On November 24th, Clean Water Action joined a new lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest rollback of vital safeguards to protect communities from coal ash. Coal ash is the toxic waste left over from burning coal for electricity. More than 100 million tons is generated annually, making it one of the largest industrial waste streams in the United States. Coal ash is packed with some of the deadliest substances known to humans, including harmful carcinogens like arsenic, cadmium, and chromium, and neurotoxins such as lead, lithium, and mercury.
Normally my Thanksgiving message is pretty easy -- I talk about the things that Clean Water has to be thankful for and then profusely thank our members for the support throughout the year. And we do have plenty to be thankful for and I will thank you, but I also want to acknowledge that 2020 has been a long, tough year.
On December 1, the Montgomery County Council held a hearing on Zoning Text Amendment 20-04, a bill to increase the amount of organic waste that farms can bring in from off-site for composting or mulching. While this is a small piece of the zero waste puzzle, measures like this across Maryland will help keep organic waste out of landfills and incinerators, sequester carbon and build healthy soils, and even help support Maryland's agricultural economy.
On November 13th, after 15 months of reviewing violations of Enbridge’s 1953 easement to operate Line 5, Governor Whitmer and the Department of Natural Resources revoked and terminated the 1953 easement allowing Line 5 to operate in the Straits of Mackinac. This was a huge victory, and is something that Clean Water Action and our allies have been demanding and working towards for years. We are celebrating this victory, but the fight to decommission Line 5 continues. Here are the most relevant moving pieces and next steps.
How to transition towards a plant-based diet to reduce your water footprint & eat healthier for yourself and the planet
In recent years, many people have started to pay attention to the science that shows the harmful effects that their heavy meat diets have on the land, animals, and water usage. A plant based diet --consisting of foods derived from plants – is generally found to be better for your health and the planet. A plant based diet includes vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits - with little to no animal products.
We are excited to report that New Jersey voters overwhelmingly delivered an Election Day mandate for stronger water protections, cleaner air, and a livable climate future with the highest voter turnout in our state’s history.
Because “count every vote” isn’t just a slogan – it’s an acknowledgement that every single voter’s voice matters, and an affirmation that we will stand by our electoral process even – and especially – when it’s hard.
In the weeks and months leading up to Election Day, Clean Water Action didn’t just work to turn out as many votes as possible for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, along with other clean water leaders from mayors’ offices to state houses to Congress. We were also planning for what would happen on Election Day and once the polls closed. There was a genuine concern that we might face a constitutional crisis, that millions of voters would be wrongly disenfranchised, that our elections systems could have broken down.
Election Day has come and gone and we are pretty much where we expected to be -- in the waiting room. We may be here for a couple days, maybe even longer.
This is OK, this is how it should be.
Because every vote counts.