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.
Petition to Tom Fitzgerald, George Elmaraghy, Toby Frevert, Alec Messina, John Kupke, Bruno Pigott, C. Ronald Lovan, Charles G. Snavely, Douglas E. Conroe, Stuart F. Bruny, Craig Butler, John M. Hoopingarner, Davitt Woodwell, Charles Duritsa, Patrick McDonnell, David Paylor, Lou Anne Jessee Wallace, David Flannery, Austin Caperton, Richard Harrison, Joseph H. Harrison, Jenean Hampton, Basil Seggos, Michael P. Wilson, Ronald R. Potesta
ORSANCO: Protect Our Water!
Dear ORSANCO Commissioners, We are petitioning you to request that you abandon your plans to abdicate ORSANCO’s regulatory responsibility and instead maintain, and increase where appropriate, the regulatory supervision ORSANCO has over the Ohio River. We know that some of the Commissioners have argued that ORSANCO’s regulation is unnecessary in light of the Clean Water Act. However, according to ORSANCO’s own research, there are 188 instances where ORSANCO has set a standard for a pollutant that neither the EPA nor a member state has set a standard for. Moreover, there are 252 instances in which ORSANCO standards were at least 10 percent more stringent than those of the member states or the EPA. Abandoning the regulation of these hundreds of chemicals is reckless at best and possibly deadly at worst. The River is a resource for drinking water for over 5 million people. According to your own publication, there are myriad pollutants regulated more stringently by ORSANCO than the EPA. Some of these pollutants include Ammonia, Cyanide, E. Coli, Mercury, Strontium 90 and combined Radium-226 and Radium-228. These chemicals can cause sickness, cancer, and death, and without region-wide regulation, we all become victims of whatever pollution comes downstream. Again, drawing from your own research, in 2013 the Ohio River topped the nation's waterways for pollution discharges from industry at 24 million pounds of pollution. This amount more than doubled the total pollution in the Mississippi river, which placed second. The report also found that the Ohio has led American waterways in industrial pollution since 2001. Analyzing data from the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory from 2013 to 2017 shows that the Ohio River continues to outpace the Mississippi by millions of pounds of pollution. With all of this evidence, the only possible conclusion is that the Ohio River needs strong regulation. For the sake of those of us who drink water from the river, we implore you not to end ORSANCO’s regulation of the Ohio River.
Petition to Phillip Morris International
Make Big Tobacco Responsible for their Cigarette Butt Pollution
Problem4.5 Trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide each year (thetruth.com). Cigarette butts are 98% plastic and take up to 10 years to degrade. Cigarette butts are the most common form of human-made litter in the world, and are the worst ocean contimanant (forbes.com).SolutionWe demand that Phillip Morris International, the largest tobacco company, take responsibilities for the pollution they cause by creating a cigarette filter that is biodegradable, or removing the filters from their products entirely. Research has shown that filtered cigarettes are no safer than unfiltered cigarettes (newyorksmokefree.com)Personal storySea Hugger is a nonprofit organization working to end the environmental devastation of marine plastics through education, promoting plastic alternatives, sponsoring recycling programs abroad, and hosting beach cleanups. To learn more, please visit www.seahugger.org Videography by Dom Padua.
Petition to Environmental Protection Agency
Clean water is now at risk: Tell the EPA not to gut water protections
Right now, the Trump Administration is aiming to roll back America’s water protections, all the way back to the pre-George H.W. Bush era. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is putting forward a plan to slash clean water regulations that protect streams and wetlands from pesticide runoff and other waterway pollution. It will put thousands of American streams and wetlands at risk of pollution. These are the streams and wetlands that feed America’s drinking water. Tell the EPA that water protections need to stay where they are. This roll back would bring U.S. water regulations back 30-years, harming the environmental legacy of George H.W. Bush, who first pushed to protect America’s waterways from pollution. It will also roll back an Obama-era policy that expanded on H.W. Bush’s waterway protections and the Clean Water Act. If made law, this policy would allow for more pesticide runoff from agribusiness, and give developers the ability to bulldoze over vital wetlands. Allowing industries to pollute and destroy waterways would be devastating for fish and wildlife, and put threatened species at risk. Waterway pollution gets into our drinking water, harms riverbeds and wetlands, and diminishes the ability of vital mangrove and wetland networks to protect coastal areas from flooding and storms. Tell the EPA to keep water protections exactly where they are. It doesn’t help that the people leading this effort are skeptical about the impacts of pollution on the health of Americans. Over the last two years, the EPA has spearheaded efforts to roll back clean air and clean water protections that will only benefit polluters. Demand the EPA stand up for Americans, not monied interests - stop plans to cut waterway protections.
Petition to Bonner County Commissioners, Commissioners McDonald, Connelly, Baily or Brandshaw
Citizens Against Linscott/Interstate Asphalt Plant
On January 11th, 2019 the Bonner County Commissioners voted to relocate Interstate Asphalt plant, from where it has been for the 30 years, to the Linscott Gravel pit in a rural/residential area in Sagle, Idaho--within 500 feet of peoples homes. We believe the decision was against the Bonner County Comprehensive plan because the property is considered "transitional" which is required to have "urban sewer and water" and this location does not. The community of Sagle disagrees with this decision and opposes the move on the grounds, since this has potential to jeopardize the way of life in Sagle. Planning and Zoning claims the only reason for the move is to provide safety for traffic, as well as lower costs to the consumer, but neither has (or can be) proven. In regard to safe travel, this move has the potential to negatively impact traffic in Sagle and across the long bridge. Regular customers who use Linscott gravel will continue to do so, in addition to the addition of trucks from Interstate Asphalt, which deliver asphalt all over Bonner and Boundary counties. These trucks would be leaving out of the new Sagle location and will be required to travel north, across the long bridge, which also requires pulling out on a major highway, which is almost impossible now, due to merging lanes, with no center turn lane. There has been nothing to show proof of minimizing costs to the consumer, while nearby homeowners can prove that the new asphalt plant would, without question, negatively impact the value and appreciation of homes located near the plant. In addition to financial implications for Sagle home values, Sagle residents also worry about the smell, toxins, and known carcinogens fumes which are proven to come off of asphalt. This will affect the workers of the plant itself, in addition to all of the families who own homes and property adjacent to the proposed plant. Sagle residents worry Interstate asphalt will work throughout the night throughout the summer, since this was openly admitted in the proposal, which is the exact time of year when residents open their windows to get fresh air and circulation--the exact opposite of inviting fumes into their homes. Furthermore, nightly work will also interrupt those sleeping in nearby homes, since open windows will not block the sound of safety sensors, from trucks moving in reverse. Lastly, Sagle residents worry greatly about the aquifer, since the Linscott gravel pit has been dug very deep, and sits directly above the aquifer. The plan will have oil, chemicals, along with an abundance of reclaimed asphalt, all of which could contaminate the aquifer, which would be detrimental to the Pend Oreille River, South Side Water, as well as local farms and family-owned wells, within the surrounding neighborhoods. It has been proven that price values drop an average of 27% and up to 56% when near an asphalt plant. The relocation of this proposed asphalt plant presents significantly more risks than rewards. The lives and health of hundreds of families and local wildlife depend on the clean air and water within their Sagle homestead. The proposal of the new Interstate Asphalt Plant is not in the community's best interest. If it was put to a vote, the Sagle community would unanimously oppose the asphalt plant. We will be asking for reconsideration and will continue the battle!
Petition to Blue Apron
Blue Apron’s ice packs go to landfills, tell them to make an ice pack recycling program
Those two-pound ice packs Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and countless other meal prep companies use cannot be recycled or disposed of in a responsible way. It’s unclear if there is a more ecological option to the current ice-packs. But one thing is for sure: Blue Apron is the largest meal prep company. They could lead the way for the entire meal prep industry by creating an easy ice pack return and reuse program. Tell Blue Apron to take a big leap for the environment, create an ice pack return and reuse program. For Blue Apron alone, these ice packs create an estimated 192,000 tons of waste every year. That’s the equivalent weight of 100,000 cars. All ice packs use a sodium polyacrylate powder that can absorb 300 times its weight. It’s used in diapers and for surgical sponges. It can’t be recycled, and it should not be dumped down the sink or a toilet - since it would cause serious plumbing issues. Instead these ice packs overwhelmingly end up in local landfills. Most of our waste ends up in the oceans. By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the seas if nothing is done. Blue Apron could lead the way in environmental stewardship. Tell Blue Apron to save oceans and ecosystems - make an ice pack return system. Blue Apron does offer a complicated return system for ice packs, but they do not provide any information on the number of meal prep subscribers who use their current program. Blue Apron could institute a ‘milk man’ style ice pack return system; where staff pick up used ice packs, or customers can easily ship back ice packs through included return postage. Meal prep companies are booming in popularity, over the next decade it could become a $5 billion industry. That boom would come with an increased amount of waste. Blue Apron could save thousands of tons a year in waste and create a new industry standard. Tell Blue Apron to create an ice pack return and reuse initiative that works for customers. Blue Apron was founded on the principle of improving food systems and preventing food waste. Tell Blue Apron to stand up for environmental stewardship, create an ice pack return and reuse program.
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives
Demand the House fund National Park clean up efforts
The National Park Service has been left with a ‘skeleton’ force to keep parks open, but keeping these vast parks open with limited staff is causing severe damage to parks and public lands that will outlive the shutdown. In just a short amount of time, the shutdown has caused severe harm to America’s best idea - National Parks. During past shutdowns, National Parks would be closed for the safety of visitors and to protect these picturesque public lands from devastation. Now there’s countless news pieces about National Parks overflowing with human waste, trash, and damage to park ecosystems. Some visitors have even died at National Parks that remain open. The new House could do something about it, they have the power to allocate funds to pay for this devastation. Tell the House to provide funding that helps clean up this shutdown damage. Only the most ‘scenic’ National Parks have been kept open - like Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, and Joshua Tree. These parks have been left with a small ‘skeleton’ force of Park Rangers who are responsible for areas larger than some U.S. states. Their task is largely to respond to emergencies and maintain roads for open areas of these parks. After some visitors created new roads and cut down fragile Joshua Trees, Joshua Tree National Park has closed. These unique trees take up to 60-years to mature. In all these parks, local community members and businesses have tried to step in and join clean up efforts. Now the National Park service is being forced to dip into visitor entrance fees to pay for cleaning up this mess. These are funds that go towards the $11.6 billion backlog of road and trail maintenance projects in National Parks. Tell the House to make National Parks Great Again - provide funding to clean up National Parks! No one will know the full extent of ecological and infrastructure damage to America’s parks until the shutdown ends and all Park Rangers return to work. Send the message to the House - allocate funds to help the National Park Service deal with the impacts of this shutdown.
Petition to Marathon Oil
Tell Marathon to get out of U.S. car emissions policies
Car companies don’t want it. Americans don’t want it. But oil companies do. Right now, a group of American oil companies, led by Marathon, is pushing the federal government to remove car emissions standards so they can make even more money. Marathon has expanded their operations and is now the largest oil refiner in the United States. If Americans are forced to buy cars that need more gas, Marathon and others can sell more oil. Tell Marathon to back off clean air standards, car emissions policies need to get better, not disappear overnight. Oil companies shouldn’t be setting emissions policies, but for years Marathon has been working behind the scenes to gut car emissions standards. They worked in conjunction with other oil companies to launch Facebook ads under a group founded by an oil lobbyist, Energy4US. The ads directed people to submit comments to the Department of Transportation for ‘affordable energy’. But they haven’t stopped there, Marathon worked closely with well connected oil-industry groups and a network of conservative lobbyists to influence and re-write state-level car emissions standards. They’ve also joined with the Koch Brothers to push forward an eight-word long bill in the House, “to repeal the corporate average fuel economy standards.” Essentially, to remove all car emissions standards. Not only would a car emissions roll back contribute towards climate change, it would harm the health of millions of Americans. Half of all Americans breathe polluted air everyday. Passenger cars and heavy duty trucks account for roughly 50% of all emissions in the United States with current emissions policies. Air pollution increases the rates of asthma and the risks of developing cancer. In the U.S., it causes 30,000 premature deaths every year. Oil giants like Marathon have no business influencing clean air and emissions policies that impact the health and welfare of millions of Americans. Tell Marathon to back off clean air.