Policy Solutions: Reports & Issue Papers

All Reports & Issue Papers

Drilling in California: Who’s at risk?
Report
As new drilling and stimulation techniques, including fracking, are heralded as the key to unlocking a new oil boom in California, there is mounting evidence that these technologies, and the expansion of oil and gas development that they enable, threaten public health.
NRDC’s Second Annual Energy Report, 2014
Positive Energy Trends Bode Well for U.S. Security and the Economy
Report
For decades, America's energy news trended from bad to worse, beginning with the oil crises of the 1970s. However, NRDC recently conducted an exhaustive analysis that found a remarkable turnaround. Based on key economic, security, and environmental indicators, the state of the U.S. energy economy has never been better. And in an era of escalating Mideast turmoil and gyrating oil prices, this accumulated resilience could hardly be more timely.
Protecting the Mid-Atlantic's Deep-Sea Ecosystems
Fact Sheet
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which manages U.S. fisheries resources in the region, is currently developing a plan to protect deep-sea coral communities off the Mid-Atlantic coast from fishing gear damage.
Burning Trees for Electricity Will Accelerate Climate Change and Destroy Southern Forests
Fact Sheet
Power companies in the United States and Europe are expanding their use of trees, known as woody biomass, as a fuel source to replace fossil fuels. In the Southeast, the massive fuel needs of these energy companies could double logging rates and significantly increase carbon emissions, contributing to climate change at a time when we need to actively cut our carbon pollution.
Enviva’s Wood Pellet Mill in Ahoskie, North Carolina Threatens Endangered Ecosystems and Wildlife
Fact Sheet
Conversions of large coal-burning power plants to wood (co-)firing in Europe have resulted in the explosive growth of wood pellet exports from North America, most of which originate in the forests of the southern United States. Enviva, the South's largest exporter of wood pellets, currently leads this market and has some of the most biologically diverse and valuable forest ecosystems in the world in its crosshairs.
The Clean Power Plan: Building on Ohio’s Clean Energy Accomplishments
Report
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio have asked stakeholders to provide guidance on the draft Clean Power Plan, the assumptions that went into setting Ohio's target, and to provide information that the agencies should consider in preparing the state;s comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To that end, NRDC submits these comments on Ohio's carbon reduction opportunities under the Clean Power Plan.
America's Data Centers Consuming and Wasting Growing Amounts of Energy
Critical Action Needed to Save Money and Cut Pollution
Report
The explosion of digital content, big data, e-commerce, and Internet traffic is making data centers one of the fastest growing users of electricity in developed countries, and one of the key drivers in the construction of new power plants in some regions of the United States.
Regional Water Supply Solutions Generally More Cost-Effective than New Dams and Reservoirs
Fact Sheet
Investments in water conservation and regional water supplies (Integrated Regional Water Management, or IRWM) have consistently been far more cost effective and less environmentally damaging than investments in new, large reservoir projects in California.
The Truth About the Biomass Industry
How Wood Pellet Exports Pollute Our Climate and Damage Our Forests
Fact Sheet
Wood pellet exports from the United States nearly doubled last year, from 1.6 million tons in 2012 to 3.2
million tons in 2013, and are expected to jump to 5.7 million tons in 2015. More than 98 percent went to Europe, where they were destined for use in foreign power plants to help meet European renewable energy targets. This massive additional demand for logs now risks destroying ecosystems that can never be replaced.
Florida at an Energy Crossroads
How will the Sunshine State Comply with the EPA Clean Power Plan?
Report
Florida can seize the opportunity presented by the EPA's Clean Power Plan to respond to the challenge of climate change while taking advantage of its renewables and efficiency potential. By crafting a plan that finally begins to capture these untapped resources, Florida can create jobs, promote innovation in nascent industries, and become more resilient through the diversification of its energy system.
The Pinto Abalone Deserves Protection Under the Endangered Species Act
Fact Sheet
Listing the pinto abalone as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act will enable better enforcement of harvest bans, increased habitat protection, and other conservation measures that are essential to save this West Coast treasure from extinction.
Sustainability Certification for Biofuels
Report
Large fuel purchasers are increasingly turning to biofuels to improve their environmental performance. These efforts are well intentioned but warrant caution. While biofuels can certainly provide environmental benefits, they can also cause severe damage if produced unsustainably, because biofuel feedstocks are inextricably linked to land, water, and wildlife.
The Dusky Shark Should be Listed under the Endangered Species Act
After decades of fishing, the dusky shark is now a species on the brink.
Fact Sheet
The northwest Atlantic dusky shark population, the population that lives primarily in U.S. waters, has dropped to between 15 percent and 20 percent of its 1970 level. Despite a more than 10-year-long ban on U.S. recreational and commercial fisheries retaining dusky sharks, the region's population has failed to recover. The dusky shark's highly depleted status in the northwest Atlantic requires strong action now.
Your Guide to More Efficient and Money-Saving Light Bulbs
Fact Sheet
In 2007, Congress passed minimum energy efficiency standards for everyday light bulbs that will reduce consumers' energy bills by $13 billion per year, or $100 per household per year, and save 30 power plants worth of electricity annually once the standards are in full effect. These standards do not ban incandescent light bulbs -- they simply require them to be more efficient and go into effect in stages.
8 Things We Hate About Summer are Getting Worse with Climate Change...And What We Can Do About Them
Fact Sheet
Along with all that we love about summer, the dog days are also increasingly bringing extreme heat waves, bad air days, ticks, poison ivy, foodborne illnesses, risky swimming and ruined park visits, and so on. They will get worse unless we take serious actions to combat climate change, because carbon pollution is driving up temperatures, supercharging these summer hazards.
It Could Happen Here: The Exploding Threat of Crude by Rail in California
Fact Sheet
In the rush to transport land-locked unconventional new crude oil sources, old rail lines running through communities across America are now rattling with thousands of cars filled with crude oil. Federal regulators have few safeguards in place to protect communities and the environment from accidents, spills and explosions resulting from the race to move millions of barrels of crude by rail.
Using State Revolving Funds to Build Climate-Resilient Communities
Issue Paper
Communities must proactively plan for climate change-related risks and implement flexible and sustainable solutions to protect public health, the economy, and the environment. There are several existing funding programs that can be used to make communities more resilient to a changing climate. State Revolving Funds provide critical support for a variety of water and wastewater projects, including drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities and stormwater pollution management.
Successfully Rebuilding American Fisheries Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act
Fact Sheet
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is working to protect and rebuild America's ocean fish populations. Rebounding fish populations create jobs, support coastal economies, repair damaged marine ecosystems, provide increased recreational fishing opportunities and supply fresh, local seafood.
Big Fuel Savings Available in New Trucks
Strong standards can reduce freight truck fuel consumption by 40 percent
Fact Sheet
New federal fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which will be implemented in two phases, can dramatically reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from trucks on the nation's roads. Strong standards can improve our energy security and cut heat-trapping emissions while saving money for truckers and fleets.
The Latest-Generation Video Game Consoles
How Much Energy Do They Waste When You’re Not Playing?
Issue Paper
The newest game consoles are on track to consume as much electricity each year as all the homes in Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country, and cost consumers more than $1 billion to operate annually. Most of that energy will be consumed in the middle of the night, when the console is in standby mode.
Cleaner and Cheaper: Using the Clean Air Act to Sharply Reduce Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants
Issue Paper
Climate and energy experts at NRDC have crafted a groundbreaking proposal that will help the Administration create jobs, grow the economy, and curb climate change by going after the country's largest source of climate-changing pollution: emissions from hundreds of existing power plants.
New Carbon Pollution Standards Can Save American Households $13 Billion on Electric Bills, Create 274,000 Jobs
Climate Action Delivers Major Economic and Health Benefits
Fact Sheet
Leading scientists makes it clear that all Americans have an obligation to address climate change now, chiefly by reducing the carbon pollution fueling changes we're already seeing. In doing so, we can reap substantial benefits to our economy while protecting future generations. Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. EPA is moving now to curb power plant carbon pollution, which makes up 40 percent of our nation's total carbon footprint.
Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the U.S., 2014
Report
The Benchmarking project uses public data to compare the emissions performance of the 100 largest power producers in the United States, and discusses market trends affecting the electric generating sector, including trends in fuel prices, technology developments, and environmental regulations.
Proceed with Caution: California’s Drought and Seawater Desalination
Issue Paper
Some observers wonder whether the long-term answer to California’s drought lies in the ocean through the
promotion of seawater desalination. This paper offers an overview of the science and policy related to seawater desalination and demonstrates why this option is generally the least promising option for drought relief.
Columbus, Ohio Metropolitan Area Trends, Preferences, and Opportunities
2010 to 2030 and to 2040
Report
The most influential drivers of the form, location, and nature of development in metropolitan Columbus since the 1970s are undergoing fundamental changes. Understanding these new drivers and their implications for the built environment, and planning for and shaping the regions' growth in recognition of these new drivers, may be major factors in determining the area's future economic competitiveness.
Generally Recognized as Secret
Chemicals Added to Food in the United States
Report
Based on a law passed in 1958, chemical manufacturers routinely take advantage of the "GRAS exemption", a loophole meant for obvious situations in which a chemical's use was "generally recognized as safe." The industry uses the exemption to make their own decisions that their newest chemicals are safe, often without so much as notifying the FDA -- and putting consumers' health at risk.
Foster Farms Spread Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria around the Nation, Sickening Hundreds
Fact Sheet
In 2013, the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked Foster Farms, the sixth largest chicken producer in the country and the largest chicken company in the Western U.S. to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg. According to the CDC, 524 people from 25 states and Puerto Rico have become ill since March 2013.
California Snowpack and the Drought
Fact Sheet
Snowpack, vital to California's water supply, has long replenished the state's reservoirs naturally in advance of the dry summer and fall months. Snowpack normally provides one-third of the water used by California's cities and farms each year. But if drought conditions persist, 2014's April snowpack measurements could be among the lowest since state snow surveys began in 1930.
Economic Opportunities of Cutting Carbon Pollution and Climate Change
Fact Sheet
The president has laid out a comprehensive National Climate Plan to curb pollution, expand clean energy, and make our communities more resilient. The plan also presents a tremendous economic opportunity for businesses, communities, states, and our country.
California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story
Saving Billions of Dollars and Curbing Tons of Pollution
Fact Sheet
California's long, bipartisan history of promoting energy efficiency -- America's cheapest and cleanest energy resource -- has saved Golden State residents more than $65 billion, helped lower their residential electricity bills to 25 percent below the national average, and contributed to the state's continuing leadership in creating green jobs.
Help Protect Our Ocean for the Future
Fact Sheet
The Mid-Atlantic States' ocean waters face growing challenges, from pollution to loss of habitat and sometimes competing industrial uses. The offshore waters serve as migratory corridors for much ocean life, including endangered North Atlantic right whales, sea turtles and many fish species, yet they are an increasingly busy place.
California’s New Recycling Goal is a Green Jobs Creator
Achieving 75 percent recycling in California could produce more than 110,000 jobs.
Report
California already leads the nation in green jobs creation, and increasing recycling and the industry that supports it will create even more jobs.
Preventing Hydrogen Explosions In Severe Nuclear Accidents
Unresolved Safety Issues Involving Hydrogen Generation And Mitigation
Report
After Fukushima Daiichi's three devastating hydrogen explosions, the NRC decided to relegate investigating severe accident hydrogen safety issues to the lowest-priority and least proactive stage of its post-Fukushima Daiichi accident response.
Did you know buying American seafood could save a whale?
The Killing of Marine Mammals in Foreign Fisheries
Report
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which requires that all imported fish or fish products be accompanied by proof that the technology used to land the catch does not kill or seriously injure whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals in excess of U.S. standards, has never been enforced by the federal government. Americans unwittingly consume foreign fish or fish products caught using techniques that needlessly kill a multitude of marine mammals each year.
Non-Lethal Methods to Prevent Conflicts Between Predators and Livestock
Fact Sheet
Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services program kills thousands of predators as a taxpayer-funded subsidy to the livestock industry, using controversial and inhumane methods such as poisons and aerial gunning. Wildlife Services largely ignores the many non-lethal ways to prevent conflicts between predators and livestock. In fact, a small, but growing number of ranchers are turning away from Wildlife Services’ “sledgehammer” approach and emphasizing non-lethal conflict-prevention techniques because they recognize that predators are an integral part of the landscapes where they ranch. Get document in pdf.
Stop Predator Poisons from Killing Wildlife and Harming Ecosystems
There's No Place for These Deadly Poisons on American Lands
Fact Sheet
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services' predator control program uses sodium cyanide and Compound 1080, two deadly and inhumane poisons that are dangerous to people and environmentally destructive.  NRDC is urging Wildlife Services to reexamine its predator control practices and end its use of sodium cyanide and Compound 1080.
Get document in pdf.
Solar Electric Energy for Your Stadium or Arena
A Guide to Help Professional and Collegiate Sports Teams and Venues Develop Successful On-site Solar Power Generation
Report
Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer recently distributed this solar development guide produced on their behalf by NRDC and Bonneville Environmental Foundation outlining the work necessary for each stadium to add on-site solar power generation to its energy mix.
The Green Edge
How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value
Report
Green infrastructure has been proven to help solve major urban stormwater problems and improve the health and livability of neighborhoods. Cities and others have promoted these practices to commercial property owners as a way to improve stormwater management and, in some communities, to reduce stormwater utility bills. But there is a wider range of benefits that these practices, when used on private property, can provide to commercial property owners and their tenants.
Cooling India with Less Warming
The Business Case for Phasing Down HFCs in Room and Vehicle Air Conditioners
Issue Paper
Choices made in the next few years will shape whether Indian consumers, companies and government authorities can turn the challenges of the room and vehicle air conditioning expansion into business advantage and national opportunity while reducing climate change, improving air quality, and making air conditioning more efficient and less costly to operate.
India: Addressing Climate Change and Moving Towards a Low-Carbon Future
Fact Sheet
India is becoming an economic powerhouse and a global leader. Despite the recent economic slowdown, India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5 to 7 percent is among the highest for large economies. To maintain this growth rate, India's energy consumption is projected to increase by 54 percent between 2011 and 2020. This rapid growth and the accompanying increase in greenhouse gas emissions raise national concerns about climate change. As it develops, India is moving to reduce emissions intensity to protect its people and environment. This fact sheet outlines the steps that India is taking to grow a low-carbon economy. Get document in pdf.
Rooftops to Rivers II
Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows
Report
This November 2011 report is a policy guide for decision makers looking to implement green stormwater strategies to stop water pollution at its source. It includes case studies of cities that have successfully used green infrastructure techniques to reduce runoff and combined sewer overflow (CSO) pollution to create a healthier urban environment.
The Dating Game
How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America
Report
The current system of expiration dates misleads consumers to believe they must discard food in order to protect their own safety. In fact, the dates are only suggestions by the manufacturer for when the food is at its peak quality, not when it is unsafe to eat.
List of NRDC's Post-Sandy Priorities for Governmental Action
Fact Sheet
This list summarizes NRDC's top ten priority issues one year after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the East Coast. Get document in pdf.
America’s Underwater Parks
The Marine Life Protection Act Safeguards Our Special Undersea Places
Fact Sheet
More than 130 years ago, the United States began to protect our most treasured areas on land by creating National Parks. Now, California has extended that kind of protection to special marine areas by creating underwater parks. In December 2012, the state completed a network of marine parks along its entire coast to help sustain and revitalize the rich web of ocean life. Get document in pdf.
Fulfilling the Rio+20 Promises
Reviewing Progress since the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
Report
The June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, also known as Rio+20, brought together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector for the most participatory and socially inclusive U.N. conference to date. Rio+20 built upon the commitments made 20 years ago at the first Earth Summit, held in Rio in 1992.
Evaluating Mercury Control Technologies for Coal Power Plants
Fact Sheet
Coal fired power plants may be able to achieve mercury reductions of 90 percent or more as a co-benefit of existing pollution control devices already used by the plant. Controls designed to remove other pollutants can remove a substantial amount of mercury under certain conditions. Get document in pdf.
Summary of Recent Mercury Emission Limits for Power Plants in the United States and China
Fact Sheet
Both China and the United States have adopted landmark standards to curb mercury emissions among other pollutants as well from power plants, addressing the largest global source of mercury air pollution. Globally, coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions, with China and the United States contributing a significant portion. In China, power plant emissions standards are expected to deliver mercury reductions in 2015, mainly through controls for other air pollutants, but nevertheless significant. In the U.S., significant mercury reductions are expected from coal-fired power plants beginning in 2016. Get document in pdf.
Implementation of the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act
70% of California’s Irrigation Districts Fail to Complete Required Agricultural Water Management Plans
Issue Paper
Irrigated agriculture is important to California, and draws upon roughly 80 percent of the state's developed water supplies. The industry produces diverse and important commodities, and employs thousands of people across a broad swath of the state. In recognition of its importance, the Agricultural Water Management Planning Act requires large irrigation districts to create comprehensive plans for their water futures.
Soil Matters
How the Federal Crop Insurance Program should be reformed to encourage low-risk farming methods with high-reward environmental outcomes
Issue Paper
The Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) is meant to protect farmers in times of weather-related devastation. As climate changes and the harsh realities of extreme weather slam the countryside, federal crop insurance, intended to alleviate risk for farmers, actually drives the agricultural community toward riskier methods and creates less resilient land by encouraging a narrow set of farm practices.
Saving Our Seas
Protecting Our Oceans for the Future
Fact Sheet
Healthy oceans are essential to our survival. They provide food, jobs, and recreation that we rely on. They create the very air we breathe. But our oceans and coasts are facing innumerable threats -- from overexploitation and pollution to ocean acidification and invasive species -- and need urgent attention. The new National Ocean Policy, adopted by President Obama in July 2010, improves the way we manage our oceans, reducing duplicative efforts and conflicting government actions, and focusing attention on the most serious issues jeopardizing ocean health. We must ensure that sufficient funding is dedicated to the National Ocean Policy to protect our oceans and coasts, and the communities and economies they support, for generations to come. Get document in pdf.
Bottled Water
Pure Drink or Pure Hype?
Report
A petition to the FDA and attached report on the results of NRDC's four-year study of the bottled water industry, including its bacterial and chemical contamination problems. The petition and report find major gaps in bottled water regulation and conclude that bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water.
Going in Reverse: The Tar Sands Oil Threat to Central Canada and New England
Report
Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. appears to be reviving a previous pipeline plan that would take tar sands oil to central Canada and New England. Under the plan, the pipeline would carry Canadian tar sands oil, the dirtiest oil on the planet, through some of the most important natural and cultural places in Ontario, Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Driving Commuter Choice in America
Issue Paper
A recent study by NRDC shows that Americans average close to three trillion miles on the road each year -- that's enough to travel to the sun and back 16,000 times. Personal transportation -- driving our cars, trucks and SUVs to and from work, school, shopping and recreation -- is responsible for about 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
Energy Saving Home Networks
Issue Paper
In 88 million homes across the United States, digital content flows through high-speed modems and routers, streaming our videos, pinging email into our inboxes -- and consuming 8.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. All of that energy comes with a $1 billion price tag as small networks guzzle power around the clock, even when our gadgets hibernate and we sleep.
Fulfilling the Promise of U.S. Offshore Wind
Targeted State Investment Policies to Put an Abundant Renewable Resource within Reach
Issue Paper
Offshore wind is an inexhaustible resource that lies just off our shores. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy's landmark study found that the United States could obtain 20 percent of its electricity from wind by 2030, and more than 15 percent of that wind power could come from offshore projects, totaling 54,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity.
Who Pays for Climate Change?
U.S. Taxpayers Outspend Private Insurers Three-to-One to Cover Climate Disruption Costs
Issue Paper
Despite the lengthy debate on the federal budget in Congress, climate change rarely gets mentioned as a deficit driver. Yet paying for climate disruption was one of the largest non-defense discretionary budget items in 2012.
Never Eliminate Public Advice!
Fact Sheet
With an emphasis on "smart from the start" federal decision making, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) protects our health, our homes, and our environment. Thanks to this law, hundreds of millions of Americans have participated in important federal decisions. We are able to know the risk a government project or practice could pose to our community or health because of NEPA -- and we are guaranteed a voice.
Combined Heat and Power Systems
Improving the Energy Efficiency of Our Manufacturing Plants, Buildings, and Other Facilities
Issue Paper
Improving the energy efficiency of our manufacturing facilities, buildings, and homes can help us meet our energy challenges affordably. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems are strong examples of how energy-efficiency technologies can help achieve significant benefits for end-user facilities, utilities, and communities.
Getting Climate Smart
A Water Preparedness Guide for State Action
Issue Paper
As climate change continues to alter historical temperature and precipitation patterns, it is critical that states develop comprehensive plans to address its challenges. NRDC's Getting Climate Smart: A Water Preparedness Guide for State Action is a guide to assist water managers and state governments as they ready themselves for wide-ranging changes for their communities and ecosystems.
Saving Money and Energy
Case Study of the Energy-Efficiency Retrofit of the Godrej Bhavan Building in Mumbai
Issue Paper
Historic blackouts across India in July 2012 revealed the severity of India's energy crisis. Looking ahead, scaling up energy efficiency promises to be the fastest, cheapest, and cleanest way to help meet India's energy demands. This case study highlights Godrej Bhavan, an iconic office building in South Mumbai, focusing on the strong business case for energy-efficiency upgrades or retrofits.
The High Cost Of Doing Nothing
Americans Already Are Paying Billions in a Climate Disruption Tax Amid Inaction on Climate Change
Fact Sheet
While policymakers in Washington debate what to do about climate change, it is already costing the American people tens of billions of dollars every year, and the costs are rising. In 2012, that price tag was especially high: Climate-related droughts, super storms, hurricanes, blizzards, heat waves, and wildfires in the United States killed 349 people and caused an estimated $139 billion in damages. Across the nation, more than 3,500 monthly weather records for heat, rain, and snow were shattered -- a new, all-time high. While it is difficult to tie individual extreme weather events to climate change, the science is unequivocal: the growing accumulation of carbon pollution ringing our planet turbocharges what once were just natural disasters. Now, their intensity is increasingly man-made.
A Major Opportunity: Preventing Runoff Pollution and Flooding
Fact Sheet
Runoff from streets and parking lots after it rains is a significant cause of flooding and a leading cause of pollution to our streams, rivers, and lakes nationwide. Communities across the country have proved that there are cost-effective solutions for ensuring clean water: green infrastructure has emerged as the most reliable and cost-effective path toward achieving clean water while providing multiple community benefits.
From Mutual Assured Destruction to Mutual Assured Stability
Exploring a New Comprehensive Framework for U.S. and Russian Nuclear Arms Reductions
Report
NRDC conducted two workshops, in Washington, D.C. in 2011 and in Moscow in 2012, with members of The Institute for USA and Canadian Studies (ISKRAN), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, to examine questions surrounding the future of U.S.-Russian arms control. Our goals were to describe a set of further arms control options and to facilitate a greater understanding of Russia's perspectives on its national security and how nuclear weapons fit into Russian security planning.
The 5 Stupidest Chemicals That Shouldn’t be in Your House
Fact Sheet
As you begin the annual spring cleaning purge, make sure that you aren't leaving behind a house filled with toxic chemicals that can harm you, your family, and your pets.
State Renewable Portfolio Standards Create Jobs and Promote Clean Energy
Renewable Portfolio Standards attract new industries, create jobs, and keep state businesses competitive, while encouraging development of renewable power like wind, solar, and biomass.
Issue Paper
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) move states toward clean, renewable energy by requiring that a percentage of a state’s electricity sold or generated must come from renewable sources within a certain time period. These statutes have enjoyed strong bipartisan support because of their proven ability to attract new industries, create jobs, and keep state businesses competitive, while encouraging development of renewable power like wind, solar, and biomass.
Spreading Like Wildfire
Oil and gas leases mean that fracking could occur on tens of millions of acres of U.S. lands
Fact Sheet
According to a new NRDC analysis, at the end of 2011, 70 of the largest oil and gas companies operating in the United States held leases covering at least 141 million net acres of American land -- an area approximately the size of California and Florida combined.
Bringing Back the Fish
An Evaluation of U.S. Fisheries Rebuilding Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
Report
Congress amended the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1996 to require that overfished ocean fish stocks be rebuilt in as short a time period as possible, not to exceed 10 years, with limited exceptions. As part of evaluating the success of these requirements, NRDC examined population trends of all U.S. ocean fish stocks that were subject to the requirements and for which sufficient information was available to assess rebuilding progress.
Creating Private Markets for Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Report
To turn back the tides of polluted stormwater, many cities are launching ambitious plans to develop green infrastructure -- effectively unpaving city land and using practices that help rain absorb and be better used near where it falls.
Between a Rock and a Dry Place
The Impact of Oil Shale Development and Climate Change on the Colorado River Basin Water Supply
Report
The re-emergence of a prospective oil shale industry as a potentially significant provider of hydrocarbon energy raises a host of challenges. This report explores one of those challenges -- oil shale development requires large quantities of water.
Climate Change and Water Resource Management
Adaptation Strategies for Protecting People and the Environment
Fact Sheet
From urban and agricultural water supplies to flood management and aquatic ecosystem protection, global warming is affecting all aspects of water resource management in the United States. Rising temperatures, loss of snowpack, escalating size and frequency of flood events, and rising sea levels are just some of the impacts of climate change that have broad implications for the management of water resources. Reducing the global warming pollution that causes climate change is a critical step we must take, but water resource managers and elected officials must act now to prepare for the impacts of the warming that have already occurred or are unavoidable. Get document in pdf.
In Hot Water: Water Management Strategies to Weather the Effects of Global Warming
Water Management Strategies to Weather the Effects of Global Warming
Report
Drought and dry conditions withering the western United States are likely to persist and intensify, jeapordizing the region's water supply and water quality, compromising the health of rivers and lakes, and increasing the risk of flooding for Western communities. This NRDC report breaks new ground by analyzing the effects of global warming on a full range of water management tools and offering recommendations to meet the challenge.
Out of the Gutter
Reducing Polluted Runoff in the District of Columbia
Report
Every time it rains, Washington, D.C., like most major cities, is plagued by stormwater runoff, which has gravely contaminated the city's three major rivers. To clean up the pollution, the city's Water and Sewer Authority is relying on costly and outdated stormwater management practices. In this July 2002 report, NRDC recommends instead that WASA adopt low-impact development, as well as other measures to encourage water conservation and the protection of sensitive lands. 
Pipe Dreams: Water Supply and Pipeline Projects in the West
Report
New water management strategies are needed in the West, and water managers face increasing challenges locating reliable water supplies. Some water managers are looking to water supply pipelines to meet the water demands. But these large-scale pipelines present challenges that should be carefully considered.
Seizing a Watershed Opportunity in the Chesapeake Bay
NRDC’s Plan to Clean Up the Chesapeake Bay and Its Beaches
Issue Paper
As the largest estuary in the United States, and the third largest in the world, the Chesapeake Bay is home to a wide range of wildlife and an important resource for millions of people who live, play, and work in the region. On the heels of reports from seven federal agencies commissioned by President Obama to clean up this national treasure, this paper delves into the sources of pollution that undermine the health of the Bay and provides recommendations for mitigating them.
Amend SB 315 to Protect Ohio’s Successful Energy Efficiency Standard
Fact Sheet
Ohio's energy efficiency standard is lowering electricity bills, cutting pollution, and creating jobs. By amending Senate Bill 315, we can encourage the development of the Combined Heat and Power and Waste Energy Recovery projects without diluting the successful energy efficiency standard. Get document in pdf.
Shedding New Light on the U.S. Energy Efficiency Standards For Everyday Light Bulbs
Fact Sheet
In 2007, the U.S. Congress adopted energy efficiency standards for new screw-based light bulbs. Beginning in 2012, these standards phase out the inefficient incandescent light bulb that dates back more than 125 years, and require new bulbs to use 25 to 30 percent less energy. As there are more than 4 billion screw-based sockets in the United States, the transition to more efficient light bulbs will provide massive national benefits. Get document in pdf.
Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
Helping California Break Its Addiction to Oil
Fact Sheet
The best solution to dealing with volatile California gasoline prices is to use less oil and encourage greater investments in cleaner, alternative fuels that help diversify our fuel supply. California's low-carbon fuel standard is one of the state's key measures developed to do just that.
Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States
Report
The winter sports industry is deeply dependent upon predictable, heavy snowfall, but climate change is expected to contribute to warmer winters, reduced snowfall, and shorter snow seasons. In order to protect winter -- and the hundreds of thousands whose livelihoods depend upon a snow-filled season -- we must act now to support policies that protect our climate, and in turn, our slopes.
Constructing Change: Accelerating Energy Efficiency in India's Buildings Market
Issue Paper
India is at a crossroads in its development path. India's building-occupied area is projected to skyrocket from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion in 2030. To keep pace, India's energy production must grow 6.5 percent per year from 2011 to 2017. Energy efficiency will be the cheapest, fastest way to close the energy demand and supply gap.
Concentrated Solar Power
Heating Up India’s Solar Thermal Market under the National Solar Mission
Report
Solar power can play a significant role in a secure and diversified energy future for India as the country becomes a hub for solar projects. More specifically, concentrated solar power (CSP) could have a unique role in India's energy mix. Its potential to use hybrid technologies and easily add storage could unlock dispatchable and base-load power, setting the stage for larger renewable energy penetration.
Doing More and Using Less
Regulatory Reforms for Electricity and Natural Gas Utilities Can Spur Energy Efficiency
Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency means lower bills, more jobs and less pollution. Legislators, regulators, and governing boards of publicly owned and cooperatively owned utilities should adopt policies to spur utilities to collaborate with their customers to take advantage of all cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.
A Bold Plan for Sustainable California Communities
A Report on the Implementation of Senate Bill 375
Report
Southern California, Sacramento, and San Diego have become the first three regions in America to adopt transportation plans specifically designed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, implementing California's landmark Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Law (Senate Bill 375), passed in 2008.
American Wind Farms
Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production
Issue Paper
Across America, the U.S. wind industry is exceeding expectations. This report offers a snapshot of this emerging trend, and points the way forward for a clean energy future. We must continue this momentum by promoting strong energy policies, beginning with an extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind energy, a crucial step towards building a strong, sustainable, market leading U.S. wind industry.
Fuzzy Math
Wildlife Services Should Improve Its Economic Analysis of Predator Control
Issue Paper
About 100,000 coyotes, bobcats, foxes, wolves, bears, and mountain lions are killed each year by Wildlife Services, a U.S. Department of Agriculture federal agency. Much of this lethal predator control program is partly justified by economic analyses that are often incomplete, and sometimes incorrect.
Saving Leftovers Saves Money and Resources
Fact Sheet

Feeding the U.S. population requires an enormous amount of land and resources. Yet 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes to waste. When the resources to grow that food are considered, this amounts to approximately 25 percent of all freshwater, 4 percent of the oil we consume, and more than $165 billion dollars all dedicated to producing food that never gets eaten. Reducing your own food waste is an easy way to trim down your bills and your environmental footprint.

Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill
Issue Paper
Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. Reducing food losses by just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food.
Environmental Risks with Proposed Offshore Oil and Gas Development off Alaska’s North Slope
Issue Paper
In August 2012, Royal Dutch Shell Oil (Shell) plans to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northern coast. This paper argues that drilling and related industrial activity would create an unacceptable risk of irreparable damage to this unique part of the planet and should be postponed until comprehensive research can be performed and a credible system for responding to spills is put into place.
A Greener Biofuels Tax Credit
The Path to Better Biofuels
Report
Next-generation biofuels have the potential to deliver better environmental performance -- reduced lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and farming practices that result in cleaner water and healthier soils -- with less impact on food and feed prices.
Hydraulic Fracturing Can Potentially Contaminate Drinking Water Sources
Fact Sheet
Communities across the country are concerned about the risks that oil and gas production using fracking poses to drinking water sources, and scientists and environmentalists are increasingly concerned about groundwater and surface water contamination that may be associated directly or indirectly with fracking. NRDC opposes expanded fracking until effective safeguards are in place.
When the Treatment is Toxic
Pesticides in Head Lice Prescriptions
Fact Sheet
Lindane--a dangerous insecticide--is often used in medication to treat head lice and scabies. The U.S. should adopt bans on lindane to protect the public and the environment. Get document in pdf.
Sources of Beachwater Pollution
Fact Sheet
Most beach closings and advisories are issued because beachwater monitoring has detected bacteria that indicate the presence of pathogens -- microscopic organisms from human and animal wastes that pose a threat to human health. The key known contributors of these contaminants are stormwater runoff, untreated or partially treated discharges from sewage treatment systems, discharges from sanitary sewers and septic systems, and wildlife. Get document in pdf.
The Impacts of Beach Pollution
Fact Sheet
Polluted beachwater makes swimmers sick and hurts coastal economies. Illnesses associated with polluted beachwater include conditions such as stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis. In addition to the health risks from polluted beachwater, economists have estimated that a typical swimming day is worth approximately $35 to each individual, so depending on the number of potential visitors to a beach, the "consumer surplus" loss on a day that the beach is closed or under advisory for water quality problems can be quite significant. Get document in pdf.
Testing the Waters 2013: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches
Report
NRDC's annual analysis of water quality and public notification data at coastal U.S. beaches found that the number of beach closing and advisory days in 2011 reached the third-highest level in the 22-year history of our report, totaling 23,481 days. More than two-thirds of closings and advisories were issued because bacteria levels in beachwater exceeded public health standards, indicating the presence of human or animal waste.
Governments Should Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies or Risk Lower Economic Growth, Delayed Investment in Clean Energy and Unnecessary Climate Change Pollution
Fact Sheet
Few concrete steps have been made to fulfill commitments by the G20 leaders in 2009, and more than 50 countries since, to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Although the G20 commitment was an important first step which led to a broader international coalition, the lack of a timeline and an organization that could monitor and assist countries in the implementation of their commitments has limited its practical effect on the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies. In fact, governments are expected to spend nearly three times more money subsidizing fossil fuels than they did in 2009. Get document in pdf.
The Price of Pollution Politics
Eight Companies Attacking Clean Air Standards… and the Toll on America’s Health
Report
A handful of companies are spending millions to finance an assault on clean air -- lobbying and litigating to block, weaken and delay clean air standards that would save lives and protect Americans' health from the power sector's dangerous and deadly air pollution.
India at Rio+20: Putting Commitments into Action
Fact Sheet
At the upcoming 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, India will join over 135 heads of state and thousands of representatives from governments, business, and civil society to discuss sustainable development and the green economy. As a rapidly growing economy that is tackling the pressing challenges of development, India can lead in commitments during the Summit and in their implementation afterward. Working with partners in India, NRDC recommends practical actions to integrate sustainability objectives with economic growth, aligning with India’s priorities to address climate change, energy, food, water, and managing urbanization. India’s leadership, in translating its commitments into actions, is critical to helping the world meet the challenges of building a green economy. Get document in pdf.
Looking Up: How Green Roofs and Cool Roofs Can Reduce Energy Use in Southern California
Report
This June 2012 report explores the ways green roofs and cool roofs can be used to address threats like runoff, water pollution, poor air quality and the heat island effect and to improve the sustainability of urban areas in Southern California.
Delivering On Renewable Energy Around The World
How Do Key Countries Stack Up?
Fact Sheet
At the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit -- Earth Summit 2012  -- countries, companies, cities, and individuals need to commit to increasing the amount of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, and wave power throughout the world, to 15 percent of total electricity by 2020 -- more than doubling what is predicted under current trends.
Poisoning the Great Lakes
Mercury Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants In the Great Lakes Region
Report
Mercury emitted into the air from coal-fired power plants is by far the leading man-made source of mercury in the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams of the region. The report analyzed pollution data to determine the top 25 mercury emitting power plants in the Great Lakes states, and the top three in each state.
Keystone XL: A Tar Sands Pipeline to Increase Oil Prices
Report
One of the most misunderstood issues surrounding the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is the project’s impact on U.S. gasoline prices. Pipeline supporters cite high gasoline prices as a reason to build the project. The truth is that Keystone XL is likely to both decrease the amount of gasoline produced in U.S. refineries for domestic markets, and increase the cost of producing it, leading to even higher prices at the pump. Get document in pdf.
New Rules in Massachusetts Offer Model for Rewarding Good Biomass
Fact Sheet
Power companies argue that because trees can grow back, they are a renewable and “carbon neutral” fuel source. This misconception is embedded in many existing renewable energy policies promoting biomass fuels uniformly for electricity production. Massachusetts, for example, realized that its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) regulations were rewarding power companies for burning whole trees, thus undermining efforts to invest in truly low-carbon energy sources. The Commonwealth chose to end this practice by putting in place smart standards to drive the market towards the best sources of biomass—the first standards in the world to set a performance requirement for biomass. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) hails Massachusetts’ new proposed biomass rules as a blueprint for how other states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can ensure that biomass-fueled energy reduces carbon emissions and protects our nation’s valuable forests. Get document in pdf.
Energy Productivity in Ohio
Efficiency Benefits to Power Jobs and the Economy
Issue Paper
Ohio has tremendous opportunity to improve its energy productivity and decrease the amount of money it sends to other states to import energy. Since the 2008 passage of bipartisan Senate Bill 221 that includes an energy efficiency portfolio standard, Ohio has already begun to realize increased productivity in the energy sector and across the larger economy.
Killer Summer Heat
Death Toll in U.S. Cities from Rising Temperatures Due to Climate Change
Report
Climate change is literally killing us. According to NRDC’s “Killer Summer Heat” report, more than 150,000 Americans will die by the end of this century due to the excessive heat caused by climate change. And that estimate only covers America’s top 40 cities.
Hansa Urbana’s Cabo Cortés Project in Baja California Sur
Investor Risk Advisory
Report
The Spanish developer Hansa Urbana intends to build a large-scale tourism and real estate complex called Cabo Cortés on the southeastern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Due to its proposed scope and scale, the project could result in irreparable harm to vulnerable protected areas and endangered species, as well as negatively impact local communities. Environmental and social sustainability is necessary not only for the protection of local ecosystems and communities, but also to ensure the long-term financial success of a coastal tourism project itself. Potential investors must be fully aware of the serious concerns and risks associated with Cabo Cortés. Get document in pdf.
Laying the Foundation for a Bright Future
Assessing Progress Under Phase 1 of India's National Solar Mission
Report
From tentative beginnings, India's solar energy market is picking up steam. From 17.8 megawatts (MW) in early 2010, cumulative installed capacity reached 506.9 MW at the end of March 2012. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (NSM or Mission), launched in 2010, has catalyzed much of this growth. Even with 300 sunny days a year in most regions, creating a new solar energy market in India is no easy task.
Sharing the Range
A Place for Wild Bison on Today’s Landscape
Fact Sheet
Tens of millions of wild plains bison once roamed the grasslands of North America, but the slaughter of the late 1800s so devastated the famous herds that at one time only a few dozen animals remained in the wild, tucked away in a remote valley in Yellowstone National Park. Though they have since bounced back from the brink of extinction, today the vast majority of bison in the United States are raised as livestock on private property. But there is great potential for restoring wild bison to the landscape, and living with bison is possible. The Natural Resources Defense Council believes it is time to recover bison as a wildlife species and give wild bison more habitat—room to roam in the American West. Get document in pdf.
Relieving Pain at the Pump
Thanks to Stronger Standards, Consumers Have More Fuel-Efficient Choices
Fact Sheet
As gas prices are once again soaring, the oil industry and its allies are renewing their calls for more drilling, more pipelines, and continued taxpayers subsidies. But the reality is that greatly increased domestic drilling has failed to lower gasoline prices and had no impact on stopping the latest spike in global oil prices. The good news is that with the proposed standards that require the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg), new cars by 2025 will get twice the fuel efficiency and use half of much gas as today’s cars. But the best news is that drivers do not have to wait until 2025 to reap the cost savings benefits of stronger fuel efficiency standards. In fact, thanks to the first phase of these stronger standards that started in model year (MY) 2012, a bumper crop of fuel-efficient cars are in the showrooms today. Drivers can start saving money immediately by trading in their gas guzzlers for today’s gas sippers. Get document in pdf.
In Fracking's Wake
New Rules are Needed to Protect Our Health and Environment from Contaminated Wastewater
Issue Paper
Natural gas development has exploded, fueled by advances in an extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Unfortunately, federal and state safeguards to protect people and the environment from the hazards of fracking have not kept pace.
Saving Energy in Server Rooms and Closets
Issue Paper
Energy waste in U.S. server rooms and closets represents the equivalent output of seven medium-size coal-fired power plants, costing U.S. businesses over $2 billion per year in unnecessary electricity.
The Gulf’s Dolphin Die-Off
Fact Sheet
Researchers found that bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, an area that was heavily exposed to oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, were underweight and anemic, with suppressed immune systems and signs of liver and lung disease. In this fact sheet, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) compares the new mortalities to prior strandings of Gulf dolphins and probes their connection to the BP spill.
Less Driving, More Saving
The Economic Benefits of Cutting Car Travel
Fact Sheet
The commonly held belief that more driving fosters economic growth is simply a myth. Fortunately, the fact that the two are not linked is good news for our pocketbooks, our commutes, and our environment. Efforts to cut driving and reduce traffic are most definitely good for the economy. When we look at efforts to both make our transportation system more efficient—using carpool lanes or more transit—and change land use to reduce theneed to drive—via transit-friendly development and walkable neighborhoods—we see that the economic benefits are significant. Get document in pdf.
Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline: Raising US Oil Prices
Fact Sheet
Although the White House rejected the presidential permit for Keystone XL in January 2012, pipeline backers have cited high U.S. gas prices as a reason to expedite pipeline approval for the section from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast. There is no credible evidence, however, that gas prices would decline if Keystone XL was constructed—especially not the southern segment. The truth is, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline could actually add to our nation's pain at the pump. Get document in pdf.
More Water, Less Waste
Improving Global Sanitation and Freshwater Access with Waterless Toilets and Rainwater Harvesting
Fact Sheet
Around the world, temperatures are rising and sources of freshwater are becoming increasingly unpredictable. Two and a half billion people already lack access to basic sanitation, and nearly one billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Adding to the problem, global warming is expected to lead to more floods and more droughts, both of which reduce the availability of safe, clean freshwater for drinking, sanitation, irrigation and other basic needs. Fortunately, there are technologies such as waterless toilets and rainwater harvesting that can be deployed immediately -- and cost-effectively -- to improve sanitation, protect existing supplies of freshwater, and create new sources of safe water. Get document in pdf.
Safe Water in Peril
Addressing the Effects of Global Warming on Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation
Fact Sheet
Nearly eight hundred million people do not have access to safe drinking water, and two and a half billion people live without adequate sanitation. These dire conditions already pose the greatest worldwide threat to environmental health, and global warming is making matters worse. More frequent, severe droughts and floods are increasing water shortages and causing widespread contamination and sanitation challenges. To avoid an outright global water catastrophe, local, national, and international leaders must urgently pursue a two-part strategy of reducing pollution to minimize further climate change and prepare vulnerable communities to deal with the changes in climate already in progress. Get document in pdf.
Water for the World
Solving the World’s Most Pressing Environmental Health Problem
Fact Sheet
For the nearly one billion people who don't have access to it, clean water is the world's most pressing problem. Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation is the single largest cause of illness in the world, contributing to the deaths of 2 million people a year, the majority of which are children. The solutions to this global public health crisis are well-known and cost-effective, yet more than 780 million people are without clean drinking water, and approximately 2.5 billion lack adequate sanitation.2 In 2005, recognizing the urgency of the crisis, the United States passed the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, landmark legislation designed to address the need for global affordable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation. Get document in pdf.
The Role of Natural Gas in America’s Energy Mix
Fact Sheet
Our nation’s top energy priority must be the rapid expansion of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. These are the quickest, cleanest, and most sustainable solutions to meeting our energy needs, while curbing global warming and other serious pollution problems. As we work to increase renewable and more efficient energy, however, more damaging energy sources—including fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas—will continue to play a role in our energy mix. Because power plants burning natural gas produce less air pollution than coal-burning plants, in the near term natural gas can actually serve to diminish a number of public health threats caused by generating electricity. To achieve this, though, sound policies must be in place to make certain that natural gas is used to replace coal and minimize methane emissions—a potent global warming pollutant—and does not displace investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Americans from the Risks of Fracking
Fact Sheet
Natural gas development has exploded at break-neck speed in recent years, fueled by advancements in an extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—that has allowed the oil and gas industry to access previously out-of-reach reserves. Unfortunately, federal and state safeguards to protect people and the environment from the hazards of fracking have not kept pace. As a result, this development has proved dangerous, destructive, and polluting. This unbridled growth of fracking has allowed the gas industry to run roughshod over communities, leaving a host of serious impacts in their wake—from poisoned water wells, to contaminated rivers and streams, toxic air pollution and devastated property values in towns, and rural areas across the country. Get document in pdf.
Is Driving Driving the Economy?
Research Shows We Can Thrive More With Less Traffic
Fact Sheet
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has examined the connection between traffic and economic development. What is the relationship between America’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the amount Americans drive,or vehicle miles travelled (VMT)? The answer to this question is vital if we want to both revive a flagging economy and keep our air free of pollution. Fortunately, a look at recent trends and the relationships between VMT, GDP, and household income show that the amount we drive, in fact, does not drive economic growth. Get document in pdf.
Climate Change and Health Preparedness in India
Protecting Local Communities in Ahmedabad, Gujarat from Extreme Heat
Report
In light of predictions of increased temperatures, rising sea levels, and changing disease patterns in India, there is a pressing need for increased scientific research and strategies on climate adaptation, focused on public health for the most vulnerable populations. Extreme heat already threatens the health of local communities, who suffer dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope or heat stroke, and even heat-related death.
The Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Hinders Climate Change Progress
Fact Sheet
The proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would pump 900,000 barrels of extra-dirty oil daily through the fertile breadbasket of the United States to the Gulf Coast from where it can be exported overseas. The pipeline would hobble the steps the country is making in its ongoing battle against climate change. Americans are already experiencing the consequences of climate change, at home and in their pocketbooks, with more frequent and stronger storms, raging wildfires, and drought. The costs associated with extreme weather events due to climate change will only increase in the coming years. Tar sands will only make these consequences worse, while expanding dirty oil mining practices, discouraging investment in a clean-energy economy, and razing virgin Boreal forestland that has the natural capacity to store carbon. Get document in pdf.
Lurking in the Weeds: A Lawn Care Pesticide Threatens Health and is Poised to Get Worse
Fact Sheet
Despite dozens of scientific studies that link the toxic pesticide 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) to cancer and other health risks such as cell damage, hormonal interference, and reproductive problems, 46 million pounds of 2,4-D are applied to U.S. lawns, playgrounds, golf courses, and millions of acres of agricultural land every year. This toxic pesticide contaminates our air and water, finds its way into our homes where it poses a higher risk to children, and the use of 2,4-D could be on the rise if new genetically modified corn and soybean crops are approved. To protect the health of thousands of Americans, NRDC recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency restrict use of 2,4-D and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture not allow new 2,4-D Ready crops on the market. Get document in pdf.
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will hurt not help job creation in America
Fact Sheet
Proponents of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline are engaged in a major disinformation campaign in a desperate attempt to win approval for the 2000-mile pipeline though America's heartlands. Get document in pdf.
Better Bulbs, Better Jobs
Case Studies in Ohio's Energy-Efficient Lighting Industry
Fact Sheet
Ohio has long been a leader in manufacturing. Located within 600 miles of 62 percent of North America’s manufacturing locations, its strong workforce and proximity to markets have helped to make it a global leader in producing high-quality goods. While the economic downturn shuttered some of its factories, Ohio is seeing an economic resurgence in a newer industry: energy-efficient lighting. Responding to new federal lighting efficiency standards and the state’s energy efficiency resource standard, dozens of companies in Ohio, large and small, are inventing, manufacturing, and deploying better-performing, energy-efficient lighting solutions. These companies are creating much needed jobs, reducing energy bills for businesses and households, and cutting pollution that harms Ohioans’ health and safety. Get document in pdf.
Strengthening Toxic Chemical Risk Assessments to Protect Human Health
Issue Paper
The National Academy of Sciences' recommendations that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, should make several changes to strengthen their toxic chemical risk assessments have not been heeded. The public must be protected from diseases due to toxic chemicals in food, water, air, and consumer products.
Stopping the Massive HidroAysén Dam Project to Protect Patagonia’s Natural Heritage
Fact Sheet
Chile’s Patagonia is one of the last untouched regions left on the planet. Among its lush fjords, dense rainforests, snow-capped glaciers, and powerful wild rivers, local communities live with a rich traditional culture. Yet, this unspoiled region and its communities are threatened by plans for a massive hydroelectric complex called HidroAysén that would dam two of Patagonia’s largest and wildest rivers. HidroAysén’s environmental review was deeply flawed and the Chilean public is strongly against the project. The project is simply not a wise investment. Get document in pdf.
Reject the American Energy and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 7)
Fact Sheet
Republican leadership is hijacking a must-pass bill in order to advance an extreme agenda. Faced with a $75 billion gap in the transportation reauthorization bill, they are pushing the so-called American Energy and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 7), which vastly expands irresponsible oil drilling, and as a ploy says the revenues will be used to fund transportation. If enacted, H.R. 7 would, at best, produce less than 1 percent of the revenue needed to fund the transportation bill. This proposal would not create jobs. Rather, it would kill a transportation bill--the one true jobs bill Congress could pass this year even though there is a bipartisan approach moving through the Senate. Get document in pdf.
Financing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond
Report
Philadelphia encourages property owners to install green infrastructure techniques with a flagship stormwater billing structure. This report -- a joint product of NRDC's Water Program and Center for Market Innovation -- uses Philadelphia as a test case to explore how cities can attract billions of dollars in private investment in stormwater retrofits, saving on public infrastructure costs while cleaning waterways and greening communities.
Fighting Climate Effects: Protecting People from Extreme Heat in One of India’s Fastest-Growing Cities
Fact Sheet
Ahmedabad, one of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in India, experiences dangerously high daily temperatures for several months out of the year. Recently, the city experienced its most harsh heat wave season, with four months of extreme temperatures reaching 122° Fahrenheit (50° Celsius) in 2010. Although national programs exist to address many effects of climate change in India, the country has yet to implement strategies to adapt to the extreme effects of increasing heat. In response, NRDC and our on-the-ground partners, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPH), are working with city officials and leaders in Ahmedabad to protect people from the city’s extreme heat exacerbated by climate change. Get document in pdf.
Clean Water Saves Lives
Fact Sheet
Every day in the United States, most people walk a few feet to a clean and private bathroom, and turn on the tap: a flow of fresh, clean drinking water gushes out. At the same time, there are women and girls all around the globe who are not as fortunate. Women and girls are often responsible for collecting water for their families, a task that takes hours each day and can limit time for other things, such as school. Instead of turning on the tap, they have to make a dangerous trek of more than three and a half miles, on average, to gather water for their families. The water they collect, while desperately needed, is not always clean or safe for human consumption. When they need to use the bathroom, they often retreat to the forest or bush because there is no toilet available, which then contaminates the very water they are drinking. Get document in pdf.
NRDC Pesticides Team: Protecting Against Chemicals Designed to Kill
Fact Sheet
Long before organic foods were a staple product line for major grocers, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) was an advocate for pesticide-free products and dedicated itself to eliminating the unseen dangers of chemicals in our food. While we've achieved many successes, NRDC's Pesticides team continues to push the EPA to remove the most dangerous pesticides from the market and to educate consumers, food growers, and business leaders about sustainable alternatives. Get document in pdf.
Keystone XL Pipeline: Undermining U.S. Energy Security and Sending Tar Sands Overseas
How the Keystone XL pipeline robs America of an energy secure future
Report
The national debate surrounding the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has obscured the fact that a key purpose of the pipeline is to export Canadian oil to the world market via the U.S. Gulf Coast -- a plan that would threaten the farmlands and water of America's heartland.
Ready or Not: How Water-Ready is Your State or City?
Report
As climate change affects communities across the U.S., some states are leading the way in preparing for the impacts on water resources. These states are reducing carbon pollution and planning for climate change impacts. Yet many states are not acting and remain woefully unprepared. NRDC's first-of-its-kind state-by-state analysis examines climate preparedness levels in all states, revealing nation's best and worst.
Volumetric Wastewater Pricing
Volumetric pricing for sanitary sewer service in California would save water and money
Fact Sheet
Volumetric sewer pricing is the simple concept of billing a customer for the volume of water discharged to the sewer based on the water meter reading -- water the customer actually uses as opposed to a flat charge. The less water a customer uses, the less the bill will be.
Healthy Oceans Need Smart Planning
Fact Sheet
We demand a lot from our oceans -- from fishing and tourism, to shipping and energy development. These human uses and the environmental needs of the sea have been governed haphazardly -- overseen by more than 140 laws and 20 agencies, each with different goals and often conflicting mandates. But our oceans and coasts are stressed from problems like pollution, depleted fish populations, dying coral, endangered species, warmer temperatures and ocean acidification. If not carried out wisely, growing industrial use of these waters will lead to “ocean sprawl,” further threatening the health of our valuable marine resources and jeopardizing the food, jobs and recreation our oceans provide. By planning ahead for our human needs from the sea we can reduce conflicts and keep ocean waters and life healthy. Get document in pdf.
Why Liquid Coal Is Not a Viable Option to Move America Beyond Oil
Fact Sheet
The coal industry is touting a plan to transform millions of tons of coal into diesel and other liquid fuels -- an expensive, polluting process that also releases large quantities of heat-trapping carbon pollution into the air. Relying on liquid coal as an alternative fuel could nearly double carbon pollution per gallon of transportation fuels, and increase the devastating effects of coal mining felt by communities and ecosystems stretching from Appalachia to the Rocky Mountains. Get document in pdf.
HidroAysén's Environmental Impact Review
Weaknesses and Needed Solutions
Fact Sheet
Chile’s environmental review of large energy projects has been a repeated source of conflict for communities, companies, and the government. Large and harmful projects, such as the Bio Bio dams in the 1990s, the Barrancones coal plant in 2010, and the current proposed HidroAysén mega-dam complex in Patagonia, were evaluated under a fundamentally flawed system. This inadequate system does not conform to international standards and it often fails to fully assess the environmental impacts or improve the quality of projects. The Chilean parliament revised the environmental review law in late 2010 to address some of the most problematic issues. But these changes are limited and came too late for the controversial proposed HidroAysén dam project, which is fatally flawed and should not be built. Chile should further reform its environmental review system to bring it in line with international standards and reduce potential risk around future projects. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Nature's Treasures and Sustaining Livelihoods in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula
Fact Sheet
The Osa Peninsula is Costa Rica’s crown jewel of biodiversity, and truly one of the planet’s greatest natural treasures. Home to lush rainforests, breathtaking coastal landscapes, and rich tropical waters that shelter some of the world’s most spectacular biodiversity, the Osa has grown to be a model for small-scale ecotourism. Yet, the region is now at a critical juncture: increasingly, it faces threats from unsustainable land-use practices and large-scale tourism. The Osa Peninsula needs environmentally sustainable development that allows its local communities to thrive while protecting its unique natural values and sustaining biodiversity. Get document in pdf.
Don't Drill and Drive
Expanding Oil and Gas Drilling to Boost Transportation Funding Doesn't Add Up
Fact Sheet
There appears to be bipartisan support in Congress for reauthorizing surface transportation legislation in the coming year, however a major roadblock remains: Finding a way to pay for the infrastructure improvements that America so badly needs. The current tax on gasoline purchases cannot fully cover the costs of repairing and upgrading -- let alone expanding -- our country's vast network of bridges, roads and mass transit systems. Failing to efficiently move people and products around the country hurts America's economy and costs all of us time, money and patience. Recently, Republican leaders in Congress proposed filling the revenue hole in the Highway Trust Fund by using royalty fees from new oil and gas drilling. Linking the highway bill to expanded domestic energy production is not a sensible way to meet the nation's transportation needs. Get document in pdf.
Cabo Pulmo: Protecting Baja California's Thriving Coral Reef from Massive Tourism Development
Fact Sheet
Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, at the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, is home to the only living hard coral reef in the Gulf of California. Teeming with marine life, it is one of the healthiest marine reserves in the world. But Spanish developer Hansa Urbana plans to build a colossal tourism and real estate complex right next door, which would devastate the park's fragile ecosystem. To protect the reef and its marine life, NRDC is partnering with local and international groups in a multi-faceted campaign to stop Hansa Urbana and create a sustainable, long-term development plan for the area. Get document in pdf.
Capturing Rainwater from Rooftops
An Efficient Water Resource Management Strategy that Increases Supply and Reduces Pollution
Report
Many communities in the United States face serious threats to a safe, steady supply of water, including the reliance on centralized water delivery systems, the unnecessary use of potable water for non-potable uses, and increasing areas of impervious surfaces that allow stormwater runoff to carry pollution into waterways. Although the problems of water supply and water pollution can be complex, practical solutions are available now.
Rooftops to Rivers
Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows
Report
This May 2006 report is a policy guide for decision makers looking to implement green stormwater strategies to stop water pollution at its source. It includes nine case studies of cities that have successfully used green infrastructure techniques to reduce runoff and combined sewer overflow (CSO) pollution to create a healthier urban environment.
Health and Climate Change: Accounting for Costs
Fact Sheet
Climate change endangers human health, and costs us money in both lost and interrupted lives and increased health care. In a study published in the journal Health Affairs, a team of scientists from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) partnered with university economists to investigate the health costs of six climate change-related events, and found the estimated costs totaled more than $14 billion.
Birds at Risk
The Importance of Canada's Boreal Wetlands and Waterways
Report
This report looks at three natural areas in the boreal forest that are critical for birds, but that are coming under pressure from industry, hydropower, and climate change. We discuss some strong policy steps governments must take in order to protect the watery forest and the great biodiversity of birds it supports.
The Proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Why Mayors Are Challenging This High Carbon Project
Fact Sheet
As conventional sources of oil decline, oil companies are focusing on exploiting sources that are more destructive to extract and result in higher greenhouse gas emissions. The leading source of "higher carbon" oil is tar sands -- or bitumen -- that is strip-mined or drilled from deep under Canada's great Boreal forest. Currently, the United States imports approximately one million barrels of tar sands per day from Canada, but the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would lock the country into nearly another million barrels per day of this risky, high-carbon fuel. Mayors from all regions of the country are challenging this project and its potential for undermining local community efforts to move toward a healthier and more sustainable clean energy future. Local communities are at the forefront of reducing U.S. demand for oil and know that we have cleaner choices for our transportation needs than tar sands oil. Get document in pdf.
The Chemical Industry Delay Game
How the Chemical Industry Ducks Regulation of the Most Toxic Substances
Report
For decades, the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to protect the public from health risks of hazardous chemicals have been hindered by chemical companies and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the main law used to regulate chemicals in the United States.
U.S. Latinos and Air Pollution
A Call to Action
Report
Air pollutants surround us wherever we are. On a daily basis, we are exposed to carbon, lead, nitrogen oxides, ozone, soot, and hundreds of other air pollutants emitted from our cars, factories, power plants, and heavy machinery. At certain levels, many of these pollutants become highly harmful to human health, and Latinos are especially vulnerable because they live in regions with the worst air contamination.
After the Storm
How Green Infrastructure Can Effectively Manage Stormwater Runoff from Roads and Highways
Report
Stormwater runoff from roads and highways pollutes and erodes our nation's water bodies, imposing health, financial, and environmental costs on local communities. These costs can be avoided or significantly reduced by ensuring that our roadways incorporate runoff controls that retain stormwater onsite. Green infrastructure, in particular, is an especially effective method for retaining stormwater that also generates a wide range of economic and social benefits beyond improved water quality. To ensure that these benefits are enjoyed by communities across the United States, legislative and administrative decision makers at the federal and state levels should provide incentives and requirements for these controls to be implemented at all road and highway facilities.
Integrated Building and Tenant Space Case Study
Skanska and The Empire State Building
Fact Sheet
Skanska USA undertook an extensive build-out of their flagship New York City office in 2008 by moving to a new space that focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. This resulted in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating, the first for Skanska offices in the United States, and the first of any office space in the Empire State Building (ESB).
Forests Not Fuel
Burning Trees for Energy Increases Carbon Pollution and Destroys Our Forests
Fact Sheet
Forests purify our air and water, control soil erosion, foster biodiversity, provide habitats for wildlife, and serve as carbon "sinks", absorbing and storing vast amounts of carbon. Power companies, facing pressure to find alternatives to fossil fuels like coal, are increasingly proposing to burn whole trees for energy instead, which would not only emit a lot of carbon, but also destroy one of our best defenses against global warming.
Saving Energy
Taking Building Efficiency to New Heights
Fact Sheet
Efficiency is everywhere, but it is an invisible resource and often underutilized. Energy efficiency is the fastest, cleanest, and cheapest way to meet energy needs -- India alone could save $42 billion each year by largely improving energy efficiency in buildings, which currently consume more than 30 percent of the country's electricity. With a projected skyrocketing increase in building-occupied area in India, from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion by 2030, any building constructed without optimizing efficiency represents a lost opportunity to lock in energy and cost savings for decades. Get document in pdf.
The Facts about Light Bulbs and Mercury
Fact Sheet
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use about a quarter of the electricity used by traditional incandescent light bulbs. This reduces energy costs for consumers and eliminates some of the mercury emissions caused by generating electricity. CFLs, however, do contain a small amount of mercury, which has led to questions about their safety. The Natural Defense Resources Council (NRDC) has carefully studied the issue, and has concluded that the use of CFLs actually decreases the amount of mercury released into the environment. As a result, CFLs are the right choice for people concerned about both their health and their energy bills. Get document in pdf.
Supplying Ingenuity
U.S. Suppliers of Clean, Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies
Report
Emerging from recent economic turmoil, the United States automotive industry is again profitable. Consumers are demanding cars and light trucks that go farther on a gallon of fuel, and the industry is meeting those demands by adding technologies that improve fuel economy and cut carbon pollution.
Science-Based Catch Limits Are Essential To Healthy Fisheries
Fact Sheet
Chronic overfishing has diminished the nation's fisheries for decades, at great economic and ecological costs. In 2006, a bipartisan majority in Congress took action to require fishery managers to set science-based annual catch limits (ACLs) to prevent overfishing, and accountability measures (AMs) to ensure fishermen stay within those limits. After years of efforts, and in time for the 2011 statutory deadline, fishery managers and their scientific advisors are now on the cusp of implementing these measures in every federal fishery in the country. As they approach the finish line, the Fisheries Science Improvement Act (H.R. 2304), has been introduced in Congress to weaken these requirements. Supporters of H.R. 2304 are promoting the legislation with false claims about the inadequacy of fisheries science to implement ACLs. Failure to implement science-based catch limits would derail efforts to stop overfishing and rebuild depleted fish populations to healthy levels. Get document in pdf.
Gasping for Air: Toxic Pollutants Continue to Make Millions Sick and Shorten Lives
Fact Sheet
Forty years of Clean Air Act programs have brought steady and life-saving improvements to our air quality. Despite this important progress, however, many fossil fuel power plants, boilers, and cement plants continue to treat our skies like sewers. From soot to toxic heavy metals, dirty coal and fossil fuel smoke stacks emit vast quantities of dangerous pollutants that are well known to cause disease and death. The total cost of these health impacts is more than $100 billion per year. Until stronger standards to reduce toxic emissions from coal and fossil fuel burning industries are implemented, harmful toxic chemicals will continue to be released into the air of our communities, threatening public health. Get document in pdf.
Great Lakes National Parks in Peril
The Threats of Climate Disruption
Report
Human disruption of the climate is the greatest threat ever to America's national parks. This report details the particular threats that a changed climate poses to our Great Lakes national parks -- those within the lakes or on their shores.
Better Light Bulbs Equal Consumer Savings in Every State
Fact Sheet
In 2007, Congress enacted new lighting efficiency standards. As long as Congress does not repeal the standards before they begin to take effect in January, they will save the average American household $85 each year and more than $12.5 billion nationally each year when fully implemented. Get document in pdf.
Protecting a Shared Future
Assessing and Advancing the Sustainable Management of the Great Lakes through Water Conservation and Efficiency
Issue Paper
The Great Lakes form the largest surface freshwater system on the Earth, containing nearly 20 percent of the world's and 96 percent of the United States’ total supply of fresh surface water. More than 40 million people depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water, fishing, recreation, and commerce, and more than 1.5 million U.S. jobs are directly connected to the region. Although the waters of the Great Lakes are vast, they are not inexhaustible.
Harnessing the Power of Science
India and the United States Collaborate to Create Opportunity for Breakthrough Clean Energy Research
Fact Sheet
In November 2010, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama launched the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC), a key, bilateral $100 million effort under the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE). NRDC and our partners in India--the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)--share the objective of making this funding opportunity a success. We are disseminating this information widely to help ensure that the highest caliber of talent in both countries is drawn into this grant opportunity. The success of the JCERDC model could lead to bigger collaborations between India and the United States to accelerate clean energy, and catalyze low-carbon solutions to address both our countries' energy security and energy access needs. Get document in pdf.
Better Viewing, Lower Energy Bills, and Less Pollution
Improving the Efficiency of Television Set-Top Boxes
Fact Sheet
More than 80 percent of U.S. homes subscribe to some form of pay television service. Transforming those signals into shows, movies, and sports on the screen currently depends on approximately 160 million set-top boxes. NRDC and Ecos partnered to better understand how much energy these boxes use and what energy savings opportunities exist. What we found was startling: In 2010, the electricity required to operate all U.S. set-top boxes was equal to the annual household electricity consumption of the entire state of Maryland, resulted in 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and cost households more than $3 billion. Fortunately, there is great potential for improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of operating these electronics relied upon by so many viewers.
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Protecting Bristol Bay
Saving America’s Last Wild Places
Fact Sheet
The cool, shallow waters of Alaska's Bristol Bay are surrounded by tundra, crisscrossed by rivers, and dotted with lakes large and small. Bears, wolves, seals, and whales flourish in this nearly untouched ecosystem, all drawn by the same lure: tens of millions of thrashing salmon, charging upstream to spawn. Huge salmon runs are the linchpin of this ecosystem, supporting valuable commercial fisheries, Alaska Natives, and a vast array of wildlife. Tragically, the whole system could be put at risk if giant mining companies are allowed to pursue their narrow interests. NRDC's BioGems program, dedicated to winning permanent protection for endangered wild regions across the Americas, is fighting to preserve this pristine ecosystem. Get document in pdf.
Fighting Oil Addiction
Ranking States' Gasoline Price Vulnerability and Solutions for Change
Issue Paper
To curb America's perilous addiction to oil, we need effective government policies that will increase the availability of efficient vehicles and clean fuels and that will promote smart growth and public transit. This November 2012 paper updates NRDC's research identifying the states that are most vulnerable to spikes in oil prices -- and those states that are doing the most to break their addiction to oil.
Chile's Clean Energy Future
Biomass, Biogas, Geothermal, Small Hydro, and Wind are Affordable Choices Now and Solar is Not Far Behind
Fact Sheet
Chile can meet its demand in the coming decades through a variety of "non-conventional renewable energy" (NCRE) sources and energy efficiency technologies supplementing its existing generation base. But this will only be possible if Chile strengthens its renewable energy and energy efficiency policies to remove existing barriers and more effectively promote these sectors.
Power Plant Cooling Water and Clean Water Act Section 316(b)
The Need to Modernize U.S. Power Plants and Protect our Water Resources
Fact Sheet
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of issuing standards for the use of cooling water at existing U.S. power plants. A draft rule was issued on March 28, 2011. A final rule will be issued by July 27, 2012. The country is long overdue for a clear, consistent national policy that protects waterways and helps move the nation toward cleaner, more modern and more efficient energy production by phasing out the environmentally destructive once-through cooling systems. Without national standards, the EPA remains in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and states continue to lack the political will, resources, and clout to impose use of better technologies on the power industry.
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Sidelining Safety: The FDA Fails to Protect the Public from Toxic Chemicals
Fact Sheet
When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was created more than 100 years ago, it was tasked with assuring the safety of human and animal drugs and our nation's food supply. In recent years, however, the FDA has been plagued by scandals: failing to protect patients from dangerous drugs and major recalls of contaminated spinach and eggs. Sadly, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger problem that jeopardizes the health of nearly every American. Get document in pdf.
Building a Brighter Future
Realizing Chile’s Potential to Become a Leader in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Fact Sheet
Chile's energy sector is at a turning point. It has enormous potential to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency to become a global leader. The country can take advantage of its remarkable and varied natural resources, as well as its expanding economy to foster growth in its  renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. Or Chile can continue to rely on conventionalenergy sources -- dirty fossil fuels and destructive large hydropower -- to meet the growing electricity requirements of its residents and industries. With the government projecting the national energy demand to double from 2010 to 2020 and triple from 2010 to 2030, the decisions Chile makes now will either unlock its potential for a diversified clean energy portfolio, or lock the country into a risky and polluting future. Get document in pdf.
The BP Oil Disaster at One Year
A Straightforward Assessment of What We Know, What We Don’t, and What Questions Need to be Answered
Issue Paper
It has been over a year since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded over a BP well, killing 11 workers and opening a gusher that spewed some 170 million gallons of toxic crude oil and 200,000 metric tons of methane gas into the Gulf of Mexico. The harm has been widespread—to the people, to the environment, and to the wildlife of the region. And we are only beginning to understand what the medium- and long-term effects may be. Our government and the oil and gas industry with whom we have entrusted a precious natural resource have both fallen short of delivering what our nation—and particularly the people of the Gulf—deserve. But it is within our power to change, to restore the Gulf, to make its people whole, and to make deepwater drilling safer while we work to reduce the need to put workers at risk drilling in deeper and more dangerous waters.
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The Road to Recovery
Investing in a New Transportation Policy
Fact Sheet
Our outdated national transportation policy poses a triple threat to the nationto our safety, to our energy and climate security, and to our economy. The current transportation law expired in 2009, and is due for a wholesale rewrite by the President and Congress. Now is the time to create a smarter, safer transportation network for the future, by repairing aging roads, rail lines and bridges, reducing our dependence on oil, and ensuring that our transportation dollars are invested in projects that bring the highest returns. NRDC recommends that Congress and the President work together to create a strong, coherent national transportation policy that will improve mobility, boost the economy, and protect the environment. Get document in pdf.
The Ecological Importance of Predators
Fact Sheet
Predators have profound effects throughout their ecosystems. Regrettably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services ignores the positive role that predators play in their surrounding habitat, and has a long history of persecuting predators, considered competitors for game animals and threats to livestock and agriculture. As a result, in many areas,large predators have been eliminated entirely and most of these species now occupy only a fraction of their historical distribution. Get document in pdf.
Why We Need Bees
Nature's Tiny Workers Put Food on Our Tables
Fact Sheet
Many people think of bees simply as a summertime nuisance. But these small and hard-working insects actually make it possible for many of your favorite foods to reach your table. From apples to almonds to the pumpkin in our pumpkin pies, we have bees to thank. Now, a condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder is causing bee populations to plummet, which means these foods are also at risk. Get document in pdf.
Climate and Your Health
Addressing the Most Serious Health Effects of Climate Change
Fact Sheet
Science shows that climate change will affect human health across the world. From diminished air quality and degradation of food and water supplies to increasing levels of allergens and catastrophic weather events, we will experience a number of worsening health threats during our lifetimes. Scientific understanding in this area is expanding rapidly, and urgent action is needed to help us avoid the worst of these effects. Get document in pdf.
Second Harvest
Bioenergy from Cover Crop Biomass
Issue Paper
Bioenergy made from sustainably harvested cover crops has the potential to build the country’s renewable energy portfolio while conserving resources and increasing farmers’ income.
Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks
Report
Tar sands crude oil pipeline companies may be putting America's public safety at risk. Increasingly, pipelines transporting tar sands crude oil into the United States are carrying diluted bitumen or "DilBit" -- a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable blend of thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate -- raising risks of spills and damage to communities along their paths. The impacts of tar sands production are well known. Tar sands extraction in Canada destroys Boreal forests and wetlands, causes high levels of greenhouse gas pollution, and leaves behind immense lakes of toxic waste. Less well understood, however, is the increased risk and potential harm that can be caused by transporting the raw form of tar sands oil (bitumen) through pipelines to refineries in the United States. Get document in pdf.
The Negative Impacts of Air Pollution on Latino Communities
Fact Sheet
Since 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has protected public health by setting and enforcing standards to protect the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. Currently, however, some members of Congress are seeking to stop the EPA from protecting public health, by rolling back existing laws like the Clean Air Act and blocking needed clean air protections. Research shows that Latino communities are often hit hardest by the health impacts of dirty air. Get document in pdf.
Working with Partners to Strengthen Environmental Leadership in Costa Rica
Fact Sheet

From protecting pristine natural areas such as the Osa Peninsula to advancing environmentally sustainable transportation and energy efficiency, NRDC is working with partners in Costa Rica to ensure access to world class best practices and international support and advocacy to meet the country’s carbon neutrality and biodiversity conservation goals.

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Say No to Tar Sands Pipeline
Proposed Keystone XL Project Would Deliver Dirty Fuel at a High Cost
Fact Sheet
The Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has proposed a tar sands pipeline that could bring as much as 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) of costly and polluting fuel to the U.S. Gulf Coast. This pipeline, called Keystone XL, will lock the United States into a dependence on hard-to-extract oil and generate a massive expansion of the destructive tar sands oil operations in Canada. In addition to the damage that would be caused by the increased tar sands extraction, the pipeline threatens to pollute freshwater supplies in America’s agricultural heartland and increase emissions in already-polluted communities of the Gulf Coast. Get document in pdf.
The Greening of U.S.-Indian Relations
A Review of Cooperation between the United States and India on Climate Change and Energy
Issue Paper
During his November 2009 state visit to Washington, D.C., Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh joined President Barack Obama in launching a Green Partnership between India and the United States to address climate change and clean energy. The Partnership has made remarkable progress, creating new relationships, structures, programs, and projects to provide a solid foundation for increased cooperation and commerce between the nations.
Latin American BioGems
Saving Special Wild Places and Wildlife
Fact Sheet
NRDC’s BioGems Initiative protects endangered wild regions and species throughout the Americas. In Latin America, NRDC has worked to preserve unspoiled ecosystems and threatened wildlife from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to Chile’s Patagonia, working in partnership with communities and organizations to eliminate threats and to find environmentally sustainable alternatives.
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Tracking Carbon with Transparency
Improving Accuracy and Accountability in the International Global Warming Agreement
Issue Paper
Having a strong, credible, and transparent system for tracking greenhouse gas emissions and the actions of a country is an essential building block of an effective international system to address global warming. This was a key issue at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 as it was agreement on the elements of the transparency and accountability in the final hours that enabled the full package to be agreed upon by key countries. Resolving important details about how these pieces would be implemented has been a central part of the ongoing global warming negotiations. Advancing progress toward robust measurement, reporting, and verification systems is an imperative for the Cancun Climate Summit.
Taking Energy Efficiency to New Heights
Analysis and Recommendations for the Buildings Sector from the Hyderabad Experience
Issue Paper
This report by NRDC and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) examines the significant energy efficiency potential of India's real estate sector through specific analysis of Hyderabad's commercial and high-rise building sector.
Nuclear Islands: International Leasing of Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Cycle Sites
Report
This journal article and slide presentation from NRDC's Nuclear Program describes the establishment of a new freestanding voluntary "International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Association" (INFCA) alongside the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to remedy known gaps in the prevailing nonproliferation regime.
The Florida Keys Response To the Gulf Oil Disaster
Stories Shared and Lessons Learned
Issue Paper
Oil spills can travel vast distances and even drilling that occurs hundreds of miles away in the Gulf of Mexico can have real impacts on the health of the protected places like the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Keys were at risk because the Loop Current that flows up into the Gulf of Mexico loops down along the western shore of Florida and then heads right along the Florida Keys before picking up the Gulf Stream and shooting along the Atlantic Ocean's shoreline. When oil started gushing, state, federal, and local officials in the Keys snapped into action. Citizens prepared for the worst. Thankfully, an unusual current -- dubbed the "Franklin Eddy" -- pinched off the Loop Current and kept the oil from reaching the Keys. One of the most environmentally sensitive island chains in America was spared oiling of its shores. Get document in pdf.
Getting Back on Track
Climate Change and State Transportation Policy
Report
With a comprehensive climate bill stalled at the federal level, many are turning to the states to make progress toward reducing carbon emissions. In Getting Back on Track, NRDC examines what states are doing to curb emissions caused by transportation, compares state transportation policy as it affects greenhouse gas emissions, and compares performance across the states.
Congress Must Protect Children from a Developmental Toxic: Bisphenol A (BPA)
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA). Produced at more than 2 billion pounds per year, BPA has found its way into many consumer products and into many people's bodies. Get document in pdf.
Putting U.S. Biochar Policy on the Right Track
Issue Paper
Biochar is charcoal formed by heating biomass at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen and then added to soil to improve its health. Biochar has generated attention as a global warming mitigation tool because of its potential to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it safely in soils. But questions about the environmental impacts of biochar's lifecycle must be answered before we can responsibly scale up its production and use.
Making Climate Change and Ozone Treaties Work Together to Curb HFC-23 and Other "Super Greenhouse Gases"
Issue Paper
This paper, by two preeminent experts on the global treaties to protect the ozone layer and the climate, reviews problems with Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) climate change mitigation projects intended to destroy HFC-23, a powerful greenhouse gas. The paper also proposes reforms to the CDM, complementary actions by the Montreal Protocol, and national policies that will help curb HFC-23 and other "Super Greenhouse Gases."
New Banking Policies Still Support MTR Mining
Analysis of Mountaintop Removal Funding Practices
Fact Sheet
Over the past two years, six banks have developed guidelines that propose to restrict their lending and/or banking relationships with companies using MTR mining practices. NRDC analyzed recent debt financing transactions of these six banks to determine their current engagement level in mountaintop removal funding. Get document in pdf.
Capturing Energy Savings Opportunities Through Increased Building Efficiency
Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency is the fastest and cheapest way to meet energy needs. Efficiency is an invisible resource -- one that is everywhere -- and yet often overlooked. According to McKinsey & Company, India could save $42 billion each year with enhanced efficiency; and the building sector could be a key source for those savings. Buildings already account for more than 30 percent of India's electricity consumption. Total building space in India will increase from 8 billion square meters in 2005 to 41 billion by 2030. Two-thirds of commercial and high-rise residential structures that will be standing in 2030 have yet to be built. Every building constructed without optimal efficiency represents a lost opportunity to lock in lower energy consumption and increased savings for decades. Get document in pdf.
India Focus: Principles for Effective Environmental Governance
Fact Sheet
India has the second-fastest growing economy in the world. This rapid development could exacerbate the already severe pollution problems the nation faces. There is a growing recognition that India’s existing structures to enforce environmental laws are inadequate to tackle the scale of the pollution problems. As a result, Indian civil society and the Indian environment ministry have put forward proposals to strengthen environmental governance in India, including government proposals to create a new agency focused on compliance and enforcement. To support these important efforts, NRDC’s new report, Effective Environmental Compliance and Governance, draws on our extensive experience in compliance and enforcement of environmental laws in the United States and elsewhere. The report considers the successes and failures of efforts in the United States and sets out key best practices for ensuring environmental compliance. Get document in pdf.
From Crisis to Opportunity
How China is Addressing Climate Change and Positioning Itself to be a Leader in Clean Energy
Fact Sheet
China and the United States are the world’s largest emitters of global warming pollution, and as both nations face an increasing dependence on foreign oil and dirty coal, their joint leadership is crucially needed to address global climate change and move the world to a clean energy economy. To combat global warming, China has committed to reduce its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, increase the share of non-fossil energy in its primary energy consumption to around 15 percent by 2020, and increase forest coverage.To meet these targets, China is moving to strategically establish itself as a leader in developing and deploying the clean energy solutions of the future: wind and solar power; advanced coal technology; electric vehicles, advanced batteries and high-speed rail; smart grid technology; and more energy efficient industries, buildings, lighting, and appliances.
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Re-Envisioning the Chicago River
Adopting Comprehensive Regional Solutions to the Invasive Species Crisis
Fact Sheet
In response to a public health emergency more than 100 years ago, engineers reversed the Chicago River and built the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to carry wastewater away from Lake Michigan, the city’s source of drinking water. The canal also provides a shipping link between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, opening navigation not only to recreational boats and commercial barges, but also to invasive species, and it diverts massive amounts of water from Lake Michigan. The unfolding Asian carp crisis reveals more than just the challenges faced by local, state, and federal agencies in stopping invasive species from entering the Great Lakes. It also exposes critical infrastructure deficiencies in the region’s wastewater, stormwater, and transportation systems.
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The Worst Summer Ever?
'Dark Side of Climate Change' Seen in Record Setting Night-time Temperatures
Report
NRDC's analysis of 2010 temperature data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Historic Climatology Network reveal that the summer set heat records in many parts of the United States. Of the 1,218 weather stations in the contiguous U.S., with data going back to 1895, 153 locations recorded their hottest summer on record and nearly one in three recorded average temperatures among their five hottest on record.
Tides of Trouble: Increased Threats to Human Health and Ecosystems from Harmful Algal Blooms
Fact Sheet
The proliferation of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) is a matter of growing global environmental health concern. Climate change may be contributing to the conditions that allow these blooms to flourish.To address this rising tide of trouble, NRDC recommends increased support for research, adoption of improved policies and regulations related to monitoring for and responding to HABs, and several easy steps for protecting personal health and safety while at the beach.

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Let the VEETC Expire: Moving Beyond Corn Ethanol Means Less Waste, Less Pollution and More Jobs
Fact Sheet
Transitioning to low-carbon fuels is crucial to breaking America's dependence on oil and curbing global warming. But while some biofuels reduce pollution, others pollute more than the oil they replace. Unfortunately, the biggest government incentive program for biofuels -- the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) -- fails to differentiate between biofuels, and has wasted $20 billion taxpayer dollars subsidizing a polluting corn ethanol industry. By subsidizing any type of ethanol, the VEETC comes at the expense of supporting clean energy technologies like wind, solar, and advanced biofuels -- made from sustainable crops like willow -- that create more green jobs and far less pollution. Congress is considering a 5-year extension of the VEETC that would cost taxpayers $31 billion. NRDC urges Congress to let the VEETC expire and replace it with a smarter, cheaper, and greener biofuels tax credit that rewards real environmental performance. Get document in pdf.
A Clean Energy Economy for Montana
Building Rural Communities Through Renewable Resources Development
Issue Paper
Rich in natural resources and fertile land, Montana has a historically stable and increasingly diverse economy. But the global economic downturn is impacting communities throughout the state, with unemployment climbing by 69 percent since the start of 2008. Montana can use its bountiful renewable resources to build a strong long-term economy and secure a prosperous future as a national leader in producing clean energy. 
Congress Must Ensure Important Information about Chemical Use Is Not Hidden from People: Phthalates
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as phthalates, a class of chemicals used in plastics, personal care products, and other everyday products. Whether inhaled, ingested, or absorbed across the skin, some phthalates may disrupt the body’s hormones, causing reproductive health effects. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Tricholoroethylene (TCE)
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), a cancer-causing chemical used in many industries and consumer products -- including rug cleaners and spot removers. TCE exposure can pose serious health risks but exposure during pregnancy is especially worrisome as it has been associated with low birth weight and multiple types of birth defects. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Vinyl Chloride
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as vinyl chloride, used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that appears in everything from wall and floor coverings to children’s toys to cars. Vinyl chloride, a chemical known to cause cancer, poisons the air breathed by workers and people living in contaminated communities. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Provide the EPA with Authority to Regulate Dangerous Chemicals: Asbestos
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as asbestos, which is still used in some building and automotive materials. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Provide the EPA with Authority to Regulate Unsafe Chemicals: Formaldehyde
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as formaldehyde, which is still in widespread use, particularly in building materials, binders, resins, and composite wood products, used to make everything in a home from carpets to countertops to cabinets to couches. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
A Clean Energy Economy for North Dakota
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Issue Paper
North Dakota has a strong and diverse economy based on agriculture, energy, minerals, and tourism. Arguably the state with the greatest clean energy potential, North Dakota is in a prime position to become a key supplier of renewable energy and the tools to produce it -- provided that national policies are enacted to put America on the path to a clean energy future.
Reducing the Need for U.S. Drilling Through Energy Efficiency
Fact Sheet
The toll from the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is devastating. Nearly 4 million barrels of oil have poured into Gulf waters,1 destroying fragile marine and coastal ecosystems and inflicting untold economic damages on businesses and residents in the Gulf region. The effects of this spill -- one of the largest in history -- will be felt for generations. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Expand Protections against Widely Used Harmful Chemicals: Methylene Chloride
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as methylene chloride, used in many industrial and consumer  applications -- including as an extraction solvent for caffeine, spices, and hops, and in products such as wood floor cleaners, water repellents, and spray shoe polish. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect People from Toxic Chemicals Known to Cause Harm: Hexavalent Chromium
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as hexavalent chromium (hex chrome), which is used in industries such as metal processing, tanneries, and stainless steel welding where workers are exposed to contaminated air. A legacy pollutant, cancer-causing hex chrome can also contaminate soil and water supplies for decades. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Should Protect Workers -- and Families -- from a Nerve-damaging Toxic: Hexane
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as hexane, used primarily for industrial purposes but also found in common household products -- including stain removers, spray adhesives and craft paints. Hexane is easily inhaled and can cause long-lasting, even permanent, nerve damage. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Act to Remove Toxic Substances from Products Our Families Use Everyday: Flame Retardants TDCP and TCEP
Fact Sheet
When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, it was intended to ensure that chemicals are safe throughout their lifecycle, from manufacture to use and disposal. But weaknesses in the law have left the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unable to act on known health dangers. Other laws, such as those setting air, water, and workplace safety standards, do not adequately regulate exposure to most chemicals, nor do they address the hazards a chemical may pose over its entire lifecycle. New legislation is needed to rapidly reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, such as the flame retardants TDCP and TCEP, which are found in a wide variety of household products -- including strollers, nursing pillows, and couches and chairs -- and are suspected to cause cancer, and neurological and reproductive harm. NRDC urges Congress to update TSCA to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals. Get document in pdf.
Climate Change, Water, and Risk
Current Water Demands Are Not Sustainable
Fact Sheet
Climate change will have a significant impact on the sustainability of water supplies in the coming decades. An analysis performed by consulting firm Tetra Tech for NRDC examined the effects of global warming on water supply and demand in the contiguous United States. The study found that more than 1,100 counties -- one-third of all counties in the lower 48 -- will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming.
Repower America with Clean Energy
Don't Choose Dirty Fuels Such As Tar Sands, Oil Shale or Liquid Coal
Fact Sheet
The United States stands at an energy crossroads. We now face a choice: to develop dirtier unconventional sources of transportation fuel derived from fossil fuels -- at an even greater cost to our health and environment -- or set a course for a more sustainable energy future of cleaner, renewable fuels and other clean transportation solutions to fuel our cars, trucks, and airplanes. America needs clean energy solutions, not dirty fuels such as tar sands, oil shale, and liquid coal. Get document in pdf.
Oil Spill Do's and Don'ts for the Florida Keys
Protecting Yourself and Your Family from the Health Impacts of the Oil Spill
Fact Sheet
All across the Gulf of Mexico, a catastrophic event is unfolding. Oil from the failed Deepwater Horizon rig is spreading throughout the ocean and washing up against Florida’s valuable shorelines. The Keys are particularly vulnerable because of the islands’ exposure to the sea and the sensitive shoreline and reefs. This fact sheet is designed to give individuals information on what they can do -- and what they should not do -- to help respond to this disaster. Get document in pdf.
What's At Stake
The Ecological and Economic Future of the Florida Keys
Fact Sheet
In the Florida Keys, the natural and human communities are intertwined. The health of living barrier coral reef that exists nowhere else in North America is tied to that of the mangrove trees that fringe the islands and the submerged seagrass beds and patch reefs in between. The Florida wildlife that thrives in this unique environment relies on these habitats to be healthy, just as we, in turn, depend on them to support food, recreation, and valuable jobs. But these resources -- and the livelihoods and way of life they support -- are threatened by the growing Gulf oil disaster. We must protect our valuable marine life to ensure the ecological and economic future of the Florida Keys. Get document in pdf.
Boom, Baby, Boom
The Environmental Impacts of Seismic Surveys
Fact Sheet
For offshore exploration, the oil and gas industry typically relies on arrays of airguns towed behind ships. Although most of the energy from these acoustic “shots” is intended to search downward for evidence of oil and gas deep beneath the seafloor, a significant amount of the energy travels outwards and can be heard throughout vast areas of the ocean. The environmental problems created by these noise invasions are not fully understood, but we do know that these intense sounds threaten the habitats of endangered whales and commercial fisheries. Seismic surveys have been shown to disrupt essential behavior in endangered whales and cause catch rates of some commercial fish to plummet. To mitigate these impacts, NRDC recommends that airguns be kept out of sensitive areas and that greener alternatives be promoted, some of which are already well into development and could be made commercially available within a few years.
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A Clean Energy Economy for Indiana
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Report
Indiana's advanced network of rail lines, interstate highways, and waterways has made it "the Crossroads of America." But the global economic downturn has hit Indiana hard, causing the loss of almost 200,000 jobs since the beginning of 2008. Facing an unprecedented set of economic challenges, Indiana is poised for healthy growth if it can take advantage of the enormous potential for development of its renewable resources.
Tar Sands Invasion
How Dirty and Expensive Oil from Canada Threatens America's New Energy Economy
Fact Sheet
The oil industry is currently planning a massive project to export millions of barrels more per day of dirty tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the United States. Tar sands strip-mining and drilling in Canada’s Boreal forest is the largest and most destructive project on Earth. The decline in oil demand and the rise of alternative energy puts North America on the verge of a phenomenally important step forward toward a new, clean energy economy. Expanding reliance on tar sands is unnecessary, undermines our progress as a nation, and is severely destructive. We have a choice: we can move forward towards a clean energy future with greater national security or remain stuck with the dirty fossil fuels of the past. Get document in pdf.
Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Destroys Communities
Fact Sheet
Mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining is one of the world’s most destructive practices for extracting fossil fuels. This extreme method of strip mining is scarring the landscape and threatening communities. All across Central Appalachia -- between the hollows of West Virginia, bordering the Blue Ridge of Virginia, beyond the bluegrass of Kentucky, and above the smoky vistas of Tennessee -- companies are tearing down mountains to access the coal below. In the process they are clear-cutting miles of forests, filling the rivers with coal mining waste, polluting the waters with toxic runoff, and sacrificing the safety of the people who call this region home. MTR coal mining sites, which can exceed 10 square miles, have already leveled more than 500 summits so far. Get document in pdf.
Comprehensive Clean Energy and Climate Legislation Will Bring More Jobs, a Stronger Economy, and Less Pollution
Fact Sheet
America’s past experience with establishing regulations to curb pollution provides every reason to believe that enacting comprehensive climate and energy legislation will not only bring environmental and health benefits, but will also unlock technological innovation and boost our economy. Since the nation’s first comprehensive environmental laws in the 1970s, hundreds of dangerous pollutants have been regulated, providing valuable health benefits from reduced exposure to certain toxic chemicals. At the same time, tens of thousands of jobs per year were created in the environmental protection industry, GDP more than tripled, and average household income grew by more than 45 percent. This impressive history of prosperity can be repeated with comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation. Without it, however, the United States will miss out on new employment opportunities and be left behind in the growing world market that rewards green innovation. Get document in pdf.
Not Effective and Not Safe
The FDA Must Regulate Dangerous Antimicrobials in Everyday Products
Fact Sheet
Consumers in the United States spend almost $1 billion per year on “antibacterial” soaps and other products, often motivated by the notion that these products will protect their families from harmful germs and illnesses. But in fact, these products are no more effective than regular soap and water for preventing illness, and they contain chemicals that can actually harm our health and the environment. Up to 75 percent of liquid soaps, as well as bar soaps, toothpaste, cosmetics, cleansing lotions, acne creams, and wipes contain triclosan or triclocarban—chemicals marketed as reducing the number of bacteria or “germs.” The FDA needs to take action now to stop the continued sale of ineffective and potentially unsafe antimicrobial chemicals in household products. Get document in pdf.
Clean by Design: Revolutionizing the Global Textile Industry
Fact Sheet
Addressing the global health threats posed by the textile industry is a daunting challenge, even with more than 30 years of environmental victories under your belt. Yet this challenge spurred NRDC’s team of health experts to pioneer approaches that will help solve global industrial pollution problems associated with apparel, with a focus first in China, where most textiles are made. NRDC and its partner, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, are spearheading a multi-phased initiative called Clean By Design, which aims to revolutionize the way the apparel industry operates, from fiber and dye selection to fabric sourcing decisions to consumer care. This fact sheet explores the key phases of the initiative already completed and those underway in 2010.
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How Redbud Company Saved Money, Curbed Pollution, and Gained Favor from a Major Buyer
Fact Sheet
NRDC and its partners in Clean by Design, an initiative to green the global textile supply chain, are recommending 10 practical, easy-to-implement best practices for textile mills that will not only improve manufacturing efficiency, but also save money and stem pollution. The Jiangsu Redbud Textile Company—a Chinese-owned mill that dyes cotton woven fabric supplying Wal-Mart among others—put our best practices to the test. And the results were profound. Get document in pdf.
Simple and Inexpensive Actions Could Reduce Global Warming Emissions by One Billion Tons
Fact Sheet
The United States is the world's second-largest emitter of global warming pollution, currently pumping approximately 7 billion tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere every year. U.S. residents have a "carbon footprint" that is more than 20 times larger than people living in many developing countries. If Americans adopted a series of simple inexpensive emissions-reducing measures in the areas of transportation, household energy consumption, diet, and waste over the next ten years, the U.S. could avoid 1 billion tons of emissions in 2020 and save money. Behavioral change and personal action -- in addition to responsible policymaking and technological innovation -- are critical to any successful effort to curb greenhouse gas pollution and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Get document in pdf.
Reducing Imported Oil with Comprehensive Climate and Energy Legislation
Fact Sheet
For far too long our dependence on oil has undermined our economy and national security. We spend a billion dollars a day to import more than three billion barrels of oil each year, much of which comes from dangerous or unstable parts of the world. We can reduce by more than half the amount of oil we import and make strides toward energy independence by accelerating the transition to advanced, fuel-efficient and electric-powered cars and trucks and by increasing domestic oil production from existing oil fields through a process called carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery. Only a comprehensive approach that combines limits on carbon pollution with investment incentives to build a cleaner, low-carbon energy economy will reduce our dependence on imported oil and preserve and expand the jobs we need to make America more secure. Get document in pdf.
Driving Growth
How Clean Cars and Climate Policy Can Create Jobs
Issue Paper
The American auto sector -- a longtime source of good-paying, high skills jobs -- is struggling under the weight of this recession. Making vehicles here in the United States that are cleaner and more fuel efficient and therefore more attractive amid rising oil prices represents an opportunity to restore Detroit to global leadership while simultaneously reducing imports of foreign oil and curbing global warming. Fuel efficiency is cleaner, cheaper, and faster than drilling to meet our nation's energy needs, and as this study demonstrates, it can also produce tens of thousands of high quality manufacturing jobs here at home. This report, released jointly with the Center for American Progress and the UAW, illustrates the value of adopting comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation to help retool factories to build the next generation of vehicles that will carry our nation toward a cleaner and more secure energy future. Get document in pdf.
Polar Bears on Thin Ice
Fact Sheet
Perfectly at home in one of the world’s most forbidding environments, most polar bears drift along the Arctic on large chunks of floating ice, finding mates and hunting for seals. Without these thick rafts of sea ice, the world’s largest bear will not survive. Yet at this moment, the polar bear’s Arctic abitat is literally melting away beneath it due to global warming. The polar bear is also under pressure from industrial development and toxic chemicals. Over-hunting and commercial trade in polar bear body parts are making these threats worse. The international community must take swift action to protect the polar bear from global warming and commercial trade. The polar bear's Arctic habitat is rapidly disappearing due to global warming. The international community must take action to protect the polar bear from global warming and other man-made threats. Get document in pdf.
A Clean Energy Economy for Arkansas
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Issue Paper
To secure its economic future, Arkansas has the opportunity to build a strong long-term economy on the solid foundation of its bountiful renewable resources. The state's vast areas of productive farmland, ample water, windy heights and favorable climate combine to give Arkansas the potential to become a national leader in producing the clean energy that America needs.
A Clean Energy Economy for Missouri
Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources
Issue Paper
Within Missouri's borders, dispersed across the state, are vast resources of wind, land, and water—all the ingredients needed for Missouri to become a national leader in new energy development, creating tens of thousands of good jobs and substantial new sources of income for farmers. This June 2009 issue paper examines the potential for renewable energy resource development in Missouri and its benefits to rural communities.
Fever Pitch
Mosquito-Borne Dengue Fever Threat Spreading in the Americas
Issue Paper
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that may worsen with global warming. Dengue has increased over the past several decades, probably because of urbanization and population growth, rapid international travel and trade, and widespread poverty. By 2085, an estimated 5.2 billion people are projected to be at risk for dengue because of climate change, and the potential for transmission of this dangerous disease may increase in vulnerable parts of the United States.
Eat Green
Our everyday food choices affect global warming and the environment
Fact Sheet
What we eat matters. The food choices we make every day have a big effect on the environment. The good news is that even small changes in what we buy and eat can add up to real environmental benefits, including fewer toxic chemicals, reduced global warming emissions, and preservation of our ocean resources. Eating “green” can also mean eating fresher, healthier foods while reducing your grocery bill and supporting our farmers. Get document in pdf.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES)
Legislation to build the clean energy future
Index of Fact Sheets
The American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill, has the major ingredients to generate millions of jobs, break our dependence on oil and reduce the pollution that causes global warming. Comprehensive energy and climate legislation will create the incentives necessary to build the clean energy economy and help make America a leader for the 21st century.
Green Textile Redux
Clean by Design's 10 Best Practices Offer Even Greater Pollution Reduction and Cost Savings
Issue Paper
Textile manufacturing has a huge environmental footprint, polluting as much as 200 tons of water per ton of fabric with a suite of harmful chemicals, and consuming tremendous amounts of energy for steam and hot water. That the industry is now centered in countries with still-developing environmental regulatory systems such as China, India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh only compounds the problem. To address the rapidly increasing global impact of this industry, NRDC and its partners are spearheading the Responsible Sourcing Initiative (RSI) -- a key element of the larger Clean By Design initiative to curb pollution from the fashion industry.
Dosed Without Prescription
Preventing Pharmaceutical Contamination of Our Nation's Drinking Water
Fact Sheet
The presence of pharmaceuticals in our waterways and drinking water has gained national attention among lawmakers, regulators, and the public. Prescription drugs can enter water through manufacturing waste, human or animal excretion, runoff from animal feeding operations, leaching from municipal landfills, or improper disposal. With many questions still unanswered regarding the scope of the problem and its consequences for human health and the environment, NRDC conducted an extensive survey of the scientific data, legal analyses, and existing advocacy campaigns around this issue. Based on our findings, we offer several recommendations related to drug design, approval, production, use, and disposal to curb the flow of pharmaceuticals entering our water systems and lessen the impacts of the pollution they cause.
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Reducing Foreclosures and Environmental Impacts through Location-Efficient Neighborhood Design
Fact Sheet
While the nation continues to grapple with a troubling housing market and a rash of mortgage defaults, new research has emerged drawing a direct linkbetween “location efficiency”—a measure of the transportation costs in a given area—and mortgage foreclosure rates. The study shows that factors such as neighborhood compactness, access to public transit, and rates of vehicle ownership are key to predicting mortgage performance and should be taken more seriously by mortgage underwriters, policymakers, and real estate developers. With transportation costs accounting for roughly 17 percent of the average American household’s income, the need for better land use planning and better lending practices has never been more clear. NRDC recommends changes both to planning-related policies and mortgage underwriting procedures that can reduce transportation costs and risk of foreclosure while offering significant environmental benefits. Get document in pdf.
Finding the Balance: The Role of Natural Gas in America’s Energy Future
Fact Sheet
By helping the United States reduce its carbon pollution and begin the transition to a sustainable energy future, the efficient use of natural gas can play an important role in meeting America’s energy needs while slowing our contributions to climate change. Recent developments in technology have increased access to natural gas supplies stretching from New York to Texas. Yet, burning natural gas without emission controls creates carbon emissions that ultimately will be too high in relation to America’s need to reduce emissions 80 percent or more by mid-century. In addition, as drilling moves into more communities, many people have become concerned about the negative impacts drilling will have on their lives. Comprehensive regulations ensuring that drilling occurs safely and only in appropriate places can provide a critical vehicle to allow natural gas to fulfill its valuable role in America’s energy future. Get document in pdf.
Welcome Change
Assessment of the Obama Administration’s First-Year Environmental Record
Issue Paper
In his first year in office, President Barack Obama and his administration have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to addressing environmental challenges.
A Clean Energy Bargain
More Jobs, Less Global Warming Pollution, and Greater Security for Less Than the Cost of a Postage Stamp a Day
Issue Paper
The United States took an important step toward economic recovery, environmental protection, and energy security when the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). This sound climate and clean energy legislation will protect the planet for less than the cost of a postage stamp a day per household, and represents a great investment in America's future — now it's up to the Senate to turn this bill into a law.
NRDC is Leading the Way Towards Climate Solutions for China
Fact Sheet
China’s rapid development has created urgent environmental and energy challenges—-but it also presents a unique opportunity to help shape a low-carbon, sustainable development pathway for China that would have significant benefits both for China and the world. For nearly 15 years, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been working to strengthen environmental protection and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in China by working with central and local governments, research institutes, environmental groups, and businesses to develop the policies and tools needed to address China’s climate and energy challenges.
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Cutting Through the Fog with China’s First Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI)
Fact Sheet
Developing a coordinated international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions requires, among other things, that countries have confidence in each others’ capacity to monitor and mitigate their GHG emissions. Reliable emissions data in turn relies on the existence of governance systems that make energy and environmental information transparent and publicly available. In May 2008, the Chinese government took a critical step toward furthering environmental transparency by adopting a pair of sweeping  pollution disclosure measures that for the first time required government bodies at all levels to make certain pollution information publicly available. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council developed a Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) to carry out a systematic assessment of the first year of implementation for these regulations.
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Appalachian Heartbreak: Time to End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
Issue Paper
Coal is America's dirtiest energy source -- and the country's leading source of global warming pollution. Pollution from coal plants produces dirty air, acid rain, and contaminated land and water. Nowhere is the debate over how far we are willing to go for inexpensive energy more contentious than in the coalfields of Appalachia, where mining companies are blowing up America's oldest mountains to get the coal beneath the peaks.
Identifying Near-Term Opportunities for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in China
Issue Paper
China is well-positioned to be a global leader in the development and deployment of carbon capture and sequestration (CSS)  technologies that -- with broad support and engagement from the international community -- can be an important tool for reducing carbon emissions as the world transitions to truly clean energy technologies.
Cultivating Clean Energy
The Promise of Algae Biofuels
Issue Paper
Algae-derived gasoline, diesel and jet fuel sound like the imaginings of science fiction, but a growing number of entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and policy makers are working to develop the technologies needed to provide large quantities of biofuels with potentially minimal environmental impacts. This NRDC report takes the big picture view by creating a framework for understanding the environmental challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for this nascent industry.
Protecting New Yorkers’ Health and the Environment by Regulating Drilling in the Marcellus Shale
Fact Sheet
With rising energy costs and fears of more volatility in the future, the natural gas industry is now searching for additional fuel sources. One such source is the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale, an ancient rock formation that spans 600 miles and four states, including New York. While there may be benefits to drilling this large natural gas reserve, doing so without the proper monitoring and regulation by state and local officials will present a number of serious threats to human health and the environment in New York State. NRDC is therefore working with leaders across the state to ensure that if drilling in the Marcellus Shale occurs in New York, it will be done responsibly and only in appropriate areas. This fact sheet includes recommendations for action you can take to help ensure that gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale does not proceed in New York without full protections for New Yorkers’ health and the environment.
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Rising Tide of Illness: How Global Warming Could Increase the Threat of Waterborne Diseases
Fact Sheet
Although there is little public discussion of the problem, disease outbreaks caused by contaminated water occur regularly. Researchers estimate that, including unreported cases, between 4 and 33 million waterborne gastrointestinal illnesses occur each year in the United States. Global warming is projected to increase the risk of more frequent and more widespread outbreaks of waterborne illnesses, due to higher temperatures and more severe weather events. To help prevent increased occurrence of water-related illnesses, the CDC should improve surveillance of waterborne disease outbreaks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should improve water quality regulations, and Congress should act to limit emissions of global warming pollutants. We need to act now to protect public health today while preparing for the impacts of climate change.
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Moving Cooler
Securing America's Energy Future
Fact Sheet
America currently uses nearly 20 million barrels of oil per day--enough to fill more than six of the world’s largest supertankers. More than two-thirds of this oil is used to fuel our cars and trucks, which drive enough miles each day to circle the globe more than 331,000 times. Meeting this demand for oil makes America less secure. We rely on imports for more than 60 percent of our overall oil consumption, leaving us dangerously dependent on other nations. Meanwhile, our oil-fueled transportation system accounts for nearly a third of our total global warming pollution. Technology advancements such as hybrid vehicles and better batteries can decrease our oil use and transportation emissions, but groundbreaking new research sponsored by NRDC and leading transportation experts shows that we must deploy additional strategies to overcome this challenge. Get document in pdf.
Boosting Energy Efficiency Nationwide Through Measurement and Performance-Based Rewards
Fact Sheet
Energy efficiency is the most cost effective means for reducing global warming pollution. According to McKinsey and Company, the energy bill savings from efficiency investments could roughly offset the cost of implementing a mandatory carbon cap. And many of these investments already make sense economically: McKinsey estimates that a $50 billion per year investment could result in $1.2 trillion in energy bill savings by 2020 while reducing end-use energy consumption by about 23 percent of projected demand. In addition to saving Americans money on their utility bills, investments in energy efficiency would put downward pressure on electricity, natural gas, and carbon allowance prices (when a carbon cap has been established), while creating 600,000 to 900,000 new jobs. Establishing a reliable measurement for energy efficiency performance and rewarding success in improving performance will help America reach its full energy-saving potential. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Our Ocean and Coastal Economies
Avoid Unnecessary Risks from Offshore Drilling
Fact Sheet
Healthy oceans are critically important to marine life and to coastal communities whose economies rely on tourism and fishing. Opening up new offshore areas to drilling risks permanent damage to our oceans and beaches without reducing our dependence on oil. When oil spills occur they can bring catastrophic harm to marine life and devastating losses for local businesses. And even routine exploration and drilling activities bring harm to many marine species. The Administration and Congress must work together to assess the environmental impacts of offshore drilling before making key decisions about offshore oil and gas activities in new areas or Alaska. Get document in pdf.
Atrazine: Poisoning the Well
Atrazine Continues to Contaminate Surface Water and Drinking Water in the United States
Report
Watersheds and drinking water systems across the nation remain at risk for contamination from the endocrine-disrupting pesticide atrazine. The U.S. EPA's inadequate monitoring systems and weak regulations have compounded the problem, allowing levels of atrazine in watersheds and drinking water to peak at extremely high concentrations.
Ocean Acidification Fact Sheet
The Other CO2 Problem
Fact Sheet
Ocean acidification is the quiet tsunami of environmental degradation. Within a few decades, ocean acidification may devastate some marine ecosystems and threaten the productivity of our fisheries. When we burn oil, coal, or gas, scientists have recently shown, we are transforming the fundamental chemistry of the oceans, rapidly making the water more acidic. Get document in pdf.
Water Saving Solutions
Stopping Pollution at its Source with Low Impact Development
Fact Sheet
America's urban landscape is affecting our cities' water supply and water quality. Runoff from urban areas is a leading cause of water pollution in the United States, and in many areas people are using water faster than it can be replenished. More than 100 million acres of land have been developed in the United States, and with development and sprawl increasing faster than population growth, the risks to water supply and quality are growing. Low impact development, or LID, is a simple and cost-effective green development strategy that can help cities, states, and even individuals meet the water supply challenge, clean up our existing water resources, and, in many places in the West, curb global warming pollution by reducing the amount of electricity used to supply water. Get document in pdf.
A Clear Blue Future
How Greening California Cities Can Address Water Resources and Climate Challenges in the 21st Century
Issue Paper
This NRDC and UCSB analysis shows that implementing low impact development, or LID,  practices at new and redeveloped residential and commercial properties in parts of California can increase water supplies by billions of gallons each year, providing an effective and much-needed way to mitigate global warming’s impact on California.
Keep Our Beaches Clean
Prevent the Beachwater Pollution That Makes Swimmers Sick
Fact Sheet
Beach vacations are an annual summer event for many families. But beachgoers at polluted beaches around the country may bring back an unwanted souvenir from their trip: ear infections, stomach flu, skin rashes, and other illnesses that are caused by polluted beachwater. To help keep our beaches clean, NRDC supports improved beachwater testing to detect the pathogens that can cause health problems in swimmers. Bills now pending in Congress would provide funding for much-needed beach cleanup efforts and help ensure that the public is notified promptly when beaches are unsafe for swimming. These bills will help make sure that our beaches are safe for swimming every day.
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Scaling Up Investment in Energy Efficiency with a Federal Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (FEEFF)
Fact Sheet
Despite the numerous benefits that stem from increasing energy efficiency and distributing clean power generation technologies in the buildings sector, current levels of investment fall far short of what is achievable and necessary. In today’s economic climate, many worthwhile projects are simply unable to obtain the financing they need and it is unclear whether existing government programs such as loan guarantees will be sufficient to overcome this shortfall. Creating a complementary Federal Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (FEEFF) to support investment in efficiency projects would provide access to much-needed capital and help move our nation toward a clean energy economy. Get document in pdf.
Communities Tackle Global Warming
A Guide to California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375)
Issue Paper
California's Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, SB 375, is the nation's first legislation to link transportation and land use planning with global warming. SB 375 is an important step toward a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous California. Locating housing closer to jobs and transit choices and creating walkable communities can reduce commute times, cut millions of tons of global warming pollution, and improve quality of life.
Global Solutions to Global Warming
Recommendations for Leaders and Policy Makers in the United States and China
Issue Paper
Two nations play a vital role in efforts to curb global warming and secure the world’s energy supply: the United States of America and the People's Republic of China. Together, they account for more than 40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use, more than 35 percent of the world's energy consumption, and more than 30 percent of the world's economic output, making their involvement in addressing the global warming crisis critical.
Reducing Pollution Outside of the Carbon Cap: The Role of Offsets and Complementary Policies
Fact Sheet
Reducing overall domestic emissions at least 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and at least 80 percent by 2050 will require emissions reductions not only from large stationary sources of global warming pollution such as power plants, industrial
facilities, and fuel refineries, but also from those sources that are individually too small or dispersed to include under the cap, such as agricultural emissions from the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Similarly, there are means for sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2)—that is, absorbing it out of the atmosphere and storing it safely—in carbon “sinks” such as soils and forests that are difficult to account for under a cap. The United States must adopt alternative mechanisms such as mandatory policies, incentives, and domestic and international offsets to drive emissions reductions and carbon sequestration in these “uncapped sectors” both domestically and abroad. Get document in pdf.
Effective and Practical Disclosure Policies
NRDC Paper on Workshop to Identify Key Elements of Disclosure Policies for Health Science Journals
Issue Paper
Among the editors and staff of environmental and occupational health sciences journals, there is a recognized need for disclosure policies that are simple, clear, and effective. The goal of such policies is to provide sufficient information about any existing competing interests so that readers may exercise judgment about the objectiveness of the information. This June 2009 paper outlines NRDC's recommendations for effective and practical disclosure policies. Get document in pdf.
Making Every Drop Work
Increasing Water Efficiency in California’s Commercial, Industrial and Institutional (CII) Sector
Issue Paper
Across the nation, water shortages are triggering growing concern and an acceleration of efforts to increase water use efficiency. In this May 2009 issue paper, NRDC recommends a number of available and cost-effective measures that can help stretch limited water supplies, save businesses money, reduce energy consumption, improve water quality, and protect local, regional, and statewide ecosystems.
Checklist for Cars
Today's 'To Do' List to Put America on the Road to Clean Transportation
Fact Sheet
America’s commuters just have to look at the morning gridlock to see that our nation’s transportation infrastructure is no longer working. Clogged roads, smog-filled air, and transportation restrictions that fuel our oil dependence and contribute about one-third of our global warming pollution are all indicators that we need to move beyond our outdated approaches to getting around. Cutting-edge solutions available today will make transportation easier, cheaper, and cleaner. NRDC has developed a three-part checklist for adopting smart transportation policies that can carry us into a clean energy future. Get document in pdf.
Congress Must Protect Our Communities and Natural Resources from the Worst Impacts of Global Warming
Fact Sheet
We must prepare for--and prevent against--the worst impacts of global warming by acting now to protect our communities and natural systems. Fortunately, Congress is on the brink of considering legislation that can guard our natural resources and our health against global warming pollution. NRDC has developed a set of recommendations that can help policy makers put the best systems in place to protect our communities and natural resources. Get document in pdf.
Protecting Wolves in the American West
Removing Endangered Species Act protections threatens the survival of Northern Rocky Mountain wolves.
Fact Sheet
To many Americans, wolves represent wild nature that has been lost in many parts of the country. These magnificent animals are once again at risk. The Bush Administration's proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections -- to "delist" wolves -- threatens to return Northern Rocky Mountain wolves to the brink of extinction by allowing states to kill more than 60 percent of the current wolf population. NRDC recommends action at both the state and federal levels to maintain the long-term health of wolves in the Northern Rockies. Get document in pdf.
Picking a Clean Energy Plan
NRDC's Plug-In Alternative is More Efficient than the Pickens Plan
Fact Sheet
From oil price volatility to global warming and national security concerns, it is clear that our current reliance on oil is unsustainable. Even oil industry veteran T. Boone Pickens has proposed a plan (the “Pickens Plan”) to rapidly reduce oil dependency by increasing wind power and using natural gas to power vehicles. NRDC agrees with the urgency behind the Pickens Plan and supports the broad expansion of clean, renewable electricity. But the Pickens Plan does not contemplate the full range of options. We believe that pursuing the best outcome rather than preselected technologies will reveal more effective ways to put our natural gas resources to work. As one example, we examine here an alternative proposal, “The Plug-in Alternative,” that would get the most mileage out of our renewable and clean-burning energy sources while sharply reducing our dependence on dirtier sources like oil and coal. Get document in pdf.
Poison on Pets II
Toxic Chemicals in Flea and Tick Collars
Issue Paper
Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on products designed to kill fleas and ticks on household pets, especially dogs and cats. While some of these products are safe, others leave harmful chemical residues on pets' fur and in our homes. This April 2009 paper details a first-of-its-kind study by NRDC showing that high levels of pesticide residue can remain on a dog's or cat's fur for weeks after a flea collar is put on an animal.
Building a sustainable biomass industry in California without sacrificing our unique natural heritage
Sustainable biofuels can be a boon to our economy and our environment
Fact Sheet
Renewable energy, such as biofuels -- specifically, biomass that is sustainably harvested -- can be a boon for our economy and our environment. But biofuels done wrong can actually destroy ecosystems and increase global warming pollution, so it is critically important that all biofuels production includes necessary environmental safeguards. California is in a position to get biofuels right with the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which would require oil companies to reduce the global warming pollution footprint of the vehicle fuels they sell. A groundbreaking new study commissioned by NRDC shows that California can ramp up biofuels production to meet the goals of the LCFS without sacrificing our most sensitive lands. Get document in pdf.
Cap 2.0: Policy Solutions for Curbing Global Warming and Building the Clean Energy Economy
Fact Sheet
The current economic crisis presents enormous challenges for American workers and virtually every sector of our economy. The crisis, however, also provides a tremendous opportunity to address the threat of global warming in a way that ensures long-term environmental and economic sustainability. In the next 20 years, the United States will invest more than $3 trillion in our energy infrastructure -- electric power plants, fuel refineries, and transmission and transportation infrastructure -- and trillions more on reducing the energy consumption of buildings, appliances, and vehicles. If we follow the Cap 2.0 policy recommendations, we can avert the growing climate crisis by reducing emissions of global warming pollution and redirect our resources toward cleaner and energy-efficient technologies that will strengthen our position in the global economy, create millions of quality jobs, and bolster our national security by cutting our reliance on fossil fuels. Get document in pdf.
AB 32 and You
How California’s Global Warming Solutions Act Delivers Smart Solutions to Californians
Fact Sheet
California is leading the country in its effort to curb global warming with the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). In December 2008, the California Air Resources Board unanimously adopted the state's plan outlining steps to a cleaner and more prosperous future. This visionary plan, the most comprehensive of its kind, will recharge California's economy, improve public health and air quality, help Californians use energy more efficiently, and make the state the hub of clean energy technology development -- all while curbing global warming. Get document in pdf.
Water Efficiency Saves Energy
Reducing Global Warming Through Water Use Strategies
Fact Sheet
The collection, distribution, and treatment of drinking water and wastewater nationwide consume tremendous amounts of energy and release approximately 116 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year -- as much global warming pollution each year as 10 million cars. The energywater connection is particularly strong in the driest regions of the United States, such as the Southwest, where significant amounts of energy are used to import water. Solutions exist to cut both water and energy use. Through water efficiency measures, we can help to protect dry areas from drought, lower consumers' utility bills, and reduce global warming pollution. Get document in pdf.
Limit to Producing "Cheap" Coal Makes Liquid Coal Plans Unworkable
Fact Sheet
While the coal industry has been aggressively promoting the development of a large liquid coal industry in the United States, it is unrealistic to expect that customers could be supplied with domestic coal at reasonable prices. According to the most recent Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Outlook report, if the liquid coal industry grew to the size proposed by industry lobbyists, the United States would have to import coal beginning in just six years. The increased demand created by a liquid coal industry could raise electricity rates as well as increase emissions of global warming pollution, bringing costs that far outweigh the benefits that would come from a large domestic liquid coal industry. Get document in pdf.
Rebuilding for a Clean Energy Economy
Congress and the New Administration Can Create Jobs Through Renewable Energy
Fact Sheet
There has been a lot of bad news about the economy in recent months. But now some good news: America can generate millions of high-paying jobs and create a cleaner environment with one win-win solution—renewable energy. Ramping up renewable energy will bring new jobs to U.S. workers and address the increasingly urgent need for action on global warming. Congress and the new administration should move quickly to pass strong climate legislation that will set a science-based declining cap on global warming pollution and create a new market for clean energy that will put people to work. Get document in pdf.
The Billion Gallon Challenge
How America Can Produce One Billion Gallons of the Best Biofuels By 2014
Fact Sheet
To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to make low-carbon biofuels work. But the best biofuels have yet to make the jump from the lab to the pump. As a first step, policy makers should stop spending tax dollars on the dirty biofuels of yesterday and start paying for performance, while maintaining our existing safeguards and standards. But that’s not enough. We need to jumpstart the best biofuels and make them work for our economy and our environment. We need a Billion Gallon Challenge. Get document in pdf.
Fueling the Clean Energy Economy
Solving Global Warming Pollution in the Transportation Sector
Fact Sheet
For nearly 100 years, the United States has operated its transportation system with primarily one fuel: oil. As a result, the transportation sector is now the second largest source of U.S. global warming pollution, contributing 28 percent of all emissions. To solve global warming cost-effectively, we need a trio of policies to drive solutions in each of these areas: 1) an upstream cap on fuel emissions; 2) performance standards for clean, effi cient vehicles, clean fuels, and low-carbon transportation planning that we strengthen periodically; and 3) incentives to overcome market barriers to widespread adoption of low-carbon technologies, practices, and designs. Get document in pdf.
Florida Coastal and Ocean Policy Report Card
Issue Paper
The Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, including NRDC, works to conserve, protect, and restore Florida's coastal and marine environment. The Florida Coastal and Ocean Policy Report Card provides a detailed analysis and evaluation of the legislative and government actions taken in Florida during 2007 and 2008.
Five Simple Steps for Saving Money, Energy, and the Environment: Guides for Building Owners, Managers and Tenants
Index of Fact Sheets
NRDC and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) jointly produced this pair of fact sheets to provide building owners and managers and their tenants with tips for improving energy efficiency. Working together, NRDC and REBNY are delivering practical recommendations for saving energy—in individual apartments and throughout entire buildings—to a wide and influential audience.
Safeguarding our Oceans in a Warming World
Addressing Global Warming and Ocean Acidification
Fact Sheet
From rising sea levels and higher temperatures to more extreme weather events and ocean acidification, global warming pollution presents a serious threat to our already-stressed ocean systems. Treasured oceans and beaches, food staples, recreation, and employment are all at risk in the coming decades. To avoid the worst impacts, federal and state governments must protect our oceans by reducing global warming emissions and enacting policies that will boost the ability of natural systems to weather the ongoing and expected changes brought on by global warming and ocean acidification. Climate and energy legislation expected to be passed by Congress presents an opportunity to take a major step toward that goal. Get document in pdf.
Regulating Trading in the Carbon Market
Fact Sheet
America needs strong climate policy that will boost the economy and reduce dangerous global warming pollution. A key piece of successful climate legislation will be a carbon market that allows non-polluting companies to trade carbon credits. But unregulated or self-regulated trading involves important risks. Climate legislation should require strong carbon market regulations to ensure success. Get document in pdf.
Developing the Technology of the Future
Federal Climate Legislation Can Maximize Low-Carbon Technology Innovation
Fact Sheet
America needs strong federal action to contain the threat of global warming. But a series of barriers stand in the way of the technology innovation needed to develop a clean energy economy at the lowest possible long-term cost to society. Strategically increasing research, development, and demonstration (known as RD&D) funding for low-carbon technologies can help to overcome these barriers and jumpstart innovation. Get document in pdf.
Kick-Starting Building Efficiency
A Policy Workplan for Maximizing the Economic Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Fact Sheet
The buildings sector is the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, including emissions from generating the electricity used in buildings. Buildings and the appliances within them currently account for roughly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and that number is on the rise. Fortunately, buildings also offer the quickest and most cost-effective opportunity to reduce global warming pollution while yielding direct economic benefits, saving consumers money and boosting U.S. industry. Energy efficiency measures such as retrofitting existing buildings and increasing the energy efficiency of new buildings can generate net savings using technology that exists today. NRDC recommends a clear set of policy solutions for reaping the immediate benefits of building efficiency. Get document in pdf.
Why Cap and Invest is Better Than a Carbon Tax
Fact Sheet
While there is widespread support for the goal of reducing our emission of global warming pollution by 80 percent by 2050, there is a vigorous debate about the best means for reaching that goal. Advocates for a carbon tax suggest that it would be simpler and more transparent than a cap and invest system, but such arguments often compare a “real-world” cap and invest design with an idealized carbon tax. When factoring in the pressure for special accommodations in the legislative process that will undoubtedly face either system, a cap and invest program is preferable to implementing a carbon tax. The following list offers five reasons, including greater certainty where it counts and more flexibility where it is needed, why a cap and invest system will best help us meet the urgent goal of reducing global warming pollution. Get document in pdf.
Powering Up Renewable Electricity
NRDC's Roadmap for Immediate and Cost-Effective Renewables Deployment
Fact Sheet
Renewable electricity is the energy of the future — it can reduce global warming emissions, moderate the long-term cost of power and help ensure our energy independence and national security by phasing out fossil fuels. To realize these benefits, we must cap carbon emissions which will put a price on global warming pollution while simultaneously helping to launch emerging renewables into the marketplace. Get document in pdf.
Repowering America: Building a Bridge from Crisis to a New Energy Economy
Fact Sheet
The global financial crisis presents challenges for the U.S. economy unlike any seen in generations. While spending alone will not deliver us from this difficult period of slowing economic activity, smart and targeted investment in repowering America can. We can create millions of jobs, improve our energy security, and reduce the harmful effects of climate change by putting a price on carbon emissions and investing in the industries that will form the base of our clean energy future. Get document in pdf.
Clean Energy Saves Americans Money
Clean Energy is the Real Solution to Unpredictable Oil Prices
Fact Sheet
Clean energy is cheaper and cleaner than oil, and the amount of fuel we can get from clean energy measures dwarfs what can be scraped from drilling. New NRDC analysis shows that, unlike dirty fuel options, clean energy strategies can actually save drivers money while reducing our oil dependency and slashing global warming pollution from the transportation sector. Get document in pdf.
Investing in Our Recovery
Repowering America with a 'Cap and Invest' Climate Plan
Fact Sheet
We must focus our efforts on an economic recovery plan that provides needed short-term stimulus and lays the groundwork for a stable, long-term recovery. Enacting a cap and trade system to limit global warming pollution is an essential component of a comprehensive plan to repower America. Passing legislation to cap global warming pollution can spur investment, create millions of jobs, and help pull our lagging economy forward by providing the opportunity to borrow against the value of future pollution allowances and creating the market signals needed to trigger a surge of clean energy investments. Get document in pdf.
Clean Energy: The Solution to Volatile Gas Prices
Fact Sheet
Newly updated NRDC analysis shows that the oil savings from clean energy measures can far outpace the potential oil production of drilling in America's protected areas. The real solution to volatile gas prices and oil dependency is a strategy that relies on energy efficiency, clean fuels, and transportation choices such as commuter rail -- not drilling. Get document in pdf.
Cleaning Up Diesel Trucks in California
Millions in Funding Available Each Year
Fact Sheet
Heavy-duty trucks in California are the largest single source of diesel pollution, leading to thousands of illnesses and deaths each year. Pollution from diesel trucks was responsible for roughly 1,500 premature deaths in 2005, and the costs of this loss of life in addition to disease, lost work days, and school absences adds up to $12 billion per year. However, diesel pollution could easily be prevented through upgrades to the existing truck fleet, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is seeking to do just that with the upcoming diesel truck regulation. While truck owners may be wary of the added costs of upgrades that will be required, much funding has been made available by the state to offset those costs. Get document in pdf.
Deepest Cuts
Repairing Health Monitoring Programs Slashed Under the Bush Administration
Issue Paper
For decades, federal agencies charged with safeguarding health and the environment have tracked pollution, required industry reporting, and monitored disease rates, providing the foundation for all health and environmental protection. This December 2008 issue paper shows that the Bush Administration dangerously slashed federal environmental and health monitoring programs.
Danger in the Nursery
Impact of Tar Sands Oil Development in Canada’s Boreal on Birds
Report
Each spring more than half of America's birds flock to the Canadian Boreal forest to nest. There, tens of millions of birds -- as many as 500 breeding pairs per square mile of forests, lakes, river valleys, and wetlands -- spend the winter. Yet almost all the biggest oil companies are mining and drilling important Boreal forest and wetlands to access thick, low-grade petroleum.
Lowering the Cost of Play
Improving Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles
Issue Paper
Today, more than 40 percent of all homes in the United States contain at least one video game console. In this November 2008 issue paper, NRDC provides recommendations for users, video game console manufacturers, component suppliers and the software companies that design games for improving the efficiency of video game consoles already in homes as well as future generations of machines yet to hit the shelves.
Missing Protection
Polluting the Mississippi River Basin's Small Streams and Wetlands
Report
Our nation's rivers, streams, and small bodies of water are in danger because of recent interpretations of the Clean Water Act that suggest that many waters historically protected from pollution can now be polluted or destroyed without a permitting process to limit the environmental impact of discharges into the waters. This October 2008 issue paper discusses the changes in relation to the problem of nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin.
An Uneven Shield
The Record of Enforcement and Violations Under California's Environmental, Health and Workplace Safety Laws
Issue Paper
California leads the nation in setting standards to protect the health of families, communities and the environment. Yet too little is publicly known about how effectively these standards are enforced. This October 2008 report examines data on known violations and law enforcement responses under six critical pollution, health and safety programs, and finds that enforcement of state environmental and health laws varies widely.
Building the Wheels of the Clean Energy Economy
Public Transportation for the 21st Century
Fact Sheet
In too many cities and towns across the nation, Americans are spending more time in their cars—and stuck in traffic—when traveling between home, work, and school. This dangerous reliance on our vehicles, which keeps us addicted to oil and causes serious pollution, is a threat to our health, environment, and national security. Developing a modern, efficient public transportation infrastructure will create millions of jobs, reduce our reliance on foreign oil, combat global warming and serve as the foundation of the clean energy economy. Get document in pdf.
Fish Out of Water
How Water Management in the Bay-Delta Threatens the Future of California's Salmon Fishery
Issue Paper
This July 2008 issue paper examines the operation of water management projects in California as one of the most significant -- and reversible -- causes of fishery collapse and provides comprehensive policy recommendations for restoring and sustaining this treasured resource.
Trout in Trouble
The Impacts of Global Warming on Trout in the Interior West
Issue Paper
Global warming is the single greatest threat to the survival of trout in America's interior west. If nothing is done to reduce human-produced greenhouse gas emissions, the primary culprit behind global warming, trout habitat in the Rocky Mountain region could be reduced by 50 percent or more by the end of the century, bringing serious economic consequences for those whose livelihoods depend on the fishing, recreation, and tourism industry.
Tapping into Stranded Domestic Oil
Enhanced Oil Recovery with Carbon Dioxide Is a Win-Win-Win
Fact Sheet
The country has a significant, untapped win-win-win opportunity to stimulate our economy and reduce our dependence on imported oil while actually helping to protect wild places and reduce global warming pollution: a process known as carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). According to industry research CO2-EOR would give America access to large, domestic oil resources -- potentially more than four times the proven U.S. reserves, or up to 10 full years of our total national consumption. But without the stimulus of climate protection legislation, CO2 for oil recovery is likely to remain in short supply and most of this domestic oil resource will stay in the ground. Get document in pdf.
Temperatures Rising
Global Warming Turns up the Heat on Human Health
Fact Sheet
Heat waves are becoming more frequent and more severe as a result of global warming. Higher temperatures will have serious effects on human health. Get document in pdf.
Boosting the Benefits
Improving Air Quality and Health by Reducing Global Warming Pollution in California
Issue Paper
California has the opportunity to combat global warming while simultaneously improving air quality and public health throughout the state. Measures being considered under the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) could save hundreds of lives and prevent thousands of other negative health impacts each year -- saving billions of dollars in healthcare costs.
Job Opportunities in a Green Economy
States can gain from fighting global warming
Fact Sheet
Curbing global warming is the work of a generation; specifically, the work of millions of people, performing the jobs needed to build the green economy. Clean energy investments will create opportunities for welders, sheet metal workers, machinists, truck drivers, and others -- and the benefits of those new jobs would spread to a much wider swatch of the economy. The following fact sheets outline potential green job opportunities in a select number of states.
More Effective and Economical Pest Control
Integrated Pest Management
Fact Sheet
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a proven, cost-effective strategy to combat pest problems without unnecessary pesticides. By correcting conditions that lead to pest problems and using least-toxic pesticides only when necessary, IPM provides more effective pest control, often without increasing costs. Get document in pdf.
Protect Our Friendly Skies
Gassing up on tar sands, liquid coal, and oil shale would sharply increase aviation emissions
Fact Sheet
The aviation industry should not use dirty fuels and should instead focus on emission reduction techniques. Get document in pdf.
The Cost of Climate Change
What We'll Pay if Global Warming Continues Unchecked
Report
New research shows that if present trends continue, the total cost of global warming will be as high as 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Four global warming impacts alone -- hurricane damage, real estate losses, energy costs, and water costs -- will come with a price tag of 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, or almost $1.9 trillion annually (in today's dollars) by 2100. The longer we wait, the more painful -- and expensive -- the consequences will be.
Chemicals in Plastic Bottles
How to Know What’s Safe for Your Family
Fact Sheet
A guide to what plastics are safe for your family, and what the government needs to do to ensure strong protections. Get document in pdf.
Compact Fluorescent Lights Are Safe for Your Home
Fact Sheet
CFLs are safe, and can help your family save energy and money. Get document in pdf.
Preparing for Global Warming
A Framework for Protecting Community Health and the Environment in a Warmer World
Fact Sheet
We must start now to protect against and prepare for the effects of global warming on our world. Get document in pdf.
Putting Biofuels on the Right Track
Renewable Fuels Standard Safeguards Protect Wildlife and the Environment
Fact Sheet
RFS safeguards can ensure that biofuels are done right, and don't just become another dirty fuel. Get document in pdf.
Florida Needs a Healthy Oceans Act
We can revive the world's oceans, starting with a Healthy Oceans Act.
Fact Sheet
We depend on the ocean for food, recreation, and jobs, but now pollution, overexploitation, and habitat degradation are pushing the world’s oceans into a silent state of collapse. In Florida, ocean deterioration has led to beach closings, dying reefs, fewer fish for commercial and recreational fishing, and dangerous chemicals in some of the state’s seafood. Fortunately, solutions are available that can help revive the world’s oceans, starting with passing a national Healthy Oceans Act. Get document in pdf.
Hotter and Drier
The West's Changed Climate
Report
Human activities are already changing the climate of the American West. This report by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) shows how the West is being affected more by a changed climate than any other part of the United States outside of Alaska. Embracing available solutions at all levels of government is critical to minimizing further disruption of this region’s climate and economy.
Stop the Slaughter
Yellowstone’s Buffalo Herd Must Be Protected
Fact Sheet
The Montana Department of Livestock and the National Park Service are killing the thousands of buffalo that roam in Yellowstone National Park, claiming with little evidence that the buffalo could transmit disease to cattle in the area. NRDC is fighting to protect Yellowstone buffalo from senseless killing and to safeguard the park’s wildlife resources for future generations. Get document in pdf.
There Is No Such Thing as "Clean Coal"
Coal Mining Can Have Disastrous Impacts on Human Health and the Environment
Fact Sheet
Coal mining has serious impacts on our health and the environment. Clean energy options such as energy efficiency can meet energy demands without the dangerous effects of coal. Get document in pdf.
Smart Cities
Solutions for China's Rapid Urbanization
Issue Paper
The number of Chinese residents migrating from rural to urban areas in the next two decades will be roughly equivalent to the relocation of the population of the United States, a transformation that may bring disastrous consequences without careful planning. This December 2007 issue paper provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for smart growth strategies that promote more efficient use of land, services, and resources.
The New Energy Economy
Putting America on the Path to Solving Global Warming
Issue Paper
How America and the world respond to global warming and our growing demand for energy -- and whether we respond in time -- will determine what kind of planet we have for generations to come. Fortunately, many of the technologies and policy tools we need to make the shift to cleaner energy solutions already exist, and we can deploy them without harming the economy. NRDC outlines six energy-sector opportunities that can help America reduce global warming pollution. The next step is decisive action by the U.S. government to facilitate these investments and reduce our global warming pollution the necessary 80 percent, or 10.6 billion tons, by 2050.
Driving on Fumes
Truck Drivers Face Elevated Health Risks from Diesel Pollution
Issue Paper
Diesel pollution is well known to be hazardous to human health. Groups at particular risk include workers in diesel industries, such as trucking and rail, and communities located near major sources of diesel pollution, such as ports and freeways. This December 2007 issue paper summarizes the alarming findings of one of the first investigations to measure drivers' exposure levels to diesel soot inside trucks serving our nation's ports.
Drilling Down
Protecting Western Communities from the Health and Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Production
Report
Oil and gas production releases pollution that can have serious impacts on people's health and the surrounding air, water, and land. Although these operations are frequently located near homes, schools, and other community resources, the oil and gas industry enjoys numerous exemptions from provisions of federal laws intended to protect human health and the environment.
Safe at Home
Making the Federal Fire Safety Budget Work for Communities
Issue Paper
Every summer, images of wildfires dominate TV screens and newspaper headlines. Yet despite the effort -- and the money -- that goes into emergency response, fires destroy hundreds of homes and whole neighborhoods in the American West during wildfire season.
Sneezing and Wheezing
How Global Warming Could Increase Ragweed Allergies, Air Pollution and Asthma
Issue Paper
Global warming isn't just making our planet hotter. Scientific studies have also shown that our changing climate could mean more ozone pollution in some areas, intensifying health problems stemming from allergenic pollen such as ragweed. NRDC research, the first to map areas within the United States where ragweed and unhealthy ozone pollution overlap, shows that 110 million Americans live in areas with both ragweed and ozone problems.
Dangerous Disposals
Keeping Coal Combustion Waste Out of Our Water Supply
Fact Sheet
Coal combustion waste released as pollution by power plants can make drinking water in nearby communities unsafe. Stronger protections are needed to regulate this waste, and to ensure that more polluting power plants are not needed. Get document in pdf.
Global Warming Heats Up the Insurance Industry
Fact Sheet
A changing climate means instability for the insurance industry. Get document in pdf.
What’s Coming Out of the Tap?
How to Ensure That Your Family’s Drinking Water Is Safe
Fact Sheet
Despite the many sources of pollution that can affect drinking water, with a little research, proper testing, and treatment (if necessary) you can help to ensure that the water you and your family drink is safe. NRDC is joining with local communities to keep drinking water clean and to curb pollution long before it reaches your tap. Get document in pdf.
Clearing the Air
Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners
Issue Paper
Air fresheners have become a staple in many American homes and offices, marketed with the promise of creating a clean, healthy and sweet-smelling indoor atmosphere. But this September 2007 issue paper shows that many of these products contain phthalates -- hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects, and reproductive problems.
Back from the Brink
How NRDC Helped Save the Ozone Layer
Issue Paper
September 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of the world’s most effective environmental treaty -- the Montreal Protocol. Back from the Brink: How NRDC Helped Save the Ozone Layer describes how a team of NRDC scientists and lawyers played a crucial role in creating this landmark environmental protection.
Getting Biofuels Right
Eight steps for reaping real environmental benefits from biofuels
Fact Sheet
America's transportation sector is the key link between our ever-growing dependence on oil and global warming pollution. The oil that powers our cars and trucks accounts for two-thirds of our total oil use and generates one-third of the U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. Energy efficiency is the cleanest, cheapest, and fastest way to cut oil demand, but it is only a part of the package. NRDC research shows that liquid motor vehicle fuels made from plant matter, such as ethanol, butanol, and biodiesel, can be a large and important tool for ending our dependence on oil and stopping global warming -- but only if we get them right. Get document in pdf.
Katrina’s Wake: Arsenic-Laced Schools and Playgrounds Put New Orleans Children at Risk
Issue Paper
When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans in August 2005, the levee failures inundated the city -- particularly its most vulnerable neighborhoods -- with a hazardous sea of fuel, sewage and chemicals.  This August 2007 issue paper reveals that people in New Orleans were returning home to communities that have not been adequately cleaned up, and offers solutions on a federal and local level for charting a safer course for New Orleans.
California Takes on Power Plant Emissions
SB 1368 Sets Groundbreaking Greenhouse Gas Performance Standard
Fact Sheet
California is ensuring a clean energy future by adopting the world's first greenhouse gas emissions performance standard for power plant investments. Senate Bill SB 368 requires that any new long-term financial investment in "baseload" generation resources -- those workhorse power plants that supply electricity around the clock -- made on behalf of California customers must be in clean energy sources. Get document in pdf.
The Next Generation of Hybrid Cars
Plug-in Hybrids Can Help Reduce Global Warming and Slash Oil Dependency
Fact Sheet
Plug-in hybrid vehicles are the next new technology that can help Americans use less gas at the pump. Get document in pdf.
Driving It Home: Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future
Choosing the Right Path for Fueling North America's Transportation Future
Report
North America faces an energy crossroads. With the world fast approaching the end of cheap, plentiful conventional oil, we must choose between developing ever-dirtier sources of fossil fuels -- at great cost to our health and environment -- or setting a course for a more sustainable energy future of clean, renewable fuels.
Costa Rica: Setting the Pace for Reducing Global Warming Pollution and Phasing Out Oil
Fact Sheet
Already a world leader in renewable energy use and tropical forest conservation, Costa Rica has declared the goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral country. To achieve this goal, Costa Rica must reduce its dependence on oil and increase investment in domestic renewable energy production and demand reduction strategies. Get document in pdf.
Saving Jamaica Bay
Fact Sheet
New York City's Jamaica Bay is plagued by an array of harms ranging from overdevelopment on its borders to water pollution to invasive plant and animal species. A unified effort on the part of government and residents is needed to restore this natural gem and to save one of the city's last wild places. Get document in pdf.
The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas
Protecting America’s Arctic
Fact Sheet
Aggressive government interest in leasing areas to the oil and gas industries in the zone referred to as the “Arctic Ring of Life”—home to millions of migratory birds, polar bears, beluga whales, endangered bowhead whales, and thousands-year-old Inupiat (Eskimo) culture—threatens the sustainability of this ecosystem and the livelihood of Alaska Native communities. Get document in pdf.
A Golden Opportunity
California's Solutions for Global Warming
Report
California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, AB 32, is the most ambitious global warming solutions law in the nation. The next step: putting in place specific measures to bring emissions levels back to 1990 levels by 2020 to meet AB 32’s limit. This June 2007 report describes how California is protecting the state from global warming pollution while growing its economy and encouraging the innovative clean technology industry.
Nanotechnology: Small Science, Big Consequences
Issue Paper
From mascara to tennis balls to baby wipes, tiny nanoparticles are hidden in many of the products that we use every day. But much is still unknown about the effects of nanotechnology on human health and the environment. This May 2007 NRDC issue paper presents the latest research on the potential risks of nanotechnology and outlines a framework for regulating these still-untested chemicals.
Porpoise in Peril
Help protect the most endangered small marine mammal in the world
Fact Sheet
NRDC is working to prevent the extinction of the vaquita marina (Phocoena sinus), the world’s smallest porpoise and now its most endangered small marine mammal. The main threat to vaquitas is the accidental entanglement in nets set for fish and shrimp that is exported from Mexico to U.S. consumers. Immediate action must be taken to protect this critically endangered porpoise. Get document in pdf.
Florida’s Coastal and Ocean Future
A Blueprint for Economic and Environmental Leadership
Issue Paper
With tourism, fishing, and recreational sport bringing billions of dollars into Florida each year, the coast is Florida's economic engine. This issue paper provides a blueprint for how local leaders and decision makers can -- and must -- take action to protect Florida’s marine and coastal ecosystems.
Global Warming’s Effects on Florida’s Oceans and Coasts Demand Immediate Action
Fact Sheet
NRDC and our partners are fighting to revive and protect Florida's thriving coastal and ocean economy by promoting measures that will reduce global warming pollution and protect coastal habitats and restore robust fisheries. Get document in pdf.
Keeping Our Waters Clean in the Monterey Bay Region
How Smaller Communities Can Prevent Toxic Runoff
Fact Sheet
Stormwater runoff is a leading source of coastal pollution in California, damaging the environment and threatening public health. NRDC developed a three-part strategy of prevention, monitoring and enforcement that can help smaller and midsized cities deal with this toxic stormwater runoff before it pollutes local waterways and puts public health at risk. This effective and straightforward plan has already been adopted, and once fully implemented, will successfully manage runoff in coastal communities along the Monterey Peninsula in California.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Americans Want Smart Growth Alternatives to Conventional Transportation
Fact Sheet
Smart growth land-use strategies, also known as location-efficient development or “new urbanism,” can save Americans saving thousands of dollars a year in transportation costs, improve quality of life, and provide significant benefits for the environment. Get document in pdf.
More Integrated Pest Management Please
Issue Paper
This February 2007 issue paper recommends specific actions for how Congress and USDA can increase the quantity and quality of Integrated pest management (IPM) assistance to farmers to improve air, water, soil and habitat.
Why Coal Liquids Are Not A Viable Option To Move America Beyond Oil
Fact Sheet
Liquid coal is a polluting process that releases large quantities of global warming pollution into our air. America should instead pursue clean energy options such as efficiency, smart growth, and renewable fuels. Get document in pdf.
Morro Bay-Cayucos Sewage Treatment Plant and Sea Otter Habitat
Fact Sheet
The Morro Bay/Cayucos sewage plant in California has dumped pollutants into the ocean for more than two decades -- directly into bay waters that are a hotspot for deaths among the threatened California sea otter.  Officials at the Morro Bay sewage plant do not intend to complete an upgrade to meet basic federal standards until March 2014, even as the plant's own documents show that a faster, more efficient, less expensive upgrade is possible.
Treating America's Oil Addiction
A Clean, Renewable Path to Energy Security
Fact Sheet
Our future depends on reducing our oil demand now. Get document in pdf.
New York State's Strained Ocean Resources
Commercially and culturally vital, New York's shorelines, beaches and fisheries are in trouble.
Fact Sheet
Healthy, diverse ocean ecosystems are an important part of New York's coastal heritage and economic well-being. Yet these ocean systems are severely strained from pollution, destruction of productive marine habitat, and overfishing.
Trash Landings
How Airlines and Airports Can Clean Up Their Recycling Programs
Report
The U.S. airline industry discards enough aluminum cans each year to build 58 Boeing 747 airplanes, along with thousands of tons of plastics, magazines and newspapers. All of this waste represents unrealized potential for airlines and airports to save money, reduce global warming pollution and improve efficiency.
Avoiding Chlorine in the Paper Bleaching Process
Fact Sheet
Recommendations for safer ways to brighten and whiten paper.
Getting Mercury Out of Paper Production
Fact Sheet
The paper industry has an important role to play in reducing toxic mercury pollution.
Losing Ground: Western National Parks Endangered by Climate Disruption
Report
National parks in the American West face an unprecedented threat from climate change. Rising temperatures, prolonged drought, severe wildfires and diminished snowfall are already affecting these parks; without action to curb climate change, cherished Western landscapes could be drastically altered.
If You Don’t Buy African Ivory, Why Would You Buy Amazon Mahogany?
Fact Sheet
High consumer demand for mahogany has boosted prices and the illegal trade of these majestic trees from Peru to the United States, bringing disastrous impacts for indigenous peoples who rely on the forests, endangered species losing their habitat, and the long-term viability of commercial mahogany. Get document in pdf.
Strip Mining for Oil in Endangered Forests
Fact Sheet
Big oil interests are scraping away hundreds of thousands of acres in North America’s Boreal forest to produce tar sands oil, and in the process consuming large amounts of natural gas and generating three times as much global warming pollution as conventional crude oil production. Greater efficiency and renewable fuels are far better, cleaner ways to meet our energy needs. Get document in pdf.
Lost and Found: Missing Mercury from Chemical Plants Pollutes Air and Water
Issue Paper
Mercury is an invisible, odorless poison that can pollute oceans and rivers, contaminate our food and seep into the air, potentially causing severe health problems when ingested by humans. A major source of this pollution is chlor-alkali chemical manufacturing plants. Not only do these plants release harmful mercury into the environment, but they also cannot account for tons of mercury "lost" each year, which likely ends up in the air we breathe.
Harboring Pollution: The Dirty Truth about U.S. Ports
Report
Marine ports in the United States are major hubs of economic activity and major sources of pollution. This March 2004 report by NRDC and the Coalition for Clean Air assesses efforts at the 10 largest U.S. ports to control pollution, and provides an overview of policy and practical pollution mitigation recommendations.
A Hydrogen Future?
An Economic and Environmental Assessment of Hydrogen Production Pathways
Issue Paper
Hydrogen is being touted as the fuel of the future, but how it is produced matters. The least expensive and most developed methods in use today are not necessarily environmentally sustainable. This analysis suggests that hydrogen will not provide an immediate solution to America’s energy and climate crises.
Sounding the Depths II
The Rising Toll of Sonar, Shipping and Industrial Ocean Noise on Marine Life
Report
Ocean noise produced by military sonar, oil and gas exploration, and shipping traffic can have impacts on marine life ranging from long-term behavioral change to hearing loss to death. This November 2005 NRDC report reviews the science, surveys the leading contributors to the problem, and suggest what might be done to reduce the impacts of noise on the sea -- before the proliferation of noise sources makes the problem unmanageable.
Position Paper: Commercial Nuclear Power
Issue Paper
This October 2005 paper examines the issues that prevent nuclear power from becoming a leading means to combat global warming pollution. In its present state, the nuclear power industry suffers from too many security, safety and environmental exposure problems, not to mention excessive costs, to be a viable alternate energy source.
After Katrina: New Solutions for Safe Communities and a Secure Energy Future
Report
This September 2005 NRDC report represents the combined efforts of our experts on public health, toxic waste, urban design, coastal protection, energy security and global warming as New Orleans faces the challenge of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. It offers a set of policies and practices to protect the safety and well-being of Gulf Coast residents -- and all Americans -- during the recovery period, and into a healthier, more sustainable future.
"Emissions Intensity" -- Pollution by Any Other Name?
Why emissions keep growing under the Bush administration plan.
Fact Sheet
The Bush administration's voluntary approach to global warming focuses on reducing emissions intensity -- the ratio of carbon dioxide to a measure of economic output. But under the administration's plan, even as emissions intensity improves, total emissions will keep on rising. To combat global warming effectively, the government must focus its policy on reducing the total amount of heat-trapping pollution in the atmosphere.
Voluntary Efforts Won't Work
Why we need mandatory limits on carbon dioxide.
Fact Sheet
The federal government has for years tried to curb global warming pollution by asking corporate polluters to voluntarily cut emissions. The evidence is in -- voluntary emissions cuts are not sufficient. Too few companies take part in these initiatives; even power companies -- the leading participants -- mostly consent only to business-as-usual actions that make no real impact on rising emissions trends. Only binding limits on global warming pollution will create the market structure needed to push competitive businesses beyond the cosmetic and into taking meaningful steps to reduce global warming pollution.
In the Tank: How Oil Prices Threaten Automakers' Profits and Jobs
How Oil Prices Threaten Automakers' Profits and Jobs
Report
This July 2005 report from NRDC and noted auto industry analysts says that sales, profits and American jobs are at risk if Detroit's three big automakers continue with their SUV-reliant business strategy in the face of higher oil prices.
An Environmental Agenda for the 109th Congress
Issue Paper
This NRDC policy paper, issued in early 2005, summarizes the top environmental priorities NRDC sees ahead for the 109th Congress.
Medicines from the Deep
The Importance of Protecting the High Seas from Bottom Trawling
Issue Paper
Medical research suggests that novel compounds from the deep sea hold tremendous promise for treating human disease, highlighting the need to protect the fragile deep ocean bottom from destructive fishing practices like bottom trawling.
Cleaning Up Today's Dirty Diesels
Retrofitting and Replacing Heavy-Duty Vehicles in the Coming Decade
Issue Paper
Stringent new federal standards for diesel fuel and emissions will provide significant health benefits. But these benefits will not be fully realized for 20 years unless effective programs are put in place to replace and retrofit today's fleets of dirty diesel vehicles, concentrating on urban areas, where people are exposed to more vehicle pollution, and on cleaning up the oldest, dirtiest vehicles first.
An Alternative Path to Grizzly Recovery in the Lower 48 States
Issue Paper
This May 2004 NRDC policy paper outlines a practical plan for restoring grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states by preserving grizzly habitat, anticipating and resolving conflicts between humans and bears and increasing public participation in grizzly protection. The paper presents an alternative to the current U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan for grizzly protecton.
The Environmental Record of the 108th Congress
Issue Paper
The 108th Congress was called to order on January 7, 2003, and adjourned on December 8, 2004 (more than two full months after scheduled adjournment). We recount the major environmental battles and outcomes below.
Rewriting the Rules (2005 Special Edition)
Report
The Bush administration took nearly 150 actions to undermine environmental protections over the past year, consistent with its historic assault on the nation's environmental safeguards. This January 2005 NRDC report assesses the Bush presidency's first-term environmental policies, and previews battles expected during the administration's second term.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe
A review of post-Cold War policy, force levels, and war planning.
Issue Paper
A review of post-Cold War policy, force levels, and war planning.
Pollution Unchecked: A Case Study of Greene County, Pennsylvania
Report
Southwestern Pennsylvania's Greene County suffers from serious air and water pollution, and cancer rates in the predominantly low-income Appalachian community are substantially higher than state and national averages. This December 2004 report finds that despite the obvious health risks county residents face, state and federal officials have made no significant effort to collect data on possible health effects linked to pollution in Greene County.
Hidden Danger
Environmental Health Threats to the Latino Community
Report
Pollution poses health risks for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, language, or country of origin. A large percentage of U.S. Latinos, however, live and work in urban and agricultural areas where they face heightened danger of exposure to air pollution, unsafe drinking water, pesticides, and lead and mercury contamination. This October 2004 report underscores the urgent need for government action on these environmental health threats.
Nuclear Insecurity
A Critique of the Bush Administration's Nuclear Weapons Policies
Report
This September 2004 report assesses the Bush administration's nuclear weapons policies and concludes that they have made the United States more vulnerable, not more secure. It offers recommendations for a more responsible nuclear policy, including honoring the U.S. commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, scrapping plans for nuclear bunker busters, and ending the deployment of the unproven missile defense system.
Weaponeers of Waste
A Critical Look at the Bush Administration Energy Department's Nuclear Weapons Complex and the First Decade of Science-Based Stockpile Stewardship
Report
This April 2004 report finds that the U.S. nuclear "stockpile stewardship" program is spending billions on nuclear weapons research and production projects that are over budget and years behind in meeting their goals. Despite the end of the Cold War, the Bush administration spent 12 times more on nuclear weapons research and production than on nonproliferation efforts to retrieve, secure and dispose of nuclear weapons materials.
Recycling Returns
Ten Reforms for Making New York City's Recycling Program More Cost-Effective
Report
After suspending glass and plastic recycling in the summer of 2002 due to record budget deficits, New York City has restored its full recycling program. This April 2004 NRDC report, shaped by a steering committee of representatives from 10 environmental and consumer groups, recommends strategies to make recycling more economically stable, while helping to expand New York's recycling program.
Harboring Pollution: Strategies to Clean Up U.S. Ports
Report
U.S. seaports are the largest and most poorly regulated sources of urban pollution in the country. This August 2004 report by NRDC and the Coalition for Clean Air provides practical strategies and policies for port operators, regulatory agencies, and community-based organizations to reduce health-endangering air and water pollution, noise and light pollution that disrupts communities near ports, and harm to marine habitats.
Swimming in Sewage
The Growing Problem of Sewage Pollution and How the Bush Administration Is Putting Our Health and Environment at Risk
Report
This February 2004 report from NRDC and the Environmental Integrity Project describes the emerging environmental and public health crisis resulting from our nation's failure to effectively treat sewage, presents seven case studies from around the country that illustrate how exposure to sewage pollution has killed or seriously injured people and harmed local economies, and recommends solutions to America's sewage problem.
Iran Develops Nuclear Technologies in Secret for 18 Years
A report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency describes technological advances and a policy of concealment.
Report
On November 10, 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a 30-page confidential report on Iran's nuclear activities. The report revealed that for the past 18 years Iran has secretly developed technologies for producing weapon-usable highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Read the report on NRDC's website.
The ABC News Nuclear Smuggling Experiment
The Sequel
Fact Sheet
This briefing paper provides information about NRDC's role in an ABC News investigative report on U.S. Customs' inability to detect smuggled nuclear weapons material. NRDC loaned ABC News the depleted uranium it used in its report. The briefing paper covers the properties of uranium, radioactive shielding, and how closely ABC's "experiment" reflects the potential for terrorists to smuggle weapon-grade uranium into the country.
What's On Tap?
Grading Drinking Water in U.S. Cities
Report
This June 2003 NRDC study of drinking water quality in 19 U.S. cities finds that pollution and deteriorating, outdated plumbing are sometimes delivering drinking water that might pose health risks to some residents, and unless steps are taken now, tap water will get worse. The report issues grades to each municipal water system studied in water quality and compliance, source water protection, and right-to-know compliance, and outlines a plan for protecting the nation's drinking water supply.
Environmental Characteristics of Smart Growth Neighborhoods
Case Studies in Sacramento and Nashville
Issue Paper
These studies, published in October 2000 and February 2003 for NRDC in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, suggest that the environmental benefits of smart growth are real and can be measured.
Holding the Line
The Environmental Record of the 107th Congress
Report
This December 2002 report tracks the environmental record of the 107th Congress and identifies issues to watch in the 108th.
Clean Water at Risk: An Assessment of Bush Administration Water Protection Rollbacks
Report
An October 2002 NRDC report -- issued on the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act -- that assesses the impact this landmark environmental law has had on the safety and environmental health of the nation’s waterways and documents the Bush administration's sustained attack on clean water protections.
Solving Sprawl
Models of Smart Growth in Communities Across America
Report
Sprawl is taking a grave toll on our environment and the way we live, giving us mind-numbing traffic, ugly strip development, fragmented communities, and loss of open space. This November 2001 book from NRDC, Solving Sprawl, offers an inspiring contrast to these grim trends. Through 35 real-world stories, the book illustrates how people in cities, suburbs, and rural areas have found profitable, community-oriented alternatives to sprawl.
Feeling the Heat in Florida
Global Warming on the Local Level
Report
Accelerated climate change may seem like a remote concern to most Floridians, but in fact, global warming threatens the beautiful coastal communities and tourist-driven prosperity the state is known for. This October 2001 NRDC report finds that global warming in Florida will lead to coastal floods, saltwater contamination of underground drinking water supplies, more frequent wildfires, declining crop yields, and severe deterioration of the state's unique Everglades and coral-reef ecosystems. While the worst effects won't come for several decades, the report makes it clear that state officials should begin preparing now and reduce the pollution that causes global warming.
Stormwater Strategies: Community Responses to Runoff Pollution
Report
This report documents some of the most effective strategies being employed by communities around the country to control urban runoff pollution, which is among the top sources of water contamination today. The collection of 100 case studies is intended to serve as a guide for local decisionmakers, municipal officials, and environmental activists; it is also a resource for citizens concerned about the quality of their local environment.
Cesspools of Shame
How Factory Farm Lagoons and Sprayfields Threaten Environmental and Public Health
Report
This July 2001 report from NRDC and the Clean Water Network documents how animal waste from factory farms threatens human health and our nation's rivers. Most factory farms store animal waste in open lagoons as large as several football fields. Lagoons routinely burst, sending millions of gallons of manure into waterways and spreading microbes that can cause gastroenteritis, fevers, kidney failure, and death.
Hostile Environment: How Activist Judges Threaten Our Air, Water, and Land
Report
Several federal judges have placed their own political agenda above the clear mandates of our environmental laws, ignoring congressional statutes and legal precedent, and putting new hurdles in the way of environmental regulators and citizens who would sue polluters. This July 2001 report tracks these developments, and charges that appointing activist judges to the bench could signal a death sentence for many environmental protections.
The U.S. Nuclear War Plan: A Time for Change
Report
A June 2001 report assesses the U.S. nuclear war planning process and the assumptions and logic of the Single Integrated Operational Plan, a Cold War relic that continues to guide U.S. nuclear war plans. Using customized computer software and a vast aggregation of declassified and open-source data to closely approximate the tools that SIOP planners use, NRDC has simulated a U.S. attacks against Russian nuclear forces Russian cities.
California's Contaminated Groundwater
Is the State Minding the Store?
Report
Despite the importance of groundwater to its population and economy -- and ample evidence of dangerous groundwater-contamination problems that will be expensive to address -- California does not effectively monitor or protect its groundwater supplies. This April 2001 report documents the lapses in the state's data gathering, monitoring, and protection of this vital resource, and makes recommendations for reforms.
Keeping Oceans Wild
How Marine Reserves Protect Our Living Seas
Report
Marine reserves are like national parks, and they are critical to keeping the world's oceans healthy and productive. This NRDC report demonstrates how placing important ocean areas off-limits is already reaping tremendous benefits, and shows how each of us can participate in protecting marine life and habitat for the future.
The Legislative Record
Environment and the 106th Congress
Report
This February 2001 report analyzes major environmental legislative activity in the 106th Congress and evaluates progress by subject area. The report concludes that the environmental legacy of the 106th Congress lies largely in its failure to take any meaningful action to protect public health and the environment.
No Breathing in the Aisles
Diesel Exhaust Inside School Buses
Report
This February 2001 study from NRDC and the Coalition for Clean Air shows that children who ride a diesel school bus may be exposed to up to four times more toxic diesel exhaust than someone traveling in a car directly in front of it. The study found that excess exhaust levels on school buses were 23 to 46 times higher than levels considered to be a significant cancer risk according to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and federal guidelines.
Priority Ocean Areas for Protection in the Mid-Atlantic: Findings of NRDC's Marine Habitat Workshop
Report
In September 2000, NRDC organized a workshop that brought scientists together to identify specific priority ocean areas in the mid-Atlantic for protection. This report summarizes the results of the scientific workshop in order to foster better understanding, management, and protection of marine species and habitat in federal waters of the mid-Atlantic. The report includes maps reflecting priority areas recommended by each participating scientist.
Another Cost of Sprawl
The Effects of Land Use on Wastewater Utility Costs
Report
A 1998 NRDC study that adds to the growing body of literature demonstrating that low-density sprawl development is costly, inefficient, and inequitable.
Poisons on Pets
Health Hazards from Flea and Tick Products
Report
This report highlights the potential health hazards to humans and pets from flea collars and other flea and tick control products. The report recommends that the EPA ban the use of an entire class of these products -- those using organophosphates. It also offers recommendations for pet owners on combating fleas and ticks with a variety of simple non-chemical steps and/or by applying safer products, including insect growth regulators.
Developments and Dollars
An Introduction to Fiscal Impact Analysis in Land Use Planning
Report
This guide provides citizens, planners, local officials and others concerned with sprawling development and growth issues with tools they need to examine the likely impacts of development proposals on local taxes and municipal budgets. It also offers advice on accounting practices sometimes used to make development appear more attractive to local governments than it really is.
Paving Paradise
Sprawl and the Environment
Report
Expanding metropolitan areas into the countryside at rates many times faster than population growth, as we have been doing for decades, is not good for the environment. Whether we can improve the pattern in the coming decades will be critical because, in the first half of the 21st century, the U.S. population is expected to grow by half.
End of the Road: The Adverse Ecological Impacts of Roads and Logging
A Compilation of Independently Reviewed Research
Report
An annotated bibliography providing an overview of primary research, almost all from peer-reviewed journals, documenting the adverse impacts of roads and logging on North American forest ecosystems.
Preventing Industrial Pollution at its Source
A Final Report of the Michigan Source Reduction Initiative
Report
This report details a project undertaken by NRDC, Dow Chemical, and a group of five community activists to reduce waste and emissions at Dow's Midland, Michigan, chemical manufacturing plant. The project, begun in late 1996 and completed in April 1999, aimed to achieve reductions in pollution emission through pollution prevention -- manufacturing process improvements that decrease waste before it is generated.
Under Attack: New York's Kensico and West Branch Reservoirs Confront Intensified Development
Report
A report finding that encroaching development and inadequate protection by city and state officials threaten New York City's two most important reservoirs.
America's Animal Factories
How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Waste
Report
A report examining the environmental and health consequences of pollution from industrial livestock farms in 30 states, as well as the widely varying efforts to curtail it.
Trouble on the Farm: Growing Up with Pesticides in Agricultural Communities
Report
A report examining the disproportionate exposure to dangerous pesticides borne by children of farmers and farm workers, and the related threats to their health.
Efficient Wood Use in Residential Construction
A Practical Guide to Saving Wood, Money, and Forests
Report
The online excerpts of this handbook summarize the advantages of several wood-efficient approaches to design, material selection, and construction for residential applications, and describe the extensive practical and resource information for builders, architects, engineers, developers, lenders, and insurers provided in the print version.
Taking Stock: Worldwide Nuclear Deployments 1998
Report
A report providing, for the first time, authoritative estimates of the sizes and locations of the nuclear arsenals of the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China. The report contains detailed descriptions, including maps and tables, of today's arsenals, and describes the events that have led to the consolidation of weapons storage sites. The authors also project likely trends for the future.
Our Children At Risk
The Five Worst Environmental Threats to Their Health
Report
A report identifying the special vulnerability of children to environmental hazards and highlighting the growing evidence pointing to a link between pollution and childhood illnesses. The report makes recommendations, at both the policy and personal levels, for the protection of the next generation.
The Rise and Fall of the Third ICF Review
A Case Study of Bias and Conflicts of Interest in a National Academy of Sciences Review of the National Ignition Facility
Report
A case study of bias and conflicts of interest in a National Academy of Sciences review of the Department Of Energy's National Ignition Facility.
End Run: The U.S. Government’s Plan for Designing Nuclear Weapons and Simulating Nuclear Explosions under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Report
A report on the U.S. Government's plan for designing nuclear weapons and simulating nuclear explosions under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Too Good To Throw Away
Recycling's Proven Record
Report
A report detailing the environmental benefits of recycling and addressing the claims of a small but vocal chorus of special interests that have tried to cast doubt on its value.
Breath-taking
Premature Mortality Due to Particulate Air Pollution in 239 American Cities
Report
Excerpts from a groundbreaking May 1996 NRDC report on premature mortality due to particulate air pollution in 239 American cities.

Track Current Legislation

Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no...

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