Today, 130 environmental and public advocacy groups sent a letter to the Maritime Administration asking that the public be given more time to consider and comment on a propose liquefied natural gas (LNG) port that would be constructed in the waters off Long Island and the Jersey Shore. After the application was announced on June 14, the project sponsor subsequently released 1,500 pages of a 4,000+ page application that federal agencies have found to be still incomplete in more than 150 specific areas. Despite the length, technical complexity and incomplete nature of the material, the public is required to read, analyze and meaningfully comment on the application by July 23.
“This LNG port will adversely impact the economies and ecologies depended upon by millions of Americans and the public deserves the opportunity to give it careful consideration,” said Sean Dixon, coastal policy attorney at Clean Ocean Action. Dixon noted that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed this proposal in 2011 (and reaffirmed it in 2012) because, according to the Governor’s original veto, it “would present unacceptable and substantial risks to the State’s residents, natural resources, economy and security … stifle investment in renewable energy technologies by increasing our reliance on foreign sources … [and] create a heightened risk in a densely developed region, including potential accidents or sabotage disrupting commerce in the Port of New York and New Jersey.” Dixon notes that “this application is for the same port that was wrong for the people and economies of New York and New Jersey last year, and the year before that; Liberty may be back, but nothing has changed.”
Bruce Ferguson of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy is concerned that construction of an LNG terminal could lead to increased shale gas extraction, or “fracking.” “I’m well aware that the sponsor says that the proposed port will be used to import LNG from abroad, but there is nothing in the law that can prevent the sponsor, or a future owner of the port, from using it to ship fracked shale gas to Europe and Asia.” Ferguson also noted that the U.S. will soon become a net exporter of natural gas and that existing import facilities are being revamped to handle exports.
The Maritime Administration has scheduled just two public hearings on the proposal, the minimum allowed by law:
New York State
Tuesday, July 9
Open House: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Hearing: 6 - 8 p.m.
80 West Broadway, Long Beach, NY
Wednesday, July 10
Open House: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Hearing: 6 - 8 p.m.
NJ Convention and Exposition Center
97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ
Clean Ocean Action is also hosting a “citizens' hearing"—open to all—the next day, on July 11:
Thursday, July 11
Rally Against LNG: 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Hearing: 6 - 8 p.m.
Sea Bright, NJ, Public Beach
“Residents of the entire region have grave concerns over this proposed LNG port that could easily be converted to facilitate gas exports instead of imports. This likely conversion would increase demand throughout the Northeast for dangerous pipelines and fracking, and disrupt families' lives for hundreds of miles,” said Emily Wurth, water program director at Food & Water Watch. “Residents of many states deserve numerous public hearings to voice their concerns about this ill-advised plan.”
“We are affirming the request for additional public hearings and an extension for the public comment period for the 'Port Ambrose' project in the interest of the general public’s health, safety and the rights of the public to comment on this application; this port is a threat to the ocean, marine life, and ecosystems that sustain us all,” said Suzanne Golas, a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace and director of WATERSPIRIT. “As the Maritime Administration is charged with ‘meeting the country’s maritime commercial mobility while supporting the national security and protecting the environment,’ we find this request for additional public hearings and an extension for the public comment period clearly within the scope of the Maritime Administration’s responsibility to ensure comprehensive and adequate input from the general public while reviewing this application.”
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According to the UN Environment Program, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used globally each year, and because of the material they're made from, most municipal recycling centers don't accept them (more on this below).
The most sustainable option is to skip the bag altogether. You can also make your own reusable produce bags out of old T-shirts. But if you'd rather purchase them new, here are our recommendations for the best reusable produce bags on the market today.
Eco Joy<p>If you're making the switch to more sustainable shopping bags and want a variety of products to use, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Reusable-Sandwich-Biodegradable-Eco-Drawstring/dp/B003PK4W3I/ref=sr_1_36?crid=3TDUCB8ZOM7WI&dchild=1&keywords=produce+bags+grocery+reusable&qid=1613484643&sprefix=produce+bags%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-36" target="_blank">Eco Joy Cotton Reusable Produce Bags</a> set is a great place to start. The set comes with three mesh drawstring bags, three muslin drawstring bags, a large mesh tote and a zippered sandwich-size pouch.</p><p>Each product is made with organic, non-GMO cotton that's ethically sourced in accordance with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) standards. The cotton comes from India and Turkey, and the bags are hand-assembled in Canada by the owner of Eco Joy, so you can feel good about supporting a small business while reducing your environmental impact.</p><p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 300 Amazon reviews</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Zero-waste; Handmade in Canada; WRAP compliant; Machine washable</p>
Organic Cotton Mart<p>Some shoppers prefer to use mesh bags when shopping for fruits and veggies. We recommend checking out <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Reusable-Produce-Organic-Cotton/dp/B07CK2TJKL/ref=sr_1_16?crid=10A7NM0LQ0B7E&dchild=1&keywords=mesh+produce+bags&qid=1613483897&s=home-garden&sprefix=mesh+pro%2Cgarden%2C162&sr=1-16" target="_blank">Organic Cotton Mart's Reusable Cotton Mesh Produce Bags</a> if you're in this camp, as they're made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton.</p> <p>Mesh reusable produce bags can make the checkout process easier than muslin bags since you can see what's inside them without having to open them up. Plus, the tare weight (i.e., the weight of the empty bag that should be subtracted from the total weight of your produce to make sure you don't pay extra for using your bag) is printed right on the label of Organic Cotton Mart's bags, making everything that much more convenient.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.6 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,000 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable
Simple Ecology<p>On the other hand, if you just want to purchase muslin bags, we like <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Ecology-Reusable-Organic-Shopping/dp/B004UJ0U0C" target="_blank">Simple Ecology's Reusable Produce Bags</a>, which are also made with GOTS-certified organic cotton. Simple Ecology also has a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6AUMBG/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01N6AUMBG&pd_rd_w=MA3ZS&pf_rd_p=cbc856ed-1371-4f23-b89d-d3fb30edf66d&pd_rd_wg=hVunQ&pf_rd_r=G6RTQ1Z5DKEY325MAJZ9&pd_rd_r=5d298b3a-1be7-4ebd-a9e1-d5d672a40497&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMzc4RVAxWjNLOTdCJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTc0NTAwMzBDMjFYOVJPTUpWSCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjYyOTM4M0s4Vk81SVBPS1NFSyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbF90aGVtYXRpYyZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=" target="_blank">starter kit</a> that comes with several reusable grocery bags if you're looking for more variety.</p> <p>The benefit of using muslin reusable produce bags is that, unlike mesh, there are no holes for small items to slip through. This means that in addition to larger produce, you can use them to purchase bulk foods like lentils, beans and rice — or even powders like flour or spices — without worrying about anything leaking. They're also best for keeping leafy greens fresh.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating:</strong> 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 1,500 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified packaging when purchased from manufacturer
ECOBAGS<p>Whether you're buying bread, fresh flowers, produce or all of the above, the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/ECOBAGS-Market-Collection-Reusable-Natural/dp/B08KFGPGN5" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ECOBAGS Market Collection Reusable Bag Set</a> is ideal for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/farmers-markets-coronavirus-safety-2645581711.html" target="_self">farmers market</a> shopping or large grocery hauls. The netted bags are durable, flexible, and pack down small so they're easy to keep in your car or purse.</p> <p>ECOBAGS is a woman-owned certified B Corp, which means it uses sound social and environmental practices. These bags come in packs of three or five and have a few different handle lengths and color options, but they're all made with GOTS-certified organic cotton.</p> <p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>Not applicable</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> GOTS certified; Machine washable; Biodegradable; Certified B Corp; SA8000 certified for the protection of basic human rights of workers</p>