EARTH DAY LEGISLATIVE ALERTS

Seven Actions that You Can Take to Conserve Nature and Protect Human Health

HR 803 – PAW+ – SUPPORT: Two decades in the making, the sweeping Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act (PAW+), HR 803, a collection of eight public lands bills, that would protect more than 1,000 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers and 2.7 million acres of public lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Washington, passed the House on February 26 and is now in the Senate. Call Senators Sinema and Kelly and ask them support this historic legislation, which includes (in Title VIII) the Grand Canyon Protection Act, which would permanently ban new uranium mining on 1 million acres to the north and south of Grand Canyon National Park. All of the Democratic members in Arizona’s congressional delegation voted in favor of this important public lands bill. Read the sponsor’s description here: https://degette.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/us-house-approves-landmark-public-lands-package

Save Oak Flat Act – SUPPORT: Representative Raúl Grijalva’s bill would permanently protect the Oak Flat Area of Tonto National Forest from destructive mining proposals. Oak Flat, and area that is culturally significant for many of Arizona’s tribes and that contains sacred sites, is also a beloved recreational area. The San Carlo Apache and the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona strongly support this legislation. Call Arizona’s congressional delegation and ask them to co-sponsor this bill. A bill number is not available as yet, but you can read Rep. Grijalva’s bill description here: https://grijalva.house.gov/press-releases/chair-grijalva-introduces-save-oak-flat-act-permanently-protect-tribal-sacred-site

HR 516 and S 101 – Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act of 2021 – SUPPORT: These companion bills would establish a national environmental justice policy to address disproportionate environment burdens faces by people of color and low-income communities. The proposed legislation would also establish a broad-based committee and mechanism for collecting and mapping data on socioeconomic demographics, public health metrics, air quality, water quality, and toxic chemical exposures, among other data, that would be used in prioritizing clean energy investments and environmental and public health actions. This bill enjoys support from over 70 environmental and social justice organizations. Rep. Grijalva is a House sponsor. Call Arizona’s congressional delegation and ask them to support this important social justice legislation. Read the sponsors’ bill description here: https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-markey-and-duckworth-rep-bush-introduce-legislation-to-help-identify-environmental-justice-communities

HR 794 – National Climate Emergency Act of 2021 – SUPPORT: This bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Grijalva, would direct the President to declare a national climate emergency, marshaling the procedural tools and mechanisms available under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of climate change, and to make annual reports to Congress on federal actions taken to address the climate emergency. Consistent with President Biden’s American Jobs (Infrastructure) Plan and environmental and climate justice goals, potential federal actions could include investments in large scale mitigation and resiliency projects, upgrades to public infrastructure, modernization of millions of buildings to cut pollution, investments in public health, protections for public lands, and regenerative agriculture investments that support local and regional food systems. Call Arizona’s congressional delegation and ask them to sponsor this important climate change legislation. Read the sponsors’ bill description here: https://blumenauer.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/blumenauer-ocasio-cortez-and-sanders-introduce-legislation-mandate

HR 5906 and S 2941 – RECYCLE Act of 2021 – SUPPORT: American recycling is in a tailspin owing to foreign markets closing their doors to our contaminated recyclable wastes (for example, greasy pizza boxes and hazardous wastes). The bipartisan, recycling industry-supported Recycling Enhancements to Collection and Yield through Consumer Learning and Education (RECYCLE) Act of 2021 aims to increase both the quantity and quality of recyclables through grants to states, local governments, tribes, and other partners to improve residential and community recycling through public education and outreach; review and updating of federal procurement regulations; and other actions to encourage recycling and promote the procurement of products made from recycled materials. Urge Arizona’s congressional delegation to get on board with recycling reforms. Read about the National Waste and Recycling Association’s support for the RECYCLE Act here: https://www.waste360.com/recycling/nwra-announces-support-recycle-act

PFAS Action Act of 2021 – SUPPORT: Toxic per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) have been found in drinking water supplies and soils near military bases and airports throughout Arizona. The bipartisan PFAS Action Act of 2021 (bill number not available as yet) would create a national drinking water standard for certain PFAS (human-made “Forever Chemicals”); designate PFAS as “hazardous air pollutants” and prohibit the unsafe incineration of PFAS wastes; designate PFAS as “hazardous substances,” allowing the US Environmental Protection Agency to include them in its contaminated site cleanup programs; limit industrial discharges; require comprehensive PFAS health testing; require the labeling of cookware containing PFAS; and provide $200 million annually to public water and wastewater treatment facilities. Urge Arizona’s congressional delegation to support this important environmental health legislation. To learn more about PFAS without having to struggle with the chemistry, watch Mark Ruffalo’s 2019 film, “Dark Waters,” based upon a true story about a manufacturing company that was poisoning its local town. Read the bill sponsor’s statement here: https://debbiedingell.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=2975

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