Friday, June 29, 2012

Guest Blog: Why we need the EPA's strong rules to Protect Florida's Waters




By David Guest, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice
The “summer slime” season is starting in Florida. Over and over, we’ll be forced to watch the places where we love to boat, swim and fish get covered with nauseating algae that can make us, our pets, and wildlife sick.
In Tallahassee and in Washington, polluter lobbyists are getting their politician friends to push for ineffective standards on the pollution that’s sparking these nasty toxic algae outbreaks all over the state. We’re talking about phosphorus and nitrogen, the so-called “nutrients,” which come from the sewage, manure and fertilizer that runs into our water.
Polluters basically wrote the Florida Department of  Environmental Protection’s ineffective rules on this pollution, and they desperately want the state to substitute their loophole-ridden bureaucratic mumbo jumbo for the clear, enforceable standards developed by  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Gov. Rick Scott is doing his best to give the polluters what they want – these weak, substitute rules.
We need the EPA’s strong rules, because they set enforceable numeric limits on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen allowed in our waters. The EPA’s rules are easy-to-read speed limit signs. The rules Gov. Scott is pushing are ridiculous -- they would only require pollution control after waters have been already slimed – and that means the damage is done and taxpayers will be forced to pay for expensive clean-up.
Now it’s up to President Obama:  will he back Rick Scott’s proposal, or support EPA’s?
So far, environmental activists have sent more than 34,000 letters to the White House, urging Obama to enforce the EPA’s standards. We have to keep the pressure up.  
This heartbreaking pollution is a public health threat that hurts tourism and the most important resource we have -- our drinking water.

When the EPA standards go into effect, they will spur important changes to control pollution at its source: More sustainable agriculture practices for fertilizer and pesticide use, upgrades to outdated  sewage systems, and  modern manure management, to name a few.

We have to fight back against the polluters – it is just not fair for them to keep using our public waters as their private sewers. We have formed a citizen's group to fight back. It is called the Florida Water Coalition, and you can learn more – and send an alert to the White House -- by visiting floridawatercoalition.org.

Sierra Club Statement on Transportation Conference Report


Sierra Club Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2012                                                                          

Sierra Club Statement on Transportation Conference Report

Washington, D.C. – Today, details of the Transportation Bill Conference Report under consideration by House and Senate conferees were revealed. Congress is expected to vote on the deal this week.

In response, the Sierra Club released the following statement from Executive Director, Michael Brune: 

“Led by Senators Reid and Boxer, the Senate rightly rejected attempts by House Republicans to attach unrelated and damaging poison pills to this bill that would have gutted coal ash safeguards and approved of the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline.

Thanks to Senate leadership, Congress had the real opportunity for a strong, bipartisan bill that would have put our transportation system on the path to the 21st Century. Unfortunately, House Republican ideologues sabotaged this chance, proving again they are willing to sacrifice millions of jobs to advance their radical agenda.

By being willing to walk away from three million American jobs, House Republicans extracted concessions that will keep our transportation system stuck in reverse. By rolling back critical environmental review laws, they’ll curtail the public’s ability to have a say on highway and bridge projects in their communities. By undermining efforts to make biking and walking safer and keep our roads and bridges in good repair, they’ve done their best to ensure we remain dependent on oil and a crumbling infrastructure.

When you have extremists in Congress willing to derail the country to push their reckless ideology refusing to negotiate with Senate leaders who want to act to save jobs, the results are grim. Now, we’re left with a must-pass bill stripped of its potential. One of the few good things you can say about this bill is that it could have been worse.” 



Sierra ClubSierra Club85 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
sierra.news@sierraclub.org
www.sierraclub.org/pressroom


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Healthy Air Campaign Saves Light Rail Option for Tampa Bay

Over 80 supporters of transportation choices turned out Monday June 18 to pack a 1:00 pm board workshop of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA). All wore stickers from the American Public Transportation Association that told the board  “Addicted to Oil? Try Transit” and "I Dumped the Pump for Transit", completely changing the tone of the meeting and bewildering opponents of transit, who were outnumbered 10-1.  
Working with progressive-labor coalition Awake Pinellas, Sierra Club’s Florida Healthy Air Campaign encouraged people to “Dump the Pump” by taking transit to the meeting. 20 frequent bus riders and first timers alike rode to the meeting with the media.  PSTA officials later observed that Monday's turnout of supporters of transportation choices by Sierra Club and progressive allies saved the option of light rail from being eliminated at this meeting, and moved the county closer to holding a series of community meetings on the new multi-modal plan. These meetings are needed to give Pinellas residents the opportunity to give PSTA input on how to create a multi-modal system that will fully serve people's needs.
PSTA, serving Florida’s most densely populated county, plans greatly expanded bus service, safer paths for bikes and pedestrians, and light rail to connect Clearwater with St. Petersburg and, potentially, Tampa. Going forward, neighboring counties on Florida's Gulf Coast will be able to connect to Pinellas to create a regional transit system with Sarasota and Tampa that Dumps the Pump and breaks Florida's addiction to oil.
In a region with America’s most limited transit systems, Pinellas County boasts America’s best beaches, the source of $6 billion in jobs and revenue from tourism. Moving beyond oil with new transportation choices in the Tampa Bay region will attract jobs, clean up Florida’s smoggiest air, protect tourism, and save more oil than drilling off our beaches could produce. 
Creative Loafing: Pinellas Transit Agency Moving Forward On Possible Rail Initiative

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sierra Club Launches “My Piece of America”


Sierra Club Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2012
Contact:
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113 x 102


Sierra Club Launches “My Piece of America”
New Face for Lands Work

Washington, DC: Today the Sierra Club unveiled a new online hub to recognize, share and help protect America’s most treasured outdoor places.  The “My Piece of America” site is part of a larger campaign by the Sierra Club to permanently protect public lands in today’s technology-driven age. 
   
“The Sierra Club’s mission to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet is as vital today as any time in the Sierra Club’s 120 year history,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.  “We want to reconnect people with their sense of joy and wonder, and provide a way to channel their renewed passion into enduring lands protection so this and future generations can enjoy the great outdoors.”

The “My Piece of America” website is uniquely built to not only allow users to upload and view content of their favorite special places, but also to connect with local protection campaigns on the ground. Users will have opportunities to take action to help conserve those places for future generations to enjoy.  With trip giveaways, beautiful photos, personal stories and action opportunities, the site will provide an inspirational and engaging invitation to be a part of America’s lands legacy.

From strikingly colored deserts and arid grasslands to white water rapids and ancient forests, America’s public and private lands provide a wealth of benefits to our nation.  For more than a century America’s special places have been saved so that people from all backgrounds can take advantage of all they have to offer.  Today millions of people recreate, retreat, and recharge in our parks, national monuments, wilderness areas, and other public lands.

Our public lands have also become major economic drivers. They play a vital role in the $646 billion dollar outdoor recreation economy, which supports local communities and 6.1 million jobs across the country.

“The benefits of protecting our lands have only grown with time. Today we’re bringing this old-school fight into a new age,” said Frances Hunt, director of the Sierra Club’s Resilient Habitats Campaign. “There remain many beautiful, fragile and irreplaceable places that need permanent protection.”

Visit the website at www.sierraclub.org/MyPieceofAmerica
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Speak Up for Florida's Waters on June 23!



 Sierra Club Florida

Santa Fe Slime

Join Senator Bob Graham, Senator Lee Constantine, the Sierra Club and other water quality advocates from around the state at "Speak Up For Florida's Waters: Silver Springs", a call to action to protect and restore Silver Springs and Florida's imperiled waterways.

This exciting event will give you the chance to learn and share your concerns with other concerned Floridians through discussions, displays, presentations, and music.

Event Details:
DATE: Saturday, June 23, 2012
TIME: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
PLACE: Silver River State Park, 1425 N.E. 58th Ave, Ocala, FL 34470 (map)

The threats to Florida's springs and the sliming of the Santa Fe, Caloosahatchee, and St. Johns rivers illustrate Florida's big secret -- too many of our waters are suffering.
Please join us at this event to bring attention to and help protect our precious water resources.

Water is the lifeblood of Florida's economy and essential to our health and quality of life. We must stand up and speak out for our waterways, or we risk losing them.
Click here for more details.


Thanks for making sure our voices are heard.

Marian Ryan, Conservation Chair
Sierra Club, Florida Chapter

P.S. Tell your friends and family to come join us for this great event and help protect Florida's waters.
 

Sierra Club's Water Sentinels to Launch July 14th in Sarasota and Manatee County


Sierra Club water quality testing to debut in Manatee/Sarasota

Published: June 21, 2012 
 — skennedy@bradenton.com
MANATEE -- The Sierra Club has picked the Manatee-Sarasota area as the first location in Florida for a program that will train volunteers to test the quality of local bodies of water.
The club's "Water Sentinels Program" is expected to debut July 14 and already has attracted about 30 volunteers who hope to learn to accurately test water quality, according to Cris Costello, the club's regional organizing representative.
The venerable environmental organization plans to train people to monitor areas near, for example, Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC's Wingate Creek phosphate mine, and a recently-approved mine extension near Duette.
The mines sit near the headwaters of the Myakka River, whose lower portion has been designated among the state's "Outstanding Florida Waters," because of its lush flora and fauna.
"We're starting it here because my office happens to be in Sarasota County," explained Costello Wednesday. "We intend to take this program all across the state; we're starting small to work the bugs out."
Those training as "Water Sentinels" will join 13,000 others in 22 states, according to the national Sierra
Club website. Volunteers, who do not have to be club members, monitor approximately 48,000 square miles of watersheds across the U.S. that are home to 184 million Americans, the website said.
By the end of the year, Costello hopes to provide training across Florida, she said.
She has already contacted the Manatee County Natural Resources Department, the county Health Department, and state environmental protection officials, Costello said, adding the responses have been "absolutely positive."
Typically, testing focuses on substances like nitrogen, phosphorus or fecal coliform, which can be indicators of water pollution, said Costello.
However, local volunteers working near phosphate mines might test for other substances, she said.
Sierra Club trainer Tim Guilfoile is slated to lead classes; the club plans to contract with a local lab to evaluate sample results, Costello said.
Asked how often bodies of water near phosphate mines are currently tested, a local official said it varies, depending on the mine and other factors.
For example, Wingate Creek mine and its extension would be monitored for water quality monthly for the first year of active mining, then with county approval, dropped to quarterly testing, said Alissa Powers, environmental program manager, mining services, Manatee County Natural Resources Department.
Groundwater wells typically are sampled semi-annually for water quality and weekly for water levels, she said, adding that the mines also would be checked for radiation levels and rainfall data.
Russell Schweiss, manager of public affairs for the Mosaic company, declined comment.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

FREE Florida-friendly Landscaping Workshop in Charlotte County on Friday, July 20


So what’s next in Charlotte County now that we have fertilizer ordinances in place? Educate the community about how to fertilize right!  Explaining how we can comply with our local fertilizer ordinances and keep nutrient pollution out of our waterways.

Sierra Club is working alongside with Charlotte County Commissioner Bob Starr and County staff to educate homeowners and residents of Charlotte County about how to fertilizer and landscape in an environmentally-friendly way. 

Please join us for a FREE workshop in Charlotte County on Friday, July 20th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Charlotte County Cultural Center to learn more about how to landscape and fertilize to keep Florida’s waters clean!

What: A free workshop on Florida Friendly landscaping and fertilizing with County Commissioner Bob Starr, Sierra Club and Charlotte County Staff. Bring your questions!  Light snacks and drinks will be provided!

When: Wednesday, July 20th

Time: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron Street Port Charlotte, FL 33952 (To view a map of the location, follow this link: http://mapq.st/KWFl77)

If you’re interested in getting more involved in our Slime Crime campaign in Charlotte County, e-mail Katie at Katie.parrish@sierraclub.org today! 

Punta Gorda Passes STRONG Urban Fertilizer Ordinance!


charharbor
Charlotte Harbor. Photo Credit: Steven Scott of the Greater Charlotte Harbor Sierra Club

This June, the City of Punta Gorda made Southwest Florida one step closer to complete protection from urban fertilizer run-off by passing, unanimously, a fertilizer management ordinance! Now the only community remaining without a sufficiently strong urban fertilizer ordinance in the Southwest Gulf region is Collier County.
Special thanks goes out to the Greater Charlotte Harbor Group for their support and help on this campaign by packing City Hall, helping to table at the Punta Gorda Farmer’s Market, and attending meetings with City Council members and staff!

As you can see below from the map provided by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Punta Gorda was integral to more comprehensive protection from urban fertilizer run-off in our region.



If it makes your grass grow, it’s going to make algae in the water grow- that is why these urban fertilizer ordinances are important!  Nitrogen and phosphorous-rich substances like fertilizer, sewage and animal waste feed harmful algae and lead to the growth of toxic Red Tide and blue-green algae which have been plaguing local waterways and causing fish kills and respiratory illnesses in humans.

The backbone of a strong fertilizer ordinance includes a summer rainy season ban on nitrogen and phosphorus application. The Punta Gorda City Council voted unanimously for a fertilizer ordinance with a rainy season ban (June 1 – September 30th). During the rainy season in Florida, fertilizer does not have an opportunity to be absorbed into the soil before our frequent rainstorms wash the fertilizer off lawns and into canals that lead to our local rivers, estuaries and bays.

Other best practices for landscaping in a “Florida Friendly” way are:  a “zero phosphorous” rule, unless soil tests show that phosphorous is necessary;  the use of 50% controlled- release nitrogen;  a yearly application limit for nitrogen (4 lb/1000 ft2).; and maintaining a 10-foot fertilizer-free zone from the waters’ edge.  We CAN reduce the fertilizer run-off that is fueling harmful algae blooms, like the present blue-green algae bloom suffocating Charlotte Harbor’s Sunshine Lake.

Warning sign along Sunshine Lake, Sunshine Lake is located in a residential neighborhood in Port Charlotte.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

America Leading the World in CO2 Emission Decrease


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Sierra Club Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2012

Contact: Eitan Bencuya, 202-495-3047, eitan.bencuya@sierraclub.org 


America Leading the World in CO2 Emission Decrease Thanks to Reductions in Coal Use

Grassroots Fight to Move “Beyond Coal” Having Clear Effect


WASHINGTON DC -- Since 2006, the U.S. has seen the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of any country or region, according to a recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The report states that, during this time, U.S. CO2 emissions have fallen by 7.7 percent or 430 million metric tons, primarily due to a decrease in coal use. 
This decrease in carbon emissions is equal to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 84 million passenger vehicles or more than 53 million homes.

While America has long been criticized by the international community for not taking a leadership role in reducing carbon emissions, it’s clear now that the work being done to move the country beyond coal is having a significant effect. Coal was responsible for 33 percent of U.S. electricity last month, down from 50 percent just 10 years ago. According to analysis by the Vancouver Observer, CO2 emissions from the average American are now at the same levels that they were in 1964. What’s more, these reductions put America on track to meet and even exceed the goal President Obama set in the Copenhagen Accord of decreasing U.S. CO2 emissions by 17 percent by 2020.

“This report shows that we are finally getting serious about our footprint in the U.S. because we are getting serious about coal,” said Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City. “Ending coal power production is the right thing to do, because it is a self-inflicted public health risk that pollutes the air we breathe and adds mercury to our water. And I’m pleased our efforts through Beyond Coal are contributing to this growing success.”

“Americans should be heartened by the report that U.S. carbon emissions have dropped by nearly eight percent over the past six years,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “This significant milestone is a testament to the hard work of thousands of volunteers around the country, who are working city by city to retire dirty, outdated coal-burning power plants. While we still have a lot more work to do, it’s clear that the work of the Sierra Club and other grassroots organizations is helping our nation make real progress in reducing dangerous pollution and mitigating the climate crisis.”
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Sierra ClubSierra Club85 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
sierra.news@sierraclub.org
www.sierraclub.org/pressroom 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Don't Let Them Suck Silver Springs Dry!


Sierra Club Florida
Silver Springs
Take Action
Dear Friend,

Over the past several decades, Silver Springs has had a dramatic decline in its flow by more than 50 percent as well as increases in nutrient pollution, because of excessive groundwater withdrawals, poorly treated wastewater, and excessive use of fertilizer.

The last thing Silver Springs needs is an additional, dramatic loss of the groundwater that feeds it. But that is what Adena Ranch (a cattle feeding and slaughterhouse operation) wants; and the St. Johns River Water Management District is preparing to give. Adena Ranch is asking for a permit to withdraw 13.2 million gallons of water per day for 30,000 cattle and a slaughter house -- more water than the daily consumption of the entire City of Ocala, from the aquifer that sustains Florida's most beloved, iconic springs.

It's up to you to protect Silver Springs from this pollution! Act now!

If we don't push the water management district to say "no" to this permit, Adena Ranch and others behind it will continue to get what they want - a free pass to use up our aquifer and kill our precious springs.

Please add your name to the list of Floridians who will not sit idly by while the water management district threatens to suck Silver Springs dry.

Thanks for taking action to protect our waterways,

Marian Ryan, Conservation Chair
Sierra Club, Florida Chapter

P.S. Tell your friends to take action too, and get your social media networks involved:
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Florida Chapter | 111 Second Ave NE, Suite 1001, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701 | P: (727) 824-8813

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sierra Club Statement on EPA Approval of State Plan to Improve Water Quality in the Everglades


Sierra Club Press Release
_______________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 13, 2012
Contact:  
Frank Jackalone,  frank.jackalone@sierraclub.org,  (727)824-8813, x302
Jonathan Ullman,  jonathan.ullman@sierraclub.org,  (305) 860-9888

Sierra Club Statement on EPA Approval of State Plan to Improve Water Quality in the Everglades

Sierra Club is pleased that Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Florida have agreed on a plan towards attaining the 10 parts per billion (ppb) phosphorus standard in the lower Everglades, but this plan is only a small step forward with a lot of uncertainty.

We have three major concerns:

First, the State says it will complete work on the plan and meet the water quality goal no sooner than 2029. That's just more delay, putting the entire project at risk as costs escalate during this period. The Everglades will continue to decline as this project gets dragged out, making restoration more difficult.

Second, the plan calls for using a giant, sub-surface reservoir north of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge to provide cleaner water for the Refuge. This feature depends strongly on technology which has never been used before. We think this is a very risky decision.

Third, the plan agreed to by the State and the EPA does not include enough land for additional stormwater treatment areas (STAs). Flow Equalization Basins could prove helpful in enhancing the effectiveness of the limited acreage currently in STAs, but they are not a substitute for the nutrient reduction capabilities of STAs and do not offset the need for additional treatment acreage.

###

Senator Rubio’s disastrous State Waters Partnership Act of 2012


As if there weren’t enough Clean Water attacks in the Farm Bill, Senator Marco Rubio’s disastrous State Waters Partnership Act of 2012 would stop EPA from developing numeric nutrient criteria in Florida.  Senator Rubio has introduced this Act as an amendment to the Farm Bill [SA 2261].  Senator Rubio’s bill would put an end to EPA’s ability to develop standards to tackle this serious public health threat in the Sunshine state.


See LETTER below that calls on Senators to keep the Farm Bill free of Clean Water Act attacks:

American Rivers * Chesapeake Bay Foundation * Clean Water Action * Clean Water Network * Defenders of Wildlife * Earthjustice * Environment America * League of Conservation Voters * National Audubon Society * Natural Resources Defense Council *
Sierra Club * Southern Environmental Law Center

June 13, 2012             

RE: Don’t Include Toxic Attacks on the Clean Water Act In the Farm Bill

Dear Senator,

Our organizations and our millions of members and supporters urge you to oppose amendments being offered to the 2012 Farm Bill that would undermine, overrule, or otherwise shred one of our nation’s most important public health safeguards, the Clean Water Act.  Please vote against any anti-Clean Water Act amendments as well as any other anti-environmental amendments offered when the Farm Bill is considered on the Senate floor.
Americans want and deserve clean water.  They do not want the U.S. Senate to gut their clean water law.  
As you know, the Farm Bill is one of the most important policies affecting U.S. agriculture.  It funds nutrition programs, land and water conservation, crop insurance, and energy projects.  The Farm Bill should not be larded up with reckless attacks on the Clean Water Act that add needless controversy while undermining the bill’s conservation goals.

Among the most damaging attacks on clean water and health is an amendment Senator Barrasso is offering that would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from better protecting  small streams and wetlands as well as the rivers, lakes, streams, and bays they flow into and help keep clean. The streams the EPA and Corps policy will safeguard serve as sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans.  They are also where our families fish, swim, and boat and serve as vital habitat for fish and wildlife.  When the policy that the Barrasso amendment would block was published in the Federal Register last May, over 230,000 Americans responded, and over 90 percent favored the policy. 
In another attack on the Clean Water Act, Senator Paul has an amendment that effectively repeals the Clean Water Act.  The provision is poorly drafted and confusing, except in its clear goal of excluding many streams, rivers, wetlands and other waters from pollution limits under the Clean Water Act.  The amendment would exclude numerous waters that are not “navigable-in-fact”  from the Clean Water Act, including waters that have been protected by federal law since the 19th century.  Under Senator Paul’s proposal, waters that are not “navigable-in-fact” would only be covered under limited circumstances.  That throwback to the 1800s ignores the passage of the Clean Water Act completely. It is actually worse than the pre-Clean Water Act law, which covered tributaries from which pollution flowed into other waters, because the Paul amendment would even leave intermittent streams and other seasonal tributaries without protection.  The 1972 law, enacted by overwhelming bipartisan support in the Congress, changed the nation’s water laws in order to curb water  pollution broadly and  at its source in the watershed.  The Clean Water Act does so by protecting all “waters of the United States.”  Senator Paul’s attempt to turn back the clock on our water and public health gains in the last century  must be rejected.
    
Senators Hagan and Crapo are proposing an amendment that will result in more toxic waterways across the country.  Senator Johanns has also introduced virtually the same amendment.  These amendments remove all Clean Water Act protections for pesticides that are sprayed directly into streams, rivers, lakes, and other waters that are point source discharges.  Under current law, pesticides can be used in waterways, only it must be done safely. Supporters of these amendments want to eliminate the Clean Water Act safety review and allow pesticides to be sprayed as direct point source discharges in ways that could kill fish, destroy the quality of the water, and harm public health without limits. Many agricultural discharges are already exempt from the Clean Water Act, and health departments are already allowed to spray for mosquitoes to protect the public from West Nile and other outbreaks.   These amendments only serve to protect big pesticide companies who want to sell more of their toxic products. These amendments mean more poisons going into the very waters in which we swim, from which we fish, and from which we get our drinking water.  Already, more than 1000 waterways in the U.S. are impaired with pesticides.  These proposals from Senators Hagan and Crapo and Senator Johanns could add thousands more to that list.

These are not the only attacks on water offered as amendments to the Clean Water Act.  Senator Rubio just introduced an amendment to undo numeric limits of the discharge of manure, fertilizer, and sewage into Florida’s waters.  These waste discharges are responsible for toxic algae outbreaks that are destroying waters across the state with toxic slime.  Senator Inhofe (R-OK) introduced an amendment to prevent the EPA from updating its stormwater programs to better manage runoff, which can pollute our water with pathogens, excess nutrients, heavy metals and other contaminants that put people’s health at risk. Other amendments to block anti-water pollution rules or to create new special interest loopholes in the Clean Water Act have also been proposed. 

When you consider the Farm Bill and the good it could do for the American public, please do not undermine that goal by destroying the nation’s most important safeguard for clean water and public health.  The people of this country want and deserve better for the health of their families and safety of their communities.  Please oppose all anti-Clean Water amendments to the Farm bill.   Thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Take Action: No Anti-Environmental Amendments in the Farm Bill



Clean Energy: No Anti-Environmental Amendments in the Farm Bill -- read more
As the Senate moves forward with the Farm Bill -- a comprehensive must-pass bill that deals with our nation's agriculture some senators are loading it up with anti-environmental amendments. Using a tactic we have seen many times during this Congress, these senators are giving in to polluters by steamrolling protections for our waters and lands and endangering our communities. 



LINK>  Urge your senators to stop these anti-environmental riders.

Some of the anti-environmental riders being considered to the Farm Bill include:

- Blocks the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA from using the Clean Water Act to clearly protect streams and wetlands which account for the drinking water sources for 117 million Americans.

- Allows polluters to apply pesticides directly to our waters by weakening the Clean Water tools that protect rivers and streams from these toxic pollutants.

-Fundamentally alters the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as it pertains to grazing on public lands and guts associated conservation protection measures.

-Guts core elements of the Lacey Act, one of the oldest and most successful conservation laws that helps combat illegal logging. The rider would remove the possibility of criminal penalties for violating the Lacey Act and greatly limit the scope and enforcement of the Act.

- Amends the Clean Air Act to weaken the health standard that EPA sets to the public from some coarse particles.


LINK>  Urge your senators to stop these anti-environmental riders.

Monday, June 11, 2012

President Obama: Thank you for supporting the Everglades Skyway. Now let's build it!


Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet


Thank President Obama and ask that he now fund the Everglades Skyway!

Skyway
take action button
Dear friend,
Last Christmas Eve, President Obama took a major step to restore the Everglades and protect South Florida by signing Congressional authorization for the Everglades Skyway.
But the fight’s not over yet.
Thank President Obama for signing Congressional authorization of the Everglades Skyway and ask him to secure funding for the first span of this critical project.
Since 1928 the ill-conceived Tamiami Trail has blocked the flow of water south, essentially strangling Everglades National Park with disastrous results. As the ground dries out, the Everglades are sinking, which combined with rising sea levels poses a frightening prospect for humans and wildlife alike.
But with 5.5 miles of bridging over Tamiami Trail, precious water will be allowed to flow south again, protecting the region while also creating good jobs and increasing tourism.
We must urge President Obama to take the next step and secure the crucial funding necessary to make the Everglades Skyway a reality!
Over the past decade thousands of Floridians have called and sent letters to their representatives demanding the creation of an Everglades Skyway.
Now, we need to keep up the pressure by asking the President to secure funding for the first span of the bridge.
Thank the President for taking this important step and urge him to fund the bridge to restore America’s Everglades.
Without the Skyway, the Everglades cannot survive and in the coming years South Florida's people and wildlife will face the ravages of climate change. Now is the time to not only protect this magnificent natural treasure but to also safeguard our economy, wildlife, and future of all Floridians.
Thanks for all you do to protect Florida's natural treasures,
Jonathan Ullman
Sierra Club, South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizing Representative
P.S. Share this alert with your friends and family. You can also help by spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter.
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