PEERMail | Honoring National Parks and Earth Day

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This week is National Parks Week and on Friday we celebrate Earth Day.

From Acadia to Zion, America’s national parks showcase the rich diversity of our landscapes and cultures, and they are served by a dedicated and talented work force. National Parks Week celebrates the parks’ unique place in American life. This week, PEER would also like to celebrate the countless National Park Service employees and community groups who have joined forces with us to improve our national park system.

We’ve done this together in countless ways – such as by working to support park service employees and rangers, fighting for the public to have the right for meaningful input in NPS decisions, working vigorously to keep wild spaces in our parks free from excessive commercial encroachment and noise, and by exposing efforts by NPS to cut funding for important conservation programs, such as the globally renowned Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Program.

As part of our recognition of Earth Day, we would also like to thank today’s whistleblowers who are putting their careers at risk to protect the environment and increase ecological awareness. Whistleblowing comes at a tremendous cost to those who are brave enough to step forward and challenge the status quo. In the past year, we have been proud to represent public employees who worked to protect migratory birds from oil and gas development, reduce lead poisoning in our children, expose the practice by EPA managers of altering scientific risk assessments to rush new chemicals onto the market without proper warning, advocating for measures to address toxic and radiation contamination near former naval facilities, and raising concerns about biosecurity breaches at a national laboratory.

During this week of recognitions, we applaud the career staff throughout our federal, state and local agencies who are casting profiles in courage to protect us and our planet. All of us at PEER are grateful and proud to stand beside these public servants when they need help.

PEER is calling on the U.S. State Department to require foreign researchers to abide by the same marine resource safeguards and disclosure requirements as domestic research vessels. After PEER Board Member Rick Steiner, a marine conservation expert, tried to track down the cause for the 2018 mass beaching of Stejneger’s beaked whales, he ran into a black box at the State Department, which grants foreign research vessels approval to operate in U.S. waters. PEER is suing the State Department on Steiner’s behalf to obtain a list of foreign vessels approved to operate near the site of the mass beaching. Read More»

Cell towers in national parks

PEER and the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) are asking the state to test effluent from the Lowry Landfill and alert communities whose drinking water may be contaminated after testing shows high levels of toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Read More»

Cell towers in national parks

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board should tighten, not loosen, the discharge permit for the Boeing Company at the Santa Susana site, one of the most toxic sites in the country, according to PEER. The site continues to leak contaminants offsite and violate its current permit. Read More»