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The Environment

As citizens of the world we must protect our planet from the physical, economic and public health effects of climate change while also providing pathways to economic prosperity.

Why it matters

The preservation of the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the earth’s ecosystem is essential for maximum protection of public health and the environment. The interrelationships of air, water and land resources should be recognized in designing environmental safeguards. The federal government should have the major role in setting standards for environmental protection and pollution control.

What we're doing

Since the 1960s, we have been at the forefront of efforts to protect air, land and water resources. Our approach to environmental protection and pollution control is one of problem solving. The League’s environmental goals aim to prevent ecological degradation, and to reduce and control pollutants before they go down the sewer, up the chimney or into the landfill. We support vigorous enforcement mechanisms, including sanctions for states and localities that do not comply with federal standards as well as substantial fines for noncompliance.

The Environment In Depth

Although the largest impacts to limit climate change will come from countries and corporations, individuals can make a difference as well, especially by applying pressure and sharing their thoughts with elected officials.  What can we do today to make a difference?  

ILWVUS joined coalition partners on complimentary comments to the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) rule making regarding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The Leauge submitted comments regarding the Council on Environmental Quality's rulemaking on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Modifications were made to NEPA by the Trump Administration and finalized on July 16, 2020. LWVUS supports the complete restoration of the NEPA to its essential form.

People often refer to climate change as an “existential threat.” This makes sense; our existence is being threatened. But as a health professional, I’d like to move away from the big, existential side of things and focus on the everyday public and individual human health threats that climate change is already causing and that most certainly will continue to worsen.   

A December 2020 decision from the EPA handed permit approval rights to the state of Florida, allowing the state to approve wetland projects without EPA review.  Environmental groups argue that this decision is disastrous for the environment.

The League joined a letter lead by the Indigenous Environmental Network urging the President and Vice President to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) .

LWVUS sent a letter of support endorsing Senator Manchin’s Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act to recover and reinvest in Appalachian communities. 

LWVUS stood with Members of Congress and the Children’s Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery Resolution as it was introduced on September 23, 2020.

The League joined a letter with other environmental partners in support of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. This legislation is a bold infrastructure plan that will transform our transportation systems, transition the nation to cleaner sources of energy,  invest in clean and safe water, protect workers, preserve nature, and address the challenges from a changing climate to our communities.