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Illinois' Water Plan: How to Prepare for a Warmer, More Flood-Prone Climate

Peter Lehner
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Days before the 4th of July weekend, the Chicago Park District closed every one of the city’s lakefront beaches, due to concerns about water pollution. Heavy rains had overwhelmed the city’s combined sewer system, pushing billions of gallons of polluted...continued | comments (1)

Let's Honor an American Tradition: Create the Greater Canyonlands National Monument

Frances Beinecke
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Forty years ago this summer, I traveled through the Greater Canyonlands for the first time. I had just finished graduate school and decided to hit the road with friends. We had plenty of adventures along the way, but nothing prepared...continued | comments (3)

BUSTED: Big Ag's Big Myths About the Clean Water Protection Rule

Jon Devine
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One of my kids’ (and my) favorite TV shows is “Mythbusters.” It’s got a great combination of fact-based scrutiny of popularly held beliefs and a healthy dose of excellently infantile humor.  Given how fun they make it look, I expected...continued | comments

The Clock is Ticking to Craft a Good, BDCP-Neutral Water Bond for California

Doug Obegi
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This November, California voters will almost certainly vote on whether to authorize billions of dollars of taxpayer spending for a water bond. But crucially, the next few weeks will determine what water bond will be on the ballot in November...continued | comments

Poll: Overwhelming Support for Climate Action, Holding Polluters Accountable

Simon Mui
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Most Californians are concerned about climate threats and continue to support the state’s clean energy laws to reduce global warming emissions, including requiring oil companies to pay for their pollution just as other major polluters already do. That’s according to...continued | comments

New Study Confirms That Some Biomass is Dirtier Than Coal

Sami Yassa
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Today the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released its report: Lifecycle Impacts of Biomass in 2020. The report analyzes the carbon emissions produced by burning biomass fuels.  The findings confirm what U.S. and European ENGOs have been...continued | comments

Feeling a Cold War Chill over Ukraine

Matthew McKinzie

Reflecting on the Ukraine crisis, in a July 20, 2014 CNN interview Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein agreed that U.S.-Russian relations are at Cold War levels. Reacting to Senator Feinstein's viewpoint, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul stated...continued | comments

State's Own Report Shows PA Flunking in Fracking Regulation, but Courts Continue to Keep State Out of Local Zoning

Daniel Raichel
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It’s worth stating the obvious: whether it’s the 209 confirmed cases of water pollution from oil and gas drilling the last 7 years, the state’s willful blindness toward certain drinking water testing results related to suspected contamination from fracking, or...continued | comments

Enforcement of key maintenance provision lacking under Port of LA's Clean Truck Program

Morgan Wyenn
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UPDATE as of July 24: We are happy to report that the Port of LA's Board of Harbor Commissioners voted to adopt the new Concession Agreement and committed to putting together a plan for the enforcement of the Concession's maintenance...continued | comments

Getting Around: Innovative Collegiate Shared-Use Mobility Programs

Deron Lovaas
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This blog was penned by a colleague in our Urban Solutions Group: Dylan Anslow, a MAP Fellow and Stanford University student. ZipCar’s signature bright green stickers have become ubiquitous on America’s college campuses. On my campus, the day you check your PO Box and find your...continued | comments

Building Climate-Resilient Communities with State Revolving Funds

Ben Chou
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Water and wastewater infrastructure systems play a vital role in our daily lives. Without these critical systems, life as we know it would not be possible. Yet much of this infrastructure is outdated, under-maintained, and in desperate need of repair....continued | comments

Small Business Owners Want Clean Water Protections

Karen Hobbs
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80 percent of small business owners favor restoring federal clean water protections to streams and wetlands, according to a new poll.  These are some of the very waterbodies that the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers propose...continued | comments

Waste Less, Pollute Less: Using Urban Water Conservation to Advance Clean Water Act Compliance

Larry Levine
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In many parts of the United States, cities and suburbs -- and the wastewater and stormwater utilities that serve them -- are among the largest sources of water pollution. They need hundreds of billions of dollars to repair, maintain, and...continued | comments

Pennsylvania: hundreds of water supplies contaminated while audit finds state unprepared to protect drinking water from fracking

Amy Mall
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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that  oil and gas operations have contaminated Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times since the end of 2007. Also in Pennsylvania, the Auditor General issued a report on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and its performance in monitoring the potential...continued | comments

Age Ain't Nothing But a Number? Tell That to Climate Change

Tiffany Traynum
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It’s not easy getting older. Believe me, as perhaps the oldest member of the NRDC ‘Youth Task Force’ nearly every day I am faced with the laughable question “so when do I retire from the force”? And once I’m identified...continued | comments

International Scorecard Highlights Room for Improvement in Energy Efficiency

Merrian Borgeson
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A recent scan of energy efficiency in 16 nations showed that all fall short of their potential. But the collective wisdom among these countries offers a path forward. Following close upon their World Cup win in Brazil, Germany also comes...continued | comments

South Portland, Maine Hammers Nail into Coffin of Proposed Tar Sands Pipeline through New England

Elizabeth Shope
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Last night, the South Portland, Maine City Council approved the Clear Skies Ordinance in a 6-1 vote, thereby prohibiting the bulk loading of crude oil, including tar sands, onto tankers on the waterfront, as well as the construction of new...continued | comments (5)

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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