Good News on Banning Plastics
Good news! Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks and other public lands that the department manages.
The Department of the Interior’s plastic ban will keep millions of pounds of disposable plastic pollution off our public lands and ultimately out of our oceans. It will also help address climate change as petrochemicals, including plastics, make up 14 percent of oil use, and are expected to drive half of oil demand growth between now and 2050.
Last year, PEER and a large coalition of organizations had petitioned the National Park Service to go plastic free. And as recently as last month, coalition members had heard from the National Park Service that it did not plan to act on our petition. Luckily this has changed.
Secretary Haaland deserves great credit for stepping out on a limb and setting a department-wide policy. The Secretary’s order calls for the phase out of single-use plastics over the next ten years. Now we must work to ensure the order is carried out as quickly and effectively as possible. Thanks for all your support on this issue. Together, we have made a difference and will keep working to make sure plastic waste is reduced on our public lands.
As the number of visitors to public lands skyrockets, we submitted testimony to a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee outlining how public land use agencies are underfunded and require increases in staffing. The situation at Red Rock Conservation area outside of Las Vegas is illustrative of the damage caused by overcrowding and underfunding. Read More»
We have been trying to figure out the scientific basis for the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent working definition of PFAS, a class of toxic chemicals known as “forever chemicals.” EPA’s definition excludes thousands of PFAS chemicals. After a Freedom of Information Act request and a lawsuit, we are finding the definition may rest more on politics than science and public health. Read More»
We are working with a coalition of groups to stop a controversial toxic cleanup agreement developed behind closed doors between California Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration and Boeing at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, one of the state’s most toxic sites. The agreement unveiled last month would dramatically weaken cleanup requirements for the site and further endanger surrounding communities. Read More»
We recently completed a survey to better understand your perception of PEER, what we do well, and what we need to improve. We also asked what issues are most important to you. The top vote getters were climate and energy, good governance and transparency, defending public employees, scientific integrity, and parks and public lands. Stay tuned, we will soon be implementing some changes based on your recommendations. Learn More»