Environment & Energy

Our planet faces unprecedented environmental challenges, threatening ecosystems, species, coastal communities, and all too often, human life itself. Heading the list of threats is climate change, with its promise of drastic environmental, economic, and cultural upheaval. But we also face persistent problems of air and water pollution, toxic wastes, cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and other Great Waters, and protecting natural resources and wildlife.

Central to the environmental health of the nation and the planet is decreasing our dependence on energy derived from burning fossil fuels. Our continued reliance on these sources is literally endangering the planet's ability to sustain life as we know it. Yet many policymakers, with the financial and rhetorical support of energy companies bent on making a profit at the cost of the planet's health, continue to resist desperately needed reforms. Read about CPR’s work protecting the environment in reports, testimony, op-eds and more. Use the search box to narrow the list.

Misguided health policy foments confusion, risk and disunity

Writing in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, CPR's Joel Mintz connects the dots between the Trump administration's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, its efforts to undercut health care policy, and its attacks on environmental safeguards.

Type: Op-Eds (June 15, 2020)
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Author(s): Joel Mintz
Environmental Injustice & Impacts of COVID-19 on the Delmarva Peninsula

Read a fact sheet from CPR, Fair Farms, Sentinels of Eastern Shore Health, and the Sussex Health and Environmental Network prepared for a hearing of the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee. The hearing focused on the environmental justice impacts of COVID-19 on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Type: Reports (June 9, 2020)
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Author(s): Katlyn Schmitt
Toxic Floodwaters: Public Health Risks and Vulnerability to Chemical Spills Triggered by Extreme Weather

Coastal communities in the United States are largely unprepared for the projected effects of the climate crisis, including more intense storm surges, sea level rise, increased precipitation, and other drivers of coastal and inland flooding. That flooding is damaging enough on its own, but in recent years, chemical spills triggered by extreme weather, such as hurricanes, have become more frequent, exposing nearby communities to toxic chemicals and hazardous waste in the midst of natural disaster. In this web article, CPR's Darya Minovi discusses the danger and offers recommendations.

Type: Reports (June 9, 2020)
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Author(s): Darya Minovi
Webinar: Supporting Sustainable Farmers During a Pandemic and Beyond

On June 3, 2020, CPR and Fair Farms hosted a webinar discussion with Maryland and Virginia farmers and organizers on supporting sustainable agriculture during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Type: Webinars (June 3, 2020)
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Author(s): Laurie Ristino
Webinar: Clean Water: Lessons Learned from the Supreme Court's Maui Decision

In April 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruled in favor of Hawaiian environmentalists who had waged a 12-year battle to ensure that sewage discharged into the Pacific Ocean via groundwater was subject to a Clean Water Act permit. CPR’s Member Scholars played important roles in convincing the Justices that we need a more scientifically relevant conception of the Clean Water Act’s coverage, and they joined key participants in the litigation in a May 28, 2020, webinar on the topic.

Type: Webinars (May 28, 2020)
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Author(s): Steph Tai, Amanda Cohen Leiter, Robert Verchick
Webinar: Protecting Our Communities Through Sustainable Agriculture

Over the past two decades, Delmarva agriculture has shifted from traditional, diversified family farming to a more industrialized system of raising animals. Large, powerful companies dictate how animals are raised, processed, and sold and bear no responsibility for the public health impacts and environmental degradation in our local communities. The disastrous consequences have been highlighted, and in some cases exacerbated, by the current COVID-19 crisis. During a May 26, 2020, virtual town hall, regional experts and local community members shared the latest science, regulatory and policy actions, community perspectives, and possible solutions. The town hall was presented free with support from the Town Creek Foundation.

Type: Webinars (May 26, 2020)
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Author(s): Darya Minovi
Joint Letter with Chesapeake Accountability Project to Maryland Department of the Environment on Compliance During COVID-19 Pandemic

CPR joined with other members of the Chespeake Accountability Project, urging the Maryland Department of the Environment to gather and share information about polluters' alleged inability to comply with permit requirements because of the coronavirus pandemic, and to ensure strong whistleblower protections.

Type: Letters to Agencies (May 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Matt Shudtz
Time to decarbonize 'critical infrastructure'

Writing in The Advocate (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Member Scholar Karen Sokol observes that, " During the pandemic, the [energy] industry is using its 'critical infrastructure' status to further accelerate its polluting activities. The industry asked the Trump administration for an indefinite suspension of its obligations to comply with basic environmental and public health protections even though communities near polluting facilities have suffered higher death rates from COVID-19. The administration responded quickly, depriving communities of these vital safeguards with no clear date for reinstating them."

Type: Op-Eds (May 21, 2020)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Comments on EPA 'Censored Science' Rule

In comments to the EPA on its proposed 'Censored Science' rule, CPR's Goodwin and Minovi write, "EPA’s rulemaking rejects widely accepted scientific standards and will allow the agency to cherry-pick studies that align with the administration’s agenda ... [and] will be prohibitively costly to the agency, both in terms of taxpayer dollars and the unnecessary and avoidable harms to public health and the environment. Furthermore, the EPA has incorrectly identified ... the legal authority for this rulemaking."

Type: Letters to Agencies (May 18, 2020)
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Author(s): James Goodwin, Darya Minovi
Comments to OSHA on Improving the Whistleblower Protection Program

Comment letter to OSHA ahead of its Whistleblower Stakeholder Meeting on May 12, 2020, providing recommendations on how the agency can address key issues and improve its administration of the Whistleblower Protection Program.

Type: Letters to Agencies (May 5, 2020)
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Author(s): Katie Tracy

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