PEERMail | Fighting for the Planet in Court

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Fighting for the Planet in Court

Because Donald Trump’s policy initiatives rely largely on “alternative facts,” his operatives must suppress or distort the factual research conducted by the federal government’s scientists, economists, and other subject matter specialists. Their disregard for the work of experts will be devastating to the planet. 

Consider the Administration’s recent attempts to distort the science to —

But there is hope.

All these actions are being (or soon will be) challenged in court. In order to win, the litigants – from organizations like PEER to state attorneys general – will have to carry the heaviest burden in civil jurisprudence: to show that the federal government is acting arbitrarily and capriciously and not in accordance with the law.

Evidence compiled by the government’s own experts – biologists, land managers, ecologists – is our most valuable asset in demonstrating the irrationality of the Administration’s ill-intentioned and ill-informed plans. 

That is why every day PEER attorneys are working with embattled scientists to preserve both their research and their careers. Keeping these scientific points of light from blinking out is vital to our future. Please help us ensure that facts still matter.

Agency has No Basis for Downplaying Toxic Risks of Artificial Turf

In July, EPA issued a flawed report that concluded that artificial turf had a low exposure risks from toxic chemicals. PEER and Ecology Center filed a complaint charging that EPA’s report contains inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable information and does not meet EPA’s own standards for scientific quality. Despite protests from its own scientists, EPA never conducted a risk assessment for intimate exposure of children and young athletes to tire particles containing an array of toxic chemicals. Read More>> 

National Park Hunting and Fishing Rules Under Fire

The National Park Service and other Interior agencies compiled a list of lists 19 parks with hunting rules more restrictive than state hunting provisions and 32 park units with more restrictive fishing rules.  While the NPS has yet to rescind any of their wildlife management guidelines, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is already touting decreased hunting and fishing restrictions as one of the key accomplishments of his tenure. State game rules are often designed to maximize state license revenue rather than protect wildlife populations which is often left to the federal government. PEER is poised to act should Bernhardt follow through with his plan to turn federal lands into game farms. Read More>> 

Interior’s Intentionally Messy Initiative

In August, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced a massive reorganization designed to “streamline” the agency by consolidating 49 offices across 8 bureaus into “Unified Regions” overseen by one-year Field Special Assistants. Although these new layers of management are being added to existing layers, Bernhardt and his inner circle will still be the ones making decisions. Instead of greater accountability, none of these new assistants is subject to Senate confirmation or other public review, and many aren’t even qualified in the areas that they’ll be overseeing. Read More>>

Clean Water Under Threat

With the Trump Administration keeping their sights set on gutting the Clean Water Act, we have been monitoring particularly vulnerable regions. South Dakota is uniquely at risk because 92% of its wetlands are the temporary and seasonal prairie potholes. Trump’s plan would allow all the prairie potholes and ephemeral streams to be drained or filled which would have a devastating impact on drinking water, flood management, and nearly half of North America’s migratory waterfowl’s breeding and feeding grounds. Arid New Mexico would see more than 90% of its streams and rivers lose clean water protection. Santa Fe County, for example, now receives more than half of its drinking water from streams that would become vulnerable to pollution or destruction under Trump’s plan. 

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