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Press Releases: Common ResourcesPress Releases Found: 16
January 28, 2013
Press Release: Today Food & Water Watch, Patuxent Riverkeeper and Potomac Riverkeeper – represented by Public Justice and Columbia University School of Law Environmental Law Clinic – announced the filing of a Clean Water Act notice of intent to sue the energy company NRG Energy, Inc. for water pollution violations at three of its coal-fired power plants—violations revealed in documents obtained by Food & Water Watch. The groups allege that the company has been and continues to be in violation of its nitrogen discharge limits at the Chalk Point, Dickerson and Morgantown facilities. In addition, the groups, all headquartered in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, allege that the Dickerson plant is also in violation of its phosphorus discharge limits. The documents also reveal that NRG is engaged in a complex system of credit swapping and offsets among the three plants.
“It’s critical to enforce the Clean Water Act to the letter if we want a clean Bay,” said Michele Merkel at Food & Water Watch. “Here we have three sources of pollution who are unable to meet their discharge limits, so instead of upgrading their technology, they’re attempting to mask their violations by entering into a convoluted scheme of credit transfers and offsets. None of those maneuvers, however, changes the fact that these facilities are exceeding their permit limits.”
Under the Clean Water Act, “point source” facilities like NRG’s power plants operate with permits that limit the maximum amount of pollution each plant can discharge. These limits are designed to minimize harm to local waterways while motivating industries to implement technological upgrades to reduce discharges. Each of NRG’s three power plants are permitted to discharge nitrogen in the hundreds of pounds, but recent discharge monitoring reports Food & Water Watch obtained under a Maryland Public Information Act request show nitrogen discharges in the several thousands of pounds. In the case of Chalk Point, which is permitted to discharge just 329 pounds of nitrogen each year, the reports show discharges of over 14,000 pounds in 2010 and 2011 combined – exceeding the legal limits by almost 2200 percent.
January 16, 2013
Pollution Trading: Cashing Out Our Clean Air and Water documents government-sanctioned pollution reduction programs that provide a market place for trading credit allotments in an effort to offset harmful discharges. But these mechanisms don’t deter industrial pollution. In fact, they give companies an opportunity to pay and trade for the “right” to pollute.
July 20, 2012
Media Statement: The recent news that American Carbon Registry approved a new methodology for estimating nitrous oxide (N20) emissions from fertilizer application in agriculture renews our concern that California is considering allowing agricultural offsets in its carbon cap-and-trade program. Allowing these offsets would make an already risky program even worse for the residents of California.
June 22, 2012
“For the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (CSD) wrapping up today in Rio de Janeiro, 20 years has sadly not meant progress on critical environmental issues that affect our food and water and our communities that depend on vital common resources. In fact, the only sector that progressed at Rio+20 was the private sector. Corporations are more entrenched than ever before in the UN process.
“By our rough count in the final document that heads of state will consider today, the concept of the ‘public sector’ was mentioned 11 times in comparison to the ‘private sector,’ which was mentioned 20 times. Clearly, this is an indication of priorities. Conference organizers of UN-hosted events handed key panelist positions to Nestlé, Aquafed, Unilever, Dow Chemical and other major corporations, while Coca-Cola, Petrobras and others, put their sponsorship signage on tables, chairs and banners throughout the conference.
June 5, 2012
Today, citizens around the country united in a national day of action, sending a message to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the critical issues global leaders will discuss when they meet later this month in Brazil for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference of Sustainable Development.
“Private interests have already been positioning themselves to profit from control of resources that should remain in the public realm,” said local Food & Water Watch Organizer Miranda Carter. “We want to send a strong message to Secretary Clinton that the key to successful, sustainable development throughout the world includes buy-in from local communities and serves the public interests, not just multinational corporations.”
Citizens united today in cities including Albuquerque, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., to tell the U.S. negotiators that nature and people should come before corporate profits. Participants created their own version of the MasterCard “priceless” ads outside the U.S. Department of State, calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to defend our water and food.
There were more than a dozen events hosted throughout the country, including an action outside of the Department of State in Washington, D.C., and outside the United Nations in New York.
May 21, 2012
Press Statement: “T. Boone Pickens’s recent divestment from Chesapeake Energy shows that natural gas is a house of cards, and that even one of its biggest cheerleaders has grown wise to this fact.”
May 7, 2012
Press Release: Emails released today by national consumer group Food & Water Watch reveal an unnervingly close and direct relationship between Governor Martin O’Malley and chicken giant Perdue. Seventy pages of emails, mostly between Governor O’Malley and Herb Frerichs, Perdue’s general counsel, illustrate the strong hold the industry has on Governor O’Malley on topics ranging from waste incineration to the lawsuit brought by the University of Maryland Legal Clinic against Perdue and one of its contract growers.
April 30, 2012
Statement: We are very disappointed by the court’s decision, which seems to say that aquaculture facilities can be permitted in federal waters, even if not authorized by a regional fishery management council. We do not think this is what Congress contemplated when they enacted our nation’s fishing laws, and we are currently considering all of our legal options, including an appeal.
April 11, 2012
Food & Water Watch Announces New Program Scrutinizing Market-Based Schemes Affecting Common Resources
Press Release: Today, national consumer organization Food & Water Watch announced a new program to scrutinize the largely unchallenged claims that market-based schemes like pollution trading, water markets, privatization and commodification of common resources will help reduce pollution and manage our water resources.
March 27, 2012
Press Release: At a press conference today, Bark and Food & Water Watch, members of the Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge Coalition, announced that they are appealing the Oregon Water Resources Department’s (OWRD) approval of permit applications that move Nestlé one step closer to bottling Oregon’s water. The two permits must be approved by OWRD before a water exchange application can be considered that would lead to a giveaway of Oregon’s public water resources for Nestlé’s profit. The coalition, representing labor, religious, environmental, public health and consumer advocacy groups, maintains that this water exchange is not in the public interest.