Over a 21-month period from January 2016 to September 2017, major industrial facilities released pollution that exceeded the levels allowed under their Clean Water Act permits more than 8,100 times. Often, these polluters faced no fines or penalties.
The adoption of large numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) offers many benefits for cities, including cleaner air and the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles are far cleaner than gasoline-powered cars, with lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower emissions of the pollutants that contribute to smog and par- ticulate matter. The number of EVs on America’s streets is at an all-time high. Throughout 2016, sales of plug-in electric vehicles increased nearly 38 percent. In 2017, sales of electric vehicles were up again, increasing 32 percent over the year. The introduction of the Chevy Bolt, Tesla’s Model 3 and other affordable, long-range electric vehicles suggests that growth in EV sales is just beginning. In fact, Chevrolet’s Bolt EV was named Motor Trend ’s 2017 Car of the Year.
America’s institutions of higher education can play a leadership role in the fight to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. Colleges and universities across the country should aggressively deploy clean energy on campus, setting a goal to meet all their energy needs with clean renewable resources.
Florida’s sewage systems are already strained by the Florida coast’s rapidly growing population. City growth policies encourage housing and economic development without updating necessary infrastructure. In many of the state’s biggest coastal cities, sewer systems were ill-prepared to handle Irma’s heavy rains and high tides.
Environment Florida 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.