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

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 »

Working Together for Change

By Paula W, Pittsburgh Phone Organizer

Working as a political canvasser can be frustrating. Especially when certain politicians seem more intent on digging in, maintaining the status quo, and working for a very small set of special interests. But we can change that – when we partner together.

Most of us who work to protect our environment care deeply about the issues we are working on. It’s certainly not the money that is the payoff – it’s the people. Working at Clean Water affirms the importance of a shared belief or vision: creating a better environment for all of us. I may never get to meet some of our members in places like Rhode Island, but knowing that, with their support, we can impact millions is huge. It is so motivational for my co-workers and myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Oil and Gas Industry Influence: It’s not just the Drinking Water Study!

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

Today Inside Climate News and Desmogblog published unsettling details on the oversized influence of the natural gas industry over EPA’s long awaited Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Thousands of documents made possible by a Greenpeace Freedom of Information Act request detail just how lopsided the relationship was between companies, namely Chesapeake Energy and Range Resources and the EPA – specifically when trying to reach an agreement on potential prospective cases studies. The idea behind prospective case studies was for EPA to monitor the operations of a natural gas well from beginning to end, including baseline water quality samples before drilling began. This type of case study seems like a critical and non-controversial aspect of any study designed to identify potential impacts to drinking water from fracking operations. That was not that case. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Right Side of History with a Commonsense Veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

By John Noel, National Oil and Gas Campaign Coordinator – Follow John on Twitter (@Noel_Johnny)

Today we are thrilled to hear the President vetoed S.1, a bill which would approve the Keystone Pipeline and put millions at risk of groundwater contamination while significantly increasing carbon pollution from the dirtiest oil on the planet.

The risk of spills from the pipeline are  put squarely on the backs of landowners, farmers and Native American communities in the pipelines path, while the benefits of the project are concentrated to a few in the fossil fuel industry. Clean Water Action applauds this great news and commends the prolonged grassroots movement that led the call to deny the pipeline and instead chart a course for a truly clean energy future.

Hit ‘em where it hurts…The Bottom Dollar

By Will Fadely, Baltimore Program Organizer – Follow Will on Twitter (@TrillChillWill )

MD Will fadely blog postSince Energy Answer’s entrance into Baltimore in 2008, we have been organizing with numerous groups like Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), Sierra Club, Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), Community Research, Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and others in order to fight the proposed Energy Answers Incinerator. Especially instrumental was Free Your Voice a group of local students assisted by United Workers.

The campaign has focused on encouraging groups contracted to receive energy from the monstrosity known as Energy Answers to divest from dirty Waste-To-Energy (WTE) that pollutes our communities and invest into truly green energy.

With a stroke of Friday the 13th luck, we had some success!

The Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) and its members voted to terminate their contract to buy energy from the Energy Answers Incinerator proposed for Baltimore City.

This is a big step toward stopping the incinerator! Some members of BRCPC include Baltimore County Public Schools, MD Department of General Services, and the City of Annapolis, to name a few.

It shows that after five years those originally supporting the nation’s largest waste-to-energy incinerator being built within one mile of schools, playgrounds and communities recognize it is a poorly conceived and unjust project.

The time has come for our community to take a stand for what we want and deserve. We deserve clean air, we deserve a say in what happens in our community and this decision has given us a step towards that right.

“This community has been dumped on for years; it’s time for a positive change,” Meleny exclaimed, a Brooklyn Park resident.

Now that BRCPC has opted out of receiving dirty energy from Energy Answers, LLC, it opens the door for truly green alternatives, such as a Curtis Bay resident’s proposed plan for a solar farm, and other zero waste options.

These alternatives have shown to create more jobs, clean and fair development for Curtis Bay and Baltimore City.

This should urge the other contractees with Energy Answers to terminate their agreements, as well as elected officials to pull their support, and give city residents the opportunity to invest in zero waste alternatives, while preventing further environmental injustice.

What’s in your couch?

By Susan Eastwood – Follow Susan on Twitter (@SCEastwood)

Credit: Arlen, PhotoPin

Credit: Arlen, PhotoPin

Most of our home furniture is padded with foam to make it comfortable. In the past, high levels of flame retardant chemicals were added to the foam in furniture and baby products to meet the outdated furniture flammability standard known as Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117). These chemicals do not provide a significant fire safety benefit and they are associated with serious health issues, including cancer, hormone disruption, and learning disorders[1]. Babies and young children are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of these chemicals since their bodies and brains are still developing.

One of the main sources of flame retardants in your home is the couch. Flame retardants escape and end up in the dust and air, increasing as the foam gets older and starts to break down. Toddlers have the highest levels of exposure because of their hand-to-mouth behavior and proximity to the floor where dusts settles. Biomonitoring studies on children have shown extremely high levels of flame retardants in their blood[2]. The chemicals are washed into the water supply and cause damage to wildlife and water quality[3]. Read the rest of this entry »

Colorado Needs Clean Water – Testimony at Wednesday’s Bicameral Hearing

By Sara Lu, Colorado Director – Follow our Colorado Team on Twitter (@CleanWaterCO1)

Wednesday, the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a joint Congressional hearing on EPA’s proposal to close loopholes in Clean Water Act protections for small streams and wetlands. I was proud to hear Clear Creek County Commissioner Tim Mauck make a compelling case for this overdue proposal to protect clean water. Tim pushed back on many of the myths opponents of this common sense rule have trotted out since it was proposed in March 2014.

Commissioner Mauck, a second-term member of the Clear Creek County Commission in Colorado gave persuasive testimony about the importance of healthy streams and wetlands to Colorado, our businesses and our natural resources.  Protecting these vital water bodies has been a priority for Clean Water Action for over decade. Thank you Tim for your powerful testimony!

You can read Tim’s statement here and learn more about yesterday’s hearing and our campaign to protect all of our water here.

New Standards Will Protect the Most Vulnerable

Rosanna Esparza, Kern County Oil and Gas Program Organizer

Oil and Gas Operations

Oil and Gas Operations

The majority of Californians live in counties with unhealthy air. But nowhere is the air unhealthier than in the San Joaquin Valley.

The San Joaquin Valley has never met the federal health standards for smog. Never. In fact, Valley residents face some of the worst smog pollution in the country. If you live in Kern County, home of the largest oil fields in California, the air you breathe may put your health at risk. Residents face a host of pollutants and toxic chemicals from the oil & gas industry, smog-forming emissions from fuels, vehicles, machinery and engines.

How bad is it? Read the rest of this entry »

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