Clean Water Action, along with a number of other organizations, has joined with Marylanders for Food and Farm Worker Protection in supporting a package of legislation to protect Maryland’s seafood and poultry processing and farm workers from COVID-19. This package includes paid sick leave expansion, personal protective equipment for workers, increased testing, and increased protections for workers to advocate for themselves against dangerous working conditions.
In a saga that has been playing out since the close of 2020, this week, both chambers of the Massachusetts legislature passed the Next-Generation Roadmap Climate bill with its vital environmental justice reforms intact! Thank you to Clean Water's members and allies for all the calls, letters, emails, and tweets that helped push our legislative leaders to stand firm. A particular shout out to our youngest members for speaking up for their generation who will be most impacted by our actions today to fight the climate crisis -- we all need to act urgently with YOUR future in mind.
Railroad Company - Movement of Freight - Required Crew
Senate Finance Committee
March 23, 2021
Dear Chairwoman Kelley and Members of the Committee,
Clean Water Action thanks Delegate Stein for continuing to champion two man crew legislation and supports its passage. We have a keen interest in making sure that trains in Maryland have adequate crew available to not only respond to disasters, but also to prevent them.
In recognition of Women’s History Month, Clean Water Action is thrilled to raise the voices of strong women in the environmental justice field who continue to encourage us to take action and better our communities.
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.