Take Action

Working together, we can make a difference -- below are lots of examples of what we've accomplished with your help. And although we can't celebrate a victory in every case, we know you're in the fight with us for the long haul -- so thank you and keep up the good work!

New strict pollution limits will aid Chesapeake Bay's recovery

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In November 2010 you sent more than 6,000 comments urging the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a strong, legally enforceable cleanup plan for the troubled Chesapeake Bay. On December 29, 2010, the agency announced the largest water pollution strategy plan in the nation, spelling out steps that six states and Washington, DC must take to put the bay on the path to recovery. The plan limits how much pollution can flow into the Chesapeake each day from farms, sewage treatment plants, and urban and suburban areas. Thanks (and congratulations!) to everyone who helped win these historic protections for America's largest estuary.

GE to finally complete cleanup of toxic PCBs from Hudson River

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The saga of attempts to compel General Electric to remove the toxic PCBs it dumped into the Hudson River over the course of 30 years is a long one: we first asked activists to contact the Environmental Protection Agency about this issue in March 2001. Almost 10 years (and tens of thousands of messages) later, success is finally at hand. On December 17, 2010, the EPA announced its requirements for the final phase of the cleanup, and a week later GE agreed to the terms of the plan and committed to finishing the job. The final plan is a compromise that gives significant concessions to GE but will nevertheless result in major improvements in the health of the river. Thanks to everyone who took action over nearly a full decade, we can now look forward to a day when the river's fish are once again safe to eat and the Hudson is restored to its full glory.

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California adopts plan to lead in emerging clean energy economy

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In December 2010 we asked Californians to urge the state's Air Resources Board to strengthen and adopt California's new, precedent-setting carbon market program, a key part of the state's policy to reduce pollution, fight global warming and propel us toward a clean energy economy. We're extremely pleased to report that, on December 16, 2010, the board approved the program by a 9-1 vote, and also ordered staff to examine the issues that we raised and report back in six months. Thanks to everyone who helped achieve this important victory.

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New marine protected areas a welcome gift to California's seas

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In December 2010 we also asked Californians to urge the state's Fish and Game Commission to adopt strong marine protections for California's south coast. Once again your messages helped produce a positive result: on December 15, 2010, the commission approved a network of protected ocean areas stretching from Santa Barbara County to the Mexican border. The new network, expected to take effect during the summer or fall of 2011, is an exciting and much needed investment in restoring the most heavily used part of the state's oceans, and a legacy for future generations -- thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!

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New York is first state to impose moratorium on dangerous "fracking"

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Throughout 2009 and 2010 New York activists called on state officials, including Governor Paterson, to suspend new industrial gas drilling -- especially drilling that uses dangerous new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" -- in areas where drilling activities could contaminate the state's drinking water supplies. On December 11, 2010, the governor issued an executive order imposing a partial moratorium on fracking until at least July 2011. The order, however, is not as strong as a full moratorium approved overwhelmingly by the state legislature, because it does not apply to the fracking of vertical wells in shale formations; it will be up to incoming Governor Cuomo to close the loophole. We'll be sure to keep New Yorkers posted; in the meantime, thanks to all of you who contacted Governor Paterson and other state officials about this issue.

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California voters affirm state's commitment to clean energy

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Proposition 23, the "Dirty Energy Proposition" on California's state ballot, was decisively defeated by a 61 to 39 percent margin on November 2, 2010. This victory brought together people from every part of the state, and from across the political spectrum, who all saw Prop. 23 for what it really was: a ploy by a few out-of-state oil companies to stop our progress toward a clean energy future. In defeating Prop 23, California voters made it clear that they want to continue to build a strong economy, create jobs, clean up our air and end our addiction to dirty energy. Thanks to everyone who voted to protect California's health and environment!

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Cleaner cement factories coming soon

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In the summer of 2009 thousands of you sent official comments urging the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt strong new standards to reduce toxic pollution from the nation's cement plants. We're happy to report that on August 9, 2010, the EPA issued its final rule, which goes into effect in 2013. The new standards will reduce mercury and other pollution from cement plants by up to 92 percent. This means cleaner air for communities, and safer fish in our nation's lakes and streams. Thanks so much (and congratulations!) to everyone who helped achieve this major victory for America's health and environment.

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New national policy will restore and protect ocean ecosystems

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During 2009 and 2010, you sent tens of thousands of comments urging the Obama administration to establish the nation's first-ever comprehensive policy for our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. We are thrilled to report that on July 19, 2010, President Obama signed an executive order to do exactly that. Just as we have a Clean Water Act for our water and a Clean Air Act for our air, we now have a national policy for our oceans that will help better protect, maintain and restore ocean ecosystems. Our oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes are valuable economic engines providing jobs, food, energy resources, recreation and tourism, and the administration's ground-breaking action will help ensure that our oceans are better managed to meet the needs of present and future generations. Thanks to everyone who took action, and congratulations on this remarkable victory!

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First U.S. offshore wind farm approved

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In April 2010 we asked you to urge the Obama administration to give final approval to Cape Wind, which would be America's first offshore wind project, located in federal waters off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. You sent more than 12,000 comments to the administration and we're thrilled to report that on April 28, 2010 (after a review process that had gone on for almost nine years), Interior Secretary Salazar announced the facility's approval. Not only will this help America begin developing offshore wind energy while protecting our ocean resources, it also paves the way for other facilities nationwide. Thanks to everyone who helped achieve this remarkable victory for clean energy!

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New water heater standards will save billions in energy

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In response to a February 2010 alert, you sent almost 10,000 comments urging the Department of Energy to strengthen its proposed efficiency standards for large water heaters. We are thrilled to report that the Energy Department listened, and on April 1, 2010, announced improved water heater standards that will save enough energy to power 15 million homes for a year. Americans will save money as well as energy -- about $600 over the lifetime of a new, efficient water heater (that's more than $10 billion saved over 30 years!). Thanks, and congratulations, to everyone who helped achieve this important energy efficiency victory.

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And that's just in 2010! See what else we've accomplished . . .

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For more than three decades, NRDC has fought successfully to defend wilderness and wildlife and to protect clean air, clean water and a healthy environment.
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NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

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