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Becky Hammer, Project Attorney, Water Program, Washington, DC

Becky Hammer

I grew up in coastal central Florida, and like all other young girls in the Sunshine State, I wanted to become a dolphin trainer when I grew up. This early career aspiration was only one indication of my love for nature and all the critters that live in it. Whether I was climbing trees, swimming in alligator-filled lakes, or collecting seashells at the beach, I developed a strong connection with the environment when I was young -- a connection that has stuck with me ever since. These days, I don't get to spend quite as much time outdoors. I do some occasional camping, even though my dog is vaguely terrified of nature (particularly its scary sounds), and I've got a life goal of visiting all our National Parks (I'm up to 18 so far). But I love that even at my desk-bound day job I'm helping to protect the environment by working at NRDC. The path from Tampa, to Boston (for college and law school at Harvard), to D.C. has been a fairly circuitous one, but now I am thrilled to be here, first as a two-year legal fellow and now as a full-time staff attorney in the NRDC water program. It's not dolphin training, but it's still pretty great.

Recent Posts

EPA Misses Critical Opportunity to Control Harmful Runoff Pollution

Posted March 17, 2014 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution

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Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would not be granting a set of petitions which asked the Agency to control harmful polluted stormwater runoff that is degrading waterways in certain regions of the country.  NRDC and...continued

Groups and Citizens Unite to Ask for a Healthy Anacostia River That's Free of Toxic Pollution

Posted February 7, 2014 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment


Yesterday, enjoying the chance to get outside on one of the nicer days D.C. has seen in a while, I walked down the block from my office to attend a lunchtime brown-bag panel discussion hosted by the DC Environmental Network....continued

FEMA Promises To Revise State Disaster Planning Guidance To Require Consideration Of Climate Change Impacts

Posted January 27, 2014 by Becky Hammer in Solving Global Warming

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Earlier this month, NRDC got encouraging news from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about its intentions to update its guidance for state hazard mitigation planning: the agency will be revising the guidance to more explicitly require state governments to...continued

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Scores Another "Emerald City" Point With New Green Infrastructure Initiatives

Posted October 29, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution

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When many people think about Pittsburgh, the first thing that comes to mind is the city’s historical association with industry – especially steel.  These days, however, you may be more likely to see a green roof or a rain garden...continued

Cities Like Washington DC Are Moving Ahead With Green Infrastructure, But EPA's Progress Is Stalled - Tell The Agency To Act Now!

Posted October 29, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution

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Today NRDC released an update to its 2011 report Rooftops to Rivers II, which showed how cities of all sizes were employing green infrastructure to solve their stormwater pollution problems and revitalize their communities.  Today’s update reveals that in just...continued

FEMA Responds to NRDC's Petition for Better State Disaster Planning Requirements

Posted October 1, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Solving Global Warming

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NRDC recently received a response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to a petition that we filed with the agency nearly a year ago. Last October, we filed a petition with FEMA asking the agency to ensure that states...continued

New York's Plan for Post-Sandy Wastewater Infrastructure Projects Doesn't Go Far Enough to Promote Resilience

Posted September 6, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Solving Global Warming

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New York State is currently considering public input on its draft plan for how the state will spend $340 million on disaster resilience for wastewater infrastructure that was damaged  by Hurricane Sandy.  This plan is critical to ensuring that the...continued

Take Action: Tell the EPA to Stop Delaying & Issue New Clean Water Protections

Posted August 20, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution

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Today people and organizations across the country, including NRDC, are gathering together to express their support for better federal clean water protections.  This summer’s installment of NRDC’s annual beach report Testing the Waters showed once again that the waters where...continued

Rabbits May Not Need Disaster Plans, But We Do

Posted July 18, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Solving Global Warming

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Yesterday the Washington Post ran a humorous article about a magician in Missouri who’s been required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a “disaster plan” for his rabbit – the one he pulls out of a hat during...continued

NRDC Petitions EPA To Tackle Water Pollution Sources That Hurt Our Economy And Our Health

Posted July 10, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably

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Today NRDC, together with American Rivers, Conservation Law Foundation, and a number of local partner organizations, filed three petitions with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address one of the leading and most pervasive sources of water pollution in the...continued

"Testing the Waters" for Bacteria That Can Make You Sick

Posted June 26, 2013 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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In addition to crusading for clean water here at NRDC during the workweek, in my free time I’m also a volunteer water quality monitor for Arlington County, Virginia, where I live.  Once a month I grab a water sample from...continued

FEMA Must Require States to Plan for Climate Change's Water-Related Impacts

Posted October 2, 2012 by Becky Hammer

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Today NRDC, together with the National Wildlife Federation, filed a petition with the federal government that, if granted, will improve the way states plan for the water-related impacts of climate change – saving money, property, and lives in the process....continued

Who Doesn't Want to Support Cleaner Beaches and the Businesses that Depend on Them?

Posted July 18, 2012 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote next week on the “Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act” (H.R. 4078) – a bill that, among other things, imposes a moratorium on issuing virtually any new regulations as...continued

Revised Stormwater Permit Will Ensure Washington, D.C. Will Meet Clean Water Goals

Posted May 21, 2012 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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On Friday afternoon, NRDC and three Washington, D.C.-area environmental groups (represented by public interest law firm Earthjustice) reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency that will require D.C. to develop a legally enforceable plan to clean up local waterways...continued

Fracking's Aftermath: Wastewater Disposal Methods Threaten Our Health & Environment

Posted May 9, 2012 by Becky Hammer in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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A new report released by NRDC today shows that contaminated fracking wastewater is threatening people’s health and the environment, and none of the methods currently used to treat or dispose of that wastewater are safe enough. The process used to...continued


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