Sustainable Industries Daily Update
- In Seattle yesterday, the City Council approved Council Bill 116907 as part of its 2010 Year of Urban Agriculture efforts. The ordinance updates the City’s Land Use code governing urban agriculture uses, including allowing “urban farms” and “community gardens” in all zones, with some limitations in industrial zones. Also, residents will now be able to sell food grown on their property. It also opens the door to rooftop gardening in a way that it wasn't possible before. Now, buildings with rooftop gardens for food production will get 15-foot height limit exemptions to all the construction of greenhouses.
- In other food-related news, the state of West Virginia is investigating Monsanto on the grounds that the company's marketing of Rounup Ready II soybeans included deceptive practices. According to the Center for Rural Affairs, "West Virginia farmers are paying higher prices for the Generation 2 trait when the yields do not live up to Monsanto’s claims that the new trait will yield 7 to 11 percent more yield than Monsanto’s original Roundup Ready trait.”
- That isn't stopping efforts to spread the use of genetically modified organisms. A Massachusetts-based company continues to work hard on getting FDA approval for a genetically engineered salmon it plans to sell for human consumption. The company says it expects FDA to convene an an advisory panel and start taking public comment soon.
- The makers of the popular Walk Score site which allows users to enter an address to determine the walkability of a location released a new tool yesterday called Transit Score. Similar in design to the Wak Score site, Transit Score rates the availability of transit at a location. It also breaks down the costs and time spent commuting from the address to another address using various modes of transportation including walking, biking, mass transit and driving. The original Walk Score has been used by real estate agents marketing to those looking to live in dense urban neighborhoods. That usage uncovered that a one-point walk-score increase raises home value by $500 to $3000.
- NPR took an in-depth look at efforts in California to meet the state's short- and long-term RPS goals as the first installment in a five-part series on renewable energy in the Golden State.