epa

Tell the EPA not to let a massive limestone mining project ruin the Everglades

The Everglades wetlands ecosystem, our country's largest subtropical wilderness, has already been devastated by a century of destructive human activity. For many years, NRDC and other environmental groups have been working to stop a gargantuan limestone mining project from causing even more harm to the Everglades, irreversibly destroying critical wetlands and endangered species habitat, contaminating local drinking water supplies and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Earlier this year, a federal court determined that the Army Corps of Engineers violated the law when it issued permits to the mining industry to turn more than 5,000 acres of Everglades into open pits. But the Corps is now set to re-issue those permits as well as approve the destruction of another 10,000-12,000 acres of wetlands. Together with existing mines, this would amount to converting 30 square miles of historic Everglades and irreplaceable wildlife habitat into mining pits.

As if the devastation to the Everglades were not reason enough to stop the mining, recent studies demonstrate that the proposed mining would endanger the adjacent public wellfield, which supplies drinking water to millions. Alternative mining plans exist, and include large buffers to protect the Everglades and the public wellfield but still allow at least eight years of mining (depending on demand, which has slowed recently).

The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to stop the proposed mining project by vetoing the permits.

What to do

Send a message urging the EPA to exercise its legal responsibility to protect the Everglades and public water supplies by vetoing the proposed permits and to approve only short-term mining plans that will protect the Everglades and public drinking water supplies.

Tell the EPA to protect us from global warming

At long last, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of recognizing that global warming pollution leads to killer heat waves, stronger hurricanes, higher smog levels and many other threats to our health and environment. In April, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson proposed an "endangerment determination" under the Clean Air Act -- a finding that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping air pollutants "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare."

Then in May, flanked by automakers, governors and environmentalists, President Obama ordered the EPA to follow up the endangerment proposal with standards to reduce global warming pollution from new cars and trucks -- standards that would save consumers billions of dollars at the pump even as they protect the planet. We can cut global warming pollution from our vehicles, as well as from our power plants and other sources, by using renewable and cleaner energy sources and by using energy more efficiently.

But powerful groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are trying to thwart the EPA's efforts to finalize the proposal and adopt standards to cut vehicle pollution. If these industry interests succeed, we will lose this valuable opportunity to help our economy recover, create millions of green jobs, save consumers billions of dollars and cut our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

The EPA is accepting public comments on its proposal through June 23rd.

What to do:
 
Send a message, before the June 23rd comment deadline, urging EPA Administrator Jackson to adopt the proposed endangerment finding and issue strong standards for reducing global warming pollution.