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Scott Slesinger, Legislative Director, Washington, DC

Scott Slesinger

I am NRDC's legislative director. I work with NRDC staff to develop strategies for advancing environmental legislation and lobby Congress on behalf of the organization. Before joining NRDC, I was Vice-President of Government Affairs of the Environmental Technology Council representing companies that recycle, destroy, and dispose of regulated hazardous waste. Previously, I worked for the Senate Budget Committee on energy and environment issues and as the environmental aide to Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) when Lautenberg chaired the Subcommittee on Superfund and Hazardous Waste. I served as a counsel to the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and worked at the Environmental Protection Agency drafting some of the original regulations under the Clean Water Act. I have a B.A. in Political Science and a law degree from the State University at Buffalo.

Recent Posts

NEPA Changes in the Water Resources Bill

Posted May 19, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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NRDC has been working in an uphill fight to defend one of the iconic core environmental statutes: the National Environmental Policy Act.  The National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA, simply requires that large scale proposals that have the potential to...continued

Paperwork Reductions or Life-Saving Standards?

Posted April 15, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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EPA priorities: Does this make sense to anyone? Appropriators and the Administration need to decide what is more important -- health and the environment or paperwork reduction. The hazardous waste industry has been working over a decade to replace its...continued

EPA Spending in the President's Budget: Where Does the 0.22% of Federal Spending Go?

Posted March 21, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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The federal budget is tight.  Times are tough, so budget priorities stand out more clearly.  In the President’s budget, priorities are funded and other programs suffer.  At EPA, as Jon Devine’s blog points out, the biggest hit is the cut...continued

Coal Ash: Why it is better recycled than as a waste

Posted February 13, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Green Enterprise, Health and the Environment, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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photo credit: Dan River coal ash pollution courtesy of Appalachian Voices EPA has announced that the two primary encapsulated uses of coal ash are safe, so recyclers have no legitimate remaining arguments to support their previous requests for a weak coal...continued

How NEPA can be Improved

Posted February 5, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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President Obama in the State of the Union:  “We will need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer.  But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the...continued

Instead of Protecting Contributions, Shouldn't the Congress Protect Drinking Water? From Charleston, WV to the Great Forests

Posted January 22, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Moving Beyond Oil, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Over the past month, the Congress has continued to vote to put our drinking water at risk.  You would think that the disaster in Charleston, West Virginia, would have halted attempts to further weaken safeguards that protect our drinking...continued

Congress Votes Against Corporate Responsibility Hours Before the Charleston Spill

Posted January 17, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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About four hours before the disaster declaration in Charleston, WV, the House voted to make it easier for companies handling hazardous materials to NOT carry insurance in case of accidents.  The vote on the bill, H.R. 2279, was 225-188. In my...continued

Yes, Virginia, the House WRDA Bill is Worse than the Senate

Posted January 13, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Despite the environmental community’s disappointment in the very bad Senate changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process put forward by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the House provisions are even worse.  One of the most important examples of this is...continued

Another Bill to Protect Industry from Free Enterprise

Posted January 3, 2014 by Scott Slesinger in U.S. Law and Policy

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H.R. 2279, A Bill to Allow Corporations to go Without Insurance and Place the Expense on the Taxpayer Act. Does Capitalism Work? Apparently not according to House Republicans. House Republicans once more are trying to privatize profits and socialize the...continued

Budget Conference - End the Sequester and Fund our Future

Posted October 30, 2013 by Scott Slesinger in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming, The Media and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Today a House and Senate Budget Conference are meeting for the first time to address the impasse that led to the government shutdown.  The House has passed but the Senate has killed hundreds, yes hundreds of amendments attempting to weaken...continued

Memo to Shutdown Fans: Americans Really Like EPA Protecting Our Air, Water and Health; and Dis Pols Who Don't

Posted October 18, 2013 by Scott Slesinger in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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During this month, we have blogged on the impact of the shutdown on the environmental and health services that taxpayers pay for, and expect from, their government.  The comments from our readers on the switchboard website and the NRDC Facebook...continued

Government turns a deaf ear to the public, and the freeze in science research risks our global leadership in Day 16 of the GOP government shutdown.

Posted October 16, 2013 by Scott Slesinger in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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“We were, neck deep in the Big Muddy And the big fool said to push on.” Waist Deep in the Big Muddy—Pete Seeger That famous Vietnam-era anti-war song referred to the futility of President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to continue waging...continued

E. coli contamination could sicken Colorado kids and no fun for kids at wildlife refuges in Day 15 of the GOP's government shutdown

Posted October 15, 2013 by Scott Slesinger in Health and the Environment

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“You've got to get yourself togetherYou've got stuck in a moment and now you can't get out of it.”—“Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out of” by U2   It does seem like the Tea Party troubadours who forced...continued

Alaskan GOP pols complain again about their shutdown and a big oil spill goes unreported for a week in Day 14 of the GOP's government shutdown.

Posted October 14, 2013 by Scott Slesinger in U.S. Law and Policy

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"Deadliest Catch" gets caught in shutdown and a big oil spill goes unreported for a week in Day 14 of the GOP shutdown. “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blueIn two-oh-one-three, we got shut down by the GOP” - Bo...continued

Science takes a hit in Day 13 of the GOP's government shutdown

Posted October 13, 2013 by Scott Slesinger in U.S. Law and Policy

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 “I'm gettin' sick and tired of the same ole bull”“Fool About You”—Hank Williams Republicans keep saying they really didn’t want to shut the government down. As their approval ratings plummet, they keep trying to shift the blame to Senate Majority...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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