If one wants an indication where U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy's priorities lie as a public servant, he or she needs only to look at the beginning of her resume.
McCarthy, who heads EPA's Office of Air and Radiation and is widely rumored to be nominated as EPA administrator in the next week, started her career as a public health agent in her hometown of Canton, Mass., working for the local board of health in nearby Stoughton.
"That's what she's about," said Seth Kaplan, vice president for policy and climate advocacy for the Conservation Law Foundation, who worked with McCarthy in Massachusetts on energy and air issues. "And let me tell you, that person is still there."
Businesses that package their own brands are facing increased pressure in Rhode Island to take more responsibility, including more of the financial burden, for reducing, recycling and disposing of packaging materials.
The pressure is coming on two fronts – land and water.
On the water side, Rep. Donna Walsh, D-Charlestown, introduced legislation Jan. 29 intended to reduce marine debris and increase recycling in the state. However, the bill is not actually all about debris in the water.
“Eighty percent of marine debris comes from the land,” said Jamie Rhodes, Rhode Island director of Clean Water Action.
There are few Rhode Islanders — or visitors to the Ocean State — who haven’t encountered a bottle or plastic bag on their favorite beach or other cozy coastal spot. This debris washed up on the shore because of problems in our recycling and collection system.