Join us.

We’re working to create a just society and preserve a healthy environment for future generations. Donate today to help.



Showing 26 results

Catherine O'Neill | January 24, 2017

Health for Women, Health for All

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently updated their nationwide consumption advisory on mercury contamination in fish. The advisory, which focuses on women of childbearing age and children, aims to “make it easier than ever” to determine which fish species to eat and which to avoid. It seeks to ensure […]

Catherine O'Neill | August 8, 2016

Cleaner Waters for Washington at Long Last?

The Clean Water Act instructs states and tribes to revisit their water quality standards every three years, updating them as necessary to reflect newer science and to ensure progress in cleaning up the nation’s waters – to the point where people can safely catch and eat fish. Last Monday, Washington State’s Department of Ecology unveiled […]

Catherine O'Neill | March 26, 2015

Monetization, Myopia, and MATS

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday heard oral argument in the consolidated cases challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule regulating mercury and other toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants.  These utilities remain by far the largest domestic source of mercury emissions, contributing more than half of the mercury releases nationwide.   Mercury emissions are at […]

Catherine O'Neill | July 14, 2014

Give Them an Inch … And They’ll Take Twenty Years

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has gone to exceeding lengths to defer to states’ efforts to bring their water quality standards into the twenty-first century.  But the state of Washington has shown the perils of this deferential posture, if the goals of the Clean Water Act (CWA) are ever to be reached for our nation’s […]

Catherine O'Neill | March 4, 2014

Washington State’s Weakened Water Quality Standards Will Keep Fish Off the Table, Undermine Tribal Health

In recent weeks, celebrations throughout the Pacific Northwest marked the 40th anniversary of the “Boldt decision” – the landmark decision in the tribal treaty rights case, U.S. v. Washington.  This decision upheld tribes’ right to take fish and prohibited the state of Washington from thwarting tribal harvest.  Judge Boldt’s 1974 decision was intended to close […]

Catherine O'Neill | February 22, 2013

Justice Delayed

Outgoing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson made environmental justice a priority at the agency. As her tenure draws to a close, EPA released its Plan EJ 2014: Progress Report in January, summarizing the agency’s considerable advances toward this important goal. The EPA deserves accolades for the seriousness with which it has treated the […]

Catherine O'Neill | November 8, 2012

(Puget) Sound Science

The current debate surrounding Washington State’s sediment cleanup and water quality standards provides another example of regulated industry calling for “sound science” in environmental regulation, yet working to undermine it.  Industry has worked to delay updates to water quality standards based on the most recent scientific studies, despite the fact that the current standards are […]

Catherine O'Neill | July 11, 2012

Fish for the Future: Our Health and Livelihoods Depend on It

When environmental agencies set standards limiting toxic pollution in our waters, they theoretically aim to protect people who are exposed to these toxics by eating fish.  Currently, Washington state’s water quality standards protect only those who consume no more than one fish meal per month.  That means that those of us who eat more fish […]

Catherine O'Neill | April 20, 2012

What Progress Looks Like: Washington State’s Climate Change Preparedness Strategy

Earlier this month Washington State’s Department of Ecology released its integrated climate response strategy, Preparing for a Changing Climate.  The strategy again demonstrates that the state is a leader when it comes to preparing for climate change impacts (see also NRDC’s recent report examining climate preparedness in all 50 states). What makes Washington a leader?  […]