Fall 2017 News Briefs
Getting the lead out of school drinking water
In February, Environment Washington Research & Policy Center gave our state an ‘F’ for failing to prevent children’s drinking water from becoming laced with lead at school. Two of the state’s three largest school districts—Seattle and Tacoma—had found lead in the water at some of the schools in their districts.
In response, Environment Washington launched a campaign calling on state leaders to “get the lead out” of our schools and pre-schools by proactively removing lead-bearing parts from schools’ drinking water systems—from service lines to faucets and fixtures—and installing filters certified to remove lead at every tap used for drinking or cooking.
With the support of our members, Environment Washington worked with state lawmakers to secure a directive that schools must take action whenever lead presence in water exceeds 1 part per billion. This measure brings us one step closer to safe drinking water for kids at school.
You’re standing up to save the bees
Millions of bees are dying off, with alarming consequences for our environment and our food supply. That’s why, with your support, Environment Washington is going all out to ban the pesticides that are harming bees and other pollinators. After all, it’s bees, not pesticides, that make our farms and food possible.
This year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would conduct a risk assessment of four types of neonicotinoids, a widely used class of bee-killing pesticides, and opened a 60-day public comment period. Our members leapt at the opportunity to save our pollinators, and by the end of July, Environment Washington and our coalition partners delivered more than 164,000 comments urging the EPA to declare a moratorium on bee-killing pesticides.
We also held bee-friendly BBQ and picnic events over the summer to highlight the many foods we enjoy that depend on bees for pollination—everything from strawberries and watermelons to the alfalfa grown to feed dairy cows.
Your support is bringing polluters to justice
Over the past 25 years, Environment Washington and our partners have found dozens of cases where companies have dumped illegal amounts of pollution into our air, rivers, bays and harbors.
In April, our sister group, Environment Texas, secured a $19.95 million penalty against ExxonMobil after filing an environmental “citizen suit” against the oil giant for violating the Clean Air Act on more than 16,000 days at its Baytown, Texas, petrochemical complex. A federal judge found that Exxon had profited to the tune of $14 million by delaying pollution control measures, and released more than 10 million pounds of illegal emissions into the air, including carcinogens and other toxic air pollutants.
Our lawsuits have resulted in more than $250 million in court-ordered penalties and pollution reduction actions. And with the Trump administration giving a free pass to polluting industries, we’re launching an Environmental Enforcement Initiative to hold polluters accountable. With support from our members, we’ll continue taking illegal polluters to task when they break the law.