Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Why This Matters: When the EPA cares more about protecting a polluting company and limiting its liability than protecting the innocent victims of that toxic pollution from harm, federal “pre-emption” of state law claims can actually frustrate the intent of the statute — which was to make the polluters pay for the clean up of their toxic contamination. The law also bars victims from “double recovery” and it gives polluters who step up to their responsibility to clean up a site the benefit of finality and an end to litigation. But what happens when the EPA’s settlement is too lax and poor communities are burdened with lingering contamination and health problems? It is unlikely that a rich community would get a raw deal from EPA. But the country is riddled with poor communities that for a myriad of reasons do not get the same level of protection from our environmental laws/agencies. It may be the law, but that does not make it right.
The Supreme Court case involved whether to let stand a Montana Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Opportunity Residents that held that the federal Superfund law does not override this state’s constitutionally guaranteed right to a “clean and healthful environment.” The lawyers for ARCO argued that the community of Opportunity should not be able to use state law to force the company to clean up the site in a way that conflicts with the EPA cleanup plan. They claim that if a community was allowed to impose its “own piecemeal hazardous waste cleanup” it would undermine EPA’s authority to implement a cleanup plan the agency deems appropriate to protect human health and the environment. But that begs the question — what if the EPA does not adequately protect human health and the environment? One of the town residents put it this way to The Post, “We only have one lifetime, and the corporations have forever. We just want our yard to be clean and healthy for our kids.”
To Go Deeper:Click here for an excellent summary of the legal arguments in the case by our pals at SCOTUSblog.
National Public Radio (NPR) did a terrific story on the climate corps to provide jobs for young people that the administration proposed in the American Jobs Plan. The proposal provides for $10 billion to launch “The Civilian Climate Corps,” to address the threat of climate change by strengthening protections on public lands.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study from the University of Oxford published Wednesday has found that nature-based solutions (NbS) land management and ecosystem restoration will play a key role in limiting global temperature rise. If implemented properly, these practices could remove gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere in the next century. Currently, […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer On Thursday, the Biden administration announced detailed steps to protect 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030. The report, titled “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful,” calls for a 10-year commitment to making conservation and restoration a priority. The plan details strategies to purify drinking water, increase green space, improve access to outdoor […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.