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.

Fact Sheet: Toxic Floodwaters in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Newport News

CPR's June 2020 fact sheet describes the threat of toxic floodwaters resulting from more and more severe weather events combined with a concentration of industrial facilities subject to flooding in the Hampton Roads region. Such toxic floodwater events would have a particularly severe impact on low-income and minority communities in the region.

Type: Reports (June 23, 2020)
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Across the U.S., Anti-Protest Laws Target Movements for Climate and Racial Justice

Writing in Drilled News, Karen Sokol describes efforts in legislatures across the nation to limit free speech in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and recent protests over the dangers associated with oil and gas pipelines.

Type: Op-Eds (June 19, 2020)
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Author(s): Karen Sokol
Joint letter with Choose Clean Water Coalition to Maryland Department of the Environment re the State Highway Administration and pollution reduction

CPR joined with other members of the Choose Clean Water Coalition in a letter urging the Maryland Department of the Environment to reconsider its proposal to award nutrient credits to the State Highway Administration that it can use toward its pollution reduction requirements under its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit.

Type: Letters to Agencies (June 16, 2020)
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Author(s): Katlyn Schmitt
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
Joint Comment Letter to EPA on 2020 Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity

CPR joined with 100 individuals and organization in calling for a stronger permitting program.

Type: Letters to Agencies (June 1, 2020)
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Author(s): David Flores
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

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