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BEC Protects

The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is a non-profit environmental organization based in Chico, California. Our mission is to preserve and conserve the Earth’s natural resources, with particular attention to environmental issues in Northern California. BEC was formed in 1975 and throughout its 37 years, BEC has had a significant voice in shaping the environment and policies of Butte County and beyond.

BEC in the News

July 30, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:If you've driven by Oak Way Park this summer or last spring, it's hard to miss something new.
Neatly divided plots of land have sprung to life at the corner of Nord and West Eighth Avenues.
The land is the second community garden organized through the Butte Environmental Council,
Some of the growers are people who were on the waiting list for BEC's community garden on Humboldt Avenue.
Now that things have sprung up, BEC will host a potluck party at Oak Way Park Tuesday night, 5-7 p.m. "Our agreement with the city is that we can do the community garden on the property until it is needed for something else," explained Robyn DiFalco, BEC executive director.BEC has also partnered with Independent Living Services of Northern California. The plan is to build raised beds that will be accessible by people who have mobility limitation.Mark Stemen, a cheerleader for community gardens, was a leading force in the creation of the Humboldt Garden, at Humboldt and El Monte, and had enthusiasm left over to spearhead the garden at Oak Way Park.
Tags: garden, chico, BECby: rdifalco

July 14, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:The northern Sacramento Valley faces a serious threat. Gov. Jerry Brown continues to push his twin tunnels project, under the guise of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The plan proposes a pair of massive tunnels with design capacity sufficient to drain the Sacramento River in a dry year.As Butte Environmental Council’s (BEC) water policy analyst representing North State communities, I reviewed and analyzed more than 40,000 pages of the plan’s description and environmental review documents. An increased, uncompromised water supply for south of Delta interests is the desire. Big Ag and Big Oil will get more water, you get the bill.Proponents failed to disclose the true source of water (the Sacramento Valley), but water transfers are written all over this plan. In fact, 34 separate documents reference water transfers. Proponents failed to acknowledge the potential for environmental and social impacts to the areas of origin, but removing up to 1 million acre-feet of water surely would have significant impacts. And, proponents failed to disclose the amount of groundwater that will increase water flow through the tunnels.Tags: BEC, water, peripheral canal, Twin Tunnels, BDCPby: rdifalco

July 1, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:Chico Tree Advocates were on the job last Arbor Day, April 25. Thanks to more than 10 sponsors and our five volunteers, we received a great seminar about tree planting from Dave Bettencourt, city street tree supervisor.

Thanks also to the Butte Environmental Council for their encouragement and help as our fiscal agency and providing the bright orange vests for our volunteers. Thanks also to Grub and Rental Guys.

Our goal was to plant 10 trees. I bought eight, but when the day came, we had just five sites OK’d for planting. So we planted five trees and we’re still looking for homes for the other three. Since this was our first foray planting city street trees, and because the sky was threatening, I was OK with a short day. As it turned out, minutes after we finished, there was a downpour.

Discussing the day, we agreed that you feel something wonderful, powerful, almost spiritual, about planting trees. It felt good. We look forward to getting these last three planted and for an even larger tree planting event in the fall.Tags: BEC, trees, chicoby: rdifalco

BEC News Interests

July 24, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:OROVILLE >> An initiative aimed at banning hydraulic fracking in Butte County will not go before the supervisors Tuesday.
In June a group called "Frack Free Butte County" submitted petitions to Butte County, seeking to put a measure on the ballot that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing in the search and or recovery of oil and natural gas in gas in the county.
The measure was tied up in a legal challenge until Wednesday when Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman directed the Clerk-Recorder's Office to go forward with counting and authenticating the signatures on the petitions.A press release issued by Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs, who is also the county's chief elections officer, said her office had conducted a random check of 500 signatures among the 8,748 on the petitions in an effort to "certify" the initiative to go to the supervisors Tuesday.
The release said the random check was inconclusive and Grubbs' office would have to conduct a check of all the names on the petitions.
For the initiative to be certified there must be at least 7,605 authenticated signatures.Tags: fracking, ban, Butte County, election, waterby: rdifalco

July 23, 2014

Highlights and Sticky Notes:CHICO >> An initiative drive aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in Butte County has received judicial sanction to move forward.
Butte County Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman ruled Wednesday against an effort to halt the petition drive, organized by a group calling itself Frack Free Butte County, voided. The fracking ban could end up in front of Butte County voters in November.
The petition calls for a ban on all hydraulic fracturing in Butte County. Hydraulic fracturing, often called "fracking," is a technique that involves injecting water and chemicals under high pressure underground to create new or revive existing oil and natural gas wells.
Opponents of fracking claim it poses a serious risk of environmental damage including water pollution.Tags: water, fracking, Butte Countyby: rdifalco

July 22, 2014


  • California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state's drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there. - rdifalco

Highlights and Sticky Notes:The state's Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal "poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources." The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.Tags: water, california, frackingby: rdifalco

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