Posts tagged: water

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.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S 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.

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
07 October 2009, 10:59 AM
Restoration is reviving rivers from the West Coast to Hawai'i
David Brower

In his final years of life, David Brower spoke of the need for Global CPR (conservation, preservation and restoration). What a shame Dave is not around to witness a few major river and stream restoration projects that are upon us.

Last week, stretches of the San Joaquin River that had been dry for more than 60 years began to flow once again. The eventual goal is to reintroduce salmon to the river in 2012. Our hats are off to all the organizations that fought so hard to make this dream a reality.

Earthjustice has been hard at work on restoration projects as well.

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View David Guest's blog posts
02 October 2009, 12:05 PM
Uses tax dollars in resisting efforts to clean up waterways
Agricultural runoff creates toxic algae bloom in Florida waters

 It is shameful that Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Bronson is siding with the state’s worst polluters to fight against cleaning up algae-choked waters poisoned by agricultural runoff.

There are toxic algae blooms all over the state, water treatment plants are closing due to nutrient poisoning, and yet Bronson directs the state to work for the polluters and against the people. 

In August, in a historic move, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a consent decree in which it agreed to set legal limits for the widespread nutrient poisoning that triggers harmful algae blooms, like the one above, in Florida waters.

But, instead of working to make the public's water cleaner and safer, Bronson is spending tax dollars to help special interests like the Florida Pulp and Paper Association and Big Agriculture block the clean water settlement. The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services filed a motion to intervene in the case on the polluters' side.
 

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
30 September 2009, 2:59 PM
Decision triggers environmental scrutiny of 79 mining permits

The Environmental Protection Agency has taken another positive step towards reining in the destructive practice of mountaintop removal mining.

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
21 September 2009, 11:54 AM
Fox News opines on California water, facts be damned

Fox News' Sean Hannity and his crew came to California's Central Valley last week to hold a rally that lambasted environmental protections for the delta smelt, Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, green sturgeon, and southern resident killer whales.

According to recent biological opinions by federal government scientists, all these species depend on a healthy San Francisco Bay-Delta for their survival. Earthjustice lawyers led the team that overturned Bush administration rules that imperiled the Delta by allowing excessive water exports to industrial agriculture in the Valley. 

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
17 September 2009, 5:46 PM
Agency puts hold on dozens of mining permits for environmental review

On most environmental matters, the Obama administration scores high marks from us, especially for revitalizing the role of science and respect for the law in the agency's decisions. The shift in ethos from eight years of ruinous Bush policies occurred almost immediately after Obama took office. We have seen dramatic positive changes in how some federal agencies deal with the key issues of climate change and clean energy, roadless protections, clean air, and hazardous waste regulations.

But, until last week, Obama's actions on mountaintop removal mining largely tracked the course set by Bush. As we previously noted  in April we hoped that the EPA was going to put the brakes on 48 mountaintop removal permits. We were taken aback in May when the agency instead let 42 of the permits go ahead without further scrutiny. This was a disheartening setback.

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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
14 September 2009, 4:54 PM
"Toxic Waters" series examines America's worsening water pollution

Clean water is necessary for anyone who drinks water, bathes in water, uses water in their everyday life. Ultimately, it's urgent for everyone.

Today the New York Times ran an article highlighting the hazards of contaminated water that focuses on the struggles faced by residents living near coal processing ponds in Charleston, West Virginia. This region is ground zero in our fight against mountaintop removal. Mining companies dump waste directly into streams and headwaters that make their way into aquifers and wells used by residents for drinking water. The Times story reveals the human impact of toxic chemicals leaching into waters: kidney and liver damage, cancer, skin lesions.

View Jared Saylor's blog posts
11 September 2009, 2:30 PM
EPA plans more scientific and legal scrutiny on 79 new mining permits
Photo: OVEC

The last year has been a roller coaster ride for mountaintop removal. Despite a loss in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in February (which we're now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court), the U.S. Senate was taking up the fight with some public hearings back in March. In April, we thought the EPA was going to put the brakes on some mountaintop removal mining permits, but then in May, it was a sad day for Appalachia when the EPA approved more mining permits.

Well today, we've got some reason to cheer. The EPA announced today plans to hold 79 pending mountaintop removal mining permits for further environmental review, offering a reprieve for the coalfield residents in Appalachia living near these sites. The news comes as part of a "Memorandum of Understanding" the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers signed earlier this year. The two agencies agreed to work together to review pending permits, and today's announcement sets the EPA and the Corps on a path towards closer scrutiny of these permits that is based on science and the law.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
27 August 2009, 4:57 PM
Earthjustice experts offer answers and insights

Two experts on the plight of West Coast salmon fielded questions during a 30-minute online question and answer program with dozens of Earthjustice supporters. Attorney Mike Sherwood and media expert/former commercial fisherman John McManus offered insights on matters ranging from dams on the Klamath River to the proposed Peripheral Canal in the Sacramento Delta. Read the full transcript here.

View Bill Karpowicz's blog posts
27 August 2009, 9:18 AM
Toxin found in every fish tested in 291 streams

More than two-thirds of fish tested by the federal government between 1998 and 2005 are contaminated by mercury at levels exceeding EPA standards according to a recent report.

Contamination is widespread, the report said, coming from various sources depending on geography. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury, although 59 of the 291 streams studied may have been affected by gold and mercury mining. The highest mercury levels were found in the south and southeast-North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana, while elevated levels were found in mining areas of the West and watersheds in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.

In 2008, Earthjustice successfully appealed an EPA rule favorable to industry which would have allowed dangerous levels of mercury to persist. We’re waiting for the Obama administration to make good on its promise to introduce new power plant emission regulations.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
19 August 2009, 4:24 PM
Earthjustice president sees firsthand environmental bests and worsts
Wind power parts enroute

What does it take to peel back the abstractions of email, press reports, and legal briefs and really see some of what is at stake in Earthjustice's work? It's as easy as getting away from the computer, out of airports, and off the interstate.

Over the last couple of weeks I was lucky enough to travel across the Great Plains and the Rockies. Everywhere I went, I saw our country wrestling with the big challenges of energy supply and climate change, biodiversity and wildlands protection, and the human consequences of poorly enforced environmental standards.

Signs of change in our energy economy are everywhere. Across Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, I kept running into wide-load 18 wheelers hauling giant pieces of wind towers to the sites of new wind farms. One of the truck drivers told me that the towers were made in Texas. Some of the small towns practically had to shut down their main streets to let the rigs through.

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