Topic

environmental justice

207 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Special Rapporteur on the Right to Development, Zimbabwe United Nations Resident Coordinator

Urge Zimbabwe to Adopt Human Rights Principled Development-based Evictions/Displacements

From the time Zimbabwe adopted the Vision 2030 development agenda in September 2018 to-date over 73 524 rural Zimbabwean citizens from across the different provinces of the country either are being actually displaced or risk evictions and displacements by mining, agriculture, urbanization and development initiatives and more than 23 440 hectares of peasant farmers' land is being taken away by international investors. These development-based evictions and displacements are resulting in gross violation of fundamental social, economic, cultural, environmental and political human rights and freedoms of the affected communities.  THE PLEA We therefore urge the UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTER ON THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT and the Zimbabwe UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR to: 1. ENTREAT the Zimbabwean Government to adopt and implement the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development - based Evictions and Displacements; the Free, Prior and Informed Consent Principles; the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; and the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy - to develop a human rights based development-based evictions/displacements mechanism; 2. APPEAL to Harare to immediately domesticate the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (The Kampala Convention) which came into force in December 2012; 3. BESEECH Zimbabwe to respect the ideals of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas; the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities; and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - when negotiating international investments contracts and when considering development based evictions/displacements. 4. IMPLORE the Zimbabwe independent constitutional human rights bodies (the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission) to develop a joint and stakeholder inclusive development - based evictions/displacements monitoring mechanism. PETITION made by the Following Zimbabwean organizations: MIHR, MYDI, LUYD, GWRT, WUMBA, BPRRADT, KLCDA, BDRA, KREDA CNRC, TIKOBANE and TURECT

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights
180 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Dianne Feinstein, Gavin Newsom, Julia Brownley, Jared Blumenfeld, Secretary Jennifer Granholm

No more kids with cancer: clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab

When my daughter Grace Ellen was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, at age four, I thought that our family had the worst, most devastating luck. But after spending months in the hospital with her, we learned that she was one of over 50 children who may have been poisoned by one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in America. Sign to demand that California's EPA and the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) enforce the AOC cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Lab and prevent any more children from getting cancer. Grace Ellen’s form of cancer was incredibly aggressive. At age four she was put on several clinical trials, had ten times the normal amount of chemotherapy, and spent two years fighting her cancer. A year and a half later her cancer came back and she underwent a bone marrow transplant. She was unable to walk or eat or drink, and had to fight for her life in the hospital isolation floor. Her childhood was stolen from her, and it haunts me to know her cancer might have been avoidable. She, like the other 50 children, grew up within 20 miles the Santa Susana Field Lab, land which was developed in the 1940s to conduct nuclear research. In 1959 an uncontained partial meltdown of a sodium reactor caused such a devastating radiation leak that many consider it to be the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history – and it was completely covered up for years. Our community has up to 60% higher cancer rates, 20% higher invasive breast cancer rates, we have the reports to prove it. It is the Department of Toxic Substance Control’s job to clean up this mess. They know our children are sick and dying, but they aren’t taking any meaningful action against those who own the land – Boeing, NASA and the DOE. The Woolsey Fire, which began on Santa Susana Field Lab, may have exposed millions of people in Southern California to the chemical and radioactive waste from the site, via ash and smoke. It proved once again that we will not be safe until the site is 100% cleaned up. I will protect my children even if I have to tear down mountains with my bare hands – and I am one of many parents fighting for our kids. To win this, we need DTSC and CalEPA, with the support of California's elected officials, to enforce the AOC cleanup once and for all. Will you join us?  Sincerely,Melissa Bumstead P.S. You can watch a documentary about our efforts to protect our kids: In the Dark of the Valley

Melissa Bumstead
737,393 supporters
Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

Protect polar bears. No oil drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Right now, a company you’ve probably never heard of is lobbying the Department of Interior to speed through environmental impact surveys so they can drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Home to polar bears and caribou, and the Gwich'in Athabascan Native Americans. It’s the last untouched slice of nature in the United States. If there’s an open season on oil and gas in ANWR, it will be yet another instance of public lands being parcelled off by the Trump Administration. Tell the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation to get out of ANWR. In 2017, Arctic Slope spent $590,000 lobbying the federal government to open ANWR up to oil and gas development. Ryan Zinke even appointed one of Arctic Slope’s top executives to a major post at the Department of Interior. Zinke’s office isn’t alone, in 2017 Arctic Slope lobbied the Senate to allow drilling in ANWR’s 1.5 million acre coastal plane. But before oil companies can buy leases, environmental impact surveys have to happen. Under Ryan Zinke, these surveys have been cut to ram the process through as quickly as possible. Lease sales could start as early as 2019! The size of South Carolina, since 1960 ANWR has been protected from oil and gas development. There are no roads and no towns; only the occasional hiker. The Gwich'in Athabascan Native Americans have relied on migrating caribou in ANWR for millennia. There are also 900 threatened polar bears who call ANWR home. Climate change is peeling away ice sheets that restrict their ability to find food. If oil and gas companies start drilling in ANWR, it could be the end of the Gwich’in Native Americans and America’s polar bears. Wildlife and communities shouldn’t be put into harm's way for nominal profits, tell Arctic Slope that ANWR is off limits! Communities across the U.S. are still reeling from decades old oil spills like Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon, if an oil spill happens in the Arctic, it would have devastating consequences. Tell Arctic Slope ANWR isn’t for oil and gas.

Frank Escalona, Michael Cianos and Susan Schmid
1,694,269 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Virginia General Assembly

EMPOWER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN VIRGINIA TO BAN/REGULATE GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWERS

Quiet Clean NOVA asks Virginia residents to sign this petition to the Members of the Virginia General Assembly, requesting they grant local governments (i.e., counties, cities and towns) the authority to ban or otherwise regulate the use and sale of gas-powered leaf blowers in their communities. Granting this authority is a first step toward the goal of making our state quieter, cleaner, healthier and more livable for those who reside and work here by protecting them from high-decibel noise and dangerous pollution.  This petition has been endorsed by Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, EcoAction Arlington, and Friends of Accotink Creek. Join the movement for quieter, cleaner, healthier communities! There is a growing national movement to ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers (GLBs). Well over a hundred towns, cities, and counties have already enacted regulations either banning or restricting the use of GLBs, including the District of Columbia. Many others are moving in that direction. The time is now for the Virginia General Assembly to allow local governments in our State to join the movement to ban gas powered leaf blowers should they choose to do so! Virginia residents, please make sure to: (1) read this petition, (2) sign the petition, (3) forward the link to like-minded friends and (4) let the Virginia General Assembly know how you feel. WHY BAN GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWERS? #1. GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWERS CREATE DEAFENING NOISE GLBs emit loud, deep, penetrating noise that disturbs the peace. GLBs typically emit noise ranging from 65 to 90 decibels at a distance of 50 feet away (the industry measurement). Plus, the antiquated design of 2-stroke gas-powered blowers makes their noise unusually penetrating _ walls and windows cannot block it. It’s like second-hand smoke – you can’t escape it. Worse, a worker standing next to a 2-stroke blower is exposed to as much as 115 decibels. Just how disturbing and harmful is it? The World Health Organization (WHO) says any outdoor noise of 55 decibels or greater is disturbing to people. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says noise interferes with speech and is annoying at 55 dBA for outdoors activities and 45 dBA for indoor activities. It is no wonder that so many people complain about GLB noise. The noise from GLBs reduces quality of life in both urban and suburban residential communities as well as in working environments. But more than quality of life is at stake, as health may suffer too. The WHO and the EPA say noise of 85 decibels or greater can damage hearing. Other potential health consequences from excessive noise documented in medical literature include chronic stress, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and impaired cognitive performance in children. Since GLB use is widespread and there is no limit on how many blowers may be operated simultaneously in the same area, many Virginians are exposed to their disturbing and potentially harmful noise. Young children are especially vulnerable, as are those who operate the equipment and are thus closest to the noise. The adverse effects of noise have economic ramifications. A study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Valuing Quiet: An economic assessment of US environmental noise as a cardiovascular health hazard, (2015) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4819987/) suggests that a 5 decibel reduction in overall environmental noise would reduce the prevalence of hypertension in the U.S. by 1.4 percent and coronary heart disease by 1.8 percent, with projected annual estimated savings of $3.9 billion in hospitalizations and other medical care. As such, it would appear that banning GLBs may constitute a potentially cost-effective preventive health measure, particularly in areas where they are widely used.   The 'Public Health Menace' of Fall in America = Watch this video from The Atlantic. #2.  GAS-POWERED LEAF BLOWERS ARE PRODIGIOUS POLLUTERS Many GLBs use antiquated 2-stroke engines. Invented in the late 19th century, the 2-stroke engine is powered by gasoline plus oil for lubrication. Today’s machines have virtually no emissions controls, spewing known carcinogens. The Edmunds car research firm, working with AAA, found that a consumer-grade gas leaf blower emits 23 times the carbon monoxide and 300 times more hydrocarbons than a 6,200-pound Ford F-150 pickup truck. Similarly, the California Air Resources Board reported that operating a commercial 2-stroke leaf blower for one hour emits more pollution than driving a 2016 Toyota Camry for 1,100 miles. In some parts of the country, lawn and garden equipment like gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers now rival automobiles as the chief source of smog-forming ozone pollution.  GLBs’ powerful airspeeds (150 mph to 280 mph) blow an estimated 5 pounds of fine particulates per blower per hour from the ground into the air. This blower dust that we breathe in includes what is lying on the ground and in the street _ animal feces, fertilizers & pesticides, fungal spores, pollen, mold, heavy metals, etc. Particulates may stay suspended in the air for a week or longer and are easily inhaled. It’s a toxic brew that can penetrate deep into lung tissue, increasing the risk of respiratory problems, lung cancer, asthma and heart disease.  Even short-term exposure may harm children, seniors, people with chronic illness, and especially landscape workers.  #3. GLBs RAISE CONCERNS OVER ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE Commercial landscape crews often consist of low-wage workers from racial and ethnic minority groups. They labor for long hours often over a period of years in close proximity to blowers. Many landscape companies don’t ensure that their workers use protective gear while operating GLBs, leaving them vulnerable to auditory assault and toxic fumes. About 30 percent of the gas-oil mixture in a 2-stroke engine leaf blower goes out unused in the exhaust and becomes aerosol that workers breathe. Among the gasoline components in that exhaust are such carcinogens as benzene, butadiene and formaldehyde. When these chemicals are used in manufacturing, they are regulated by the government and workers must be protected from them. But no one appears to be protecting lawn care workers from toxic exposure. Nor does there appear to be any government effort to protect the hearing of lawn care workers. What will these workers do when down the road they experience hearing loss and even deafness? Arizona State University’s grounds crews switched from gas-powered to battery-operated blowers that are less noisy and are emission-free in 2020. The university reports that while crews were initially skeptical of the battery-blowers they seem well-satisfied with them now. ASU says the new battery blowers weigh about the same as the gas-powered blowers, but the weight seems more ergonomically distributed and they don’t vibrate like the gas-powered blowers. Also, there is no fuel to leak onto skin, clothing and the ground. #4. GLBs DISRUPT THE ECOSYSTEM High levels of noise pollution exert a deleterious effect on wildlife. For example, loud noise interferes in communication between birds, impacting their courtship and production of chicks. This may contribute to the steep decline witnessed in migratory songbird populations. Loud noise also favors predators, as prey lose their ability to hear them. The high force of air from blowers impacts insects, ground-dwelling or burrowing animals, and vital soil microbes. The invertebrates that are vital to pollination and soil health—essentially the base of the food chain—are particularly affected when leaves are blown away. GLBs destroy the habitat of butterflies, beetles, bees, moths and other creatures that make their homes and lay their eggs in leaves. A 2019 German environment ministry statement says the prevalence of gas-powered leaf blowers is contributing to the current worldwide decline in insects.  It is common ecological knowledge that leaf litter is the blanket that protects soil communities from drying, heating, and erosion, says noted entomologist and University of Delaware Professor Douglas Tallamy. “There are 70 species of moths and several butterfly species that develop as caterpillars on dead leaves,” Tallamy told Quiet Clean NOVA. “Over 90% of the caterpillars that develop on trees drop from the trees to pupate in leaf litter or the loose soil it protects. So removing leaves from an area definitely hurts insects.” #5. WHAT ALTERNATIVES EXIST?  Gas-powered leaf blowers are not the only way to deal with leaves. Battery-powered leaf blowers, rakes, battery-powered mowers that mulch — all of these are quieter, less-polluting methods available to homeowners and professional landscape crews alike. Many gardeners advocate leaving fallen leaves alone or leaving a portion of your yard “natural” to protect pollinators and other vital wildlife. To view our supporting materials, please visit quietcleannova.wordpress.com.  

Quiet Clean NOVA
565 supporters