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Jon Devine, Senior Attorney, Washington, D.C.

Jon Devine

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.

Recent Posts

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

Posted July 24, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

Infographic: How Many Myths About the Clean Water Protection Rule Can Fit on a Webpage?

Posted July 8, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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About eight years ago, several industry lobby groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, asked the Supreme Court to gut the Clean Water Act.  The American Farm Bureau Federation specifically argued that Clean Water Act safeguards didn’t extend to streams...continued

Swim Safe: Check Out Your Favorite Beach's Water Quality and Act to Help Keep It Clean

Posted June 25, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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I never feel more like a kid than when I’m at the beach.  Perhaps that’s because I have to keep up with my own kids doing crazy stuff, but also there’s something blissfully immature about body surfing, getting overtaken by...continued

Phony Objections to Clean Water Protection Rule: Myths and Facts about Agriculture and the Proposal

Posted May 6, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Spoiler alert: this post is going to spend a fair amount of time and electrons on an issue that, at the end of the day, is a nothingburger.  Specifically, I'm going to explain here how agriculture will be affected by...continued

Does your member of Congress care about the truth about the Clean Water Protection Rule? Chances are that the answer is "no."

Posted May 2, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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I expect that most people who work inside the D.C. Beltway are big fans of the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." A lot of folks probably like to think of themselves as modern-day Jefferson Smiths, fighting against what's wrong...continued

Everything you wanted to know about the EPA/Army Corps proposed clean water rules but were afraid to ask

Posted March 25, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Today is a big day in the world of water pollution control.  The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have unveiled, and are asking for public comment on, updated rules that will determine what bodies of...continued

President Obama's Budget Short-Changes Clean Water

Posted March 11, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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President Obama recently released his administration’s budget, kicking off the annual national discussion about how to invest federal dollars.  Ultimately, this process will end in legislation that funds specific programs throughout the government for the fiscal year that begins in...continued

Tapped Out: How the California Drought Threatens Craft Brewers and How the Clean Water Act Can Help

Posted February 28, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

What the West Virginia Chemical Spill Teaches Us About Clean Water

Posted January 17, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

Federal Spending Bill Completed - What Does It Mean For Water?

Posted January 15, 2014 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

Where's the beef? House version of the Farm Bill seeks to hide polluting livestock facilities

Posted November 20, 2013 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

Senators Invent Clean Water Bogeyman, then Demand EPA Prove there's no Bogeyman

Posted October 3, 2013 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

Two Steps Forward on Clean Water

Posted September 17, 2013 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

Can Smarter Crop Insurance Policies Shrink the Dead Zone?

Posted August 27, 2013 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

NRDC Report: Cleaning Up America's Beaches Requires Leadership on Polluted Runoff

Posted June 26, 2013 by Jon Devine in Curbing Pollution, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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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

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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 NRDC.org.

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