Years ago I volunteered on election day outside a suburban Detroit polling station at a majority Black precinct, speaking to voters about an renewable energy ballot proposal.
Since November, Baltimore County has been convening a Solid Waste Work Group has been meeting to review how trash is managed in the county and make recommendations for improvements. Their final meeting is this Thursday, March 4, and the County's consultant, GBB (a company selected by the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority), will be presenting 18 Proposed Tactical Plan Strategies, followed by a public hearing.
Great news! On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council finally passed ZTA 20-01, the long-debated zoning amendment to open the Agricultural Reserve to non-accessory solar. Critically, six Council members - Craig Rice, Andrew Friedson, Gabe Albornoz, Nancy Navarro, Sidney Katz, and Will Jawando - stood firm in favor of amendments supported by agricultural, environmental, and food security stakeholders to protect the Ag Reserve's highest-quality soils that are actually farmed and the legal structure that protects it as a whole.
NJ's statewide ban on single-use carryout bags and polystyrene foam containers was a huge victory made possible in part by the 50 plus local ordinances banning these and other single-use disposables. This just goes to show how powerful local policies can be in creating larger change. So what else can municipalities do?
I joined Clean Water Action almost a year ago in March, at the beginning of the pandemic and the first shelter in place order in California. At the time, there was (and still is) a lot of uncertainty about the future and the extent to which our current ways of being and systems would be impacted. I came into this work with a background in environmental justice and intersectional approach to social, racial, and environmental issues.
President Biden has pledged to take quick action on toxic fluorinated ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS “by designating PFAS as a hazardous substance, setting enforceable limits for PFAS in the Safe Drinking Water Act, prioritizing substitutes through procurement, and accelerating toxicity studies and research on PFAS.” These are welcome—and necessary—steps that must be taken to address this toxic pollution, but there’s a lot more the Biden administration can do.
Just months after announcing groundbreaking environmental justice legislation, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced a trio of environmental actions, including over $100 million in new transportation investments to tackle the climate crisis, reduce pollution in communities of color and high-poverty areas, and create new jobs.
Tonight, the Howard County Council is holding a hearing on Council Bill 13-2021, to eliminate a range of single-use plastic food products. Here's our testimony on why that's a great idea.
February 15, 2021
Dear Howard County County Council,
Today, the House Economic Matters Committee is holding a hearing on HB0332, legislation to reform Maryland's Renewable Portfolio Standard - a program intended when it was created in 2004 to promote new wind and solar development.