California's severe drought is threatening people's drinking water supplies, agriculture, the environment, and – as we recently learned -- craft beer. Brewers who depend on clean water from rivers worry that water managers may need to shift them to other...continued→
Jon Devine, Senior Attorney, Washington, D.C.
I'm a lawyer by training, but an ecologist at heart. Though I have long been fascinated by how the physical environment affects plants and critters and vice-versa, I chickened out on being a real scientist in college. So, I get my fix by working on issues related to the health of our surface waters and the aquatic ecosystem. I came to NRDC from EPA, where I worked on air pollution issues, an area that I was lucky to first learn about by working in the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. My family -- a partner who is a civil rights attorney and two sons who are fascinated by space, wizards, and bathroom humor -- are remarkably indulgent of my various environmental demands around the house.
The chemical spill in West Virginia last week tells us a lot about how we protect – or how we don’t protect – rivers, lakes, and other surface waters from pollution. Although West Virginia American Water is in the process...continued→
I'm sad to report that Congress is poised to adopt -- as part of an enormous funding bill -- a short-term limit on updating environmental safeguards, in order to benefit companies conducting mountaintop removal coal mining. First, some background. After...continued→
The legislation known as the Farm Bill, which sets agriculture policy and priorities for the nation, is nearing completion on Capitol Hill. Key Representatives and Senators are meeting in what’s called a “conference” committee to reconcile their different versions of...continued→
In a move reminiscent of the attempt to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s non-existent plan to regulate “farm dust,” six Senate Republicans yesterday sent EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy a letter demanding that she disavow a clean water policy that the...continued→
If you like water, for swimming, fishing, canoeing, or just plain old drinking, you should be pleased at a couple of actions that the Obama administration has announced today. These steps are critical to clarifying what streams, wetlands, and other...continued→
What would you think if I told you that your tax dollars were helping to create an enormous annual area in the Gulf of Mexico where the sea floor water was so oxygen-deprived that it couldn't sustain life? Unfortunately, that's...continued→
I have a lot of memories of the beach, having grown up in a coastal town in Massachusetts, not far from a bunch of great public beaches. I took swim lessons at Green Harbor, where I swear a basking shark...continued→
It’s raining today in the DC area, which makes me think about water pollution. When it rains here – or wherever you are – the water hitting hard surfaces like buildings, parking lots and roadways is unable to seep into the ground or...continued→
During his confirmation hearing to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts famously analogized the role of a judge to that of a baseball umpire, saying: Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them. The role of...continued→
Seeking Industrial Livestock Information is Not "Extreme." It's Needed to Protect U.S. Waterways and Human Health
Over a period of several months, NRDC and the Pew Charitable Trusts have successfully pressed EPA for information it has collected on a major source of water pollution –large livestock operations, often known as factory farms or concentrated animal feeding...continued→
[Co-authored with my colleague, John Walke] The House Science Subcommittee on Environment is holding its first hearing of the 113th Congress entitled “The State of Environment: Evaluating Progress and Priorities.” With their two announced witnesses, the Republican majority is signaling...continued→
There’s been a lot of press recently about a recent water pollution decision by a judge in Virginia. At its core, the decision said that the Environmental Protection Agency couldn’t use stormwater volume as a proxy for sediment pollution when...continued→
Joan Mulhern, my friend, a fellow clean water advocate, and a mentor, passed away on Tuesday. I hope everyone will read the touching tribute that her Earthjustice colleague, Marty Hayden, wrote. Our community has suffered a tremendous loss, not just...continued→
It’s the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act. As those of us who have passed the big 4-Oh have experienced, that birthday has some real significance; it certainly made me reflect on my life so far...continued→
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 NRDC.org.