The oil and gas industry wields enormous political power. Massive spending on elections and lobbying, a relentless spin machine and agency capture at all levels of government have given fossil fuel companies outsized influence on our political, legislative and regulatory processes.
The Minnesota Legislature has been in session since January 6th, without many final actions to show for the time spent. In the past 12 weeks there has been a flurry of activity in the House and Senate, although from the perspective of clean water there are stark contrasts between the directions that they are headed in the remaining weeks until they adjourn on May 16th.
Good news! According to a new report from the Mind the Store Coalition nearly 70% of the 50 largest retailers in the country have improved toxic chemical safety programs over the past five years. That means we can find safer products with fewer hazardous chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive disorders or birth defects when we shop. These chemicals are often found in everyday products like cleaners,food packaging, and shampoos and moisturizers.
Today, the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee holds its hearing on HB807, legislation to create a task force to study recycling and solid waste policies and systems in Maryland. This task force could significantly help advance zero waste in Maryland; here is our testimony in favor of the bill.
HB807: Task Force on Recycling Policy and Recycling and Waste Systems in Maryland
Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
March 31, 2021
Statement for Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee on A2783
March 15, 2021
Clean Water Action thanks the committee for the opportunity to comment on A2783 and Assemblyman Stanley and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle for sponsoring this bill. Clean Water Action supports the bill directing the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop guidelines for state and local government purchases to be more environmentally sustainable.
March 4, 2021
Given that there was no opportunity to testify, below are Clean Water Action's comments about S2515. Clean Water Action supports the post-consumer recycled content bill with a few remaining concerns.
Clean Water Action first and foremost advocates for programs that prevent waste before it is created. We promote reusables over single-use disposables whenever possible. The bag, foam, and straws bill (S864) signed into law in November was a critical first step. Thank you Senator Smith for leading that effort.
For decades, Clean Water Action has led the fight to protect and restore Lake Superior and the Great Lakes. Why? Because the Great Lakes contain 21% of the Earth’s available fresh surface water. They are the drinking water source for more than 40 million people. Tourism to the Lakes brings in more than 16 billion dollars each year to local economies. And a less quantifiable reason: they are fun and enjoyable!
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.