In the Fall 2023 issue of our print newsletter Livable Future NOW, we celebrated the passage of the Save the Hudson bill through the New York State Senate and Assembly. In this installment of our Quarterly Victories update, we can also celebrate the signing of this bill!
On August 18, Governor Hochul signed the Save the Hudson bill into law, protecting the Hudson River from radioactive waste dumping — something Holtec International, the company decommissioning the Indian Point Nuclear Power Station near Peekskill, New York, planned to do as early as May of this year.
Your investment ensured our New York team could jump into action when they learned about this threat to our precious Hudson River. By tabling, petitioning, phone banking, and rallying nonstop, we’ve gathered support from communities throughout the region and forced Holtec to delay their plans. This delay allowed the Save the Hudson bill to be drafted, passed, and signed.
Efforts to restore and protect the Hudson River have a long and storied history and helped launch the environmental movement nationally. Thank you for keeping the movement going strong!
More Milestones to Celebrate
Your engagement and generosity have led to many additional milestones in the past few months. Here are seven notable victories for people and the planet you made happen!
- Won a lawsuit challenging Colorado’s lax standards for their statewide factory farm Clean Water Act permit. The court stated that to comply with the Clean Water Act, the state must monitor groundwater to ensure facilities aren’t illegally polluting. This decision is a step toward cleaning up Colorado’s waterways by holding factory farms accountable. The court’s ruling relied on Food & Water Watch’s 2021 9th Circuit Court win, striking down Idaho’s permit for similar reasons. (May)
- Celebrated the release of Tampa, Florida’s Climate Action & Equity Plan. The plan includes steps to phase out fossil fuels and transition the city to 100% clean and renewable energy. It also outlines how a renewable energy transition will impact electric bills by reducing and ultimately eliminating recent fossil fuel rate hikes. This is a welcome response to years of our work organizing with the community, which resulted first in the Tampa City Council’s 2021 clean energy resolution and now in the Climate Action & Equity Plan. Plans like this are a strong model for other cities to follow. (June)
- Won the passage of the factory farm regulation bill SB 85 in Oregon. This is the first legislation in decades to reform the regulation of factory farms in the state. This bill will require a more intensive water permitting process and increased oversight on the spreading of factory farm waste on land. It will also allow local governments to require setbacks on factory farm siting. We are proud members of the Stand Up to Factory Farms coalition and have worked for years to win this step forward in addressing the harms of factory farms in Oregon. It must be the first of many. (July)
- Blocked the corporate takeover of Newberry Township, Pennsylvania’s publicly owned sewer system. We helped this community just south of Harrisburg develop a winning organizing strategy to protect its valuable public resource. Together, we mounted months of intense opposition to York Water Company’s bid to buy their sewer system. People power won. The Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to reject the proposal, protecting residents from a privatization deal that would have caused massive spikes in residential sewer rates. (July)
- Helped to defeat plans to build a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant in Port St. Joe, Florida. Late last year, residents discovered Nopetro’s plans to build a facility that would convert natural gas to liquid and then transport it a quarter-mile to the town’s docks for export. Community members knew this would bring pollution, heavy traffic, and the risk of explosive accidents. It would also threaten to crowd and endanger the small, beautiful St. Joe’s Bay. We helped community activists develop the strategy to build a coalition, grow public opposition, and shut the project down. (July)
- Released two pieces of critical research on the water crisis along the Colorado River and in New Mexico. The reports, Big Ag Is Draining the Colorado River Dry (August) and Big Ag Fuels New Mexico’s Water Crisis (July), are eye-opening and alarming. They show how big agribusiness — large-scale tree-nut and alfalfa farms and mega-dairies being the worst offenders — is greedily guzzling trillions of gallons of water in this dry region. As a result, many household wells are running dry, and water security for over 40 million people in the region hangs in the balance. Research like this informs our on-the-ground organizing as we work to ensure a future where everyone has access to clean water.
- Forced the notorious Easterday family to abandon its attempt to re-open a 28,000-cow mega-dairy in Boardman, Oregon. This community on the Columbia River already struggles with nitrate-contaminated water due to mega-dairies’ irresponsible waste management practices. High nitrate levels in drinking water pose several health risks, including “blue baby syndrome” and an increased risk of birth defects and certain cancers. This is a major win for Oregon’s communities, water, and climate. (August)
Your investment in Food & Water Watch powers all the work that has led to these incredible achievements. We don’t accept any corporate money, so these victories could not have happened without you.
Thank you for fighting like you live here!
You Can Build on These Victories Toward a Livable Future
Together we’ve made great strides toward sustainable food, clean and affordable water, and a livable climate for all. We depend on supporters like you to build on these incredible victories.
Donate today to continue the fight for a livable future!