The Trump Administration Threatens NEPA

The Trump Administration is attacking basic human rights, immigrants, science, women, the environment, low income communities of color. Some attacks are more public than others. We wanted to send you this update on how NEPA can be dismantled without Congressional approval through the administrative/rule making process.

NEPA requires federal agencies to have a review process for the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making any final decisions; this helps to protect communities from poorly planned federal projects.

Currently, the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) is proposing an administrative rollback of the NEPA process that will likely restrict public input in government decision-making, limit consideration of project alternatives, and impose hard deadlines for project approvals. This rollback would not only diminish public health, savings in taxpayer money, and lasting federal projects, but also further jeopardize low-income, minority, and rural communities that are already disproportionately exposed to pollution and toxins.

Since this is an administrative action it can happen without the input of Congress. NEPA is crucial in order to protect our quality of life, public health, and decision-making process that communities are entitled to.

“Any law that provides broad opportunities for public participation in government decisions that affect the environment and local communities shouldn’t be rolled back, it should be embraced.”

http://protectnepa.org/ceq-anprm-nepa-rollback/

Here is the notice from CEQ:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-13246.pdf

The Moving Forward Network will be providing written comments. They are due August 20th, 2018.

Stay in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter to find out how you can get involved.

Moving Forward Network Responds to Dangerous Implication of President’s SOTU Remarks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       CONTACT:  Ira Arlook, Fenton,
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018                                                          c: 202-258-5437,  ira@fenton.com
 
 
Moving Forward Network Responds to Dangerous Implication of President’s SOTU Remarks…
National Coalition Calls Out Trump’s Deception on Infrastructure Plan: “Streamline” = Removal of Public Health/Environmental Protections
 
Record Shows Clean Air Act & Related Safeguards
Make for Better Projects and Save Taxpayer Dollars
 
U.S. Treasury & Congressional Research Service Say “Lack of Funds” is Major Cause of Delay in Infrastructure Projects NOT Enviro Safeguards
 
Calling President Trump’s SOTU comments deceptive and wholly inaccurate about the need to violate public health and environmental regulations in order to “streamline” his infrastructure plan, a broad coalition of public health and environmental organizations, led by the Moving Forward Network, pledge to oppose efforts to sidestep those protections should they be part of a White House proposal to Congress.
 
Most of the important and common delays in completing major infrastructure projects are “lack of funds,” followed by lack of consensus when multiple public and private entities and jurisdictions are involved, and finally, capital costs increasing faster than inflation, say two studies, one by the US Treasury Department (2016) and one by the Congressional Research Service (CRS, 2011), https://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Documents/final-infrastructure-report.pdf
 
According to the CRS, “[T]here is little data available to demonstrate that NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] currently plays a significant role in delaying federal actions” and “factors outside the NEPA process were identified as the cause of delay between 68% and 84% of the time.” CRS, The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation 28, 30 (Feb. 29, 2008), available at http://www.cnie.org/NLE/CRSreports/08Mar/RL33152.pdf.
 
The most recent detailed refutation of false claims about delays due to environmental reviews can be found at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2017/05/03/431651/debunking-false-claims-environmental-review-opponents/
  
President Trump appears to be ignorant of the major actual causes of delays in infrastructure projects given his commitment of only $200 billion federal dollars to his projected program budget of $ 1 trillion. 
“Environmental Justice communities are ground zero for infrastructure needs and often host to poorly designed projects that bring more pollution to our neighborhoods.  We need a seat at the table and an inclusive process to protect our communities from the adverse health impacts of these projects, as well as ensure more zero emission strategies and infrastructure are brought to cities like Newark that need cleaner air, green jobs and healthier tomorrow ,“ stated Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action and Moving Forward Network New York/New Jersey Regional Representative.
 
“The President’s proposed shortcuts are a direct assault on public health, and community engagement in federal decision-making. We all lose under Trump’s infrastructure scheme; but some worse than others,” said Melissa Lin Perrella, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Senior Director for Environmental Justice.
 
The Moving Forward Network is a national coalition of community-based organizations, advocates, scientists, researchers, faith-based organizations, and others committed to reducing the public health harms our country’s freight transportation system creates. The Network is comprised of over 50 organizations and academics across the country where large ports, rail yards and other freight corridors reside.
1. Air Alliance Houston 2. Backbone Campaign 3. Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities 4. California Cleaner Freight Coalition 5. Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice 6. Central California Environmental Justice Network 7. Central Valley Air Quality Coalition 8. Charleston Community Research to Action Board/Low Country Alliance for Model Communities 9. Citizens for a Sustainable Future 10. Clean Air Council 11. Clean Water Action, Clean Water Fund 12. Coalition for a Safe Environment 13. Coalition for Healthy Ports (NY/NJ) 14. Comite Civico Del Valle 15. Diesel Health Project 16. Earthjustice 17. East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice 18. Eastern Environmental Law Center 19. End Oil 20. Environmental Health Coalition 21. Global Community Monitor 22. Green Latinos 23. Harambee House, Inc. 24. Ironbound Community Corporation 25. J Gordon Community Development Corp 26. Little Village Environmental Justice Organization 27. Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma 28. National Nurses United 29. Natural Resources Defense Council 30. New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance 31. Puget Sound Sage 32. Regional Asthma Management and Prevention 33. Respiratory Health Association 34. Southeast CARE Coalition 35. Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision 36. Steps Coalition 37. Sunflower Alliance 38. Sustainability Action Network 39. Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services 40. The New School 41. THE Impact Project 42. Union of Concerned Scientists 43. Southern California Environmental Health Centers based at USC 44. Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College 45. West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project​

Industrial Lead Poisoning in Los Angeles: Anatomy of a Public Health Failure

Dear MFN colleagues,

Here is a link to a new article about “silos” in government agencies that exacerbated exposure of children, residents and workers to lead from the Exide battery recycling facility in southern California.  Authors are Jill Johnston, who now heads our community outreach and engagement program at the University of Southern CA’s environmental health science centers and I.  Other attendees at last month’s MFN Conference (mark! Lopez, Angelo Logan, NRDC lawyers, Felipe Aguirre, CBE, and more) have all been actively involved in the Exide issue.

Click here to access the article.

Andrea Hricko, USC

 

Senator Booker Announces The Environmental Justice Act of 2017

On October 23rd U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was joined by local community leaders and advocates from across New Jersey and the nation in announcing a landmark bill that represents a major step toward eliminating environmental injustice.

This Bill would strengthen protections for communities of color, low-income communities and indigenous communities.

More specifically the Bill: 

  • Codifies and expands the 1994 Executive Order on Environmental Justice.

  • Codifies the existing National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) and environmental justice grant programs.

  • Establishes requirements for federal agencies to address environmental justice.

  • Requires consideration of cumulative impacts and persistent violations in federal or state permitting decisions under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

  • Clarifies that communities impacted by events like the Flint water crisis may bring statutory claims for damages and common law claims in addition to requesting injunctive relief.

  • Reinstates a private right of action for discriminatory practices under the Civil Rights Act.

“For too long low income and communities of color in this country have suffered under the weight of cumulative, chronic and disproportionate pollution. This bill is a reminder of how critical it is to protect and restore these communities,” said Ana Baptista, Board Member, Ironbound Community Corporation.

“We must adopt substantive policies that will provide protections for communities Of Color and low-income communities from harmful pollution. This bill would help those communities and we hope everybody gives it the serious consideration it deserves,” said Dr. Nicky Sheats, Esq., New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance.

“As a Newark School Board member and a mother of 3 kids with asthma, it’s clear environmental justice is a civil right. In my city and so many other EJ communities, there’s too much lead in our drinking water, raw sewage in our waterways and diesel emissions sending kids to the ER. Those are the kind of cumulative impacts Senator Booker’s legislation takes on,” said Kim Gaddy, Clean Water Action’s Environmental Justice Organizing Director.

 

More information: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=685

 

 

Don’t miss this excellent video on trucks, air pollution, and public health

The California Cleaner Freight Coalition (CCFC) just sent us a wonderful video, which includes appearances by leaders and volunteers from several MFN member organizations, including Ms. Margaret Gordon of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, Humberto Lugo of Comite Civico Del Valle, Silvia Reyes of the Alliance for Children with Asthma, and Nidia Erceg from the Coalition for Clean Air.

Check the video out! 

To learn more about cleaner freight, sign up today for the free Moving Forward Network 4th International Conference.  Attendees will learn and share knowledge on cleaner freight in a number of sessions, including:

  •  Zero Emission Truck Technology Overview

  • Technology Solutions to Reduce Pollution 

  • Zero-Emissions Policy: Barriers and Opportunities

  • Siemen’s Catenary System Pilot Project site visit

 To learn more about the conference and register, click here or on the image below:

 

 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio joins forces with Comité Cívico Del Valle to expand Salton Sea air quality monitoring

To my knowledge, no organization in the U.S. has achieved as much using citizen science as the Brawley, California community and environmental justice group Comité Cívico Del Valle.

Comité Cívico, working with a network of academic, governmental, and other partners, has built a community-based air quality monitoring system consisting of 40 monitors spread across the sprawling and dangerously polluted Imperial Valley; the IVAN environmental reporting system, which allows citizens to document and report environmental problems; a task force that follows up on the problems that citizens report, and much more.

The result? Empowered, knowledgeable, and engaged residents who are committed to make their community a better and healthier place, and have the tools to do it.

Last week, Comité Cívico gained a new ally  – Leonardo DiCaprio, who announced that his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will donate $100,000 to install and operate 20 new air monitors to monitor deadly chemical-laden particulate matter blowing from the rapidly drying Salton sea – perhaps the biggest environmental health challenge the region faces.

Also last week, perhaps inspired by Comité Cívico’s successes, the California State Legislature passed a bill, AB 617, which authorizes the deployment of community air monitoring systems in polluted communities across the state.

Knowledge is power, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s support will help empower the residents of the Imperial Valley to fight for one of the most fundamental human rights – clean air to breathe.  

To learn more about community-based air monitoring, join members of Comite Civico and dozens of other MFN organizations at the FREE 4th International Conference, and check out the references at the end of this post.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation gives $100,000 toward monitoring pollution at Salton Sea (Desert Sun)

How community air monitoring projects provide a data-driven model for the future (Environmental Defense Fund)

In California’s Imperial Valley, Residents Aren’t Waiting for Government to Track Pollution, Yes Magazine

Imperial Valley gets an F grade in air quality by American Lung Association, KYMA

Advancing Environmental Justice: A New State Regulatory Framework to Abate Community-Level Air Pollution Hotspots and Improve Health Outcomes (Goldman School of Public Policy)

CALIFORNIA’S AB 617: A NEW FRONTIER IN AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT…IF FUNDED (Center for Clean Air Policy)

Join us in Carson, CA to advance freight and warehouse worker health, safety and power – October 13-14

Graphic adapted from an AFL-CIO poster.  

Are you an organizer in the goods movement industry or do you work as a port or warehouse worker, or as a truck driver? Are you concerned about freight transportation and warehouse worker health and safety?

The Moving Forward Network shares your concerns and invites you to join us at our international conference on October 13-14 in Carson, California, and participate in the Worker and Labor  track, which will focus on the impacts of freight transport, goods movement systems, and related air pollution on workers and the workforce, and how labor unions, organizations, and coalitions are connecting to build power.

 

Read More

Comite Civico and Loma Linda University Medical Center train and empower students to be citizen scientists and monitor air pollution

The Brawley, California community organization Comite Civico Del Valle has tremendous accomplishments under its belt, including installation of a very robust set of fixed air pollution monitors throughout the region, and establishment of the IVAN environmental reporting system, used by residents in the Imperial Valley and communities across the state.

Working with long-time partner Loma Linda University Medical Center. Comite Civil and other partners are now expanding their services. They are training high school students to be citizen scientists, and encouraging residents to install Purple Air monitors to measure air quality in real-time outside of their homes to ensure the air they breathe is safe before engaging in outdoor physical activities.  This will be especially valuable to children and others with asthma. To learn more, check out the resources below and the article that follows.  

In California’s Imperial Valley, Residents Aren’t Waiting for Government to Track Pollution, Yes! Magazine

AIResiliency on Twitter     

I.V.A.N., Identifying Violations Affecting Communities, IVAN Online                                                                                                                                                                 

Read More

Tell EPA how to improve the powerful Environmental Justice tool EJSCREEN

EJScreen is a very powerful tool that puts capabilities previously available only to mapping experts in the hands of environmental justice groups and others.  

If you or your organization have used EJScreen, please let EPA know how they can improve it by filling out the EJScreen User Survey.  Just follow the instructions below.   

To learn more about this great tool, check out the links at the end of this blog post.

Read More

Moving Forward Network members and friends at People’s Climate Marches across the US!

The Moving Forward Network is composed of over 40 member organizations, and virtually every organization participated in the People’s Climate Marches in Washington, DC, or at a sister march in another city.  Check out a few examples:

Chicago IL

Concord NH

 

Kansas City, MO

Long Beach CA

2017-04-29 - 12 - LA Climate March, Tesoro

Los Angeles CA

This photo was provided by Comite Civico del Valle, one of many MFN members who marched in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles to call attention to an urgent regional issue – the expansion of the Tesoro Oil Refinery.

New York City NY

 

NRDC at the NYC peoples climate march 2017

Marching with NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner and NRDC colleagues and members

Oakland CA

Sierra Club at the Oakland Climate Change march

No coal in Oakland

In the San Francisco Bay Area, several thousand people converged on the shores of Oakland’s Lake Merritt for a rally that included indigenous leaders and local environmental justice groups. There, 70-year-old Margaret Gordon, an organizer with a group called No Coal in Oakland, summed up the crowd’s concerns with a fiery one-minute speech from the stage. “Keep the fossil fuels in the ground. Clean up our air, water, and soil,” she said.  (Source http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/indigenous-communities-lead-massive-peoples-climate-march-dc)

Portland OR

Neighbors for Clean Air Portland Peoples Climate March

Neighbors for Clean Air marched in Portland!

The Portland Peoples Climate March was a great event with frontline communities voices front and center.

NeighborsforCleanAir PCM

San Diego CA

Washington, DC

NRDC at the DC climate march

NRDC Marching to defend the Paris Agreement

 

 

Page 1 of 712345...Last »