Posts tagged: Environmental Protection Agency

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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 Tom Turner's blog posts
22 January 2009, 4:37 AM
 

Earthjustice Press Secretary Kathleen Sutcliffe provides this report on the grave threats posed by toxic coal ash produced at our nation's coal-fired power plants, and the quick action taken by Earthjustice attorney Lisa Evans after recent coal ash spills

Quick quiz, readers.

The byproduct of coal-fired power plants is:

a) the nation’s second largest industrial waste stream;

b) chock full of arsenic, lead, and other toxins;

c) unregulated by federal waste laws; or

d) all of the above

If you guessed 'd,' you’re right. Maybe it was a cynical guess…or maybe you’ve been following recent news of toxic coal ash spills at two separate Tennessee Valley Authority power plants.

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View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
12 January 2009, 2:37 PM
Earthjustice attorney Tom Waldo argues to protect Lower Slate Lake

Earthjustice press secretary Raviya Ismail was at today’s (Jan. 12) U.S. Supreme Court hearing on whether the Clean Water Act allows Coeur Alaska’s Kensington Mine to fill Lower Slate Lake in Alaska with mining waste – killing all aquatic life. Earthjustice attorney Tom Waldo argued to protect the lake. The high court decision, expected by June, could determine whether waterways throughout the nation may be likewise filled and killed. Here is Raviya’s report:

View Tom Turner's blog posts
09 January 2009, 11:56 AM
 

On this coming Monday - while the media are riveted by the upcoming inauguration - the fate of our nation’s waters will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court will hear arguments in an Earthjustice case that has implications for rivers, lakes, and streams across the country.

The case concerns a gold mine north of Juneau, Alaska. The Army Corps of Engineers granted a permit for the mine to Coeur Alaska. One provision of the permit allows Coeur to deposit its mine tailings into Lower Slate Lake after raising the level of the lake by building a long earthen dam.

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View Bill Walker's blog posts
05 January 2009, 4:53 PM
 

When a chemical maker or user gets new information about the possible health hazards of one of its products, it's supposed to tell the EPA. The EPA maintains a website that is supposed to make this information available to the public. But when reporters for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel took a look at some of these so-called Section 8(e) reports, here's what they found:

View Tom Turner's blog posts
22 December 2008, 8:38 AM
 

Reaction from environmental groups to almost-president Obama's cabinet choices has been interesting. Most of the choices have been welcomed by most organizations (Carl Pope made incoming labor secretary Hilda Solis sound like a green Mother Theresa).

Reservations I've heard have been voiced about the National Security Advisor, General Jim Jones, who is said by some to be a climate change nonbeliever, but that's a bit outside the purview of his new job and he's wildly outnumbered by believers in the cabinet and the White House.

View Bill Walker's blog posts
19 December 2008, 3:17 PM
Excess emissions occur routinely at industrial facilities throughout the country

Even when fully complying with federal clean-air laws, refineries are nasty operations, spewing tons of hazardous pollutants into the air of neighboring communities. But under a regulatory loophole, refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities have been allowed to pollute even more during an equipment malfunction, or when shutting down and starting back up following a malfunction.

Why is it not surprising to learn that some of the nation's most notoriously dirty facilities evade clean air law by claiming that they are in startup, shutdown, or malfunction mode much of the time?

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
18 December 2008, 11:35 AM
 

Maybe it's a good thing that Bush has kept Earthjustice so busy these last eight years, fending off unrelenting assaults on the environment. The experience is proving invaluable as we face, in these final weeks of the administration, a frantic effort to roll back some of the nation's most significant protections. We also are encountering a barrage of last-minute attempts to convert America's wild, public treasures into private, commercial commodities.

Any day now, we expect Bush's Fish and Wildlife Service to once again remove endangered species protections from the northern gray wolf—protections we secured this year after Bush first de-listed the wolf.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
22 August 2008, 1:00 AM
 

Bill Neukom is a seasoned attorney in a prominent Seattle firm. He served as Microsoft's general counsel and for the past year has been the President of the American Bar Association. His main project at the ABA is engaging leading lawyers, judges, politicians, and others around the world to promote the rule of law. He leads the World Justice Project and has developed the Rule of Law Index, measuring the strength of legal protections and the degree of corruption in the world's legal systems. Strengthening environmental law is one of the goals of this effort.

So Neukom's observations about the how environmental laws are faring here in the US carry particular weight. In a recent press conference, he talked about the failure of the Congress and the executive branch agencies to make sure that our environmental laws are enforced and are updated to address new problems and developing science. The critical task of putting teeth in our environmental laws, seeing that they are carried out to protect the public's health, wild places and wildlife, has instead fallen to public interest litigators. Because our political leadership has abdicated its job, Earthjustice and our allies have taken on the job as the front line of defense for environmental protection.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
31 July 2008, 4:06 PM
 

What do San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, and Chesapeake Bay have in common? They provide a distinctive signature to some of America's greatest cities, of course. Residents and visitors to San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore and Washington love to walk along, play beside, and boat across these waters. All three have storied histories and strong citizens' organizations fighting to protect and restore them.

But they have another, shameful thing in common. These waters all bear warnings about eating fish, because polluted waters have contaminated the fish. Extra restrictions are in effect for children and women of child-bearing age.

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View Sarah Burt's blog posts
15 July 2008, 12:46 PM
 

As has been often observed here on unEarthed, the Bush EPA has taken regulatory avoidance to unprecedented levels.(See Martin Wagner's July 11 post

A subtle, but nonetheless nefarious new tactic for avoiding regulation to protect human health and the environment is EPA's recent statistical devaluation of an American life. For purposes of evaluating the costs and benefits of proposed regulations, EPA has adjusted the value of an American life to be nearly $1 million less today that it was five years ago.