In the Summer 2023 issue of our print newsletter Livable Future NOW, we celebrated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that they will begin an in-depth study of factory farm water pollution — a first in 15 years! The EPA’s decision came in response to a lawsuit that Food & Water Watch filed in 2022.
For years, the EPA has maintained woefully lax pollution standards for factory farms. These standards put waterways in downstream communities at risk of dangerous contamination.
In its decision, the EPA admitted it lacked a proper understanding of pollution control technologies and practices that may have developed since its last factory farm rulemaking. It has therefore agreed to a comprehensive pollution and technology review.
While long overdue, studies like these can be the first step to much-needed stronger regulations. Food & Water Watch Legal Director Tarah Heinzen says, “This is a critical opportunity for the agency to finally obtain crucial information about the true scope of factory farm water pollution. When the EPA can no longer hide behind a lack of data, the agency will have no choice but to finally strengthen its regulation of this filthy industry.”
Thank you for powering the work leading up to this victory!
More Milestones to Celebrate
Your care and generosity have led to several additional milestones in the past few months. Here are seven notable victories for people and the planet that you helped to make happen!
- Passed the All-Electric Building Act in New York, which bans gas hookups in new buildings statewide. The Act makes New York the first state in the country to ban gas in new construction by law. It will go into effect in 2026 for new buildings under seven stories and in 2028 for taller buildings. This landmark victory for the climate movement is a huge step forward for our renewable energy transition. It also sets a precedent for other cities and states nationwide. (May 2023)
- Passed the Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) in New York. This new law requires the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the state’s publicly owned power utility, to provide only renewable energy and power to customers. It also makes the NYPA the only provider of energy to all state-owned and municipal properties. The BPRA allows the NYPA to build renewable energy to meet the state’s goals of achieving 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2040. This law will create tens of thousands of jobs and close some of the state’s dirtiest oil and gas plants. (May 2023)
- Successfully pressed the Department of Transportation to deny a permit to New Fortress Energy for plans to transport liquefied methane by rail. These plans include a proposed gas export facility on the Delaware River in Gibbstown, New Jersey. This decision will prevent bomb trains from endangering towns and cities across South Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. (April 2023)
- Successfully settled our false advertising lawsuit against Tyson Foods related to its greenwashed and misleading sustainability and animal welfare claims. Tyson has agreed to remove or change certain marketing statements that Food & Water Watch challenged as misleading. (March 2023)
- Won a coalition lawsuit against the EPA that challenged its outdated and lax national water pollution standards for slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouses are the nation’s largest industrial source of phosphorus pollution and second-largest industrial source of nitrogen pollution. The EPA agreed to strengthen standards by 2025 and their proposal is due by the end of 2023. (March 2023)
- Worked with community groups to successfully pressure the EPA to propose the first federal, enforceable limits on six types of PFAS. These limits will make our drinking water safer from these widespread contaminants. PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment, are everywhere. Researchers have found them in everything from food packaging, to non-stick pans, to our drinking water. Health risks include cancer and immune and reproductive system harm. These PFAS limits are a welcome first step to banning PFAS altogether. (March 2023)
- Defeated North Carolina’s “ag-gag” law. These laws are designed to silence journalists, activists, and impacted community members who dare to expose food safety violations, animal abuse, and environmental degradation at factory farms. The 4th Circuit Court’s strong opinion is another nail in the coffin for these unconstitutional anti-transparency laws, which big agribusinesses are proposing nationwide. (February 2023)
Your investment in Food & Water Watch powers all the campaigns that have led to these incredible achievements. We don’t accept any corporate money, so these victories could not have happened without you.
Visit the Quarterly Victories: Spring 2023 Update page to see more of your impact from earlier this year.
Thank you for fighting like you live here!
Continue Building a Livable Future
Together, we’ve made great strides toward sustainable food, clean and affordable water, and a livable climate for all. But we have so much more work to do.
Only with your support and partnership can we continue to build on these incredible victories. Donate today to continue building a livable future.