As Farmworker Awareness Week draws to a close, the EPA has once again shuffled its papers and announced that it will do next to nothing to further protect farmworkers and their families from chlorpyrifos, a dangerous neurotoxic pesticide.
This story is proof that citizen oversight is key to enforcing our environmental laws and protecting people from untenable risks. The chemical companies and grower trade groups had EPA’s ear and it repeatedly bent to their will. But when the agency had to defend its action before judges, it realized it had to obey the law.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a pair of cases that could cut back on the ability of citizens to enforce the Clean Water Act. Although different, at their core, both afford the court opportunities either to preserve or weaken the power of citizens to hold polluters accountable for harming our nation’s waters.
Twenty years after we settled our first lawsuit in Florida, one thing is crystal clear: Without litigation, the Everglades would be left with whatever protection the agencies and the Florida Legislature would be willing to provide under pressure from Big Sugar and other powerful polluters. In other words: not much.
Forty years of environmental progress is under attack today by a vote in the House of Representative on a stop-gap funding measure to keep the federal government running.
Unfortunately, that measure—called a continuing resolution—is loaded with amendments and provisions that would slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, and seeks to override the rule of law at every turn.
Earthjustice Vice President for Litigation Patti Goldman offers these fond memories of Joan Bavaria.
A bounty of acclaim has come in the passing of Joan Bavaria, who served eight years as an Earthjustice trustee. Many speak of her as their hero, a visionary, and a pioneer. For me, as for many at Earthjustice, Joan was an inspiration.
When she joined the Board of Trustees, she brought unbounded insights and energy. She challenged Earthjustice attorneys to embrace shareholder activism as one of the tools for environmental progress. She led by example, engaging personally with all around her, lending her deep knowledge to common challenges, and sharing her spark.
Joan spearheaded socially responsible investing with her founding of Trillium Asset Management, the first socially responsibly investment firm, and with her co-founding of Ceres, which developed the 10-point environmental code of conduct against which the environmental record and commitment of corporations can be judged. Her many accomplishments and honors are chronicled at www.ceres.org/joan. In addition, The Boston Globe wrote this remembrance.
Those of us who had the good fortune to know Joan will continue to be guided by the gift of her wisdom.