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Two Cities Join Campaign to Combat Carbon Pollution

Two Cities Join Campaign to Combat Carbon Pollution

Center for Biological Diversity

Richmond, Calif. and Boone, N.C. are the latest U.S. cities to pass a resolution urging the Obama administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon and other pollutants to improve public health and address global climate change. By passing resolutions, these cities become the latest to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.

“I am proud to have sponsored a resolution urging President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to fully enforce the Clean Air Act and to work to reduce the unsustainable carbon levels ruining the atmosphere. It is time for every community to stand up for the laws that protect the health of people and the environment. We can no longer view this as some abstract threat. It’s real and it’s here,” said Boone town council member Jamie Leigh, who sponsored Boone’s resolution.

The center’s new Clean Air Cities campaign is working with volunteers around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions urging national leaders to use Clean Air Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. Albany, N.Y., Berkeley, Calif., and Santa Monica, Calif., have also passed resolutions, and several more around the country are in the process of consideration.

“While Congress continues to pass legislation gutting the Clean Air Act, yet another poll has found that the public—Democrats and Republicans—overwhelmingly favor the EPA’s efforts to limit pollution under the Act,” said Rose Braz, the center’s climate campaign director. “Cities are giving voice to the will of the American people, who clearly favor using the best tool we have for curbing pollution and limiting global warming—the Clean Air Act.”

The Clean Air Cities campaign is building a broad coalition of support from cities large and small to persuade national leaders to take action on the global climate crisis.

“President Obama traveled through Boone this week and admired the natural beauty of this wonderful mountain community. While I’m sure he realizes the important relationship between clean air and that beauty, his administration must also realize these protections are too important to trade off. He needs to know that local people want clean air. This is not about politics. It’s about human, economic and spiritual health,” said Leigh.

Learn more about the Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

For more information, click here.

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The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 320,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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An aerial view taken on August 8, 2020 shows a large patch of leaked oil from the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius. STRINGER / AFP / Getty Images

The tiny island nation of Mauritius, known for its turquoise waters, vibrant corals and diverse ecosystem, is in the midst of an environmental catastrophe after a Japanese cargo ship struck a reef off the country's coast two weeks ago. That ship, which is still intact, has since leaked more than 1,000 metric tons of oil into the Indian Ocean. Now, a greater threat looms, as a growing crack in the ship's hull might cause the ship to split in two and release the rest of the ship's oil into the water, NPR reported.

On Friday, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth declared a state of environmental emergency.

France has sent a military aircraft carrying pollution control equipment from the nearby island of Reunion to help mitigate the disaster. Additionally, Japan has sent a six-member team to assist as well, the BBC reported.

The teams are working to pump out the remaining oil from the ship, which was believed to be carrying 4,000 metric tons of fuel.

"We are expecting the worst," Mauritian Wildlife Foundation manager Jean Hugues Gardenne said on Monday, The Weather Channel reported. "The ship is showing really big, big cracks. We believe it will break into two at any time, at the maximum within two days. So much oil remains in the ship, so the disaster could become much worse. It's important to remove as much oil as possible. Helicopters are taking out the fuel little by little, ton by ton."

Sunil Dowarkasing, a former strategist for Greenpeace International and former member of parliament in Mauritius, told CNN that the ship contains three oil tanks. The one that ruptured has stopped leaking oil, giving disaster crews time to use a tanker and salvage teams to remove oil from the other two tanks before the ship splits.

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The oil spill has already killed marine animals and turned the turquoise water black. It's also threatening the long-term viability of the country's coral reefs, lagoons and shoreline, NBC News reported.

"We are starting to see dead fish. We are starting to see animals like crabs covered in oil, we are starting to see seabirds covered in oil, including some which could not be rescued," said Vikash Tatayah, conservation director at Mauritius Wildlife Foundation, according to The Weather Channel.

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Human hair absorbs oil, but not water, so scientists have long suggested it as a material to contain oil spills, Gizmodo reported. Mauritians are currently collecting as much human hair as possible to contribute to the booms, which consist of tubes and nets that float on the water to trap the oil.

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