For Isabel, a 15-year-old sophomore at Boston Latin School, climate change is a big concern. That’s why, last November, Isabel and three other teens, alongside CLF and the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, sued the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for not meeting key obligations of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act.
When it comes to clean water in New England, two big challenges stand in the way: nutrient pollution and stormwater runoff. CLF is working to solve these challenges by pushing local and state governments and the EPA to enforce clean water laws and hold polluters accountable for their damage.
“New Englanders living in low-income and communities of color are more deeply impacted by our current environmental challenges than society at large,” says Veronica Eady. That’s why CLF, in collaboration with community groups and residents in environmental justice communities, is working to reduce the environmental hazards that threaten public health across New England.
It’s tempting to leave the problem of stormwater runoff to cities, towns, and businesses. But our houses also takes away the landscape’s ability to soak up precipitation naturally. Solutions to start greening our home landscapes, however, can be as simple as buying a rain barrel and planting a rain garden.
CLF and our partners are championing a new approach to managing stormwater. Green infrastructure is about trying to design our built environment in a way that restores the ability of the landscape to soak up precipitation and filter out pollutants before the runoff reaches our waterways.
In 2012, CLF started questioning New Jersey–based developer Footprint Power’s proposal to build a natural-gas-fired power plant to replace Salem Harbor Station, the polluting coal-fired plant slated to close in June of 2014. Proponents argued the plant would be cleaner, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CLF challenged those assumptions.
When news broke in 2013 that Brayton Point, New England’s largest – and reportedly most efficient – coal-fired power plant would close in 2017, CLF heralded the news as a victory in one of its signature battles: the demise of coal in New England.
The Mystic River Watershed is the most urbanized watershed in Massachusetts – and one of the most polluted. So when a neighborhood group approached CLF in 2010 with concerns about stormwater runoff from a large scrap metal facility, we agreed to take a closer look.