Environmental groups, including the Natural Resource Defense Council and Southern Environmental Law Center, have filed suit against the Trump administration, “challenging a rollback of protections for the nation’s waterways.” In January 2020, the EPA finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule that puts a limit on how much the government can regulate protections for smaller waterways. Environmental groups have argued that by limiting regulations on smaller water systems, more harm will come downstream to the larger bodies of water. Read More.
It has been nearly two months since the Trump Administration advised families to work from home and avoid eating at restaurants to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In effect, the demand for food at food banks is growing, while the supply of produce on farms is decreasing and mostly going to waste. Produce suppliers for restaurants no longer have a place to ship their commodity and the cost of harvesting, storing, and packaging excess food for banks is too much for farmers to take on. Producers have now pointed fingers at the USDA for their slow response in providing relief packages for farms and are concerned that it might be too little too late for some producers. Read More.
Earlier this month, Harvard University released a preliminary study that examined a link between long term air pollution exposure and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Some of the most polluted areas in the United States are concentrated in regions with low-income and minority populations. As the virus has continued to spread, an alarming trend has been found between the ratio of death rates from the virus in predominately black neighborhoods with higher pollution and toxicity levels compared to predominantly white or less polluted neighborhoods. Read More.
Can the coronavirus travel further distance because of air pollution? Three different research groups have proposed that the virus might be able to spread further distances when attached to pollution particles. Although the theory has not yet been confirmed, the idea that diseases can spread further distances in areas of greater pollution is plausible. Previous studies have shown that pollution could have likely carried viruses causing bird flu, measles, and foot-and-mouth disease. More research is being conducted to determine the correlation of pollution concentration and the spread of dangerous viruses, including COVID-19. Read More.
I look out my window every day and see that plant putting out black smoke, dark clouds of smoke. And now we’ve got this virus going on. I joke we’ve got a double whammy going on, but this is serious. We were in battle over here. We’ve got a war going on. Keisha Bowns interview with Katherine Webb-Hehn a freelance multimedia journalist in the South.
The Rolling Stones sits down with Earth Day founder, Denis Hayes, to learn more about the history behind the first Earth Day in 1970 and how the day has changed over the last 50 years. Hayes offers his insights on how renewable energy, climate change, media and the pandemic have changed Earth Day and how the public perceives environmental challenges. Read More.
Do you have friends or family members who live in a vulnerability zone? Check out the map below.
The first map looks at high risk facilities across the U.S. These high risk communities are especially important now that Trump’s EPA is no longer requiring monitoring and will not take enforcement actions.
Across the United States, almost 12,500 high-risk chemical facilities place 39% of the U.S. population, 124 million people, who live within three miles of these facilities at constant risk of chemical disaster. The full vulnerability zones for these industrial and commercial sites can extend up to twenty five miles in radius. You can click on the link below to see if your community is at risk.
Whether you live in these areas or not CHEJ could use your help signing and circulating this petition. The petition is demanding that President Trump revokes EPA’s decision to not enforce environmental laws and regulations and allow dangerous industries to operate without monitoring what they are putting into the air. Allowing polluters to spew more toxins will exacerbate the suffering and death toll from pollution and COVID19. This is a cruel, cynical, and unneeded attempt to put polluter profits before public health. We have to fight back.
Those dots on the first map and the dark purple areas on the second represent the type of communities CHEJ works with. Our No More Sacrifice Zones Campaign is about reducing the toxic pollution in air of vulnerable communities. We need your support to gain the people power we need to create the policy changes we need to protect innocent families. Join our No More Sacrifice Zones campaign to create a solution from the bottom up.
Earth Day Live is a national livestream with programming for 3 consecutive days of content. From teach-ins to musical performances, actions and more, The US Climate Strike Coalition and Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition are teaming up to launch a massive livestream where millions of people can tune in with activists, celebrities, musicians, and more in an epic celebration of our planet. Click here and join.
Honoring Healthcare Heroes: Lisa Edelstein Interview with Frontline Healthcare Workers (Carol Lightle, Pat Sheran Diaz)
Reimagining US: The Fight for a Green New Deal During COVID-19 (Varshini Prakash, Emma Lockridge, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Lenore Friedlaender, Naomi Klein)
This Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Despite the challenges associated with social distancing, there are many ways to still get involved this earth week through virtual and online webinars, film festival and interactive activities. Read More.
As predominately Black communities in the polluted areas along the Mississippi from New Orleans to Baton Rouge face heightened risks from COVID-19, the EPA has suspended enforcement of the environmental rules designed to protect them. Read more.
Motherboard, by Sophie Kasakove