Today the Obama Administration and the EPA issued a much-needed, long-overdue public health safeguard that marks the beginning of the end of regulatory loopholes in 38 states that have for decades allowed big polluters to dump huge amounts of off-the-books harmful air pollution onto neighboring communities with impunity.
The EPA has issued a much-needed, long-overdue public health safeguard that marks the beginning of the end of regulatory loopholes in 36 states that have for decades allowed big polluters to dump huge amounts of harmful air pollution onto neighboring communities with impunity. The new Clean Air Act rule, which will help protect some of society's most vulnerable communities from big polluters, stems from a 2011 Sierra Club petition urging the EPA to initiate a rulemaking to redress the widespread problems.
The capital and largest city in the region, Puerto Natales, is a beautiful southern Chilean town -- an isolated and obligatory stop for tourists traveling to the Torres del Paine National Park. Voted the Eighth Wonder of the World by VirtualTourist, this site is one of Chile’s greatest points of pride and the reason that Natales is globally recognized. But despite Natales’ reputation as the hotspot in Patagonia, many inhabitants fear they are facing their last hope. Environmental pressures from coal mining and both legal and illegal salmon farms are endangering the natural wonders that make this a tourism hotspot.
Growing up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, I witnessed the effects of climate change and pollution directly. Every year, I saw tides of the Miles River creep closer and closer to my doorstep; I witnessed shorelines being washed away; I sat and listened as teachers, skipjacks, and waterman talked about the number of dead zones in the Bay rising, and the number of oysters diminishing; and I watched defenselessly as the unique cultures of Smith, Tangier, and Poplar Island progressively wash away. I knew there needed to be change, and Loyola’s campus seemed like a good place to start.