It’s Personal: Calling on Walgreens for a Safe Chemical Policy

By Cindy Luppi, New England Regional Director

This post was originally published at Women’s Voices for the Earth

Cindy Luppi
Cindy and partners recently delivered over 135,000 petition signatures collected nationally to Walgreens stores in Hartford and Boston.

I feel really fortunate to live in the kind of community where your neighbors are a  cornerstone of your life — we get together for coffee on Saturday mornings in our pj’s, we take care of each others’ pets when someone goes away to travel, and we share our family life. In the past 5 years, my two closest neighbors and I have all lost our moms to cancer. Our 3 moms grew up in different areas, had very different lives, struggled in different ways with 3 different kinds of cancer. But the bottom line is that as neighbors, we tried to help hold the pieces together as we each struggled with first taking care of our moms and then learning how to live without our moms after they passed away. There wasn’t a specific chemical spill that had exposed our moms to cancer-causing chemicals, they didn’t work together in a potentially sick building, and none of them had a family history of cancer.  So how did this happen? How is it that all of us lost our moms too early in our lives? Why are cancer rates, and rates of other chronic disorders linked to toxic chemicals like learning disabilities so elevated population-wide? Read more…

Posted on April 23, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work | Leave a Comment

Burning Tires (Hazardous is the New Clean)

By Denny Green, Michigan Office Manager and Communications Coordinator

This post originally appeared on Eclectablog

You know that warm, cozy feeling you get from seeing black toxic plumes of smoke billowing up from a pile of burning hazardous rubbish and industrial waste? (No, I didn’t think so.)

Well, earlier this month Republican State Representative Aric Nesbitt introduced an eight-bill package that redefine burning old tires as “renewable energy”. (Yes, you read that right.) This pack of reckless and irresponsible ideas flagrantly thumbs its nose at Michigan’s current renewable energy standard (which defines “renewable energy sources” as things like wind and solar … you know, real renewable energy). Read more…

Posted on April 23, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Leave a Comment

EPA Analysis of Chemicals Used in Fracking Is a Study of the Unknown

By John Noël, National Oil & Gas Campaigns Coordinator – Follow John on Twitter (@Noel_Johnny)

While EPA is working to update existing regulations to modernize environmental protections as the oil and gas industry evolves, the Agency is also studying how the entire process of hydraulic fracturing potentially impacts drinking water. This includes tracking the whole lifecycle of fracking from where the water is acquired all the way through how it is disposed. Recently EPA published an analysis of chemicals the industry uses in its fracturing fluid cocktail. According to EPA, the analysis of the industry funded FracFocus database was intended “to better understand the chemicals and water used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas production wells in the United States and how chemical and water use vary in different locations across the country.”

There is one key detail that tends to overshadow the results — the database is largely incomplete due to the industry’s ability to withhold critical information about the chemicals used. In fact, 1 in 10 chemicals were claimed as trade secrets and not disclosed and 70 percent of wells had at least 1 chemical withheld as a trade secret. A study published by Harvard Law School last year outlines in greater detail the drawbacks of relying on FracFocus as a dependable regulatory tool. Read more…

Posted on April 17, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | 2 Comments

Closing the Gap: Help Keep Oil & Gas Wastewater Pollution Out of our Lakes, Rivers and Bays

By John Noël, National Oil & Gas Campaigns Coordinator – Follow John on Twitter (@Noel_Johnny)

This week EPA proposed an update to a 30 year old Clean Water Act program that regulates oil and gas wastewater discharges to sewage treatment plants, or publically owned treatment works (POTWs). In the past we know that oil and gas companies have sent millions of gallons of wastewater to these plants which then discharge it to local rivers, lakes and bays.

The problem is that these sewage plants were never designed to treat wastewater coming from unconventional oil and gas operations, that is, those using fracking or other modern technologies which allow the industry to access previously unreachable oil and gas reserves. Unconventional production generally is code for the majority of new oil and gas wells drilled today. Read more…

Posted on April 14, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off

Hold the phones! Literally

By Cindy Luppi, New England Regional Director

Lula Pearl is making the call. Will you?

Join Lula Pearl and make the call today!

Call your Senators Today: To call your Member of Congress: US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 

You may not have noticed yet but there’s an epic battle about to break wide open and onto the floors of Congress regarding our nation’s chemical safety policies. The chemical industry would like to preserve as much of the status quo as possible, with few restrictions on how they produce and distribute chemicals. The nation’s leading health and environmental groups are pushing for common sense updates that reflect modern science and protect our families from toxic chemicals in every day products like children’s toys and couch cushions.

This battle will answer critical questions like how soon we can expect protection from  asbestos and other toxic chemicals with strong links to cancer or learning disabilities.  Will there be stringent enforcement of the law that ultimately passes, or will follow through be crippled by blocking the usual role of state officials? Will there be loopholes that allow years of stalling and foot dragging from the Exxon Mobiles and Dow Chemicals of the world,  or will the Environmental Protection Agency be given the tools they need to move on health-based decisions about toxic chemicals? Read more…

Posted on April 14, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off

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