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Influential environmental mind: Terry Tamminen

Interview: Terry Tamminen

Terry Tamminen is recalling the day after Arnold Schwarzenegger swept to victory in California's 2003 gubernatorial elections.

A greener kind of California dreaming

A state-of-the-art water recycling facility in Santa Paula is setting the industry bar in how to reduce energy costs and cut the environmental footprint.

Medical equipment gets thorough physical

Designers of electrical medical equipment now must adhere to a new standard, ensuring eco-design principles are maintained. Where did it come from and what will it demand of the medical industry?
Dr Aidan Turnbull

" It's not enough just to be compliant"

In a new feature, Hewlett Packard's environmental manager Bruno Zago and WEEE programme manager Kirsty McIntyre act as a mouthpiece for the manufacturing industry, and reveal how their firm is leading the way. Interviews by Tom Idle

Affordable desalination deemed success

The Affordable Desalination Demonstration Project was launched two years ago, and set out to demonstrate that seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination could produce a cubic metre of product water for an energy cost of 1.7kWh. It also sought to establish the relationships between RO reject rate, membrane salt rejection, permeate quality, boron levels, feed pressure and energy consumption. Thomas F Seacord of Carollo Engineers, Steven D Coker of FilmTec Corporation and John MacHarg of the Affordable Desalination Collaboration demonstrated a very successful outcome in a paper presented to the American Membrane Technology Association Conference in August. The following article is adapted from the paper presented at Anaheim.

The rise and rise of UV disinfection

Ultraviolet disinfection is no longer an emerging technology. This is supported by the fact that it is used to treat more than three billion litres of water every day around the world. Craig Howarth reports.

Filtering for the future

The Aries Managed Air Systems is proving beneficial to customers in terms of cost savings and operation efficiency.

Effluent: Waste or resource?

Changes in rainfall and increasing demand mean that water has now become too valuable a resource to be used only once. Here Martin Hind of Biwater Treatment looks at some alternatives

Reuse, reduce, recycle

Water-reuse seems a logical solution to increasing water shortages. But would industrial, commercial and residential customers best be served by a entralised or decentralised water-reuse system? Alan Rimer, Cindy Wallis Lage and Frank Rogalla of Black & Veatch report

The tank under construction - simultaneously pouring the floor, walls, column and roof sections.

San Diego's mega-tank reaches completion

Increasing demands on both quality and capacity at the Alvarado Water Filtration Plant in the US city of San Diego, California, meant constructing the world's largest circular, prestressed concrete storage tank. Judy Horning of US tank manufacturer, DYK, describes the challenge of meeting not only the highest standards for potable water storage but also of making the tank earthquake resistant.

Water efficiency is key in California

The USA's independent environmental think-tank, the Pacific Institute, has just released a report that claims that efficiency measures could reduce statewide water use in 2030 by 20%, despite economic and population growth. Research associate, Heather Cooley, and president of the Institute, Peter H Gleick, explain how efficiency, conservation and technology could create a sustainable future.

Design deviations to blame at Tampa

The operational difficulties encountered with the pretreatment system for the Tampa Bay Desalination Plant, following its completion in January 2003, threw doubt into the minds of many who were about to embark on seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO). However, as since shown by SWRO successes elsewhere, Tampa's pretreatment was a unique case. Brett Boyd and Dominic Janssen of Parkson Corporation explain why.

Sound judgement

Most of OnSite's clients - the majority of UK water companies - are now using accoustic doppler flow monitors. And the technology is becoming increasingly popular to measure flow volume at WwTW inlets

Leakage-driven mains renewal

Frank Rogalla of Black & Veatch, Caroline Scruggs and Gary Hunter discuss endochrine-disrupting chemicals, and methods of their removal

Table 1: Distribution of desalination plants in Mexico 2004. Dest: CAN

Tourism brings boom in desalination for Mexico

An increase in demand for potable water from international hotel chains and industry has brought about growth in Mexico's desalination market. Gordon Fellar reports on government initiatives that that are creating the opportunity for large-scale private investment.

Sane in the membrane

Dr Paul Zuber of Brightwater Engineering looks at the sometimes difficult but ultimately successful development of MBR technology

Builder beware

Richard Pawlyn looks at the potential environmental and financial pitfalls of Brownfield development, as well as an increasing interest in land-use history data

The solar farm will power Apple's new ring-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, California

Apple announces $850m giant solar farm

"The time for change is now," proclaimed Apple CEO Tim Cook as he announced the tech giant is committing $848m to clean energy in the form of a 280MW solar farm in California.

A water control gate on an agricultural irrigation ditch in California, which will require $74.8bn of water infrastructure investment

White House puts $674.7bn price tag on improving US water infrastructure

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Centre to enable communities and businesses across the country to finance the $674.7bn of improvements needed to improve water infrastructure.

US solar helped offset aROUND 20 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2014

US solar capacity to double in next two years

American solar capacity could double by the end of 2016 according to a new report from the oil-and-gas association American Petroleum Institute (API).

Two academics in the prestigious journal Nature now argue that the 2C target has outlived its usefulness

Could the 2C climate target be completely wrong?

The global warming goal that nearly 200 governments have agreed on should be ditched, say scientists writing in Nature.

The ever-growing solar industry has seen a number of major projects open across the globe over the past year

Interactive Map: The world's most remarkable solar farms

In light of the growing number new solar projects across the world, edie has mapped out 14 of the largest and most interesting installations from every continent in the world.

The 82MW Regulus project will be SunEdison's largest solar project in North America

Google's green credentials boosted with giant solar project

Google has announced it is putting forward $145m to fund a new 82MW solar power plant in California, marking the IT giant's 17th investment in renewable energy projects since 2010.

California is set to become the first US state to ban single use plastic bags

California lawmakers give green light to plastic bag ban

A ban on single-use plastic bags in California is expected to be signed into law after the states senate passed a bill barring single-use plastic bags from retailers from next July.

The new Levi's stadium will open in Calfornia next month

Levi's NFL stadium sets benchmark in water conservation

A Levi's stadium set to open next month in Calfornia as the new home of the San Francisco 49ers American Football team will run on recycled water, as part of a quest to become the greenest stadium in the country.

Peter Knight is Chairman of The Context Group

Water & Business: How to avoid the looming 'crisis'

In less than 16 years, the UN says that the demand for fresh water will outstrip supply by 40%. Businesses are acutely aware of the impending risks of managing with less water, but many are confused about exactly what to do, and where it should start. Peter Knight provides some clarity.

President Obama told West Point graduates this week that the US must lead by example on climate change

Obama to unveil historic climate change plan to cut US carbon pollution

President Barack Obama will unveil a plan on Monday that will cut carbon pollution from power plants and promote cap-and-trade, undertaking the most significant action on climate change in American history.

Levi CEO Chip Bergh says the brand is pushing the envelope on sustainable design. Photo credit: Hatchapong Palurtchaivong /

Levi Strauss tests consumer appetite for 'slow fashion' jeans

Levis Strauss CEO Chip Bergh has revealed plans by the denim maker to explore whether its customers will pay a premium for more sustainable jeans, calling his brand the 'ultimate in slow fashion'.

Officials have confirmed that a set of solar panels on the roof of the White House is now operational

White House solar panels power up

Barack Obama unveils new solar expansion plans as officials confirm White House panels are now operational.

Google's new solar project in California and Arizona will generate enough electricity to power more than 17,000 US homes

Google expands renewable energy portfolio with $80m solar investment

Tech giant Google has announced an $80m (£50m) investment in six utility-scale solar facilities in California and Arizona.

Investors losing confidence in EU ETS but cause for long-term optimism

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) "no longer has a significant impact on emission reductions," according to one in five respondents to a carbon market survey.

Apple and Google expand renewable energy use

Technology giants Apple and Google have both announced investments in renewable energy projects, focusing largely on wind energy.

World's biggest MRF powers into action

The world's largest materials recovery facility (MRF) capable of processing 110 tonnes of recyclables an hour has opened in Newby Island Resource Recovery Park, California.

US landfill solar project set to generate power from 12,500 panels

Solar panels are to be erected on a US state-owned closed landfill site in New Jersey, forming a solar farm that will provide up to 3MW of renewable energy.

Shadows over solar industry as firm misses loan deadline

The future of a large Californian solar park is in doubt after its backers admitted they would not be able to complete the forms needed to secure a government loan for the site.

UK solar industry unlikely to be affected by Solyndra bankruptcy

A former darling of the US solar industry has become the second high-profile victim of the downturn in the economy in a month after filing for bankruptcy.

Wastewater recycling 'three times' more polluting

Wastewater recycling produces more greenhouse gases than traditional water treatment processes but is still worth continuing, research has concluded.

Technological revolution ahead

With massive challenges ahead for the UK water industry, the need for innovation has come into focus. Dean Stiles reports.

'People who are 40 or younger expect you to be sustainable in your business practices,' says Chip Conley

Chip Conley

Erik Jaques meets Chip Conley, executive chairman and chief creative officer, Joie de Vivre Hospitality

Las Vegas’s power drama captures an ongoing dilemma in the new energy economy

Las Vegas casinos seek to power their bright lights with renewable energy

The glittering Las Vegas strip is not an obvious model for energy conservation. Yet hidden above the glowing Eiffel Tower, neon resort awnings and a black pyramid that shines a beam of light into space, is one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the country.

Sir David King calls for increased R&D spend on renewable energy

Respected scientist and Oxford academic, Sir David King, has called on the British Government to use its 'limited' cash reserves to boost private sector investment in renewable energy technologies.

The USS Stockdale departing Naval Base San Diego

US Navy launches first biofuel-powered ship

The first ever US Navy ship to run on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations, has been deployed from California.

Report warns of US water woes

A new report published by the US' Department of the Interior warns of major water woes in the west if climate change projections occur.

US waste business reports huge Q1 profits

Waste Connections - a major player in waste transporting and recycling across many western and southern States - has announced impressive profits for the first-quarter of the financial year.

$2.1billion Government loan for solar plant

The world's largest solar plant has been backed financially after the Government underwrote $2.1billion worth of loans for the scheme.

Creed: the success of the AWM and WRAP programme has increased recycling for C&I waste in the region

WRAP gets European funding to boost West Midlands recycling

WRAP has introduced a new business development fund worth £4M, which will focus on creating the infrastructure to recycle a further 500,000 tonnes of waste in the West Midlands by 2015, potentially creating new jobs for the region.

Cllr Cox:

Dorset councils join forces to cut costs

All seven Dorset councils have signed up to the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), which is aiming to save up to £2M a year by 2015-16.

The May Gurney crew with Cllr David Harvey

West Oxfordshire to double recycling rate within a year

West Oxfordshire District Council is expecting its recycling and composting rate to almost double within the next 12 months, following the launch of its new waste and recycling service through May Gurney.

The Alfreton waste transfer station will handle up to 50,000tpa of municipal waste

Interserve completes City and County Council build

A new £2.5M waste transfer station, designed and built by Interserve, was officially opened in Alfreton, Derbyshire, last week.

31 arrested for $3.5m recycling fraud

California hopes to prosecute 31 people it believes were involved in a scam that saw millions of bottles and cans trucked in from neighbouring Nevada and Arizona to take advantage of the state's favourable recycling rules.

EMS sorts it for Fife Council

EMS wins plant deal with Fife Council

EMS, the Northern Ireland recycling plant manufacturer, has been awarded a contract to manufacture a sorting plant for Fife Council's Lochhead landfill site.

Urban Warriors

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Bloomberg told a meeting of city leaders how green policies were helping the fight against climate change. At city level, Copenhagen gave real cause for optimism, says Mike Scott

California adopts green building standards

California has become the first American state to adopt a mandatory green building standards code.

Schwarzenegger to attend COP15

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he will attend the Copenhagen climate change talks.

California adopts 'comprehensive' new water strategy

A water strategy based on borrowing billions is being heralded as the plan needed to break the deadlock between conflicting interests in California.

Partnership launched to tackle water scarcity

The Water Futures partnership has been launched by SABMiller and WWF to tackle water scarcity in several of its key operating countries. The partnership builds on existing best practice undertaken by SABMiller and WWF in Colombia, Honduras and El Salvador and will build a detailed understanding of the risks posed by the predicted water stress in Peru, Tanzania, South Africa and Ukraine.

Climate change adaptation needs human focus

Delegates from the universities of Cambridge and California San Diego met with politicians at the Global Water Initiative conference to develop an action plan for adaptation to the impacts of regional climate change on African water supplies.

Undersea contaminated land capping announced

More than $50m will be spent tackling contaminated land off the coast of California, America's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.

CIWEM: Flood bill offers great opportunity

The consultation period covering the draft Flood and Water Management Bill ended today (July 24, 2009), with CIWEM saying the Bill offers a great opportunity to deliver better-integrated environmental management given adequate support, guidance and funding.

Why carrots beat sticks

It's all very well threatening countries with legislative sticks, writes BT's Chris Tuppen. But carrots can prove more effective at encouraging countries to achieve emissions targets. And, for countries to do this, big businesses need to change their polluting ways - something BT has been incentivised to do for years

Interview: Steve Howard, The Climate Group - "I'm obsessed with this problem"

The Climate Group has been formidable in putting climate change issues on the G8 agenda. Erik Jaques talks to its founder Steve Howard, a man driven by a sense of purpose who wants the work of the organisation to make him 'personally redundant'

EC sends Italy warning on wastewater

The European Commission is sending Italy a final written warning for not complying with the 1991 Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

Safe to go back to the water

Dissolved organics in potable water can, under certain conditions, produce carcinogenic compounds. Hugh Lloyd, analytical product manager of ABB, examines how they are formed, and the technology available to detect them.

Clearing the air

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ken Livingston share a vision of a smog-free horizon. But the UK needs to look beyond the current emissions regulations to achieve clean air, writes Kevin Stanley

How the budget will impact on environmental sector

The Environmental Industries Commission has compiled a thorough analysis of how member companies are likely to be affected by Alistair Darling's first budget.

Californian plans to reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles have been scuppered

EPA blow to California's green dreaming

Californian plans to put tough legal limits on the level of greenhouse gases produced by vehicles used in the state have been turned down by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Infratech claims that the system can generate around 50% more energy than rooftop solar systems

Floating solar array generates energy and protects California's water

A 1MW floating solar panel array consisting of more than 3000 panels is set to provide clean energy and water sanitation in California, after successful trials in the Australian Outback.

Google to invest a fortune in renewables

Internet search engine Google is set to plough hundreds of millions of dollars into renewable energy projects in an effort to drive forward clean technology to make it 'cheaper than coal'.

California has adopted laws on water efficient toilets

California lays down law on water efficient toilets

California has shored up its reputation as an environmentally pioneering state - by passing a motion on water efficient toilets.

New initiative aims to cut GHG's by 15% by 2020

Eight North American states and provinces have come together to take steps on establishing a comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction system.

California blueprint for fuel emission cuts published

Experts in California have released their blueprint for tackling global warming by reducing the amount of carbon emissions from transport fuels in the state.

Schwarzenegger considers Californian water woe

A rapidly growing population and commercial agriculture is putting a strain on California's water supply, according to State governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who unveiled plans for a massive investment in water storage this week.

Bioenergy has received a cash boost from government in the USA

US Department of Energy pumps $125 million into bioenergy research

Researchers from the University California Davis will partner in a new $125 million bioenergy research centre funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

US refinery hit with fine for pollution

An American refinery has been fined $1 million for threatening groundwater supplies by dumping polluted water into wells.

Governor Schwarzenegger wants to make the environment hip - like body building

Make global warming cool - Schwarzenegger

The environmental movement needs to shed its 'tree-hugging weirdo' past and embrace a new, confident 'sexy' image as it enters the mainstream, according to Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Busy roads hinder lung development

Living near a busy road can lead to asthma and stunt lung development according to a Californian study involving almost 4,000 children.

The plant removes the salt from the water and turns it into usable products

America's largest solar desalination project seeks $10m crowdfunding

A California company is trying to crowdfund $10m to part-fund the building of the US' largest solar desalination project.

The presidential candidate pledged to get federal government on board with streamlining legal processes to allow quicker applications and grants for green innovations

Hillary Clinton plans to transform US into 'clean energy superpower'

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has unveiled the green steps she believes the US will need to adopt in order to become "the clean energy superpower of the 21st century".

The majority of GHG emissions from food occur before produce leaves the gate, in the growing portion of a producers supply chain

Food firms must collaborate to unearth climate risks, says CDP

Some of the world's largest food, beverage and tobacco brands are missing out on significant financial and production quality gains by failing to mitigate climate risks and reduce carbon emissions, a new report has warned.

Cutting desalination's energy habit

Droughts cost the United States billions of dollars each year. Desalination could bring relief - but energy-guzzling technologies like reverse osmosis are plagued by financial and environmental drawbacks. Here Joseph Ellsworth, CTO of, proposes an alternative.

The letter asks food and beverage companies for increased transparency and disclosure about their exposure to water risk

Global investors urge food firms to address rising water risks

Investors managing more than $2.6trn in assets have sent joint letters to 15 international food and drink companies amid growing concerns over water security and pollution.

California considers trading carbon with like-minded states

The USA's two strongholds of action on carbon emissions, California and a cluster of north eastern states on the Atlantic seaboard, have spoken of plans to join forces in the hopes of making their individual efforts more effective.

Low carbon investment company goes public

A UK company which will invest in low carbon products and technologies has been floated on the London Stock Exchange, raising £44.5 million from the sale of its shares.

California sets binding carbon cut targets

California has adopted legally binding targets for greenhouse gas cuts after governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law committing the state to reducing emissions by 25% by 2020.

California's four-year drought has seen water levels reach historic lows

Golden State: How California is surviving its worst drought in history

California remains in the claws of the longest drought in the state's history, placing unprecedented strain on the its water supplies. But could the scramble to save water actually help the state in the long run?

Well treated robots? The motor industry has one of the best CSR records around

Motor giants most open about their environmental performance

The bigger the motor company, the more detailed and accessible its sustainability and environmental reporting tends to be - says a US research centre.

Millions of shade balls are released into an LA reservoir to combat water loss

Sustainability stats: This week in numbers

This week edie reported plenty of tech news from Silicon Valley, UK food waste figures and developments from our very own foreign correspondent in Indonesia.

Pollution: LA's biggest import?

Asian pollution affects air quality in west coast USA

Airborne pollution blown across the Pacific Ocean is having a much greater impact on American air quality than previously thought, according to Californian academics.

Governor Schwarzenegger outlines his Biofuel Action Plan

California dreaming of biofuelled future

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, has announced plans to attract new facilities and investment in the state's booming biofuel industry.

Humans wiping out coastal marine life, study shows

Human exploitation of coastal waters and estuaries has wiped out 65% of their wetland and sea-grass habitats and depleted 90% of marine species, new research suggests.

Sustainable wine production is big business in California

Sustainable viticulture ripens in California

Though it still only accounts for a tiny fraction of California's total vine crop, sustainable wine production is a fast-growing business in the American state.

The Nebia claims to be 70% more water efficient than regular showers

Water-saving shower crowdfunds almost $1m in less than 2 days

A new shower that is 70% more water-efficient than regular models is nearing $1m of funding in its Kickstarter campaign less than 48 hours after launch.

Mayor Garcetti releases the final balls onto Los Angeles reservoir

'Shade balls' to save drought-stricken Los Angeles 300 million gallons of water

Los Angeles is using millions of 'shade balls' to prevent water loss during California's worst drought in recorded history.

Musk said the biggest order taken had been for 250 Powerpacks, with an average of 5-10 per order

Tesla already has reservations for $1bn worth of energy storage

Tesla has taken 100,000 reservations for its Powerpack and Powerwall battery products, worth approximately $1bn, according to founder Elon Musk.

Communities and corporations both want America's water

US communities demand right to public water supply

With America's biggest private water provider up for sale, local citizens are demanding the "democratic right" to buy their own water facilities, claiming that privatisation has brought them high prices, bad service and corporate meddling in politics.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: 'I believe the science is in. The debate is over and the time for action is now.' Photo: whydoIcare

Arnold Schwarzenegger: climate change is not science fiction

Terminator star calls global warming a 'battle in the real world' that's bigger than any movie, at the first summit of conscience for the climate in Paris.

Friday to Saturday (3-4 July) mark celebrations of Solar Independence Day

Solar Independence Day: Six ways solar is revolutionising sustainability

As Britain enjoys a bout of summer sun, solar farms are preparing to open up to the public for Solar Independence Day.

Pigeon bloggers will monitor pollution

A flock of Californian pigeons, each bird equipped with a scaled down monitoring array, are to get its own website to report pollution in the skies above San Jose.

Governor Schwarzenegger's plans to reduce California's GHG emissions have been found to have no net cost to consumers

California's emissions can be terminated with no cost to consumers

Plans to reduce California's emissions of greenhouse gases to 2000 levels by 2010 were given a huge boost this week after the Centre for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) found they could be achieved with no net cost to consumers.

Record $1m fine for polluting Seven-Up

A soft drinks company has been hit with fines in excess of US$1 million for water pollution offences in California.

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