Public Employees: Our Most Valuable Natural Resource
Public employees are a unique force working for environmental enforcement. In the ever-changing tide of political leadership, these front-line employees stand as defenders of the public interest within their agencies and as the first line of defense against the exploitation and pollution of our environment. Their unmatched technical knowledge, long-term service and proven experiences make these professionals a credible voice for meaningful reform.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) works nation-wide with government scientists, land managers, environmental law enforcement agents, field specialists and other resource professionals committed to responsible management of America’s public resources. Our constituency represents one of the most crucial and viable untapped resources in the conservation movement. PEER supports those who are courageous and idealistic enough to seek a higher standard of environmental ethics and scientific integrity within their agency.
The PEER Mission
PEER protects public employees who protect our environment. We are a service organization for local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement officers, scientists, land managers, and other professionals dedicated to upholding environmental laws and values. Through PEER, public servants can choose to work as “anonymous activists” so that public agencies must confront the message, rather than the messenger.
- Organize a broad base of support among employees within local, state and federal resource management agencies.
- Monitor natural resource management agencies by serving as a “watch dog” for the public interest.
- Inform the administration, Congress, state officials, media and the public about substantive environmental issues of concern to PEER members.
- Defend and strengthen the legal rights of public employees who speak out about issues concerning natural resource management and environmental protection. Provide free legal assistance if and when necessary.
PEER in the Trenches
- Combat Political Manipulation of Science. PEER is working to strengthen and enforce scientific integrity rules and data quality laws to protect the accuracy and completeness of technical documents and fight polictical pressure to supress real science. This Alliance for Legal Protection of Science (ALPS) also helps PEER staff counsel provide pro bono legal assistance to besieged scientists.
- Enforce the Law. PEER works with rangers, inspectors, attorneys and other specialists to make sure that our environmental laws are actually enforced and that political obstructions are removed.
- Defend whistleblowers. While we work mightily to avoid putting employees in the position of having to be whistleblowers, if that is not possible, we defend them ferociously.
- Protect public health. PEER is waging national campaigns to protect the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat. See how our work extends from factories to the schoolhouse door.
- Help eco-cops do their jobs. PEER teams with embattled rangers, law enforcement officers, attorneys and inspectors to better pursue violations of anti-pollution and wildlife protection laws.
- Safeguard public lands. When public agencies cannot effectively address threats to our public lands, PEER steps in. Disclosures through PEER have stopped massive rip-offs of public resources and even reformed the land exchange process.
- Shelter wildlife and their habitats. We go to court when needed to stop abusive wildlife policies.
- Throw a “Lifeline” to every environmental employee. PEER wants to reach out to cubicles, field stations and laboratories across the country. Every employee who faces political pressures to ignore laws or put development above conservation should know how to call PEER.