CPR Archive for Shana Campbell Jones

White House Roadmap for Gulf Coast Restoration Released

by Shana Campbell Jones | March 05, 2010

Yesterday, the White House released a plan to restore Mississippi and Louisiana wetlands and barrier islands, which have been disappearing at a rapid clip for decades and continue to do so. Hurricane Katrina brought to the fore what many residents of these states already knew: federal, state, and local authorities were neither coordinated nor prepared to protect the Gulf Coast, its ecosystems, and its people from Mother Nature’s worst. (See CPR's report on Katrina).

The White House roadmap is designed to bring some much-needed order and leadership to Gulf Coast restoration efforts. It’s a strong sign from the Obama Administration that it is serious about protecting the Gulf Coast.

The roadmap also strives to put ecosystem restoration and sustainability “on a more equal footing with other priorities such as manmade navigation and structural approaches to flood protection and storm risk reduction.” It rightly notes that these priorities make up complex pieces of a larger whole: wetlands protect inland ecosystems and communities from dangerous storm surges, for example; bayous, bays, and estuaries produce much of the fish and wildlife that coastal fishermen and communities depend upon for their livelihoods. The elevation of these “ecosystem services” to having “value” on par with priorities such as river navigation is a heartening sign.

This effort is also worth following closely for the lessons it may teach us about ecosystem management across jurisdictions. It may seem obvious to say that nature organizes itself ...

Congress Says Ask, but Toyota and Fellow Automakers Say Don't Tell: The Story of NHTSA and Industry Secrecy

by Shana Campbell Jones | February 22, 2010
Ten years ago, after NHTSA received reports of numerous deaths and injuries linked to Firestone tires and Ford Explorers, Congress passed the TREAD Act, bolstering the authority of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to identify possible defects in vehicles and tires by collecting information (“early warning data”) from auto and tire manufacturers. The law requires disclosure of data about incidents involving deaths or injuries, injury and property damage claims (including lawsuits), consumer complaints, warranty claims, field reports (problems ...

Administration Releases Draft Chesapeake Bay Strategy

by Shana Campbell Jones | November 09, 2009
Today the Administration released its draft strategy for the Chesapeake Bay. Public comment runs through January 8, and the final strategy is due in May. There's a lot to read. But here's one point off the bat that's of note: Regulatory authority will be expanded to increase accountability for pollution and strengthen permits for animal agriculture, urban/suburban stormwater and new sources. . . . EPA will also initiate rulemaking to increase coverage and raise standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations ...

CPR Scholarship Roundup: Legal and Policy Implications of Regulating Carbon, from Cap-and-Trade to Coal Sequestration

by Shana Campbell Jones | October 23, 2009
As climate change legislation awaits action in the Senate, serious and complicated legal and policy questions about the tools designed to reduce carbon emissions remain. Truly, the climate change debate operates in two distinct worlds. The first is becoming increasingly hysterical, consisting of sensational and camera-ready protests and attacks underwritten by groups such as the American Petroleum Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers. The second rages below the media waterline, in the wonky weeds of policy and legal scholarship. ...

Sen. Cardin's Chesapeake Bay Bill Has Much to Laud, and a Bit to Improve

by Shana Campbell Jones | October 19, 2009
The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009, introduced today by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md), is a marked improvement from legislation in past years and demonstrates the Senator's continued leadership on restoring one of this country's greatest natural resources. The bill rightly emphasizes the implementation and enforcement of the Bay-wide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which will be issued in draft form by the EPA later this year and finalized by December 2010. It requires Bay states to ...

PennFuture: Manure Increasing in Key Region Draining into Chesapeake Bay, Despite Pledges

by Shana Campbell Jones | September 29, 2009
Today PennFuture released a report finding that the amount of liquid manure applied to farms in Pennsylvania’s Octoraro watershed has increased by 40 percent over the past five years to 108 million gallons annually. The amount of nitrogen produced by livestock in the watershed is equal to the amount generated by approximately 370,000 people each year. Unlike Las Vegas, what happens in the Octoraro watershed doesn’t stay in the watershed. The watershed, which includes parts of Lancaster and Chester counties, ...

The Poop on Manure in the Water: We're Sick of It

by Shana Campbell Jones | September 18, 2009
Today’s New York Times article about excess manure in the water is a stark reminder of what can happen when an environmental problem isn’t addressed: people get really sick. While the article is shocking -- it describes how families in Wisconsin living close to dairy farms suffered from chronic diarrhea, stomach problems, and severe ear infections from parasites and bacteria that seeped into the drinking water -- it restates what a lot of people have known for a long time. ...

EPA's Chesapeake Bay Reports: A First Look

by Shana Campbell Jones | September 10, 2009
Today at 12:30pm the Federal Leadership Committee released, pursuant to President Obama’s Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration Executive Order, seven draft reports to improve Bay restoration. Each report is about 50 pages, so there’s a lot of information to take in – from strengthening water quality to strengthening storm water management to assessing the impacts of climate change. After a quick look, here are my initial thoughts: 1. EPA Special Advisor Chuck Fox’s diligence and energy is impressive. Not only ...

CPR Scholarship Roundup: Resilience and Adaptive Management -- Protecting Natural Resources in a Changing World

by Shana Campbell Jones | August 11, 2009
One of the ongoing tensions in environmental law is the conflict between uniformity and flexibility, constancy and change. Many of the environmental successes over the past thirty years derive from uniform standards that are straightforward to administer and enforce. The Clean Water Act’s requirement, for example, that all industrial polluters are obligated to utilize the same end-of-pipe, technology-based pollution controls is responsible for dramatically cleaning up our waters. There are, of course, still more low-hanging fruit to be addressed under ...

The Chesapeake Bay and Beyond: Pollution Targets Met, Not Just Set

by Shana Campbell Jones | August 03, 2009
Today, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee's Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife is holding a hearing entitled “A Renewed Commitment to Protecting the Chesapeake Bay: Reauthorizing the Chesapeake Bay Program." Here's something that should be on Congress's agenda: making the Bay-wide TMDL (“pollution cap”) enforceable to ensure that it is actually implemented. First, some background: Congress created the Bay Program in 1983, establishing it under the Clean Water Act. The regional partnership, which now includes several federal agencies in ...

Obama's Executive Order on the Chesapeake - a First

by Shana Campbell Jones | May 13, 2009
Yesterday, as the Executive Council for the Chesapeake Bay Program held its annual meeting, President Obama issued an Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration (a first), declaring the Chesapeake Bay a national treasure and signaling that EPA will play a strong role in leading Bay cleanup. For years, federal leadership on the Bay has been missing in action. President Obama's move is dramatic, and we dare to hope that this could be a turning point. Among other things, ...

Where Does Manure in the Chesapeake Come From Anyway? EPA, It's Time to Find Out

by Shana Campbell Jones | May 11, 2009
Cattle, chickens, and hogs create more than 500 million tons of manure in the United States annually – three times more than the sanitary waste produced by people. Yet, in contrast to a concerted federal and state effort to fund and build sewage treatment plants since the Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972, dealing with the water pollution problems caused by animal waste has been like wrestling a greased pig – a stinky, frustrating mess. Regulating agricultural waste in ...

Poisoned Waters: A Frontline Presentation You Don't Want to Miss

by Shana Campbell Jones | April 20, 2009
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Frontline will air Poisoned Waters, a two-hour documentary on the continuing pollution of American waterways (9pm on many PBS stations; check your local listings). Having seen part of the program, I recommend it. Watching a bulldozer move chicken manure – much of which will end up in the Chesapeake Bay – and seeing filthy stormwater drains pouring into Puget Sound serve as stark reminders for why fighting for clean water matters. Six-legged frogs swim in the Potomac River. ...

Let the Truth Trickle Up: Attack Science, Perchlorate, and Babies

by Shana Campbell Jones | March 12, 2009
The truth hurts. Some of us accept the truth; some of us ignore it. All too often, industry-sponsored scientists take another approach to the truth: attack.   A recent spat over a study finding that perchlorate blocks iodine in breast milk is an object lesson in what CPR Member Scholar Tom McGarity calls “attack science.”   In October, I blogged about this study, which was the first to ask whether perchlorate inhibits iodine transport to breast milk. Perchlorate is a ...

Industry Lobbyists Suiting Up for Climate Change Battle

by Shana Campbell Jones | March 02, 2009
The Center for Public Integrity released a report last week finding that the number of lobbyists seeking to influence federal policy on climate change has expanded more than 300 percent in five years. The report also finds that special interest industry lobbyists outnumber public interest environmental advocates 8-to-1.   That’s right. The most important environmental legislation in our lifetime is likely to come before Congress this year, and the overwhelming majority of meetings that Members of Congress have with advocates will ...

Cap-and-Evade: Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and the Clean Air Act

by Shana Campbell Jones | February 17, 2009
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: climate change is different from traditional environmental problems. It’s global, for one thing. Carbon dioxide isn’t a traditional pollutant, for another. It doesn’t cause cancer. It doesn’t kill fish. Plants use it in photosynthesis; every human and animal emits it. The problem is that combustion creates it, too, which is why our modern, engine-loving world has too much.   CO2 is also fungible. One ton of CO2 is as good or ...

Rescuing Science from Politics, Texas Style

by Shana Campbell Jones | January 28, 2009
We will restore science to its rightful place. -- President Barack Obama, Inaugural Speech   As Governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards. -- Former President George W. Bush, Aug. 2000 CNN Interview     With former President Bush hightailing it back to Texas last week, you’d think the cowboy clichés might be right behind him, maybe waiting for the next Ann Richards or Molly Ivins to make them fresh ...

If Yes Means Yes, EPA Must Act on Perchlorate

by Shana Campbell Jones | January 23, 2009
When it comes to protecting the environment and human health, the difference between what the Obama Administration portends and what the Bush Administration wrought may reside in the difference between three little words: “yes, we can” versus “no we won’t.” How and when Lisa Jackson, President-elect Obama’s pick to head the EPA, tackles perchlorate will be an early indicator of whether the difference between Bush and Obama will be as dramatic as environmentalists and public health advocates hope. Perchlorate, a ...

Also from Shana Campbell Jones

Shana Campbell Jones, J.D., is a consultant to the Center for Progressive Reform on Chesapeake Bay issues.  She joined CPR in 2007 as a policy analyst, and took on the role of executive director in 2009, before leaving the staff to teach environmental policy at Old Dominion University.

The Center for Progressive Reform

455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150-513
Washington, DC 20001
info@progressivereform.org
202.747.0698

© Center for Progressive Reform, 2015