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WATER

 

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) IS ASKING FOR COMMENTS

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has opened a comment period to contact him with regard to the Clean Water Rule, which he wants to repeal. This rule currently protects 117 million people in the United States.

Repealing the Clean Water Rule would move the country away from a commonsense safeguard that helps state and federal agenices protect our rivers, streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. In surveys, however, the American people have shown that they support stronger clean water protections. You have to wonder if the EPA is bending under stress from the powerful oil and gas industry.

Please contact Administrator Scott Pruitt and let him know that now is not the time to go back on clean water protections and that you do not support repealing the Clean Water Rule! We are at risk without it.

The Clean Water Act was passed almost 45 years ago, but still, many of our rivers, lakes and bays are still not safe for swimming, drinking or fishing. It will only get worse if we turn back water protections and give in to the oil and gas industry.

Now is our chance to voice our concerns. Please take action. Here is the information you need to contact Scott Pruitt.

Environment Protection Agency (EPA)
Director: Scott Pruitt: pruitt.scott@epa.gov
202-564-4700
202-272-0167

Administrator Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Thanks so much for your action.

 

WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR PUBLIC LAND FROM WATER DESTRUCTION

The Trump administration is definitely looking at curtailing the boundaries of our public lands to allow mining and fracking. Both will affect our pristine water in our national parks.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to strip protections for ten National Monuments, eg: Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou, Nevada's Gold Butte to name a few. These lands belong to us so we must get involved before it's too late.

Representative Chris Stewart from Utah is leading the charge on the issue. He's a climate denier and former CEO of an energy sector. His recent re-election campaign received contributions from the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil. His bill is HR 2423.

Please contact your elected representative and tell him/her to oppose HR 2423 that threaten our public lands, which belong to the American people. We must leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong and develop clean sources of energy.

Thanks for getting involved.

PALM OIL AND WATER POLLUTION


If you grocery shop, you probably have bought items with palm oil! Palm oil became popular when Trans Fat lost favor in our food system. Palm oil is found in many products like peanut butter, packaged bread, potato chips (actually all sorts of chips), and even in things like shampoo. It isn’t always clearly labeled so it’s hard to identify.

The reason I write about palm oil is that its development is ruining water and our environment. Palm plantations in Indonesia, Guatemala, Peru, and elsewhere damage freshwater streams that supply drinking water to millions of people. Indiscriminate application of pesticides and fertilizers can also directly kill species of animals. The clearing of tropical forests to plant palm oil trees allows run off into rivers and streams and cutting of trees releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that fuels climate change. Millions of people are dependent on this drinking water. Vegetation removal along stream banks destroys plant life that stream organisms depend on for sustenance and shade. Palm plantations have also been associated with dangerous and abusive conditions for laborers.

Indonesia produces almost half of the world’s palm oil. It is home to the world’s third-largest tropical forest. Since the forest has been cut for palm, Indonesia has become one of the principal emitters of greenhouse gas. After cutting for palm, water temperatures in Indonesian streams were found to be 4 degrees Celsius (more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than streams still in the forests and sediment concentrations were up to 550 times greater.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Buy sustainable palm oil. Ask at your co-ops for certified palm oil. Also, ask your grocers to supply it. Sustainable palm oil guarantees that water stays fresh, forests are re-planted, and that laborers are paid a fair price and are treated with respect. If you visit Panera Bread stores, ask for bread with sustainable palm oil.

Tropical countries need to plant natural vegetative cover next to streams and design oil palm plantations so that dense road networks to not intersect directly with waterways.

Do some research and stay away from corporations who put profit above our environment, eg: Cargill is one of the largest purchasers of palm oil from Guatemala.

Basically, there is quite a bit we can do to stay away from “conflict” palm oil.  Resources are readily available on the Internet. Thanks for getting involved!

--Betty Kenny, OSF

(Resources used: Friends of the Earth, a report by Stanford University and WWF)

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--Question: Approximately how long does it take for a plastic water bottle to decompose?

Answer: According to the EPA, a plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose. Differenct kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is 450 years. By one estimate, approximately 50 billion bottles of water are consumed per year in the United States and around 200 billion bottles globally.

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--The majority of tap water contains plastic pollutants, according to an Orb Media study, which found synthetic fibers in 83% of 159 drinking-water samples from around the world. Scientists are unsure of the health implications.

--Find out about water in your area: http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/index.cfm

--Visit http://water.org