Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Sierra Club Releases Clean Water Voting Record

Sierra Club Releases Clean Water Voting Record

Sierra Club

The Sierra Club released a clean water voting record Oct. 10 for the U.S. House of Representatives, in time for an expected floor vote this week on a bill that would block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from protecting communities from toxic coal ash. Coal ash is a dangerous solid waste by-product of burning coal, containing mercury, arsenic, hexavalent chromium and lead. There are more than 130 cases of coal ash contaminating communities across the country.

The interactive, online report card issues letter grades for U.S. Representatives’ voting records on clean water issues.

“Coal ash is toxic and harms public health,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “Unbelievably, toxic coal ash currently has no federal safeguards, but the health and environmental risks from coal ash dumping include cancer, neurological disorders, birth defects, reproductive failure, asthma and other serious illnesses. This anti-clean water bill from Rep. McKinley would perpetuate the status quo by putting a scheme in place that is less protective than standards for disposing of household garbage, leaving our communities in danger of toxic coal ash pollution.”

The Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act (H.R. 2273), introduced by W. Va. Congressman David McKinley, would endanger the health and safety of thousands of communities. The bill, which is expected for a floor this week, would:

  • Allow indefinite operation of dangerous ash ponds like the one that dumped more than a billion gallons of coal ash sludge in Tennessee in December of 2008;
  • Deny citizens who live near coal ash dump sites any federal right to notice, comment and a public hearing when new sites are proposed for construction or old ones are expanded; and
  • Handcuff the EPA from enforcing disposal standards, even at contaminated coal ash sites.

This latest threat is part of an unprecedented attack on clean water from this Congress. Instead of protecting communities from well-known and dangerous contaminates in our waters, some members of Congress have chosen to rollback or completely stop common sense safeguards.

For more information, click here.

—————

View the Sierra Club’s new Clean Water Report Card Here.

Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
Trending
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less