Celebrate the Earth with CLF this Saturday at EarthFest!

May 20, 2011 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Do you love the Earth? Fantastic concerts? Free stuff? Learning about the awesome work of your friendly neighborhood environmental non-profits? No matter what you and your family are into, celebrate it with CLF at EarthFest this Saturday, May 21, at the Hatch Shell in Boston. This annual event, presented courtesy of Radio 92.9, features hundreds of environmentally-friendly vendors and sponsors along with local non-profits doing green work in your community. And if that’s not enough rockstars for you, stick around for a stellar lineup featuring Atomic Tom, Sponge, LIVE’s Ed Kowalczyk and Ok Go, among other acts of musical greatness.

So tomorrow, come out and show your support for CLF and New England’s environment! Stop by our booth for environmentally-themed games, prizes and more. We’ll be strategically located between Lovin Spoonfuls and Boston Harbor Alliance in the non-profit exhibitor area between the Main Events area and the Vendor Cafe. We’ll see you there!

Let’s review:

Radio 92.9 EarthFest
Saturday, May 21
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Hatch Shell, Boston, MA

Enviros Challenge Brown on Response to ‘People Not Polluters’ Ads

May 13, 2011 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Conservation Law Foundation joined more than 30 national, regional and local environmental organizations today on a letter to Massachusetts senator Scott Brown chiding him for his response to a series of ads taking him to task for his votes on environmental issues. Brown’s public remarks and a Boston Herald editorial have attempted to deflect attention away from the issues raised in the ads and onto the tactics of the League of Women Voters, the organization behind them. The letter details Brown’s recent votes for two pieces of legislation that, if enacted, would severely impact public health, including the health of children. Brown has said in the wake of the ads that “as a father, I would never do anything to put my two daughters or anyone else’s children in harm’s way.” The letter supported the ads as being “scientifically accurate.” In a press release, CLF’s Seth Kaplan urged Brown to respond to the issues at hand, saying, “By voting to undermine EPA’s ability to protect public health and the environment, he is choosing to protect out-of-state polluters, not his constituents.”

VT Yankee — Source of Contamination Still Unknown

May 11, 2011 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

As the pipes of the aging Vermont Yankee badly corrode, the arguments for its soundness are disintegrating just as fast. A recent New York Times article highlights the poor oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of America’s outdated nuclear facilities. Without the NRC doing its job, this leaves Entergy, Vermont Yankee’s owner, on its own. Despite every claim Entergy makes to the public, the records show a deteriorating plant and sloppy maintenance and inspection.

In January, an Entergy letter shows elevated levels of tritium in the groundwater at a new and unexpected location.  Entergy was ordered to submit bi-weekly reports until the source was found and corrected.  Four months later, we are still waiting.  The reports describe ways to find the location of the leak, yet action has been limited.

Bottom line – Yankee’s pipes are corroded beyond the point where they can be regulated.  Elevated levels of tritium were found near groundwater wells GZ-24 and GZ-6 around January 15.

Entergy released a sworn affidavit in February vaguely describing how they had “established an investigation team to systematically and methodically identify the source of the elevated levels of tritium in groundwater monitoring well GZ-24.” Although this report clearly downplayed the issue, Entergy insisted it was taking the leak seriously. However, in the subsequent biweekly reports, it becomes clear Entergy did not follow up on its word. The next report released claimed they had “implemented the action plan,” but all that was described was that sampling had indicated “fluctuating levels of tritium” at elevated levels.

Throughout the rest of the reports no action has been taken. Shockingly, even in Entergy’s most recent update, on May 6, there is no mention of a source being found, only that they have “identified six lines as potential sources” and that pressure testing will be conducted, something that was mentioned in the first affidavit.

It is clear that Entergy is not serious about cleaning up Vermont Yankee. Governor Shumlin and Vermonters have demanded that the plant be shut down. Time after time, Entergy shows it is not taking the action needed to responsibly run a nuclear power facility.

See Entergy reports here:  2-11-2011;  2-25-2011;  3-11-2011;  3-25-2011; 4-8-11;  4-21-11; 5-6-2011

No more refills: How global warming is affecting your morning cup of joe

May 9, 2011 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Photo credit: puuikibeach, flickr

You know what they say: There’s no such thing as a free refill. This morning, the Boston Globe presented a front-page article about how coffee prices are at an all-time high and will increase further as supplies of what is a vital substance (for me and so many others) continues to decline.

The article comes exactly two months after a March 9 article in the New York Times reported on the scientific evidence that global warming is damaging global coffee production, noting that leading voices in the coffee industry describe the potential for the virtual extinction of Arabica, the bean behind most high-quality coffee.  But the Globe article makes no mention of global warming.

Until the media presents and connects these kind of dots, we will not be able to take the action needed to face this fundamental challenge. Global warming is changing everything – from the coastal communities facing rising sea levels to our farms and forests where fundamental changes are underway.  Until we wake up and smell the coffee (if any is still available) we will not be able to make the move to a cleaner, more efficient society and economy.

EARTH DAY CHALLENGE DEADLINE EXTENDED: One more week to protect your New England!

Apr 22, 2011 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

Photo credit: National Park Service

We’re excited to share that we’re very close to reaching our Earth Day Challenge goal of raising $41,000 which CLF board members have agreed to match dollar-for-dollar, making your gift work twice as hard! We’d like to extend an enormous thank you to all of you who reached for your credit cards and checkbooks– and for those of you who haven’t, to announce that you’re not too late! Just to be absolutely sure that we meet our goal, we’re extending our Earth Day Challenge deadline until midnight on April 30. You can help push us over the finish line by making a new or increased gift today!

Today, 41 years after Earth Day’s founding, its purpose of shining a spotlight on environmental issues is more poignant than ever. In the past few weeks alone, we have watched with terror as a nuclear disaster unfolded in Japan and, just two days ago, solemnly observed the one year anniversary of the BP oil disaster. Yet, in the current political climate, our national resolve to avert disasters like these and protect our environment is weak. That’s why every day is Earth Day at CLF.

Whether it’s working to ensure that appropriate caution is taken with the proposed Northern Pass transmission project in New Hampshire, or fighting to prevent Vermont’s state lands from being ravaged by ATVs, we shine a spotlight every day on the issues that concern you.

Tackling these challenges – and turning them into victories – is not possible without your help. Thank you in advance for all you do to help CLF protect our New England, today and every day.

Make this Earth Day count – Join CLF’s Earth Day Challenge!

Apr 1, 2011 by  | Bio |  Leave a Comment

In honor of the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, CLF Board members from across New England have banded together to make an extraordinary $41,000 investment in CLF’s – and our region’s – future. Every new or increased gift you make now through Earth Day – April 22– can be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $41,000.

Your gift today will go toward solving the region’s toughest environmental problems, and help us ensure a healthy, thriving New England for generations to come. From Maine to Rhode Island, CLF stands up for your favorite places, for the health of your families and your communities, and for the prosperity of our region. Since the last Earth Day, we:

• Cleaned up the air in Somerset, MA by closing the doors on an old, polluting coal plant
• Won tougher standards for phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain, VT
• Preserved the fragile ecosystem of Great Salt Pond on Block Island, RI
• Saved Mainers millions of dollars on electricity infrastructure
• Helped NH cities and towns save energy and money by increasing energy efficiency

As Earth Day approaches, we are reminded that around the world and right here in New England, our land, our oceans and our air are in peril. On the heels of the 2010 elections, many in the new Congress are pursuing a clear anti-environment agenda, one that cuts directly to the core of the most fundamental protections for our health, safety and well-being. With leadership in Washington sorely lacking, CLF is uniquely poised to take the reins in protecting New England.

Today, we are asking you to help us continue our progress by taking part in our Earth Day Challenge. Your commitment enables CLF to safeguard our oceans, clean up our lakes, rivers and forests, promote clean energy innovations and build healthy, livable communities. We hope you will take part in our Earth Day Challenge by making a donation today to help CLF protect our small but mighty corner of the world.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your MA, ME and NH Senators to Stand Up for Clean Air!

Mar 16, 2011 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Take a deep breath. Are you taking your clean air for granted? Don’t.

Today, the EPA proposed a rule to reduce hazardous emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants, such as mercury, arsenic, heavy metals, acid gases and dioxins, which cause thousands of deaths every year. This “air toxics rule” finally implements instructions that Congress gave to EPA in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. This much overdue effort, which builds upon decades of Clean Air Act implementation by EPA, protects the public health and serves as a reminder that if the EPA was stripped of its authority to enforce the Clean Air Act, essential safeguards like this wouldn’t exist.

The Clean Air Act is the most successful law our country has ever had to protect public health, preserve our environment and boost our economy. However, the key tool to ensure that protection is in jeopardy. Our senators are facing mounting pressure from our country’s biggest polluters to block the EPA’s ability to do its job, leaving harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources unchecked and threatening the health of our families and communities. Tell your senators that you expect them to protect you and your family, not big polluters.

New England states have shown leadership in passing progressive environmental laws to protect the health and homes of New Englanders. But it’s not just about us. Our region bears the brunt of pollution from power plants in the Midwest transported here by prevailing winds, which adds to pollution produced locally. Without federal EPA regulation, New England will remain vulnerable to harmful emissions literally blowing into our region.

Tell your senators today that you don’t take clean air for granted and that they shouldn’t either. Ask them to defend the EPA’s ability to do its job and enforce the Clean Air Act. Our region and our nation’s health, economy and environment depend on it.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

CLF calls EPA’s “air toxics rule” critical for New England

Mar 16, 2011 by  | Bio |  1 Comment »

Today, the EPA announced the first national standard for emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. This rule will protect public health, preserve our environment and boost our economy, particularly for New England, which absorbs the downwind effects of air pollutants generated in other regions of the country. Jonathan Peress, CLF’s director of clean energy and climate change, responds.

“Right now, coal-fired power plants are allowed to poison the air we breathe with toxic pollutants like mercury, arsenic and lead. The EPA’s proposed ‘Air Toxics Rule’ will provide critical protection from major health impacts, including cancer, brain damage and birth defects, associated with this deadly brew of as yet unregulated pollutants.” More >

50 Bad Bills And That’s Not the Half of It

Mar 2, 2011 by  | Bio |  2 Comment »

Photo courtesy of NRCM

At a press conference held yesterday, CLF and our colleagues at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) shined a spotlight on 50 bad bills that are now working their way through the state Legislature. If passed, these bills could:

  • Open up the three million acres of the North Woods to development
  • Repeal the ban on BPA and flame retardant chemicals that are hazardous to our health
  • Allow big polluters to not be held accountable for cleaning up their own mess

A list of those bills is here, as are some media clips from Maine Public Broadcasting Network, the Portland Press Herald and the Lewiston Sun Journal related to yesterday’s conference.

The assault on Maine’s environmental protections continues, and we will continue to fight back—but we need your help. If you haven’t already, please add your voice to the effort by contacting your local legislator, submitting a letter to the editor to your local paper, or by becoming a member of CLF.