A gaggle of outstanding conservation organizations plans a marketing campaign to induce President-elect Joe Biden to make use of govt orders to focus on plastics environmental considerations, saying they see vital room for more durable use of current legal guidelines.
The coalition, which incorporates the Heart for Organic Variety, Greenpeace, Surfrider Basis and 16 different founding companions, plans to challenge what its calling a “presidential plastic motion plan” Dec. 8 detailing steps the incoming Biden administration might take by itself, with out Congress.
The group isn’t revealing specifics till the announcement, however its members have in recent times petitioned the Environmental Safety Company for issues like more durable guidelines round air and water emissions for plastics factories and have been a part of lawsuits difficult the trade over pellet air pollution from factories and Formosa’s plans to construct a large plastics complicated in Louisiana.
An announcement from the group mentioned members will to induce Biden to cease new plastic initiatives.
One of many authors of the plan, CBD Senior Lawyer Julie Teel Simmonds, mentioned they’re hopeful a Biden administration will take a distinct method to trade regulation.
“Govt motion undoubtedly could make a major dent within the plastics air pollution disaster,” she mentioned. “The important thing level is our current legal guidelines might be a lot, a lot better harnessed.”
CBD and different teams final yr filed two petitions with EPA asking for more durable Clear Water Act and Clear Air Act enforcement round plastics services, asking for zero emissions of plastic pellets into waterways from resin vegetation, no detectable emissions of benzene and dioxin and stricter guidelines on a bunch of different chemical compounds.
The coalition mentioned its plan can have eight factors. Totally different teams throughout the coalition have been concerned with a lawsuit that prompted the Trump administration to withdraw its approval for a part of the state of Hawaii’s Clear Water Act plans and ask the state to take a deeper take a look at plastic air pollution.
The regulatory push might embody efforts round recycling as properly. The EPA has a regulatory continuing ongoing to jot down the primary U.S. nationwide recycling technique, and a few waste and recycling organizations have petitioned EPA to endorse requirements on recycled content material for plastic merchandise.
Coalition members have argued up to now that the financial enlargement of the plastics trade in recent times, fueled by low-cost shale fuel feedstocks, requires updating rules governing plastics.
“The plan responds to the plastic trade’s aggressive enlargement utilizing the nation’s oversupply of fracked fuel to make throwaway plastic that fills our oceans, landfills and landscapes,” the group mentioned in a press release. “Petrochemical-plastic initiatives hurt front-line communities with poisonous air and water air pollution and worsen the local weather disaster.”
Whereas Biden didn’t speak a lot about plastics particularly in the course of the marketing campaign, aside from a number of feedback at a city corridor supporting plastic bag bans, Teel Simmonds mentioned the coalition notes that the president-elect is prioritizing local weather change and environmental justice.
She mentioned the coalition sees the local weather disaster as “inextricably linked” to the buildout of plastic resin services in america and famous Biden’s naming of former Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to a brand new place as local weather czar as a optimistic.
As properly, Teel Simmonds mentioned Biden has particularly talked about St. James Parish in Louisiana, the place CBD is preventing an expanded Formosa presence in court docket, as an environmental justice concern.
“He is signaled a willingness and intent in addressing a number of the key issues,” she mentioned. “The president has large authority. Now we have a robust suite of current legal guidelines that may be utilized extra forcefully.”
Other than Kerry, Biden has not but named his environmental workforce, together with who he intends to appoint to move EPA.
Retiring Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., a co-author of the Break Free from Plastic Air pollution Act, has been talked about in press experiences as a attainable Inside Secretary nominee. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was a cosponsor of the Udall plastics laws.
The coalition mentioned its plan has greater than 500 signatories and 19 founding members, together with Break Free From Plastic and Past Plastics, which was based by a former EPA regional administrator.