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Clean Water Action Waves: In the news, March 2023

Our work to protect clean water across the country often makes the news. Clean Water Waves highlights recent articles featuring our staff speaking on their areas of activism and expertise.


Compostable takeout bowls contain 'forever chemicals,' study finds

Emily Chung | CBC News | March 30th, 2023

Cindy Luppi is New England director for Clean Water Action, a U.S. group focused on preventing harm to health from toxic pollution that has a campaign focused on stopping PFAS pollution by pressuring retailers to stop using it. The group has a shopper's guide to avoiding PFAS. It recommends looking for compostable food packaging products that are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute, which requires it be PFAS-free, and provides links to other lists of PFAS-free packaging.

However, Luppi says single-use packaging is "never a great idea" and she recommends moving to non-toxic reusable packaging to reduce other kinds of pollution too.

Take Action on PFAS
Read more on ReThink Disposable


CT secures $18 million to combat PFAS in drinking water. ‘This contamination is a threat.’

Deidre Montague | Hartford Courant | March 4th, 2023

Clean Water Action’s Anne Hulick said this is an issue of critical importance, as the forever chemicals are so toxic.

“The levels for these chemicals, and the health impacts have been reduced so significantly, as we’re understanding more and more about just the enormous toxicity of these chemicals,” she said.

As an example, she said one of the chemicals used to be determined to have health impacts at 70 parts per trillion. But the new rate is 0.004 parts per trillion, which is probably less than a drop of water in an Olympic sized pool, she said.

“We know Connecticut residents are increasingly aware of and concerned about this issue. We’re getting calls all the time about people who are worried about PFAS in their water, PFAS in their environment. So that influx of these federal funds is lifesaving, frankly, to address a major source of concern, which is our drinking water. And it will go an incredibly long way to very proactively and aggressively address this issue,” she said.

Read more on CT legislative priorities

Rhode Island

Pushing for the bottle bill: An interview with Clean Water Action's Jed Thorp | A Lively Experiment

Jim Hummel | WSBE Rhode Island PBS | March 24th, 2023


Read more about the RI Bottle Bill


State rejects local plans for protecting San Joaquin Valley groundwater

Alastair Bland | Cal Matters | March 3rd, 2023

Environmental and community justice groups in the San Joaquin Valley said some of the approved plans aren’t much better than their rejected prior renditions.

In the Kings Sub-Basin, for example, modeling by the Water Foundation, a community advocacy group, shows that several thousand domestic wells could dry up under the approved plans. This could affect as many as 42,000 people.

“We are disheartened by DWR’s approval of some plans that allow domestic and public supply wells to fail as groundwater over-pumping continues,” said Ngodoo Atume, water policy analyst for Clean Water Action, in a statement.

Read more on groundwater, climate change, and drought in CA


Bills regulating toxic chemicals attract high-priced lobbyists

Deena Winter | Minnesota Reformer | March 1st, 2023

The chemical industry spent almost $66 million lobbying Congress in 2022, according to The seven largest PFAS producers and their trade groups spent at least $61 million in 2019 and 2020, largely to successfully lobby Congress and the Trump administration against PFAS legislation and rules, according to The Guardian. They focused on killing proposals to force them to cover the cost of cleaning up widespread PFAS pollution, the Guardian reported.

Rep. Jeff Brand, DFL-St. Peter, said his bill (HF1000) has drawn heavy opposition from D.C. lobbyists.

Avonna Starck, state director of Clean Water Action, said she and her allies are up against it.

“The chemical lobby is hitting Minnesota lawmakers hard,” she said. “We also have to be really loud because the high-paid lobbyists that are being flown in are loud.”

Brand and his Democratic-Farmer-Labor colleagues are joined by environmentalists and local clean water advocates, who point to increasing evidence of harmful effects of the chemicals — which have been locally made by 3M since the 1950s — on land, wildlife, water and human health.

Read More on PFAS in MN

New Jersey

NJ Gov. Murphy's $53 billion budget: More property tax relief, spending on schools, mental health

Gothamist | Nancy Solomon | February 28th, 2023

The address drew criticism from environmentalists, who say he is not spending enough on climate change.

“Gov. Murphy’s proposed budget reveals a shocking lack of urgency in addressing the climate crisis despite repeated commitments to the contrary and a historic $10 billion surplus,” said Amy Goldsmith, state director of Clean Water Action.

She criticized the state’s ongoing reliance on drawing from its Clean Energy Fund to support other programs, most significantly NJ Transit, which the governor boasted would see a sixth year without fare increases.

“The governor has been talking a big clean energy game, but the continued raids to the Clean Energy Fund mean that programs to make clean energy accessible to lower-income residents continue to be out of reach or delayed for those most in need,” she said.

Read more on tackling climate change in NJ


California Eyes Studies Cited In Cr6 IRIS Draft To Update Cr6 ‘Health Goal’

Inside TSCA (via Inside EPA) | Curt Barry | March 28th, 2023

“Most Californians are not aware of the disgraceful failure of this state to effectively regulate chrome-6 over the last 20 years due to pressure from polluters and some laggard water systems who are only concerned with their financial liability or the cost of treatment,” Andria Ventura, policy director for the environmental group Clean Water Action, tells Inside TSCA.

“We see this action by OEHHA, which has kept a faithful eye on the science, as the result of such pressure from entities to try to delay pending regulation. It’s no surprise despite the shame associated with exposing people to cancer-causing substances.”

Read more on Chromium 6 in CA

In Our Own Words

MI: Podcast
Making Democracy Work for Our Environment
Sean McBrearty on Eclectablog: The GOTMFV Show

MD: Opinion
Composting expansion would benefit the environment — and Maryland’s small farmers
Emily Ranson in Maryland Matters

National: Podcast
Jon Scott & Clean Water Action on EnvironMental with Dandelion