With stark clarity and detail, agencies from the Trump administration have documented the economic, environmental, health and safety impacts of increasing climate change in a new report released the day after Thanksgiving. It is now overwhelmingly clear that quick action by the US government is imperative if we are to protect communities from increased wildfires, floods, drought, erosion, lost coral reefs, diminished food production, and devastating economic impacts.

A quick first step Congress can take is to reject Bernard McNamee to fill a vacant Commissioner seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). …


Stripping the Public Voice and Environmental Protection by Stripping Strength from the National Environmental Policy Act

The National Environmental Policy Act, generally referred to as NEPA, was among the first major environmental protection laws passed at the federal level. NEPA ensures that the public has a role in government decisionmaking by ensuring the public an opportunity to speak on federal actions that could have significant adverse impacts on the environment. NEPA ensures government agencies provide the opportunity for public input in the form of written comments and often as testimony at public hearings.

NEPA does not mandate that federal agencies…


Justice Kennedy was never a steady beacon upon which environmentally-harmed communities and states could depend, but often enough he was often the bulwark against the potentially devastating unravelling of critical environmental protections.

As the swing vote, Justice Kennedy tipped the Court in a 5 to 4 direction on decisions that rolled back, as well as defended, environmental protections.

Against environmental protection: In 2001, Justice Kennedy joined with the conservative majority to roll back wetlands protections by rejecting the U.S. …


Immigration violence,

Gun violence allowed to continue, and

Environmental violence

…are all part of Trump’s active agenda, and it is an agenda that is resulting in unspeakable, indefensible and enduring violence against children.

Donald Trump’s immigration policy is ripping crying and distraught children from the loving arms of their families and locking them up in windowless detention centers with no love and a fear of what will be their fate at the hands of the strangers around them. As a result America is devastating the physical and emotional health, safety and lives of these children both today and…


Including Rolling Back Regulations, Failing to Regulate, and Hiding the Science That Demonstrates Human Health Harms?

Community Impacted by PFC Contamination Turns Out For Answers

Across the nation the Army, the Navy and industries have been using deadly, human made chemicals, known as PFCs for a variety of uses. The problem? These chemicals are now known to be contaminating drinking water supplies of tens of millions of people across the nation, bringing life-threatening and health-harming effects directly into people’s homes and lives. This has not just been happening under the watchful eye of government, but with the full blessing of both government and the law. In fact, governments across…


While many have heard of the epic pipeline battles against Keystone XL and Dakota Access, they may not realize that battles large and small against pipelines have spanned communities across the nation.

Just this week, we heard reports of a heroic Theresa “Red” Terry taking a stand in a tree, on her own property, challenging construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline through her family’s lands in Virginia. State troopers join county police at the base of the tree, waiting to arrest Terry the second she is forced down due to lack of food and water. At the same time, the…


The founder of earth day was Gaylord Nelson. His holiday has flowered into this amazing commemoration — some have called it the largest secular holiday in the world. Last year, as the forces of anti-environmentalism were gaining increased momentum, kids mobilized and celebrated the March for Science — elsewhere, people protested against climate change.

But let’s not forget another of Gaylord Nelson’s less successful initiatives — in 1970 he proposed a national environmental amendment to the constitution. It ultimately failed — perhaps the world wasn’t ready. …


This op-ed originally ran on Jan 25, 2018 in NewsPress, Part of the USA Today Network.

Proposal 23 is just another “feel-good” constitutional provision that will inspire frivolous litigation, rather than needed environmental protection. That’s how Herschel Vinyard, former secretary of Florida’s DEP, characterized this proposed environmental amendment to Florida’s constitution, currently winding its way through the Constitution Revision Commission.

Constitutional Green Amendments are far from the frivolous litigation drivers Vinyard suggests.

Florida actually faces environmental threats from every direction — hurricanes above, subterranean toxins below, and superfund sites next door. Florida joins New Jersey and California in an unholy…


New Jersey is just one of the 48 U.S. states that fails to recognize and protect the right to clean water, clean air and the healthy environments necessary to support healthy lives and economies. New Jersey, along with New York, is also poised to become the next state to recognize and protect this right.

November 30, 2017, NJ Statehouse, Right to Left, Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin, David Pringle with CWA NJ, Assemblyman Tim Eustace the bill’s primary sponsor, Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter, Toni Granato with NJ Sierra Club

On November 30, I had the honor of joining Assemblyman Tim Eustace, Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin and Asseymblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter to announce proposal of a constitutional amendment to the New Jersey state constitution that would recognize and protect peoples’ environmental rights. On January 9, 2018…


Anyone who is saying this bodes well for communities, the environment and FERC review of pipelines has their head in the sand,says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

The announcement by the Federal Energy Commission (FERC)’s new Chairman Kevin McIntyre that there will be a review of the agency’s previous 1999 policy statement on how it issues permits for new interstate natural gas pipelines should not be any more welcome than the recent restoration of a quorum. Anyone who is saying this bodes well for communities, the environment and FERC review of pipelines has their head in the sand…

Maya van Rossum

Maya K. van Rossum is the Delaware Riverkeeper, Author of The Green Amendment, & leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Learn more www.mayavanrossum.green

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