The Department of the Planet Earth is a non-profit citizen group with board members from the United States and Canada, which specializes in bringing information about toxics, global warming, and other hazards to the attention of governmental regulatory and research agencies and elected officials. We often undertake campaigns that involve citizens of both countries.
The Department of the Planet Earth is currently focused on several campaigns:
- the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable fuels to address global warming prevention at all levels of government, particularly the state and local governments of the United States where governors and mayors can make a difference;
- the promotion of daylighting in schools to save energy and raise student test scores;
- the ban of bio-accumulative chemicals through the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty, including more recently lindane, and brominated fire retardants. We also work on reduction of mercury in the environment;
- a ban on the use of the production of pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals using genetically modified food crops such as corn – (it’s too dangerous);#
- the elimination of aluminum based food additives as well as aluminum coagulants added to the water supply, since aluminum is one cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Petition to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of NAFTA on Incinerator Pollution
One of the concessions to environmental groups when the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed and ratified by the United States, Canada, and Mexico was the creation of the CEC or Commission for Environmental Cooperation. One role of the Commission was to receive complaints from citizen groups about the failure of any of the three governments to enforce its environmental laws.
Failure of the United States to Enforce Laws and Treaties With Regard to Incinerator Pollution Crossing the Border of Canada or Polluting the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement signed by President Richard Nixon of the United States and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada provided for “virtual elimination” of persistent toxic substances. The International Joint Commission (IJC) was established by that treaty as a monitoring and advisory group. And over the years, the IJC has elaborated on the need to “virtually eliminate” persistent organic pollutants like PCB’s, DDT, and dioxins. Indeed, the IJC has called for the phaseout of chlorine itself in manufacture.
Likewise, the Clean Air Act and the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, have called for programs of pollution prevention.
Because the US Environmental Protection Agency has been ignoring these provisions over the years – Particularly with regard to solid waste and medical waste incinerators, the Department of the Planet Earth and eight other citizen groups and individuals from Canada and the United States petitioned the CEC in 1998, for an investigation.
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