NRDC Golden State Newsletter June 2015, Vol 1, Issue 86
NRDC's Annie Notthoff, Joel Reynolds

As California settles in for a hot, dry summer, the federal government just took a huge step with a new clean water standard. On May 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect all tributaries with signs of flowing water, including western vernal pools in California. NRDC and our partners have been fighting for these safeguards for more than a decade, after two Supreme Court decisions and agency policies during the Bush administration made it more difficult for federal and state agencies to protect our waterways. We are making progress here in California a new report released by the State California Water Resources Control Board shows urban residents did a better job of conserving water in April. Good news that comes at a critical time.


Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director
Joel Reynolds, Western Director

Alameda County Prescription Drug Ordinance Upheld

Prescription drug ordinance

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the constitutionality of an Alameda law requiring pharmaceutical companies to pay for or operate public education and disposal of unused, expired prescription drugs. NRDC submitted an amicus brief in this case in early 2014 when the case was pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The law — intended to protect people from accidental ingestion of unused or expired pills, as well as to prevent water contamination from improper drug disposal in sinks, toilets, and landfills — will now predictably expand elsewhere. Despite Big Pharma's attempts at dismantling the law, the courts determined that the regulations were constitutional. This means that the county ordinance enacted in 2012 remains in full effect.

NRDC's California Leaders are Pioneers in Advocacy

Adrianna Quintero and Annie Notthoff

We are fortunate to have the best and the brightest working on our team. Last month two of NRDC's California leaders — Adrianna Quintero and Annie Notthoff — were recognized for their boldness and dedication to the movement. As our director of partner engagement Adrianna works on the front lines of coalition building and community involvement — she understands that we are stronger when we work together and was named one of "10 Leaders Who are Reshaping the Environmental Movement." There really are no adequate words to describe the volume and breadth of work that Annie Notthoff has championed over the years, but the California League of Conservation Voters did its best to underscore how impactful Annie has been in our golden state and across the nation as an unparalleled advocate for positive change by bestowing upon her its Environmental Leadership award. Many thanks to both of these strong and wonderful female pioneers in advocacy.

California Does it Again: State Advances Bold Climate Legislation

Bold climate legislation

This month, the California State Senate advanced new bills to establish a bold new climate agenda for the Golden State. The Senate approved twelve measures in an unprecedented package of progressive policies that build on Californians' overwhelming support for their state's current efforts, under the banner of the Global Warming Solutions Act. Senate President Kevin De León captured the sentiment with a nod to Nelson Mandela and California's long track record of proving clean energy naysayers wrong, noting "it always seems impossible until it's done. Let's get it done. Let's continue to lead the world."

NRDC Attorney Sets Sights on National Action on Antibiotics

Mae Wu

Staff Attorney Mae Wu is committed to protecting our drinking water quality, removing toxic chemicals from consumer products and ensuring the better regulation of pesticides. Mae is working on one of the greatest threats to public health in the U.S., the misuse of antibiotics in raising livestock. While making progress, there is a rising tide of companies changing their antibiotics use policies, responding to the public's demand for these changes. A NRDC poll conducted in California this month shows that Latinos (85%) and women (88%) are still concerned, with 80% overall voicing concern over the use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock production; clearly an issue that Californians care about. A White House responsible antibiotics purchasing memorandum announced earlier this month hasn't met the mark as far as Mae's concerned, but she says "Hopefully, this forum gave the administration and companies the push needed to make real, meaningful changes to how we use antibiotics in raising livestock, so that we can preserve these important life-saving medicines." Mae studied chemical engineering at Rice University, received her law degree from Duke University School of Law and a Master's degree in environmental policy from the University of Cambridge (UK).

© 2015 Natural Resources Defense Council

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