One in six Americans lives within 3 miles of a proposed or approved Superfund toxic waste site. Yet the program to clean up these sites has experienced a declining budget, and success, putting people at risk from hazardous contamination.
After years of setbacks on the environment, in the Biden administration’s early days, it is critical that we take swift action to clean up our environment and address the climate crisis. There are several important environmental policies that can be set in motion on day one that will protect our natural landscapes and give Americans cleaner air, cleaner water and a more livable climate. This report lists the First Thigns to Fix.
The 2020 election suggested that Americans are more divided than at any time in recent history. But in reality, there are a surprising number of public policies on which Republicans, Democrats and independents share common ground. By daring to venture out across political “no man’s land” and forge compromise on areas of public concern, lawmakers can get important work done for the American people even as they begin to create a pathway out of the nation’s dangerous and counterproductive polarization.
America’s waterways are a national asset. They are the places we swim on hot summer days, kayak with friends and family, spend a relaxing day fishing, and so much more. Yet billions of gallons of stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continue to pollute our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. As a result, all too often our beaches are unsafe for swimming, communities are flooded with sewage, and toxic algal outbreaks threaten wildlife and public health. Absent strong action from our leaders, these pollution problems will worsen in coming years, as overdevelopment and more intense storms put greater burdens on our fraying water infrastructure systems.
Americans agree: Our nation’s infrastructure needs work. This report provides the blueprint that should form the basis of an infrastructure plan that will make America stronger today and lay the foundation for a brighter future.
Environment Rhode Island Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.