Posts tagged: air

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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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.

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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
08 April 2009, 10:13 AM
 

Question: When is dry cleaning actually dry?
Answer: Never. 

When you send your dry-clean-only clothes to the local dry cleaner (and believe me, I'm the first to admit I'm a stickler for nicely pressed shirts and pants) they use special machines and a toxic solvent called perchloroethylene to get your clothes clean.

That sickly sweet smell you notice when you take off the plastic covering? That's the residue of perchloroethylene, otherwise known as perc. Federal and state regulators say that over prolonged periods of time, perc may cause cancer, can damage your kidneys and liver, and will irritate your eyes, skin, and throat.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
19 March 2009, 12:40 PM
 

One year ago in this column, I called on Environmental Protection Agency chief Stephen Johnson to resign for letting politics, not science, guide his agency's decisions. Nor was I alone—10,000 EPA employees were in open revolt for the same reason. Johnson was defying the Supreme Court's ruling that his agency should move forward on climate change and was refusing to approve California's forward-looking controls on climate-altering pollution.

Today, I am calling on all Earthjustice supporters to join with me in thanking his successor, Lisa Jackson, for steering the EPA back on course with a string of good decisions, especially her action last week aimed at regulating one of the most toxic side effects of burning coal for power: coal ash.

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View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
19 March 2009, 10:59 AM
 

We knew the proposed Red Cliff coal mine in western Colorado had a lot of problems.  It's no secret that coal is a dirty fuel.  On top of the predictable global warming impacts from burning the mined coal, this mine each year will spew thousands of tons of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than CO2 - into the atmosphere without controls.   It will require bulldozing in the Hunter Canyon proposed wilderness.  And it will degrade important habitat for deer and elk.

The project will likely also bring another unwelcome impact to Colorado's West Slope: smog (AKA ozone).  If you couldn't figure that out by reading the BLM's 1,000+ page environmental impact statement, there's a reason for that:  BLM didn't analyze the mine's ozone impacts.

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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
13 March 2009, 10:11 AM
 

The New York Times reports via Greenwire that the Obama administration is making some legal maneuvers that could mean they are reconsidering health standards for smog pollution set by the Bush administration back in 2007. Earthjustice and the 60,000 of you who participated in our Adopt the Sky campaign told Bush that his approach ignored science and the law, setting a standard that fell short of what scientists recommended were safe levels to protect public health.

I know, I know, big surprise that the Bush administration let politics trump science and set a standard that did a terrible job of protecting public health and the environment, but that's why we sued them in court!

The Obama administration asked the court to "stall proceedings" on our lawsuit challenging the weak Bush standard in order to "determine whether to revise the controversial Bush-era standards," according to the Times story. Of course, we remain optimistic that the current EPA will listen to the recommendations of science and set a standard protective of public health.

View Brian Smith's blog posts
24 February 2009, 5:41 PM
 

The lungs of America got two big breaks this week with court rulings that protect them from air pollution emitted by power plants, factories, and diesel trucks.

And there is a strong hint of more to come.

On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case defending an ill-conceived cap and trade system for emissions of mercury, lead, arsenic and other pollutants from the nation's coal-fired power plants. Earthjustice and our clients had argued that such a system would create toxic hot spots in regions across the nation.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
18 February 2009, 11:30 AM
 

In less than a month, President Obama has tackled several items on a list of Six Easy Things that Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen set forth for the new administration last November.

1) Move towards reducing CO2 emissions under the Clean Air Act

One of the most significant actions came this week when the EPA said it would reconsider the infamous "Johnson memo" issued just before Obama took office by Bush's EPA chief Stephen Johnson. The memo directed EPA staff to ignore regulation of CO2 even though the U.S. Supreme Court said EPA had the authority. Obama EPA chief Lisa Jackson said she is reconsidering that memo and will seek public comment.

Bottom Line: The EPA appears headed towards regulating CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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View David Guest's blog posts
17 February 2009, 6:35 PM
 

One of the last dirty coal power plants on tap in the Sunshine State could get cleaner, thanks to new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Lisa Jackson and her wise decision to take another look at regulating carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
15 February 2009, 6:06 AM
 

This column by Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen appeared in Alternet.

Americans who love to grumble about regulations now have some they can cheer about. The New England Journal of Medicine is reporting that we now live an extra five months, thanks to regulations that have cleaned up air pollution over the last few decades.

By breathing air cleansed of particulates, the federally-funded study said, Americans in 51 cities are enjoying those extra months—and people in the most-polluted cities are getting 10 months of bonus life.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
06 February 2009, 4:53 PM
 

A bunch of utility operators are still trying to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to let them pour poisonous mercury into the air - but after today, they are standing alone. The Obama administration said it is withdrawing its support, and in fact, wants the court to drop the case.

Label this a victory for Earthjustice, its clients, and those thousands of citizens eating mercury-contaminated fish and forced to breathe in all the toxic fumes that the Bush administration would allow. Over eight years, that amounted to 700,000 pounds of mercury and other toxic stuff. We sued to stop this awful practice and won, but Bush's lawyers partnered up with the utilities and appealed to the Supreme Court so that it could continue.

Now, if the Court agrees, we can start breathing easier.

View Sarah Jackson's blog posts
06 February 2009, 12:11 PM
 

A study in this month's "American Journal of Agricultural Economics" shows a significant correlation between rising numbers of factory farm animals and increased infant mortality. The study found that an increase of 100 million pounds of farm animal flesh meant 123 more infant deaths for every 100,000 babies born. That means our shift in the last half century away from sustainable family farms and toward highly concentrated factory farms has put our babies in jeopardy.

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