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Showing 65 results

Minor Sinclair | April 21, 2022

Protecting Future Generations, Just as Earlier Ones Sought to Protect Us

I'm hopeful the recent disco revival won't last but that other resurging movements of the 1960s and '70s will. That era saw the birth and explosive growth of the modern environmental movement alongside other sweeping actions for peace and equality. Public pressure led to critical environmental laws that continue to protect our natural resources and our health and safety. In 1970, Congress created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and enacted the Clean Air Act, which authorizes the federal government to limit air pollution, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which established the first nationwide program to protect workers from on-the-job harm. Two years later came passage of the Clean Water Act, a landmark amendment to existing anti-pollution law that requires our government to restore and maintain clean and healthy waterways across the land. That was some era -- the last great upsurge of government protections.

Sidney A. Shapiro | February 14, 2022

A Wake-Up Call from Winston-Salem: EPA Must Act Now to Prevent Chemical Disasters

When the Wake Forest University emergency communications systems called me at 12:01 am on Tuesday, February 1, I could not have guessed that it was about a chemical bomb capable of wiping out blocks and blocks of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The call warned university students to heed the city’s voluntary evacuation of the 6,500 people living within in a one-mile radius of the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant that was on fire — and in danger of exploding. Thankfully, the fire did not injure anyone, and the bomb did not ignite.

Darya Minovi | February 1, 2022

The Revelator Op-Ed: Why the Chemical Industry Is an Overlooked Climate Foe — and What to Do About It

Climate change is quickly evolving into climate catastrophe, and there’s a narrow window of time to do something about it. While the world works on solutions, there’s surprisingly little focus on the chemical industry, which accounts for roughly 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions -- as well as other environmental harms.

Jake Moore | February 1, 2022

Youngkin Threatens Virginia’s Climate Resilience and Environmental Justice Gains

Virginia's recent environmental and climate laws have been heralded as among the nation's most progressive. In recent years, Virginia passed landmark laws supporting renewable energy and environmental justice and joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, priming it to address the challenges posed by growing flood risks, climate-related disasters, and industry-related public health crises. However, Gov. Glenn Youngkin's election has shrouded Virginia's green future in gray.

Johnathan Clark | January 12, 2022

States Should Act to Protect People and Our Environment from Unregulated Chemical Tanks

On the morning of January 9, 2014, residents of Charleston, West Virginia, noticed an unusual licorice-like odor in their tap water. Within hours, a federal state of emergency was declared as 300,000 West Virginia residents were advised to avoid contact with their tap water, forcing those affected to rely on bottled water until the water supply was restored over one week later. As detailed in our recent report, Tanks for Nothing: The Decades-long Failure to Protect the Public from Hazardous Chemical Spills, the West Virginia Legislature moved quickly to address demands for increased regulatory oversight of aboveground chemical storage tanks (ASTs). With the memory of the spill still fresh in the minds of legislators and constituents, West Virginia enacted the Aboveground Storage Tank Act in 2014. The program primarily serves two major functions: to enact and enforce standards to reduce the risk of a future spill, and to make information about regulated tanks available to state regulators and the public.

Darya Minovi | December 9, 2021

CPR, Partners Call for Climate Justice Reforms to the Chemical Industry

More than 100 organizations, including the Center for Progressive Reform, are calling for major transformations to the chemical industry — a significant yet overlooked contributor to the climate crisis and toxic pollution in communities. What are the threats and how can reforms take shape? Policy Analyst Dary Minovi explains.

Darya Minovi, David Flores | December 8, 2021

Aboveground Chemical Storage Tanks Threaten Our Communities. It’s Time for EPA and States to Act.

Across the country, hundreds of thousands of aboveground storage facilities containing hazardous chemicals — such as arsenic, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene — are not subject to state or federal rules designed to prevent and mitigate spills. These storage tanks sit along our industrialized waterfronts and at agricultural supply depots in our rural communities, threatening the health and safety of nearby residents, many of whom are low-income people of color. It's beyond time for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and states like Virginia to take action.

Clarissa Libertelli | September 30, 2021

When It Rains, It Pours: Maryland Has a Growing Climate Justice Problem in Stormwater

Stormwater is growing problem in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, creating toxic runoff and flash flooding. The Maryland Department of Environment has the opportunity to protect people, but it hasn't yet.

Katlyn Schmitt, Natalia Cabrera | September 21, 2021

‘The Lion Is Missing Its Teeth’: Maryland Must Crack Down on Industrial Polluters

Maryland is home to more than 1,000 industrial facilities, including landfills, auto salvage yards, hazardous waste treatment, storage sites, and various types of manufacturing and processing plants. When it rains or snows, toxic pollution often runs off these facilities and enters nearby waterways and groundwater resources, negatively impacting aquatic life, nearby communities, and drinking water sources. The problem -- known as industrial stormwater pollution -- is dire in Maryland. More industrial facilities are being built in the state, and precipitation intensity is increasing more quickly in the Chesapeake Bay region than elsewhere in the United States, threatening public and environmental health. Low-income people and communities of color are at heightened risk.