Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Protection Agency
Stop McArthur Dairy Farms from torturing cows by terminating their contracts now.
After watching the investigation conducted by ARM at McArthur Dairy Farms, a company of Dean Foods, we as consumers and non-consumers demand Publix, Walmart and Target to stop dairy supply from McArthur Dairy Farms. We refuse to purchase products or support any organization that has a business relationship with a company that commits these terrible atrocities to cows. Suspending the receiving of milk is not enough as we do not want to see inhumane companies in the market, which is why we request a termination of contract. In addition, we urge Publix, Walmart, and Target to raise the standards for their dairy suppliers requiring them to protect dairy cows by treating them humanely and giving them a quality of life. We would also like to see the State of Florida and the FDA write laws and statues that protect dairy cows from living inhumanly on dairy farms.
Prevent expansion of honeybee-killing pesticides
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering a proposal to dramatically expand the use of the bee-killing pesticide thiamethoxam. If approved, the harmful pesticide would be allowed to be sprayed directly on wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, alfalfa, rice, and potato crops, greatly increasing the exposure to already at-risk honeybees. Sign my petition to ask that the EPA deny the proposal expanding the use of neonicotinoids, and shift directions to restricting these harmful pesticides. Bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the U.S. Without bees, many of the food crops we rely on would simply die off. The proposal, by the agrochemical giant Syngenta, was released the same day as an assessment by EPA scientists detailing the dangers posed by neonicotinoid pesticides, including thiamethoxam, to honeybees, birds and aquatic life. Sign the petition to ask the EPA to reject Syngenta's proposal to expand the use of bee-killing pesticides. The European Union and Canada are already taking steps to limit or ban neonicotinoid pesticides due to their negative impact to pollinators. By expanding their use in the U.S., the EPA would be causing grave harm to the environment and our food supply. Photo credit: Björn Appel (Wikipedia)
Ban Asbestos in the US Now, Without Loopholes or Exemptions
My daughter was just 10 years-old when my husband, Alan, was diagnosed with a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a deadly material which is still being used in the U.S. today. Families like mine have fought for decades to get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the use of asbestos, but instead the administration allows imports and use to continue. Alan’s disease was incurable – but it was also entirely preventable. Asbestos kills an estimated 39,000 people in the US every year, yet the EPA has not banned companies from continuing to use it. They are knowingly poisoning Americans. In 2004, Doug Larkin and I co-founded the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization to fight for families battling mesothelioma. We vowed that we would fight with all of our strength to prevent other families from going through the pain, devastation, and loss that we experienced. Emily and I were there with Alan when he took his last breaths. I lost my soulmate and my daughter lost her father because our government refused to stand up to greedy corporations. The EPA has now spent decades of time and taxpayer dollars on asbestos research. They know it is deadly, yet hundreds of tons of raw asbestos are allowed every year to be used in our country. It’s long past time that the EPA banned this deadly material once and for all. Enough is enough.
Tell the EPA: Ban paraquat, an herbicide linked to Parkinson’s disease.
Despite being banned in 32 countries, paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. Yet many studies, including one as recent as 2017, show that paraquat exposure increases risk of Parkinson’s disease. We believe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should join other countries in banning the use of this herbicide. Parkinson’s is a chronic, degenerative neurological disease that impacts nearly 1 million Americans. Currently, there is no treatment to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s, nor is there a cure. Every 15 years, the EPA reviews all herbicides to confirm they comply with federal safety standards, and paraquat is currently under review. That’s why your signature is so important today. The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council, led by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, educates lawmakers on the causes of Parkinson’s and advocates for public policy changes that support patients and families. Last year, the Council sent a letter to the EPA outlining paraquat’s health risks and asking for it to be banned in the United States. Introduced in the 1960s, paraquat kills most green plant tissue on contact and is often used as an alternative for weeds resistant to glyphosate, the herbicide commonly known as “Roundup.” There are other means of pest-control that farmers can use to obtain an adequate yield without increasing Parkinson’s risk. Please sign our petition asking the EPA Administrator to protect Americans and prohibit the use of paraquat.
Ban neonicotinoids from pesticide products used for agriculture
Since 1990, beekeepers have noticed a drastic decline in the bee population. Bee colonies have been disappearing left and right due to the excess use of Neonicotinoids. These chemicals are harmful to the species and are causing a pandemic for these honeybees. Before planting, some might use a product by Monsanto or Bayer to help the plants with pesticides. By doing this, though, they have made it so when a bee goes to pollinate, it will get sick to the point where it will not be able to survive. More and more bees have not been able to live through the winters because of the harmful chemicals left in their bodies. Without bees, we will lose a drastic amount of agricultural products, which will hurt not only the food industry, but our economy. This petition is to ban the use of neonicotinoids in our pesticides. It is far more harmful to the insects and is killing off species. We must make a change if we do not want to see our food die off or become unsustainable. The bees are far more important to the human race than we make them out to be. Not only do they provide honey, they pollinate our agriculture and give us a source of food. We must save the bees to save ourselves.
Ban Toxic Chinese Drywall, Provide Medical Monitoring, Injunctive Equitable Relief, Public Awareness
After Hurricane Katrina, our Family moved from Louisiana to Florida. We bought a new house and were thrilled to be getting a fresh start. However, our happiness was short-lived. Soon, the entire family’s health, and our house’s appliances, air conditioning unit, and wiring all began failing. It was a bizarre nightmare. What we learned later was that our walls were literally made from poison. After talking to neighbors who were experiencing the same issues, we brought in a forensic toxic specialist. Our drywall had been shipped in from China and was made with toxins that should never have been allowed in a building product. But by then, it was too late. Our builder had gone out of business, our insurance had a pollution exclusion, and our mortgage company said we were responsible. I filed a complaint with the insurance commissioner and after investigating they dismissed my complaint stating in fine print there was a pollution exclusion, I knew they weren't referencing these gasses emitting from Chinese Drywall. I need your help to make sure no family has to endure what we are facing. Join me in demanding that all Chinese drywall be banned from the United States until it has been guaranteed to be safe and toxin-free. After hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Chinese drywall flooded the US market. According to shipping information Knauf Tianjin sent at least 38.7 million pounds of Chinese Drywall, Knauf Wuhu sent 28.6 million pounds. Based on U.S. customs and census information these figures indicate 78% from these two China plants in 2006. Those numbers have continued to increase affecting more innocent homeowners. It was used in countless homes, and thousands of families are currently involved in lawsuits over it. They have experienced the same horrible health effects as us, such as eye and upper respiratory infections, chronic nose bleeds, vomiting blood,scalp sores, migraines and chronic fatigue, and have also seen it destroy everything they worked hard to build. The problem is so bad that Congress passed a bill to learn more about the dangers of Chinese drywall used in homes like mine. We ended up having to walk away from our home, losing over $100,000 in equity. After we did, it was bulldozed to the ground. When we moved into a new place, we learned that it, too, had Chinese drywall. This toxic product is everywhere. There is reports of eleven infants at Fort Bragg that have mysteriously died and the homes contained Chinese Drywall. This design defect by China allowed high levels of sulfide gasses: carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, dimethyl sulfide and other chemicals to emit through off-gassing into our homes. If it can corrode wiring turn our metals, silverware, jewelry black, what is the long term health effects we face? We have photos of congress entering our homes wearing masks, however their saying theirs no danger when you leave. They refuse to study the health effects that families have suffered and continue to suffer daily. My family has never received justice. We still suffer from ill health, our credit has been destroyed, and we have to scrape every penny just to get by day-to-day. We are no longer home owners, we rent. Recently, I learned I have thyroid cancer, and I know in my heart that it is from the Chinese drywall. A home is supposed to protect you, not kill you. It is time to ban Chinese drywall until we have answers and guarantees that it is safe.
No More Plastic Straws in McDonalds
Plastic pollution is a growing problem in the world. By 2050 it is estimated that, by weight, there is going to be more plastic than fish in the world. And, in recent years it has also started to make its way into the food-chain. Whales are known to have eaten plastic bags, so too have Sea Turtles. Whilst, fish have succumbed to eating polyethyelene microplastics. However, in recent years a new problem has come to the attention of the public: Plastic Straws. They are known to have caused the drowning of turtles as they get stuck in their nostrils. This is needless and inhumane. Especially when an easy alternative is already readily available worldwide. Paper straws do exactly the same, except when they have been used they biodegrade. McDonalds, one of the largest Transnational Corporations in every country is one of the front-runners in their production of plastic straws, if they can stop, why can't many others follow their lead?! When we, as a nation, signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals we pledged to help life under water- this could be one of the biggest steps in helping us achieve this. Please sign...#PlasticStrawsSuck
Protect Bristol Bay From Open Pit Mining
Having always been an advocate for the environment, I was horrified when EPA head Scott Pruitt reversed protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, one of the world’s largest salmon fisheries, to allow for the construction of a massive mine in the heart of the bay. The Pebble Mine would be irreversible and catastrophic for Bristol Bay and its salmon. Join me in standing up for this natural treasure by demanding that the EPA protect Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay is home to the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery in the world – half of the world’s sockeye salmon catch comes from here alone. The bay generates over 14,000 jobs and and close to half a billion dollars of revenue for the area and the salmon support thousands of Alaskan Native people who have depended on the fish for centuries. This proposed large scale mine would be the largest and most destructive open pit mine in North America. It would be at least 1/3 mile deep, over 12 square miles wide, and generate a massive 23 billion tons of toxic mining waste that would have to be contained by a series of dams. We can stop this irreversible catastrophe from happening. Sign this petition and continue to voice your disapproval of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay.
Labeling for Dicamba top applications: XtendiMax, FeXapan and Engenia is set to expire!
Dicamba labeling for top applications: XtendiMax, FeXapan and Engenia is set to expire on November 9. This is an opportunity to tell the EPA not to renew these labels and to ban this toxic herbicide that has damaged more than 3.6 million acres of soybean crops (about four percent of all soybeans planted in the US). This particular herbicide was created to combat weeds that have already developed resistance to products like Monsanto’s glyphosate. Dicamba vaporizes into the air and is persistent in the environment up to 72 hours. It is highly mobile and is drifting into neighboring farms and communities, destroying crops and putting the health of community members at risk. We must act now!
Childhood cancer crisis & a toxic legacy: Tell EPA-sample for vapor intrusion into homes
"Diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at age 13 and with only 3 months and 13 days left of her tragically short life, Emma Grace Findley captured the hearts of not only her community but inspired many around the US and world. Today, we fight in her memory and are inspired by her spirit to answer why so many children in our community face this battle." - Kari Rhinehart, community leader who lost her daughter in 2014. For nearly a decade, the vibrant community of Johnson County, IN has been fighting dual battles: their rising childhood cancer rates and the frustration of their own health and environmental agencies minimizing public concern. Upon independent investigation into several local toxic legacy sites, it has become clear that there are significant unresolved issues and data gaps. Families in Johnson County and beyond may continue to be unknowingly exposed to hazardous chemicals if these are not addressed. Sign our petition urging the US Environmental Protection Agency to conduct vapor intrusion sampling of the homes in Johnson County and to reevaluate a leaking former industrial site for inclusion on the National Priorities List. RISING CHILDHOOD CANCER RATES "To see the look on his face when we get a phone call of a new diagnosis is heartbreaking. I know what is going through his mind. 'Another one? Relapse? Will I relapse?' Those thoughts are something no child should ever have to wonder." - Stacie Davidson, community leader and stepmother of Zane Davidson, who is in remission after 3 1/2 years of being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The latest National Cancer Institute (NCI) data shows that the age-adjusted cancer incidence rate for children under 20 in Johnson County (22.2) is higher than the state average (17.3); even more alarming is the rates in Johnson County are rising. According to the community and local news outlets, approximately half of the children diagnosed since 2009 have lived or spent significant time in Johnson County's small town of Franklin. An investigation released by the Johnson County Health Department in December 2017 concluded that, "The difference between the observed number of childhood cancers diagnosed in Johnson County and the number expected was not statistically significant." Any objective observer can see that what is significant is elementary school children developing cancers typically seen in 60-year old adults. What is significant is that childhood cancer rates continue to rise. What is significant is the storied history of poor housekeeping practices at Johnson County sites that contaminated the surrounding environment. One critical piece that has been left out of the human health conversation has been a comprehensive investigation into child-specific exposure factors from several contaminated sites in Johnson County. Without additional sampling efforts to address fundamental data gaps, the sites and off-site areas remain incompletely characterized and the human health risk analyses reliant on assumptions. A TOXIC LEGACY The nonprofit advocacy group, Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) has investigated over 25,000 pages of confidential government reports, memos, and test results for contaminated sites in Johnson County, many of which had previously never been reviewed by the community. The EWA and its team of technical advisors have found that human and environmental impacts have not been adequately characterized at one site in particular, the former Amphenol Corporation. The former Amphenol Corporation (aka Franklin Power Products) site operated under several other owners and operators during its 55-year history in Franklin, IN. From 1963 to 1983, electrical parts were manufactured on the approximately 15 acre site, with metal hydroxide sludge, volatile organic compound (VOC) solvents and thinners (including trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane), and cyanide solutions reported as some of the wastes generated, stored in tanks, and leaked directly into the ground. Some of the many poor housekeeping practices at this site included a leaking plating room floor that discharged chemicals into the subsurface, and a damaged sewer line that also drained wastewater contaminants into the surrounding environment. In a 1985 Site Assessment report, high levels of up to 19,000 parts-per-billion of TCE and 13,000 parts-per-billion of 1,1,1-trichloroethane were reportedly detected in onsite groundwater, along with a witches' brew of other hazardous chemicals. Cleanup activities, which included installation of a groundwater treatment and recovery system, under the RCRA Corrective Action program were said to be complete in December 1998. In January 2007, the Indiana American Water Company (INAWC) stopped using two drinking water wells in Franklin's Webb Wellfield due to detection of 1,2-dichloroethylene (1,2-DCE) contamination exceeding Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). A third well was abandoned in 2012, and TCE above MCLs was also detected near the drinking water wells. According to the water company and its attorneys, a toxic plume containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) had migrated from the Amphenol site to its wellfield which served approximately 50,000 people. Amphenol Corporation argued that the VOC contamination found in the wellfield had no link to its site. VOCs easily become vapors/gases, and many are toxic to multiple body systems. TCE, for example is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure. Children are especially vulnerable due to "critical windows of development" (World Health Organization) that are not present in adults. Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and other standards set by agencies often do not take into account highly sensitive populations, like children, or the synergistic effects of exposure to multiple chemicals. It is generally agreed in the academic community that there is no safe dose of a carcinogen, as "even small doses may have a relevant biological effect" (National Academies of Science, Advancing Risk Assessment). DATA GAPS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED According to EWA research, the Amphenol site was evaluated for inclusion on the USEPA's National Priorities List (NPL) nearly 30 years ago in the late 1980s, when preliminary scoring worksheets were completed using the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS). The total projected score for the site (with observed release to groundwater) was calculated as 44.60, well over the threshold of 28.50 that qualifies sites for inclusion on the NPL. In 2017, vapor intrusion - a fancy way of describing toxic gases leaking into homes, schools, and other buildings - was added to the HRS criteria. Although vapor intrusion may be one pathway of children's unacceptable exposures to contaminants in Johnson County, the site has not been reevaluated using the new criteria. Vapor intrusion was first identified as a potential issue for the Amphenol site as early as December 1995, even though nearly a year before an onsite recovery system (ORS) began operating to pump and treat contaminated groundwater. A memo written by a federal USEPA hydrogeologist warned, "Contaminants may volatilize from a NAPL [non-aqueous phase liquid] source in the vadose zone or from contaminated groundwater. It is not clear whether transport of such contamination and risks to nearby residential areas were considered in the previous documents." A draft report was submitted to the EPA the following year, which "theoretically" determined that there was "little" indoor air risk to adjacent homes from groundwater seeps, as the hypothetical risk fell within the 10^-4 to 10^-6 range - meaning that it would be acceptable if 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1,000,000 people got cancer as a result of exposure to contaminants. It was noted in the document that the model used was "limited" and that the "conclusions have not been validated with field data." Not only has the vapor intrusion risk not been comprehensively evaluated since this time, but there is no indication that the residential homes ever had actual indoor air quality monitoring performed. The most recent round of groundwater data provided to EWA shows that even in 2016, the highest concentrations of volatile organic contaminants (VOCs) were detected in monitoring wells near the residential areas adjacent to the site. This raises even more concerns as to the possibility for harmful chemicals to seep into indoor spaces or to impact private drinking water wells in the region. In accordance with EPA's Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook, the Amphenol site and off-site areas, including residential homes, should also be evaluated for children's and other sensitive populations' differing vulnerabilities and exposure pathways before it can be determined that human exposures are under control. As more children in the community continue to get diagnosed and families increasingly feel unsafe in their homes, it is long overdue that the agencies prioritize meaningful community involvement in investigating this site and others - and this includes sampling the 'human environment' where children live, sleep, and play. OUR VISION AND HOW YOU CAN HELP The Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) is organizing and funding the first round of sampling the homes in Johnson County to determine a) if toxic vapors are migrating from the subsurface into the homes, and b) if concentrations of select contaminants detected in the indoor air are above human health criteria. The EWA strongly requests the US Environmental Protection Agency to join the EWA in taking split-samples to most efficiently fill data gaps and adequately delineate the extent of contaminant movement into the residential areas. It is by design that EPA's mission includes protecting both human health and the environment. Furthermore, Presidential Executive Order 13045, "Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks" directs federal agencies to "make it a high priority to identify and assess environmental health risks and safety risks that may disproportionately affect children." We are calling on the USEPA to fulfill this mission and Executive Order 13045 by conducting sampling with the EWA, reevaluating the Amphenol site using the new vapor intrusion criteria, and addressing public concerns at our first meeting with the Johnson County community in June 2018. No child should have to develop cancer or lose their life because they grew up in the wrong zip code. Take action and sign our petition now - the families of Johnson County and anyone who believes children have the right to grow up in a safe and healthy environment are counting on you! For more information, visit: www.edisonwetlands.org/johnson-county-in