Applaud Hawaii on Deadly Pesticide Ban

Target: David Ige, Governor of Hawaii

Goal: Congratulate Hawaii on pursuing environmental and public safety despite the Trump administration’s continued push for environmental deregulation.

Hawaii has banned the use of dangerous chlorpyrifos in pesticides. Lawmakers have chosen to protect the environment and their children’s safety despite the Trump administration’s refusal to ban this toxic substance nationwide. Hawaii is the first state to take a stand on this issue and should be applauded for its leadership.

Chlorpyrifos is a widely used chemical in pesticides and has been linked to neurological damage in children exposed to it. Children run a higher risk of developmental disabilities, lower IQ, and ADHD when exposed to the chemical. Farmers who spray this chemical are also at a higher risk of developing lung cancer and immune disorders. Yet a 2017 CNN report identified chlorpyrifos as the most widely used pesticide nationwide. Hawaii’s ban, which will begin in 2019, will prevent the use of chlorpyrifos, ban the spraying of pesticides within 100 feet of schools during school hours, and require the reporting of controlled chemicals to Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture.

Despite an EPA study recommending the ban of this substance from use due to its negative health effects, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt denied the request for a nationwide ban. It has been widely reported that this is likely due to the Trump administration’s close ties with a chlorpyrifos manufacturer, Dow Chemicals, which lobbied heavily against a ban and contributed significantly to the Trump administration.

Nationwide calls for a ban of this dangerous substance, including several ForceChange petitions here, here, here, and here, have been largely ignored by Pruitt and the EPA. We must show our support in protecting our children. Sign the petition to applaud Hawaii for its environmental stewardship and leadership in taking a stand against the destructive Trump administration.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Ige,

Hawaii’s recent ban on chlorpyrifos, despite the Trump administration’s continued assault on our environment, is admirable. I applaud you and your state legislature for your unanimous support of this law, which will protect our children from dangerous neurological health impacts.

Chlorpyrifos has been shown to have negative health impacts in those exposed, especially children. An EPA study recommended a ban of this toxic substance, yet President Trump and Scott Pruitt have bowed to the demands of the industrial lobby to allow continued use of this substance nationwide. It is unspeakably dangerous to take this stand, when the environment and public health is at stake.

If our federal government will not care for our children and the environment, the states must do so themselves. Thank you for your leadership in environmental and public health issues, especially in regards to this ban on dangerous pesticides. I hope you will encourage your fellow governors to do the same.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Zeynel Cebeci

Ensure Environment Doesn’t Become Hawaii Volcano’s Biggest Victim

Target: Harry Kim, Mayor of Hawaii County

Goal: Protect threatened regions from volcano-related environmental hazards.

Major blockbuster films often focus on spectacular explosions and rivers of fiery lava. As the ongoing Hawaii saga demonstrates, sometimes the most dangerous volcano hazards arise from  environmental pollutants. Fissures compounded by the recent eruption of the Kilauea volcano have poured untold amounts of methane and other toxic substances into the atmosphere. Now, residents face renewed anxiety as a potential ticking time bomb in the form of a geothermal plant stands in the crosshairs of the Kilauea eruptions.

Lava flows recently penetrated the grounds of the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant: a highly controversial structure that has long drawn the ire of nearby residents for its potential environmental hazards. Unfortunately, those fears may come to fruition if the aftereffects of the volcano come into contact with the dangerous gas utilized at the plant, most prominently sulfur dioxide.

While officials have taken precautions such as removing flammable liquids and plugging wells on the plant, alarm still remains high. This is a largely untested problem, and just one misstep or one unpredictable factor such as high winds could trigger an environmental and public health disaster.

Sign this petition to urge regional leadership to do the responsible thing and draft strong, environmentally conscious emergency response plans, including possible relocation of this facility.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mayor Kim,

Monitoring for atmospheric threats, potential mass evacuations, emergency closures: these represent just a few of the many unique dangers faced as you confront a previous hypothetical catastrophe scenario come to life. The Kilauea volcano has already claimed dozens of structures in Hawaii, but the threats posed to the Puna Geothermal Venture Plant present the greatest danger yet.

Hawaii relies upon this plant for much of its power, but with this reliance also comes immense responsibility. Time will tell if the danger indeed passes, but another disaster drill-turned-reality may strike at any time. Please take this opportunity to evaluate, to analyze, to listen to both experts and your community, and to prepare.

Heed the dangers to the environment and to the people…the people who have long warned you of these dangers. Take the necessary steps to neutralize these dangers, even if this means relocating these facilities to a safer place. Let this plant be a true source of power, not a harbinger of inevitable catastrophe.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Nikbert16

Ban Harmful Sunscreen Chemical Wreaking Havoc on Hawaii’s Endangered Coral Reefs

Target: David Ige, Governor of Hawaii

Goal: Protect the rare and endangered coral reefs of Hawaii by banning a dangerous and deadly chemical found in sunscreen.

Sunscreens containing a chemical known to cause harm to the rare coral reefs found off of Hawaii’s coast may soon be banned if the governor signs into law a recently passed bill. This would make Hawaii the first location worldwide to enact such a ban, and it could have potentially far-reaching results for the islands’ sensitive marine ecosystem.

The chemical in question is known as oxybenzone. Studies have shown that this substance degrades living corals’ resiliency against changes, such as those caused by climate change or other forms of environmental stress. Over time, it can contribute to coral death or inhibit the formation of new reefs. The newly passed ban would make it illegal to sell or distribute non-prescription sunscreen containing this harmful chemical, which will prevent this ingredient from ending up in the coastal waters near popular state beaches.

Coral reefs worldwide are in need of our help, and measures such as this ban are a small way we can help with their recovery. Sign this petition to urge Governor David Ige to sign this bill into law immediately to send a message to the rest of the world that reefs are worth protecting.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Governor Ige,

Hawaii is famous for its many beautiful coral reefs, which are a crucial habitat for many hundreds of species of fish and other marine life. Yet these reefs have been endangered thanks to a common substance found in sunscreen. You now have the chance to protect these reefs by signing into law a new bill banning oxybenzone passed by the Hawaii State Senate.

We, the undersigned, urge you to act immediately to approve this bill, which will be a world-first in banning this harmful substance. Removing oxybenzone from Hawaii’s coastal waters is an important step in ensuring the future of this picturesque, vulnerable ecosystem for years to come.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Janine