Archive for the 'Healthy, Safer Families and Communities' Category

Americans Agree: #CleanWaterRules

Protect Clean Water Today!By Jennifer Peters – National Water Programs Director – Follow Jennifer on Twitter (@EarthAvenger)

Nothing is more fundamental than clean water. Though many of us take it for granted until it dries up or becomes too polluted to use. Not only do we all depend on water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, but water is the major economic driver in every sector in our economy. From farming to manufacturing to tourism, I bet you can’t think of a business that does not depend on clean water to thrive. Clean water is needed by everyone everywhere, all the time.

Despite our nation’s dependence on clean water, vital water sources have been at risk of pollution or destruction for more than a decade. This includes many of the streams and wetlands that feed the drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans. For the first thirty years of its existence our nation’s landmark Clean Water Act (CWA), clearly protected nearly every river, lake, bay, wetland or stream in the country. But in the early 2000’s the same polluters who opposed the original CWA were successful in getting the Bush administration to rollback protections for certain streams and wetlands. Clean Water Action and our partner organizations have been fighting to close these dangerous polluter loopholes ever since. Read the rest of this entry »

#Act4CleanWater – Celebrate #Earth Week at Clean Water Conference!

By Jenny Vickers, NJ Communications Manager, Clean Water Action. Follow on Twitter @CleanWaterNJ

FACEBOOK LOGOTake action for clean water during #EarthWeek! Join us at Clean Water Action’s 29th annual conference on Saturday, April 25, 9:00 am-5:00 pm, at Brookdale Community College’s Student Learning Center in Lincroft, NJ.

The event features prominent environmental leaders, scientists and policy makers discussing key issues such as Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Banning Frack Waste, Stopping Bad Oil & Gas Pipelines, Sustainable Water Infrastructure, as well as Protecting the Pinelands & Other Critical Land and Water Resources. Don’t miss out – find all the details on our website and Facebook page and register today!

Tom Moran, Star Ledger editorial page editor and longtime statehouse reporter and political columnist, will lead an Environmental Roundtable with NJ Senator Tom Kean (R-Westfield), NJ Senator Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth), NJ Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Freehold), and NJ Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Hamilton Square). Read the rest of this entry »

A Pleasant Surprise in the Field

When my fellow canvassers hear that I’ve been knocking on doors for Clean Water Action for 4 years, they often say, “so nothing catches you by surprise.”

That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Read the rest of this entry »

Top Weed Killer Linked to Cancer

By Mara Silgailis, PhD, Clean Water Action Board Member and Cedar Grove Environmental Commission Chair

Last week, glyphosate, the pesticide found in the popular herbicide product Roundup, was declared to be “probably carcinogenic to humans” by an international committee of cancer experts known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide (weedkiller) in the world. Not only is glyphosate sprayed on farms, forests, on road sides, parks, and in gardens, but it is used with crops (such as corn, soybeans, and cotton) that have been genetically engineered to be tolerant to the herbicide. Farmers can spray it across entire fields, killing weeds while their crops survive. The use of glyphosate has been soaring in recent years.

The IARC said that several studies have shown that people who work with the herbicide seem to be at an increased risk of a cancer called non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Also, studies link it to tumors in mice and rats, and there is laboratory evidence showing chromosomal damage to human cells from exposure to glyphosate.

Of course industry groups, including Monsanto, attacked the announcement and accused the IARC of “cherry picking data”. And unfortunately the US EPA views glyphosate to be non-carcinogenic to humans since 1991.

We at Clean Water Action have known about the problems with glyphosate for years and that it is detected in water, in the air during spraying, in food, and in people. We know that children, pregnant women, the sick, and elderly are especially vulnerable to pesticides. We have been fighting for Pesticide Free Zones and Safe Playing Fields that avoid the use of toxic chemicals for years.

What’s most alarming is that for over four years, a strong bi-partisan majority of legislators have repeatedly expressed support for legislation that will protect children from toxic pesticides where they play. However, legislative leaders continue to stall the bill.

The Safe Playing Fields Act (S541/A2143) will restrict the use of the most toxic lawn pesticides in day cares, playgrounds, and K-8 school fields. Given the recent Roundup cancer link, it’s clear that our kids’ health can’t wait! Please contact your legislators and urge them to ensure The Safe Playing Fields Act (S541/A2143) becomes law this year. For more information on our pesticides campaign, call 732-963-9714 or email us at


Talking Mercury at the State House

By Dave Gerraughty, Rhode Island Program Organizer

My adrenalin was on overdrive and my nerves were jangling a bit as I was called to testify before the Rhode Island House Environment Committee on our bill to create a Producer Responsibility Program for light bulbs containing mercury.

I had spent the past year researching and implementing a pilot program to demonstrate that Rhode Islanders would respond positively to the opportunity to recycle compact fluorescent bulbs close to home.

The idea was to use the success of Clean Water Action’s program to set the stage for making bulb manufacturers take over the funding of residential recycling. So there was a lot riding on how a strong a case I could make. Read the rest of this entry »

Californians are at risk because Californians’ fracking health risks are ignored

By Rosanna Esparza, Kern County Organizer , and Jhon Arbelaez of Earthworks

Clean Water Action, in partnership with Earthworks, recently published California’s first infrared analysis of oil & gas air pollution’s impact on communities.

When we began research for this report nearly a year ago, we discovered a disturbing lack of data specific to California on the health effects from oil & gas in our state. With a production of nearly 200 million barrels of oil in 2013 alone, this lack of data raises serious questions about our state’s priorities when it comes to protecting the health of its citizens.

We examined two communities. Our analysis found that residents living along with oil & gas production in Lost Hills (Kern County), and Upper Ojai (Ventura County), are at increased risk for health impacts from exposure to oil and gas air emissions.

Californians at Risk: An Analysis of Health Threats from Oil and Gas Pollution in Two Communities recorded and analyzed oil and gas air pollution using specially tuned infrared video – the same technology that companies and regulators use to detect leaks. By using a multi-faceted approach, we were able to show that  Upper Ojai and Lost Hills are being exposed to air pollution associated with oil & gas development. The FLIR camera allowed us to detect invisible-to-the-naked-eye emissions from processing facilities, wells, storage tanks, and unlined evaporation pits.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dirty Water Politics in the Senate

By Michael Kelly, Communications Director – Follow Michael on Twitter (@MichaelEdKelly)

Two things: The drinking water for 1 in 3 of us is at risk of pollution and destruction. EPA wants to fix that and has proposed a strong, commonsense rule to protect clean water.

Two more things: Polluters hate EPA’s Clean Water Rule. And certain members of Congress are doing everything they can to help polluters stop the rule.

Which brings us to this week’s Pollute-A-Rama. This week the House and Senate are voting on their 2016 budget resolutions – the blueprints they’ll use when writing spending bills later in the year – at the end of the week. Before the vote is final there will be dozens upon dozens of amendments. And, with the GOP in charge, most of those amendments weaken commonsense protections for our water, air, and communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to Spring!

By Chris Bathurst, National Canvass Director

It is light longer. Temperatures are climbing and birds are migrating. You are probably excited about the prospects of spring, followed closely by summer (especially if you live anywhere in the northeast).

Your friendly door to door Clean Water Action organizer is also welcoming the change of season. We are very proud of our field staff for their intrepid work throughout this entire challenging winter – save for say our California and Texas team of course. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping Plastic Out of the Chesapeake Bay

Plastics in WaterWill Fadely, Baltimore Program Organizer, (@TrillChillWill on Twitter)

Last winter, environmental advocates trawled the Chesapeake Bay for trash and made some disturbing discoveries.

The Bay is plagued with plastic.

Bags are littered across the Bay floor, wreaking havoc on natural ecosystems for crabs and oysters alike. Similarly, plastic microbeads are being found in fish and marine mammals. Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of the Chemical Industry at Work

By Cindy Luppi, New England Regional Director

Yesterday Senators Vitter (R-LA) and Udall (D-NM) introduced the bill the chemical industry has wished for, one that allows Big Chem to continue to profit at the expense of our health. Upon introduction of the bill today, Cal Dooley, President and CEO for the industry trade association, urged its “swift passage”.

And no wonder… the bill, an update to our nation’s main chemical policy, includes a number of gifts for the industry. A few examples: Read the rest of this entry »

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