In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities are not doing enough to protect public transit workers or their passengers. Stronger safety measures, including providing personal protective equipment and more frequent service on busy routes, must be implemented immediately – especially with stay-at-home directives beginning to ease.
Right now, our regional fishery managers have the opportunity to collect more accurate data by improving the at-sea monitoring program in New England’s groundfish fishery. This management action, called Amendment 23, can help put Atlantic cod on a path to recovery.
“The FMCB has begun to solve the MBTA’s litany of problems and that work must continue,” said Staci Rubin, Senior Attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “The board must be empowered to take on the T’s toughest challenges and create a future system that works for all riders. It is the only way we will transform the crisis-ridden MBTA into something our region can be proud of.”
“The 2021+ Board will need the flexibility to issue its own debt, independent of the secretary or the governor at the time,” the groups wrote. “There may be times when the priorities of the public transportation authority and the administration differ. At these times, an independent governing body must be allowed to do what is right for the MBTA and its riders, despite the political ramifications for an administration.”
“With COVID disproportionately affecting communities long exposed to the brunt of air pollution, reducing transportation emissions is more important than ever,” said Staci Rubin, Senior Attorney at CLF. “This delay will give state leaders an opportunity to ensure an equitable implementation of TCI that prioritizes the communities facing the largest health impacts from pollution. Our leaders must honor their commitment and begin this program in 2022.”
“It’s an historic moment in which we’ve seen the decline and impending demise of coal, as renewables nationally and within this region have surpassed it, both in the numbers of generating plants, but also, more importantly, how much power they’re generating on a daily basis,” said Greg Cunningham, vice president and director of the Clean Energy and Climate Change Program at the Conservation Law Foundation.
“The Seacoast’s beautiful rivers and bays are in danger,” said Melissa Paly, Great Bay-Piscataqua Waterkeeper at CLF. “Under the surface, we’re losing the meadows of seagrasses that support the fish, shellfish, and wildlife that call the waters home. Towns have made progress reducing nitrogen, but we need to get much more serious about curbing the nitrogen that flows into our waters from septic systems and stormwater every time it rains. This report gives us a path to reach that goal.”
Even as we mourn the lives lost to COVID-19 and absorb the heavy toll it has taken on our economy, we must recognize that the old “normal” left too many communities unhealthy and especially vulnerable to the pandemic. Replicating that old “normal” will squander an opportunity to reduce climate danger while building healthier and more just communities for all.
Every New Hampshire resident should be able to turn on their taps without wondering if the water is safe to drink. Yet a judge’s order to postpone testing of public water systems for dangerous chemicals is leaving residents in the dark about how best to keep themselves and their families safe.
Under cover of the pandemic, the waste industry is trying to demolish critical environmental protections. In April, the waste industry and Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation asked the legislature to delay Vermont’s food scrap ban and trash recyclables, all under the guise of protecting the health of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But they appear to be part of a push from waste industry groups to use the crisis to advance their own agenda in several New England states.