Thur 6/6: Do an “Interpretative” dance with the EPA – Write a comment to stop a dirty loophole in the Clean Water Rule. Deadline, Friday, 6/7.

How does a river catch on fire…13 times? Ohio’s Cuyahoga River caught fire because flammable petroleum products were being dumped directly into it, along with contaminated seepage from groundwater. Images like these from 1962 inspired the creation of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Action – Write a comment on why Andrew is wrong before 11:59 pm EST Friday 6/7!

imageHey, remember this guy? Andrew Wheeler, fossil fuel lobbyist, Washington Coal Club VP and putative Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? An earlier public notice period alerted him to Big Ag and Industry’s annoyance with requirements to get NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits. And they didn’t think they should have to for releasing hazardous waste to groundwater systems with direct hydrologic connections to potable surface water. So Andrew issued an INTERPRETATIVE STATEMENT – the EPA and the Clean Water Act (CWA) would no longer protect the public from releases of pollutants from a “point source” to groundwater, regardless of the risks posed by hydrologic connections to potable surface water. If this rule change goes through, it’s another win for big agricultural, industrial and commerical polluters. Significant sources of water pollution, like agricultural storm water discharges and return flow from irrigated agriculture are already excluded the EPA’s charge. Now, this proposed regulatory loophole will allow polluters to avoid CWA liability by encouraging them to dispose of their problem wastes directly into local groundwater supplies, even when they know it flows into navigable, potable water. Already, a fifth of the United States, over 63 million people, have been exposed to potentially unsafe water.

Stop this now! Take 5 minutes to read some facts we’ve gathered, get mad, and write a comment. It doesn’t have to be long or technical. Just original. Comment here.

image.png Continue reading “Thur 6/6: Do an “Interpretative” dance with the EPA – Write a comment to stop a dirty loophole in the Clean Water Rule. Deadline, Friday, 6/7.”

Tues 2/19: Buzz through this action on bees…

Action – Email your legislators to ask them to stop the EPA’s policy of granting large exceptions for the spraying of apicidal pesticides.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported last week that in 2018 it issued so-called “emergency” approvals to spray sulfoxaflor—an insecticide that scientists as well as the agency itself consider to be “very highly toxic” to bees—on more than 16 million acres of crops known to attract bees.

Read this article here. The video below shows one aspect of what is happening to the bees when exposed to these types of chemical pesticides.

Continue reading “Tues 2/19: Buzz through this action on bees…”

Tues 9/11: Nope, we’re not going back to the dark old days. And we’re not halting our environmental protections either.

Keep working on Kavanaugh here.

Action #1 – Stop the proposed rollback of CA Clean Car Standards

The Trump-controlled EPA announced that they will be abandoning the long-term fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks for 2022-2025, freezing everything at 2020 levels. Worse, but not unexpected, they are trying to revoke California’s Clean Air Act Waiver that allows us to set our own air quality standards along with our own fuel economy standards. That would force us, along with 13 states (and DC) that follow our lead on fuel economy, to use less stringent federal standards for polluting emissions and fuel efficiency. Both proposed provisions would significantly undermine our efforts to control automobile emissions, protect our citizens’ health and slow dangerous climate change.

Oppose the rollback of key federal clean car standards and the elimination of California’s ability to set more stringent standards. Continue reading “Tues 9/11: Nope, we’re not going back to the dark old days. And we’re not halting our environmental protections either.”

Mon. 5/14: Environmental actions in the House! 3 calls and one written action.

Call for each action separately (more accurate) or combine them. 5 minutes total max!

#1 – “NO” on H.R.4239 – “SECURE American Energy Act”. Migratory birds vs. Exxon and friends…

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), enacted 100 years ago, helps protect over 1,000 species of birds from unauthorized hunting, toxic waste, wind turbines, oil spills, and other industrial threats.  The MBTA has been an effective tool to hold oil and gas industries (such as BP in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster) accountable for the deaths of over a million birds.  However, Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) has proposed an amendment into HR 4239, a larger (and very troubling) energy bill, that will gut this landmark legislation and shield corporations and industries from being held financially accountable for actions that negligently kill and injure wild birds.

Minimum Script: I am calling from [zip code] to urge Rep. [___] to vote “NO”  on HR 4239.

More script if you want it: I strongly oppose the gutting of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by the Cheney amendment contained in HR 4239 and urge the strengthening of protections of our migratory bird populations.

Rep. Julia Brownley: (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Other Contacts:

#2 – “NO” on H.R. 2  –  Hey! What part of “farming” is starving kids? Oil drilling on AG Conservation lands? Poisoning water? Killing endangered species?

Continue reading “Mon. 5/14: Environmental actions in the House! 3 calls and one written action.”

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.  Continue reading “Mon. – 4/30 – 3 quick environmental actions”

Mon. 4/23 – Deadline TODAY for these comments on our environment!

Illustration from Science – “Evidence builds that dirty air causes Alzheimer’s, dementia”

#1. – LAST DAY (4/23) Dirtier Air Courtesy of Trump’s EPA

The Trump Administration has been determined to rollback and unravel the hard fought for rules protecting our air, water and soil from pollution. With strong support from the oil and fossil fuel industry, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to withdraw from the Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) that assist states in controlling air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry, and trigger related clean air planning requirements in many areas with ozone smog problems.  Withdrawal of these guidelines would mean that, as a practical matter, much uncontrolled or under-controlled oil and gas industry equipment in impacted areas would continue to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a group of chemicals that react in the atmosphere to form ground-level ozone (smog). Let EPA know we support keeping these guidelines and oppose allowing pollutants to dirty our air.

Deadline for comments to the EPA is TODAY – Monday, April 23.  Comment here.
Read other comments here.

We have been reviewing comments already submitted. There are a number of conservative comments, including letter/attachments from energy companies eager to improve their profit margins, like this one


So get your comments in right away. They do NOT have to be long. There are currently only 14,642 recorded comments.

Sample Written Script:  Pick some of these points and mix and match. More information on air pollution issues here. If your health or someone you love has health issues from pollution, make it personal. Continue reading “Mon. 4/23 – Deadline TODAY for these comments on our environment!”

Tuesday 3/27 – It’s a beautiful spring day! Let’s talk about the birds and the bees…

Or more specifically, how we should be protecting them.

A particular class of pesticides, called Neonics, act as a deadly nerve agent on bees, damaging their brains and crippling their ability to learn, remember and navigate. Bees aren’t the only ones at risk. Research shows that these pesticides harm birds’ navigation abilities as well, and that near-constant neonic exposure in contaminated water can cause lasting damage to aquatic ecosystems.

It’s hard to imagine our world without bees or the 30% of the food crops that they make possible. but this is already happening in countries like China. Here’s a reminder of things we currently take for granted.

There are a variety of villains in the death of our bees, and we’re the source of a number of them. Abnormally severe winters and droughts, byproducts of man-made climate change, outright kill them or destroy their habitation. Monoculture, the practice of growing single crops over large areas are creating food deserts for insects dependent on a variety of flowering plants.  The proliferation of the Varroa mite, a devastating mite from Asia, and the viruses they spread, have had a major impact on the health of bee colonies.  Continue reading “Tuesday 3/27 – It’s a beautiful spring day! Let’s talk about the birds and the bees…”

Environmental War Crimes – Part 5 – Money

A group of demonstrators, including one dressed as the Grim Reaper, march to protest the proposed resettlement of New York’s Love Canal neighborhood. In 1990, the state began selling new homes in Love Canal, a former toxic dump site whose previous residents had to be evacuated due to health hazards. (Photo by William Campbell/Sygma via Getty Images

On Monday,  we started our multi-point breakdown of a singularly destructive bill – HR 3354, a legislative monster of an appropriations act, whose length and complexity hides gifts, in the form of riders, for industries and anti-environmental extremists.  In Parts 1 and 2, we listed those that pose a clear threat to our health and that of our families by the removal or lessening of protections for our air and water. In Part 3, we spotlighted the ones that are focused on taking or abusing our public lands for private financial gain or on hindering their proper management. In Part 4, we focused on those that demonstrated our legislators disrespect for the our lives and health as well as that of our wildlife.

Environmental War Crimes – Part 1 – Air
Environmental War Crimes – Part 2 – Water
Environmental War Crimes – Part 3 – Land
Environmental War Crimes – Part 4 – Life

We’ve loosely organized these riders on their effects on the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.  That one is listed in “Air” in our arbitrary category system, does not preclude it from harming other aspects of the environment. The gas and oil industries and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) are examples that land in every group.

Today we’re going to talk about the ones that didn’t quite fit into any one group, those that specifically loosen controls on toxins, that allow polluters to shift cleanup costs to us and “industry-friendly” riders that are truly breathtaking in the audacity of their corruption. 

It’s just business! – Call to action:

Continue reading “Environmental War Crimes – Part 5 – Money”

Environmental War Crimes – Part 2 – Water

“If you live in the United States, there is a nearly one-in-four chance your tap water is either unsafe to drink or has not been properly monitored for contaminants in accordance with federal law, a new study has found.”  (nytimes)

And under the current GOP administration, it’s going to get worse.(vox)

Yesterday, we started our multi-point breakdown of a singularly destructive bill – HR 3354, a legislative monster of an appropriations act, whose length and complexity hides gifts, in the form of “riders”, for industries and anti-environmental extremists that will ultimately affect our health and that of our families.

(You can find that first installment on the 16 riders specifically allowing increases in our air pollution, here.)

Today, we’re going to talk about water.

As many as 63 million people across the US were exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade (USAtoday). Maybe you think it’s just about Flint, that somehow more environmentally sensitive states like CA are immune…

Continue reading “Environmental War Crimes – Part 2 – Water”

Friday – 3/2 – They’re coming for everything…

Action #1 – “NO” on S.2155 – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act”

From Indivisible: “The week of March 5, the Senate is expected to vote on S. 2155, the deceptively named “Economic Growth, Regulary Relief and Consumer Protection Act”. This bill guts key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act and would shield25 of the world’s 38 biggest banks, such as Deutsche Bank and Santander from regulation and roll back key consumer protections. Indivisible has put out an explainer page here. Here are the basic points.

  • The bill puts us at risk of another crisis. It raises the oversight threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion, exempting 25 of the 38 biggest banks, many of whom received TARP bailout money, from regulation.
  • It allow racial discrimination in mortgage lending to go unchecked
  • It erodes critical consumer protections
  • It started with good intentions to help community banks and consumers, but then lost its way as it was altered to help giants continue their unethical practices..

Check out if your Senator (12 Democrats signed on) got caught up in this here. Continue reading “Friday – 3/2 – They’re coming for everything…”