PEERMail | A Tempered Victory for Clean Air

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A Tempered Victory for Clean Air

We are happy to share some good news about clean air and plastics.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to reject a Trump-era proposal that would have the effect of lifting Clean Air Act regulations on two types of chemical or “advanced” recycling of plastics.   

The decision covers pyrolysis and gasification, two processes that use chemical and heating methods to break down plastic waste to produce fuels. The oil and gas industry is pushing these technologies to try to show that plastics can be part of the circular economy and used to create “green” fuels.  

The processes of pyrolysis and gasification are extremely inefficient and produce incredible amounts of toxic air and water pollution. I recently spoke about the environmental dangers of these technologies on the radio show Living on Earth and urged EPA not to relax clean-air regulations on this industry. 

So while EPA’s decision not to relax these clean-air regulations is a good thing, much more needs to be done to tackle the environmental problems caused by the chemical or “advanced recycling” of plastics. PEER’s plastics program takes a comprehensive approach to this problem, covering issues such as reducing plastic consumption, stopping the use of highly toxic chemicals such as PFAS in plastics, and bringing greater transparency to the industries pushing pyrolysis and gasification technologies.   

The overconsumption of plastics and the push to chemically recycle plastics to create fuels is one of the great environmental issues of our time. We hope you will take a moment to read about our plastics work and join us in supporting our efforts to bring sensible solutions to this problem.

National Park Carrying Capacity

University of Albany Campus photo

Mount Rainier National Park is taking steps to address overcrowding by dusting off a 45-year-old statutory mandate that all national parks establish carrying capacities. PEER weighs in on why this is a positive development in park management efforts that other parks should emulate. Read More»

Cell Tower Casts Shade

BLM law Enforcement Alaska

Approved over the objections of its superintendent and staff, a new cell tower in Bryce Canyon National Park epitomizes the continuing decline in the quality of national park management. PEER is working to protect our parks from commercial control and reinstitute NPS rules requiring public notice and avenues of appeal for the siting of new cell towers. Read More»

Weigh in on Protecting Public Lands

BLM law Enforcement Alaska

As we prepare our comments on BLM’s new conservation rule, our partners at Western Watersheds have prepared this action alert on the proposed rule and, working with PEER and a coalition of public lands groups, they have also prepared talking points on the proposed rule. We encourage you to weigh in on this important rule by June 20. Comment here»

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