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Spring has come to Washington, D.C., and the congressional appropriations process—the process by which the government is funded—has emerged from hibernation after last year’s budget deal. The year began with calls from both the Senate and the House of Representatives for “regular order,” which long ago meant getting all of the budget bills that fund different parts of the government completed on time and signed into law individually.

Earthjustice attorneys Jan Hasselman and Amanda Goodin after receiving the Green Hammer award.

For decades, communities across the nation have been exposed to toxic waste due to irresponsible industrial management of toxic chemicals. The so-called “Superfund law of 1980 was enacted to ensure there would be money in place to clean up these industrial messes, but funding often ran dry, leaving the burden of clean-up on the shoulders of taxpayers.

Nagel Photography/Shutterstock

On April 28, 1976, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Mexican gray wolf for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The highly intelligent, social animal was once a mainstay of the American Southwest. Sadly, the decision to protect it came a little late for the lobo. The livestock industry, hunters and government agents had already all but exterminated the species in the Four Corners states. But there was still a glimmer of hope, south of the border. A few of the species remained in Mexico.

NASA/NOAA via NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

The stroke of a pen has been known to shape the course of history. On Earth Day, more than 170 countries signed the global climate deal reached in Paris last December. Do their signatures herald a turning point? Will our children’s children learn to revere the Paris Agreement as the global charter that secured their future? It depends on what we do—or fail to do—in the next two years to implement and strengthen the agreement.

Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich/Shutterstock

Over a year ago, mothers, students and asthmatics reminded the EPA that its job is to protect public health and the environment and to make sure the air we breathe is clean. Some of them traveled six hours by bus to tell their stories.

For example, Anne Morton attended a hearing last January and made an impassioned plea to the EPA:

“We don't have anybody else. We depend on you. Who is our advocate if you're not?”

Flint, Michigan, during the lead contamination crisis in January 2016.

Earlier this year, the nation woke up to the serious problem of lead in our drinking water when news broke that the town of Flint, Michigan had been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water. A breakdown at all levels of government led to the poisoning of more than 8,000 children when the city, in an effort to save money, stopped purchasing treated water from Detroit and began using untreated water taken directly from the Flint River.  


About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.