Mon. – 4/30 – 3 quick environmental actions

Coal-Ash disaster from lingers in Tennessee as regulation fight rages. People continue to die of the health effects to this day. In 2008, a 5.4-million-cubic-yard torrent from a coal ash slurry-filled pond choked waterways and created a moonscape of mounds residents dubbed ‘ashbergs.’ Photographer: Wade Payne/Bloomberg via Getty Images

1. Deadline is TODAY, April 30th. – Don’t Weaken Coal Ash Disposal Regulations.

coal ash

Scott Pruitt is proposing to weakening the Coal Combustion Residuals rules that safeguard communities from coal ash contamination.  A toxic by-product of coal burning power plants, coal ash contains arsenic, lead, mercury and other contaminants, and its disposal was regulated in 2015 by the EPA to reduce health and environmental risks to communities. But at the behest of the utility industry, the Trump Administration has proposed the first of two rules that would weaken the essential protections that those EPA rules provide.

Deadline for comments is TODAY April 30th.  Comment to EPA here, by 11:59 PM ET. 

For talking points, go here  Defending Health and Environmental Safeguards for Coal Ash Disposal, and here.

To see what others have written, go here. Some people  attach long letters, some people just have one impassioned sentence. More comments are better. There are now just over 65,000 comments. We need a lot more.

Sample Script: I strongly oppose the proposed rollback of the Cool Combustion Residuals rules that protect communities from contamination by irresponsible disposal of coal ash. The proposed rollback will weaken groundwater protections, make cleanup discretionary and eliminate requirements that toxic leaking ponds install protective liners or be closed.  We must keep these basic environmental protections in place to secure the health of our communities.

#2. Vote on Wednesday! A “boring” bill will make salmon extinct in two rivers…

This bill purposely looks dull and benign, a skill that anti-environmental forces excel at. Luckily, we have experts in our corner.

Bill: H.R. 3144“To provide for operations of the Federal Columbia River Power System pursuant to a certain operation plan for a specified period of time, and for other purposes.”

Translation: This could lead to the extinction of wild salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers—iconic species in the Pacific Northwest that the federal government is required by law to protect.

This passed in the House on Wednesday! It seeks to overturn multiple federal court decisions that protect endangered salmon and steelhead.

  • It undermines bedrock environmental laws. Slippery slope, indeed.
  • It forbids any action that might reduce power generation at Columbia and Snake River dams without an act of Congress—from the simple action of spilling more water over dams in the spring to help endangered fish migrate, to studying the possibility of removing the four aging lower Snake River dams.
  • It mandates that salmon populations be managed based on a 2014 federal plan that was rejected in two court decisions as being illegal, for not doing enough to save the fish from extinction.

Action: Wednesday’s vote advances the bill to the U.S. Senate. Please call your senators and tell them to vote “NO”!

Minimal Script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to vote ‘NO‘ on H.R. 3144 and to vigorously call-out any senators who would vote to destroy a species.

Check out the cosponsors here and “Yes” voters here. If they belong to you, give them a piece of your mind.

Senator Feinstein: DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Other Contacts:

#3. Put this on your calendar – May 15th, 5pm, Ventura City Hall

Greetings Marine Mammal Activists: If any of you are interested, below is information regarding the upcoming preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Pt. Mugu Sea Range which covers over 36,000 square miles off the coast of Ventura county.

The U.S. Navy will be holding a public scoping meeting on this on May 15th, 5 PM at Ventura City Hall.
In the past I have met with U.S. Navy officials regarding the use of underwater sonar which disrupts the navigation of whales and dolphins.
 I also want to make sure that Sea Range actions do not disrupt the sea otter colony on the navy owned San Nickolas  Island.
for the wild,
Jim Hines, Team Member
Sierra Club Protect Wild Utah Campaign

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