Toxic “forever chemicals” are everywhere: in our nonstick pans, our food packaging, our water-repellant rain jackets. The Vermont legislature is considering a bill that would protect us from these dangerous chemicals by banning PFAS in food packaging, carpets, and firefighting foam. This bill will help keep toxic “forever chemicals” out of our products and out of our drinking water.
One of the day’s presenters was John Hite of the Conservation Law Foundation. “I will say that we do have one program in place currently that is the single most effective recycling program we know,” he said. “Does anybody know what that is?” The answer — the bottle redemption program
State and federal laws mandate that Maine test 100% of the toddlers covered by MaineCare for lead poisoning. The actual screening rates fall far short of that target, leaving our most vulnerable children at risk of lifelong harm. Maine needs to step up and follow the law.
East Boston residents overwhelmingly oppose a proposal to build a massive electrical substation in their neighborhood. In a case highlighting issues of language justice, many residents have been unable to participate fully in public proceedings because of inadequate translation services.
In the absence of strong federal action, the Conservation Law Foundation and other environmental groups have been pushing the Rhode Island Department of Health for more than a year to come up with an enforceable drinking water standard for the compounds.
In general, plastic bag bans aren’t perfect, wrote policy analyst John Hite for the Conservation Law Foundation, but they’re a good start. Hite pointed out that, even in studies showing that plastic bag bans increased purchases of thicker trash bags and paper bags, the bans consistently decreased the overall use of single-use plastic bags.
A bill currently under consideration by the Rhode Island General Assembly would force overdue action to address this public health threat.
Tom Irwin with the Conservation Law Foundation endorsed the idea. He noted the Legislature two decades ago set a goal of reducing solid waste by 40 percent and put landfills at the bottom of the waste “hierarchy.” “Twenty years later we have not achieved the solid waste reduction goal and we are still operating on a disposal model and relying heavily on landfills,” Irwin said.
“While today’s guilty plea hopefully brings some element of closure in this disaster, the risks that fracked gas poses to our communities and our climate can only be addressed by breaking our addiction to fossil fuels,” said Greg Cunningham, Vice President & Director of CLF’s Clean Energy Climate Change program. “As the Commonwealth considers transferring the utility privileges held by Columbia Gas to a new owner, it must ensure that gas utilities are truly committed to safety and combatting the climate crisis. The funds from this settlement must be directed towards the historically marginalized communities that have been hit hardest by this disaster.”
“Plastic producers have been given a free pass to pollute our communities for far too long at taxpayer expense,” said John Hite, Zero Waste Policy Analyst at CLF. “Single-use packaging has upended recycling and filled our oceans, communities, and landfills with plastic pollution. LD2104 will require packaging companies to deal with the mess they’ve made and create products that don’t wreak havoc on our recycling systems and environment.”