistance toward Using Recycled Water as a Solution to California's Climate Change Challenge

California’s traditional hydrological system assumes a heavy, reliable snowpack and the timely release of surface water in the warmer months.   However as a consequence of climate change and a prolonged drought, California must now consider alternative water supply sources such as recycled wastewater. But state officials fear that a proposal to expand direct or indirect potable use wastewater programs would trigger strong public resistance due to the ‘yuck’ factor, an instinctive aversion to many recycled wastewater uses.

Shifting Landscapes in the Bay Area

As the climate continues to warm, scientists believe the Bay Area’s microclimates will shift. These maps show how the region’s plant communities could move as conditions change. What scientists don't know is how fast vegetation could migrate to new areas or how the changes will affect Bay Area parks and wildlife.. Part of a report produced in collaboration with KQED Public Media.

A History of Bay Area Open Space Conservation

The Bay Area has a long history of preserving its open lands. Today, about one-third of the region is designated as open space, from small city parks to lands stretching thousands of acres. Part of a report produced in collaboration with KQED Public Media.

The New Western Fugitives: Ozone Ingredients from Oil and Gas

Most people think of dangerous levels of ozone gas occurring in traffic congested cities like Los Angeles, so it’s a surprise to find high concentrations of it in pristine areas of the American West. But it’s happening. Two basins that lie along the Green River in the intermountain West have some of the worst ozone pollution in the nation. Reported and written by John McChesney. Edited by Ariana Reguzzoni and Geoff McGhee for the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University.


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