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Yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Vice Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) sent a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt urging him to close Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks and public lands at risk of spreading coronavirus due to continued crowding and high visitation levels. In the midst of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, protecting nature and natural infrastructure has largely been forgotten, though Americans are depending on it more than ever.
Why This Matters: Our leaders must understand that humans and nature are intrinsically linked, we cannot ignore nature if we hope to solve our greatest challenges. We’re seeing a migration of city dwellers into nature and more rural areas to escape urban density. As Thomas Friedmanaptly wrote yesterday, “The coronavirus spread in America because Trump looked at the problem through the lens of the markets first and the science of natural systems second, if at all.”
Pro Tip: How long do disinfecting products actually take to work on surfaces? The answers may surprise you!
Here's an important coronavirus tip: most of the EPA approved cleaners that can kill the virus need to sit for several minutes to fully disinfect. Lysol disinfectant wipes, for example, can take 10 minutes. https://t.co/Hgcl1XcITT
No Truth From Trump: Generally during a national crisis, the President’s press briefings are a vital source of news updates and even reassurance for worried Americans. Think FDR’s fireside chats or even George W. Bush’s post 9/11 address and subsequent updates. But if you’ve watched President Trump’s recent addresses you may have noticed numerous empty press pool seats. The reason being? These briefings are so devoid of news that journalists aren’t willing to risk their health to attend.
EPA’s acting chief of enforcement sent a memo to staff last week (that The Hill obtained) calling for them to “[s]trengthen enforcement in overburdened communities by resolving environmental noncompliance through remedies with tangible benefits for the community” with a particular emphasis on “cornerstone environmental statutes.”
Why This Matters: The Biden administration can immediately make progress correcting environmental injustice through fair and strong enforcement of current laws
A long battle over the use of a bug-killing pesticide linked to brain damage in children may be coming to an end. In a ruling last week, a federal appeals court gave the Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, commonly used on oranges, almonds, and other crops — or prove there’s a safe use of the chemical.
Why This Matters: The pesticide industry used the same playbook as with PFAS, tobacco, and oil: raisedoubt about the clear science and prevent immediate action from being taken, to the harm of everyone else.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Decades after scientists first discovered the dangerous public health risks of the pesticide DDT, researchers have confirmed that two generations later, it’s impacting the grandchildren of women exposed in the 1950s and 60s. Those exposed to DDT before it was banned first-hand saw increased rates of breast cancer; subsequently, their children experienced higher […]
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