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oil spill

Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times (pool)

California oil and gas regulators announced today a series of initiatives aimed at better protecting public health and the environment, including more scrutiny of permitting for some extraction techniques and a moratorium on another called cyclic steam extraction. “These are necessary steps to strengthen oversight of oil and gas extraction as we phase out our dependence on fossil fuels and focus on clean energy sources,” wrote Governor Gavin Newsom in a press release.

Cal Spill Watch

Juan Flores remembers sitting in a meeting in July when his phone started blowing up. He’s a community organizer with the non-profit advocacy group Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment. “A fellow colleague in environmental justice work, he literally called me three times,” he says.

Not wanting to disturb his meeting, Flores declined the calls at first. “By the third time, I said now this is something important and serious so let me actually step out and take the call,” he says.

Cal Spill Watch

In early July, our sister station KQED first reported a huge oil seep in the Cymric Oilfield of western Kern County. At that time, hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil had been bubbling up to the surface for more than two months, yet neither the public nor lawmakers had been notified.

On this week’s Valley Edition: We return to 1619, the first year enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of Virginia. Four hundred years later, what are the repercussions of this brutal institution? 

Also the National Science Foundation has picked up RadioBio, a podcast produced by students at UC Merced. Scientists at the top of their fields explain everything from flying lizards to T-cells.

And will Hanford’s historic Carnegie Museum remain open? We visit the Kings County city to learn more.

When it comes to the 2020 census, why are some San Joaquin Valley communities among the country’s hardest to count? We explore what some advocates are doing to reach those who may have never been counted before.

Volunteers also share how they’re working to improve the quality of life for the 2,600 foster kids in Fresno and Madera Counties.

Plus, we speak with doctors trying to improve health care for the LGBTQ+ community, and we hear from a panel of water leaders about the latest in a statewide attempt to better manage groundwater.

Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times (pool)

An oil seep in Western Kern County has now grown to more than a million gallons in size. On Wednesday, for the first time since the spill was reported, Governor Gavin Newsom paid a visit to the site near the community of McKittrick.

California Office of Spill Prevention and Response

Update July 24:

Chevron reports the seep has grown to more than a million gallons in size.

Update July 19: