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GoGreenNation News: England declines EU's new water pollution standards
GoGreenNation News: England declines EU's new water pollution standards

In a move that diverges from the European Union's latest environmental protections, England opts not to implement stricter regulations on water pollution from pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.Helena Horton and Sandra Laville report for The Guardian.In short:The EU has updated its water treatment rules to include "polluter pays" principles, requiring industries to cover costs for chemical pollution cleanup.This update aims to significantly reduce micropollutants and nutrients in waterways, a measure England is not adopting.Northern Ireland and Scotland are moving towards adopting these or similar regulations, signaling a potential policy divergence within the UK.Key quote:"The UK must urgently mirror EU measures to make polluters pay to remedy the problems they cause, as well as to ban the use of harmful chemicals at source, before they harm our health and pollute our environment."— Chloe Alexander, senior campaigner at the CHEM TrustWhy this matters:Ingredients in medications and personal care products, often referred to as emerging contaminants, are increasingly detected in water bodies around the globe. These substances enter aquatic ecosystems through various pathways, including the discharge of treated and untreated sewage, runoff from agricultural lands and improper disposal of unused medications.A little bit of an anti-depressant makes wild guppies less active, camp out more under plants and freeze up for longer after something scares them, according to a 2017 study.

GoGreenNation News: New hurdles for Louisiana residents reporting air pollution
GoGreenNation News: New hurdles for Louisiana residents reporting air pollution

A proposed bill in Louisiana could make it harder for locals to prove air pollution issues, raising concerns about community health.Greg LaRose reports for Louisiana Illuminator.In short:Senate Bill 275, backed by industry groups, aims to limit the evidence residents can use to report toxic emissions, demanding more than community air monitoring data.The bill has sparked debate, with opponents arguing it undermines efforts to address health issues in pollution-impacted communities.Environmental advocates stress the need for accessible monitoring methods, while the bill's supporters argue for adherence to federal standards to ensure data reliability.Key quote:“I’m here because I cannot believe, once again, our state is actually still trying to tell us that this doesn’t exist and trying to take the power from us to be able to monitor our own community.”— Tish Taylor, resident of LaPlaceWhy this matters:Measures like the one in Louisiana, tracing back to corporate lobbyist efforts, aim to discourage activism by raising the legal stakes for trespassing near polluting facilities, with felonies that could lead to significant fines and prison time. This approach has set a precedent for other states and forms part of a broader strategy to curb opposition to the industry, despite local resistance.In polluted cities, reducing air pollution could lower cancer rates as much as eliminating smoking would.

GoGreenNation News: Wisconsin's battle with PFAS pollution and regulatory pushback
GoGreenNation News: Wisconsin's battle with PFAS pollution and regulatory pushback

A divided Wisconsin court recently upheld a decision limiting state environmental oversight on PFAS contaminants, a move that has sparked widespread discussion. Bennet Goldstein reports for Wisconsin Watch. In short: A Wisconsin appeals court affirmed a ruling that restricts the Department of Natural Resources from regulating PFAS under the state's spills law. New legislation, if not vetoed, would further limit state authority to mandate PFAS cleanups, allowing polluters to potentially evade responsibility. The legal and legislative efforts represent parallel attempts to weaken environmental protections against PFAS, a persistent and hazardous contaminant. Key quote: “DNR is really kind of being assaulted on all fronts for simply trying to protect the environment and the public health from what we all know, regardless of the contrived legal definition, are hazardous substances.” — Rob Lee, staff attorney with Midwest Environmental Advocates. Why this matters: Across the United States, many states have taken it upon themselves to establish stricter PFAS standards than those set by the federal government. These actions include setting lower allowable limits for PFAS in drinking water, soil, and air; mandating testing of water supplies; and requiring public notification of PFAS levels. Industry groups have voiced concerns over the state Department of Natural Resources setting standards for PFAS in the absence of comprehensive federal regulations. Are you replenishing your electrolytes with a dose of PFAS?

GoGreenNation News: Louisiana's air pollution linked to higher risk of preterm, low-weight births
GoGreenNation News: Louisiana's air pollution linked to higher risk of preterm, low-weight births

A recent study finds a significant correlation between Louisiana's toxic air and an increased risk of low-weight and preterm births among its residents.Jessica Kutz reports for The 19th.In short:The study, the first of its kind, analyzed birth outcomes in Louisiana, revealing residents in polluted areas face higher risks of preterm and low-weight births.It utilized birth records and pollution data, showing around a third of low birth weight and half of preterm birth cases annually could be linked to air pollution.The research also highlights disproportionate effects on Black and low-income communities in the most polluted areas.Key quote:"It surprised me what a big proportion of cases was linked to air pollution."— Kimberly Terrell, lead author of the study and research scientist at the Tulane Environmental Law ClinicWhy this matters:Low birth weight, defined as weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (about 2.5 kilograms) at birth, can lead to health complications for newborns, such as difficulty fighting infections, developmental delays, and even increased risk of chronic diseases later in life. Studies have pinpointed that pregnant individuals exposed to high levels of air pollutants, especially fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, are at a higher risk of giving birth to underweight babies.Scientists estimate millions of preterm births and underweight newborns worldwide can be attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution.

GoGreenNation News: Zero- and low-waste businesses band together against plastic pollution
GoGreenNation News: Zero- and low-waste businesses band together against plastic pollution

Jessica Georges loves the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she lives. But a few years ago, she realized even the most pristine parts of town weren’t immune to plastic pollution. “You can’t walk three yards on most beach days and not run into some sort of plastic,” she told EHN. Increasingly bothered by what she saw, she created a low-waste business — Green Road Refill — to sell low-cost and low-waste goods to her community. Now, she and other low-waste businesses are strengthening their efforts to reduce plastic pollution via the National Business Coalition for the Oceans, a nationwide organization of businesses supported by nonprofit Oceana. The coalition focuses on advancing federal, state and local policies to improve ocean health, in part by curbing single-use plastics. Businesses involved in the coalition work for plastics policy change by sending letters, signing petitions, testifying at hearings and educating customers. “We’re really happy to be part of a coalition where others are bringing their perspectives and their solutions, and we can all join forces and create the systems change that’s necessary,” Lauren Sweeney, a coalition member and co-founder of reusable packaging company Deliver Zero, told EHN. Plastic policy progressOceana’s business coalition emerged in 2021, after a partnership between Oceana, government officials and regional businesses helped ban oil and gas drilling along the Atlantic and eastern Gulf coasts. It became clear businesses voicing their concerns had the power to convince lawmakers, said Claudia Davis, the coordinator of the coalition.The coalition provides tools to business owners to help them learn about policy issues related to the oceans and gives them accessible ways to participate in policy efforts. Davis organizes members to sign petitions, author opinion pieces to publish in news outlets, testify at hearings and meet with lawmakers about relevant legislation. Any business interested in ocean health can join. Now, 250 business owners, from diving shops to restaurants to refilleries (shops where customers can refill reusable packaging with home and personal care products), are involved. “We really want to encourage collective action from the business community, because that's what's going to deliver policy victories that make a change for the most people,” Davis told EHN. At the federal level, the coalition is working to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which would set nationwide plastics reduction targets, ban certain single-use plastic products and create a nationwide beverage container refund program. The coalition is working to expand the number of states and local governments with similar plastic legislation. In 2022, the coalition worked with multiple businesses in New York City to pass the “skip the stuff” law, which prohibits New York City restaurants from providing single-use plastics in takeout orders unless the customer asks. While the law will help reduce plastic pollution, it will also help restaurants save money, Davis said.Sweeney and Larasati Vitoux, another coalition member who runs a New York City refillery called the Maison Jar, testified for the bill at a hearing in front of New York City’s Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection.“I think it really made a difference to have members of the community who were saying “This is important to me not just as an individual, not just because I want to see less trash in my community, but [because] it's gonna save me and all of us money in the long run,”’ Davis said.A business perspectiveLow-waste businesses can provide a crucial perspective to lawmakers concerned about how policy changes will impact the economy. “Other businesses will come forward and say these bills are terrible for business,” Sweeney said. “Actually, you can run a business without polluting the planet and the oceans. The goal of these organizations is to counter the narrative that plastic reduction solutions are inherently anti-business.”Bringing business voices to environmental advocacy work is critical, said Jennifer Congdon, deputy director for Beyond Plastics, an environmental nonprofit not involved in Oceana’s coalition. Policymakers can get a lot of reassurance from hearing that environmental policies pushed by advocates “are going to shift the economy, but they’re not going to harm the economy,” she told EHN. “There’s a path forward for economic growth.” "You can run a business without polluting the planet and the oceans. The goal of these organizations is to counter the narrative that plastic reduction solutions are inherently anti-business.” - Lauren Sweeney, Deliver ZeroAt Green Road Refill, Georges sells more than 40 plant-based products such as dish soaps, shampoos and detergents. Running a refill shop is difficult work with slim margins, said Georges and Katie Rodgers-Hubbard, who runs a similar refillery in Savannah, Georgia, called Lite Foot Company.Bills that restrict single-use plastics give businesses like theirs a leg up by shifting the external costs of plastic like its environmental and public health harms — back to the businesses. “That makes plastic less competitive against other materials and other methods of delivering goods to people,” said Congdon. Preventing plastic pollutionWhile they work toward policy action, the businesses themselves are helping to fight pollution, too. In 2023, Rodgers-Hubbard decided that running a low-waste business and joining other nonprofit efforts wasn’t enough. She started a new, nonprofit branch of her business: Lite Foot Environmental Foundation. The foundation is creating a grade-school curriculum to educate students about plastic pollution and reuse. They also host clothing and book swaps and clothing repair days to encourage the Savannah community to extend the life of belongings. “We’re hoping to push the narrative,” Rodgers-Hubbard said. “Let’s fix things, let’s buy things of quality.” And at Green Road Refill, Georges doesn’t only sell closed-loop products —her suppliers are closed-loop, too. She buys many of her products in 30- to 55-gallon containers from a company called Rustic Strength, which she then sends back to the company once the containers are empty. When considering what to put on her shelves, she prioritizes products with biodegradable and non-toxic ingredients. Georges also focuses on educating customers and gives talks to libraries and elementary schools about plastic pollution. She asks everyone who gets a refill at her shop to contribute to an art installation made of non-recyclable bottle caps—a great way to start conversations about reducing one’s plastic footprint, she said. She passes information and petitions from Oceana on to customers in her monthly newsletters. “When I first started, I had to really do a lot of work explaining what plastic was and why it's important to reduce your own plastic footprint,” she said. But now, the people who visit her shop are more familiar with refilleries and living a low-waste lifestyle. “Businesses that exist almost for the sole purpose of reducing single use plastic are growing,” said Sweeney. “This is an exciting sector and the U.S. could develop more leadership in this sector by actually passing policy more quickly.”

GoGreenNation News: "How will the Earth look when pollution decreases?"
GoGreenNation News: "How will the Earth look when pollution decreases?"

HOUSTON — This week EHN is publishing letters from eighth grade students at YES Prep Northbrook Middle School in the Houston-area neighborhood of Spring Branch, Texas.English educators Cassandra Harper and Yvette Howard incorporated the environment into a series of lessons in December last year. Each student conducted their own research to begin drafting letters to EHN about their concerns or hopes. EHN reporter Cami Ferrell visited their classrooms to share information about her personal reporting experiences in Houston. The collection of letters, some of which were lightly edited, do not represent the opinions of YES Prep Northbrook or EHN, but are offered here as a peak into the minds of children and their relationship with environmental issues. Read the first, second, third and fourth set of letters.Diana MezaClimate change is changing our planet day by day. If we do not do anything about it, who knows what could happen in the future. Climate change has really affected our environment, from wildfires to extreme weather. People have experiences with climate change and so do I. One day during the summer, I went out with my family. It was really hot that day, but no one had expected what would happen next. Suddenly, I began to have a heat stroke. It lasted about 15 minutes, and it scared us all. And this wasn’t the first time this has happened. This heat stroke in particular worried me that maybe one day something worse could possibly happen. Since the heat is increasing every year, it is possible that in the future, my body will no longer be able to take the heat.I believe it is important we do something about this to prevent harming any more people. I think some way we can help is by trying to stop pollution. Pollution is one of the main reasons why our Earth is heating up more than ever. If we reduce the pollution we let out in our air, it could possibly make a big difference. Another thing I believe we can do to help our Earth is if we stop cutting down our trees. We need our trees to have fresh air and without them, our air quality could worsen.Thank you for taking time out of your day to read about ways we can improve our environment. With your help, we can make this a better place.- Diana MezaAzhael MedranoI am writing to discuss the status and my opinion of climate change. I want to talk about this issue because it is currently not just affecting us but also affecting all other living and nonliving things. This letter expresses my feelings about climate change and how it is dangerous in multiple ways.Climate change is now affecting everyone, and it changes the way we live life. The issue affects me and my community because the pollution we breathe in can harm us. An example of climate change that was near where I live was the Spring Branch fire on Hollister Road. This situation makes me feel that soon we are going to need some form of facial protection because of all the pollution. The thing I am mostly worried about when it comes to climate change is the pollution and the extreme temperature. To address climate change, it is important that we humans limit the number of times we use our daily vehicles such as cars, planes, and boats. A message I would like to give the government is to change the way most things are powered because as of right now most of our vehicles are powered by oil which creates more pollution for us to breathe in causing more sicknesses to happen and more deaths to experience. I want all the readers to understand that climate change is caused by certain jobs we take part in such as refineries and cargo sending ships across the world just to spread the pollution even more. Thank you for hearing me out on how we can make the world a better place for the future leaders of the world. - Azhael Medrano Felix PerezClimate change is one of the biggest worldwide problems. People think that climate change is the world just heating up and that is one of many (things) going on.For example, sea levels are going up and severe storms are currently happening and freezes could happen. In February 2021 Houston had one of the biggest freezes making people lose their homes. This is rare for Texas to freeze, since Texas is hotter than (other) states. This affected families by making them lose (their) homes for not being able to pay for the damage caused by the storm. (Some) families had less food than others. (Some) were stocking up on food to make sure that they can feed their family. People were in the streets starving (and freezing) to death in the cold. To address climate change, it is important that the people and government act. The government should turn off gas companies once a week every month while the workers still get paid to make sure we decrease the amount of natural gas being put out in our atmosphere. I want people to know that it is not just heat but people (will be) losing their homes and animals losing their natural habitats. People should attend meetings and protest to try to end climate change. Thank you for taking your time to read on how I feel about climate change and why I think we should find ways to end how bad it is so my generation can have a future and for our species to not go extinct. - Felix PerezCarolina GonzalezI believe that climate change is a tremendous problem because climate change is affecting humans. For example, hurting their lungs and causing them to have asthma, heart diseases, and more. But climate change can also cause (the) losing (of) resources like trees or food. This issue affects me and my community because I had asthma but it came back not that long ago. So the pollution has affected me.Some examples of climate change near my area was that it was flooded by a hurricane named Hurricane Harvey, and this year we’ve experienced a huge fire. Many trees were destroyed. The air was toxic to adults, but (especially) toxic for young children. This worries me for my future because I believe that possibly the citizens here would want to leave because of what the pollution is causing. It also worries me (that) the hospitals won’t have enough room for everyone that is having health problems from the pollution.Humans need to take control of climate change and try to fix it in any way possible. In Houston,Texas we had one of the hottest summers ever, no one is taking action and caring about our Earth. Parents need to be careful when their children are outside breathing those toxic chemicals and hurting their lungs. I would like to see a change, before and after, especially to those kids' futures. How will the Earth look when pollution decreases? - Carolina GonzalezDaniel MendozaClimate change is a real problem that is happening around the world, not just here. It has affected many lives, and it will keep on affecting many more lives if it isn’t stopped. The issue with climate change is that it isn’t taken that seriously and it has become a big problem because it has worsened over time. This issue affects me or my community because it can affect our health and how we live here in Houston. This year’s summer was the hottest ever recorded here in Houston, and it might be getting hotter each year. Also, this summer there has been some smog in the air, mostly what I think has been created by refineries or cars releasing gas into the air. In order to address climate change, it is important that we, as a community, act upon this by using less electricity and gas, using transportation without gasoline- like a bicycle or walking - and using an electric car instead of a gasoline car. What the government should do (something) too. From what I have heard, they have reduced greenhouse gasses, which is another factor for hot temperatures like this summer’s. The government should keep at it so there could be less hotter summers over the years. We people from Houston should know about this and must make a change from converting our gasoline car to electric, or to use less gas and electricity in our homes. We can make a change, even if it seems impossible. know we can, so that I and many other people can have a bright future ahead of us.- Daniel Mendoza

GoGreenNation News: Op-ed: Protecting California’s children and communities from leaded aviation fuel pollution
GoGreenNation News: Op-ed: Protecting California’s children and communities from leaded aviation fuel pollution

The California Air Resources Board finds more than 90% of Californians breathe unhealthy levels of pollution at some point each year, and lead is among the most common air toxics. California phased out lead in gasoline for cars and paint decades ago, so what is producing newlead air pollution? One of the main contributors is leaded aviation fuel still used in small, piston engine aircraft. A 2021 study found children who lived less than a mile away from an airport had 21% higher lead levels in their blood compared to children who lived farther away. The study also states young children who are exposed to lead can suffer from long-term negative health, behavioral and cognitive consequences. Select airports and counties in California are attempting to move toward unleaded alternatives, ahead of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommended goal for lead-free aviation by 2030. In 2022, Santa Clara County banned the sale of leaded aviation fuel at their airports. Yet, there is a crucial loophole. Banning the sale in one county’s airports does not stop people from purchasing leaded fuel elsewhere. Long Beach City Council approved a $200,000 subsidy for their airport. Long Beach Airport has offered unleaded aviation fuel since 2023, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed them as the second-highest lead polluting airport in the nation. The subsidy was necessary because the higher price tag of unleaded fuel dissuaded many from choosing to use it. This step by the city is commendable but, not only is use optional, the subsidy will expire in 2025. Similarly, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors directed LA County Public Works to provide unleaded aviation fuel at all five LA County-operated airports by June 1, 2024. It was included in the announcement that unleaded alternatives will be available at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, which is one of the three airports in my Senate district. I applaud the Board of Supervisors for taking action, though leaded fuel will still be available and leaves the decision up to the consumer on whether or not to purchase it. Ubiquitous lead air pollution cannot be remedied by simply offering alternatives or discontinuing the sale at certain locations. The daily impacts of leaded aviation fuel on our communities requires statewide action.This year, I am authoring Senate Bill 1193 to phase-out the sale of harmful leaded aviation fuel in California. No one should be okay with the harm it inflicts on our children, especially when there are impending viable unleaded alternatives. One intent of the tiered approach is to speed up market production and availability of unleaded alternatives at all airports. It also sets a legal deadline in 2030 for complete discontinuation of leaded aviation fuel sales throughout California. We cannot stand by and wait for the federal government to take action when many ofthe highest lead polluting airports in the nation are in our state. The bill will ban the sale in or adjacent to disadvantaged communities by January 1, 2026; urban growth boundaries by January 1, 2028, and everywhere else in California by January 1, 2030. The FAA has already approved a lower octane unleaded fuel (UL 94), currently available at approximately 35 airports in the U.S., as well as a 100 Octane unleaded fuel (G100UL), which is not yet commercially available. This bill delivers on a key campaign promise to my San Fernando Valley constituents and Californians - to fight for cleaner air and hold polluters accountable for the harm they inflict on the people of our beautiful state. Senate Transportation Committee will hear SB 1193 on April 9, 2024, at 1:30 PM. Location: 1021 O Street, Room 1200, Sacramento

GoGreenNation News: Steel mills face a lighter pollution cutback after intervention by Rust Belt senators
GoGreenNation News: Steel mills face a lighter pollution cutback after intervention by Rust Belt senators

A group of Democratic senators from the Rust Belt challenged planned Environmental Protection Agency steel mill rules, citing concerns over American manufacturing's future.Lylla Younes reports for Grist.In short:A coalition of Democratic senators, including Joe Manchin and John Fetterman, voiced apprehensions that the EPA's proposed regulations on steel mills could stifle American investment and lead to job losses.The EPA's final ruling on steel mill emissions scales back initial proposals, aiming to reduce particle pollution by less, and omits a limit on smoke thickness from mills.Despite the reduced scope, the regulations are hailed as a step towards mitigating pollution, albeit criticized for bending under industry pressure.Key quote:“It’s a small step in the right direction. The steel companies mounted a real disinformation campaign about the cost of the rule that I think put pressure on EPA to take out some provisions that would have been beneficial.”— Jim Pew, senior attorney at Earthjustice.Why this matters:Efforts to regulate steel mill pollution have met both support and resistance. Environmental advocates and communities affected by pollution push for stricter regulations, emphasizing the importance of clean air and water for public health and the environment. These groups often advocate for the adoption of cleaner technologies and more sustainable practices within the industry.

GoGreenNation News: Everything you need to know for the fourth round of global plastic pollution treaty talks
GoGreenNation News: Everything you need to know for the fourth round of global plastic pollution treaty talks

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international, legally binding plastic pollution treaty will take place from April 23 to April 29 in Ottawa, Canada.In the first three sessions of treaty talks, negotiators from about 175 countries — along with industry representatives, environmentalists and others — met to advance a treaty to address global plastic pollution. What’s at stake in the plastic treaty talks? The plastic crisis is threatening both the planet and human and wildlife health. Global plastic waste is set to almost triple by 2060.The world generates roughly 400 million tons of plastic waste each year.Less than 10% of plastic ever made has been recycled. The treaty is the first international attempt to address this. What’s the state of the plastic treaty? Consensus was elusive at the last round of talks in Kenya. There is a High Ambition Coalition of countries that wants an end to plastic pollution by 2040. There is also a Global Coalition for Plastics Sustainability — largely nations economically reliant on fossil fuels such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Cuba, China and Bahrain — that has positioned itself as the counterbalance to the High Ambition Coalition and is pushing for a larger focus on addressing plastic waste (via chemical and mechanical recycling and other means) rather than plastic bans or production limits. The U.S. is not part of either. Some sticking points include: Regulating the chemicals in plastic productionPlastic production capsThe role of chemical recycling and bioplastics Where can I learn more about the plastic treaty?You can see all of the details of the upcoming treaty meeting at the UN Environment Programme website. Want to learn more broadly about the treaty and how plastic pollution impacts our health? Our newsroom has been hard at work on exploring these issues. Below we have articles to help you understand the treaty process and progress, plastic impacts to our health and chemical recycling and bioplastics.And follow our newsroom on X, Instagram or Facebook to stay up-to-date on this historic treaty.Plastic treaty coverage “Plastic will overwhelm us:” Scientists say health should be the core of global plastic treaty Opinion: Pete Myers discusses the "Health Scientists' Global Plastic Treaty" Plastics treaty draft underway, but will the most impacted countries be included? Opinion: UN plastics treaty should prioritize health and climate change Op-Ed: How the United Nations could avoid silencing voices during Plastic Treaty negotiations Scientists: US needs to support a strong global agreement to curb plastic pollutionPlastic and our healthWhat is plastic pollution? Plastic chemicals are more numerable and less regulated than previously thought Recycling plastics “extremely problematic” due to toxic chemical additives Every stage of plastic production and use is harming human health Massive new database on how plastic chemicals harm our healthChemical recycling and bioplasticsWhat is chemical recycling? Bioplastics: sustainable solution or distraction from the plastic waste crisis? Chemical recycling grows — along with concerns about its environmental impacts This will be a big year in shaping the future of chemical recycling Chemical recycling “a dangerous deception” for solving plastic pollution: Report Paused Ohio chemical recycling plant puts spotlight on Appalachia as “prime target” for the controversial practice Residents fear Pennsylvania, West Virginia chemical recycling proposals will deepen fossil fuel ties and pollution problems Q&A: Director of sustainability at Eastman Chemical Company talks chemical recyclingLatest chemical recycling plant closing spurs concern over the industry’s viability

GoGreenNation News: Gulf Coast sees petrochemical surge, raising environmental and economic concerns
GoGreenNation News: Gulf Coast sees petrochemical surge, raising environmental and economic concerns

A new report highlights the rapid expansion of petrochemical facilities along the Gulf Coast, drawing billions in tax breaks despite pollution concerns.Dylan Baddour reports for Inside Climate News.In short:The Environmental Integrity Project found significant growth in plastics production facilities, with Texas leading in new developments and receiving substantial state tax abatements.These facilities have repeatedly violated pollution permits, yet their financial incentives remain unscathed.Public funds diverted to these corporations could have supported local education and public services, raising questions about the true cost of these investments.Key quote:"I think if companies can't obey the law they shouldn't be rewarded with taxpayer money,"— Alexandra Shaykevich, research manager at the Environmental Integrity Project.Why this matters:A 2020 University of Texas study estimated that proposed petrochemical facilities could emit as much greenhouse gas as 131 coal-fired power plants by 2030, making up over 8% of U.S. emissions. Local residents face increased risks of exposure to air pollution, raising alarms among environmentalists and health advocates about the direction of energy infrastructure development and its implications for public health and safetyCommunities of color are more likely to live at the fenceline of chemical facilities, increasing their exposure to fossil fuel and petrochemical pollution.

GoGreenNation News: Nearly all states embrace EPA's climate initiative
GoGreenNation News: Nearly all states embrace EPA's climate initiative

In a sweeping movement, 45 states have rallied behind the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program, embracing more than $250 million in federal grants to combat greenhouse emissions, with only five states sitting out.Tracy J. Wholf reports for CBS News.In short:The program, spurred by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, funds strategies for reducing climate pollution while promoting economic opportunities in clean industries.Despite all states being eligible, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Wyoming opted out, forfeiting a $3 million allocation each, though cities within these states still participated.This initiative supports public health by reducing environmental pollution and aims to cover more than 96% of the U.S. with climate action plans.Key quote:"The diversity of ideas and ambitious initiatives from all across the country reflect the seriousness that states and metropolitan areas are bringing to the work of cutting pollution, acting on climate change, and meeting their local objectives."— Jennifer Macedonia, deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and RadiationWhy this matters:In the last few years it’s become increasingly evident that climate-driven disasters are affecting public health. The EPA’s climate grant funding encourages states to engage in an inclusive approach, advocating for partnerships across governmental levels, non-profits, and the private sector to pool resources and expertise for greater impact.

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