NRDC Annual Report 2011

of 23/23
  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)


Using a range of tried, tested and constantly evolving tools, NRDC continued to make progress on each institutional priority. From the local to international levels, these victories are evidence that NRDC remains a relentless advocate for the environment.

Transcript of NRDC Annual Report 2011

  • 2011 annual report


  • iii

    page 4EstablishingaCleanEnergyFutureFrom tailpipes to fighting tar sands, NRDC is advancing clean energy.

    page 10DefendingWildlifeandWildPlaces11 million acres of North americas forests are safer.

    page 14EnsuringSafeandSufficientWaterNRDC ratchets up water victories month by month.

    page 8RevivingOurOceansNRDC sees landmark treaty protect oceans from destructive practices.

    page 12ProtectingHealthbyPreventingPollutionNRDC files lawsuit to make our food safer.

    Whenever I talk with parents of young children about my work, they often ask me about mercury pollution. They know it can harm children and pregnant women and they know it is perva-sive, but they are unsure how to keep their families safe.

    Today that job just got easier. President Obama announced new standards to reduce mercury, lead, and other dangerous pollution from power plants. Now dirty coal-fired plants that fought standards for decades will finally

    have to clean up their act. This is a major breakthrough for American families. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that damages developing brains in children and fetuses According to the Environmental Protec-

    tion Agency, coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of industrial mercury pollution. Much of that mercury gets deposited in waterways, where fish absorb it, and when we eat the fish, we absorb it too. This pollution is so ubiquitous that all 50 states advise peopleespecially women in childbearing years and young childrento avoid eating fish from certain contaminated waters. As of 2008, 38 states

    had statewide advisories. Yet despite the widespread nature of this hazard, power plants have been dodging mercury and other air toxics rules for years.

    read more on this issue and other environmental concerns on nrDcs vibrant staff blog at

    ExCERPTS FROM NRDC PRESIDENT frances BeineckeS SWITChBOARD BLOG, POSTED DECEMBER 21, 2011obama administration announces standards to keep our families safe from mercury and other Pollutantsv


    The magnitude of these health benefits could make this rule one of the biggest

    environmental accomplishments of the Obama administration.

  • 1page 22 Donors and Event Highlights

    page 47 Bequests

    page 48 Financial Statement

    page 50 Board of Trustees

    page 51 Officers

    page 16Fostering Sustainable CommunitiesNew standards promote greener development.

    page 19Our Capacity for Reaching Our Goalsa broad range of advocacy tools, legal acumen, robust science, and top-notch communications sets NRDC apart.

  • 2letter from the ChairmanI

    n the 15 years that Ive been on NRDCs Board, I have noticed people are drawn to the environmental movement for a host of reasons. I got involved because I wanted to preserve wild landscapes. Others join

    because they want to safeguard their childrens health, protect beloved animals, or promote sustainable technologies.

    Recently, polluting industries have tried to marginalize our issues. But NRDC is working hard to demonstrate that public support for environmental protection runs deep and wide in American society.

    Our influential members and partners have been especially effective in this effort. When the solar firm Solyndra defaulted on a federal loan guarantee last September, fossil fuel industries and their allies in Congress tried to renounce the entire clean energy sector. NRDC hit back hard. Our experts presented lawmakers with data about clean energys explo-sive growth and reminded journalists Solyndra was one of more than 5,500 solar companies in the United States.

    We also had another weapon in our arsenal: NRDCs sister organization Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). This national group of leading business voicesrepresenting more than 850 companies and 500,000 jobs in 41 states believes economic prosperity and environmental protection go hand in hand.

    When the Solyndra debate flared up, E2 started releasing a weekly online job listing titled What clean energy jobs? These clean energy jobs! The bulletins show that in just six weeks more than 100 clean energy companies announced plans to create tens of thousands of American jobs.

    E2 brought a much-needed business perspective to a polarized political conversation. This wasnt tree huggers talking about clean energy; it was executives and manufac-turers. On other issues, our Los Angeles Leadership Council tapped the entertainment and media industries to call for greater ocean protections this year. And our Global Leader-ship Council of influential ambassadors urged lawmakers to act as well.

    NRDCs sister organizations complement the work our advocates do with outside groups, including labor unions, physicians and nurses, Latino community associations, and concerned parents.

    Together we are building a revitalized movement and showing lawmakers that environmental safeguards reflect fundamental American values of conservation, efficiency, security, and innovation. With that as our foundation, we can continue to achieve remarkable success.

    Daniel R. TishmanChairman of the Board

  • 3letter from the president and

    exeCutive direCtorT

    wo years ago, President Obama said he would release new fuel efficiency standards in 2011. NRDC wanted these standards to generate transformative change, not incremental improvement. We knew America

    could build better cars. And we knew we had to in order to slash dangerous pollution, confront climate change, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

    NRDC launched the Go 60 campaign to build support for bold action. Our experts negotiated with the administration and automakers to craft ambitious standards. At the same time, we blasted the benefits of clean car standards to key audiences, including labor unions, car manufacturing states, auto shows, car bloggers, and national press outlets.

    Our strategy worked. In July 2011, President Obama proposed raising fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon, more than double the current average. Within 20 years, these standards will save drivers more than $80 billion a year at the pump and cut vehicle carbon pollution in half compared to today.

    We deployed a similar approach when the Environmental Protection Agency said it would release the first-ever national standards to limit mercury from power plants. Our experts fought for the toughest standards while our advocates built support among medical groups and concerned parents. In December, the EPA released a standard what will save thousands of lives and prevent more than 100,000 heart and asthma attacks every year.

    This was another great victory for NRDC and our allies. Once again we demonstrated the power of joining policy expertise and citizen support.

    We need this potent combination now more than ever: we are witnessing the most coordinated attack on the environment in four decades. The House of Representatives voted more than 190 times this year to block environmental and public health protections. Deep-pocketed polluters have used their influence to disparage the clean energy transformation. And GOP candidates for president have made climate denial a requirement for the position.

    NRDC has prevailed in difficult times beforefrom the Mideast oil crisis to the Gingrich revolution and beyondand we did it by adapting and innovating. As we face another pivotal moment, NRDC has identified bold new strategies to achieve far-reaching success.

    We will build greater political influence to support elected officials who safeguard the environment and to challenge those who do not. We will use targeted communications to connect environmental issues with the basic concerns of American families, especially their health, their homes, and the air they breathe. And we will reach out to strategic part-ners, including those in the business community who create prosperity and protect the environment at the same time.

    These strategies will help us galvanize an army of people demanding environmental protections.

    Together with the expertise of our staff, the dedication of our Board of Trustees, and the passion of our members, our

    energized supporters will help us promote innovation above pollution, conservation over destruction, and a

    clean future instead of the dirty past.

    Frances Beinecke Peter LehnerPresident Executive Director

  • establishing a Clean energy future


    Transportation is the single larg-est source of air pollution in the United States and accounts for more than a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. That pollution is taking a serious toll on our health, its effects rang-ing from asthma and heart attacks to stroke and cancer. Diesel pollution alone leads to some 35,000 premature deaths per year nationally. Meanwhile, climate change from the buildup of carbon diox-ide and other gases in the atmosphere is one of the most serious public health threats facing our nation, according to a new analysis by NRDC. We battled successfully at the state, national, and international levels this year to strength-en pollution standards for our vehicle and shipping fleets, steering American toward a clean energy future.

    HoldingAnd BREAKing gRound in CAlifoRniACalifornia has long led the nation in slashing harmful vehicle emissions. This year we went to court and success-fully defended a program, adopted in 2008 at our urging, to rein in diesel pollution from thousands of trucks that service the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with us and

    upheld the core provisions of the Port of Los Angeless clean trucks program, including measures that ensure trucks meet environmental standards for the long run. Meanwhile, we won a federal district court ruling that the Long Beach Harbor Commission had violated Cali-fornias environmental laws when it weakened its program without first performing the required environmental review.

    At the regional level, we played a lead role in the development and adoption of a policy by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority that requires that all equipment, vehicles, and generators used for the construction of its projects meet strict air pollu-tion standards. We also helped drive the implementation of Californias Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, a 2008 law cospon-sored by NRDC, by persuading the California Air Resources Board to adopt ambitious regional targets to reduce global warming pollution from cars and light trucks. Finally, targeting the ship-ping industry, we secured a unanimous appeals court ruling that California has the authority to require oceangoing vessels that visit the states ports to use cleaner marine fuels.

    Winning nATionAl ClEAn And fuEl EffiCiEnT CAR STAndARdSFollowing a decade of powerful advo-cacy by NRDC, President Barack Obama announced an agreement with 13 auto-makers in July to strengthen pollution and fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The new standards will require these vehicles to deliver the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon and emit just 163 grams of carbon dioxide per mile by 2025. We began laying the groundwork for this victory back in 2002, when California passed an NRDC-sponsored bill that would tighten vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards and raise fuel efficiency for cars sold in the state. Thirteen other states followed Cali-fornia, building strong political momen-tum for the adoption of more stringent rules at the federal level. As a charter member of the GO60mpg environmen-tal coalition, NRDC worked closely with the United Auto Workers, consumer advocates, and business investors to secure this win. In addition to slash-ing harmful air pollution, the tougher standards will cut U.S. oil consumption by about 1.7 million barrels per day by 2030 and generate about $86 billion in consumer fuel savings by 2030.

    engines of Change: nrdC is fighting for Cleaner air

    from soot to carbon dioxide, the cars, trucks, and ships crowding our roads and waterways spew dozens of toxic chemicals into the air we breathe.

  • As we speed the shift to cleaner vehicles at home and abroad, we are exporting our climate and energy expertise to india, another great engine of the global economy.

    Teaming up with local partners and leveraging NRDCs know-how across several key program areas, our India Initiative on Climate Change and Clean Energy has made strides in improving energy efficiency in buildings, advancing U.S.-India cooperation on climate change, and helping Indias communities prepare for the most severe climate-related health threats.

    As part of our efforts to advance energy efficiency, we brought together three key federal agen-cies along with local government officials, international technical experts, and leading academics for a national workshop on strengthening efficiency standards for buildings. Buildings already account for more than 30 percent of Indias electricity use, and two-thirds of the buildings that will exist in the country by 2030 have yet to be built. We produced a report, based on our own analysis of stakeholder meetings and research, that examines the energy efficiency potential of Indias building sector. Now, working with the countrys chief real estate developers, we are creating a professional network for sharing information and fostering support for building efficiency. Similarly, we are partnering with the cities of Hyderabad, Chennai (formerly Madras), and Gujarat to develop local energy efficiency building codes.

    To facilitate cooperation between the United States and India on climate change, we held brief-ings with key policymakers from both governments and released a report reviewing climate-related actions by the two countries at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit. Meanwhile, we helped support joint research and development of clean energy solutions through multimedia projects and workshops in New York, New Delhi, and Hyderabad that brought together more than 100 scientific institutions and companies focused on energy efficiency, solar energy, and biofuels.

    indiA: A GloBAl PoWERHoUSE


    Meanwhile, we helped break new ground in cleaning up our nations larger trucks. In August 2011 the Obama administration finalized a joint proposal for the first-ever carbon pollution and fuel efficiency standards for new medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Working with our environmental partners, we helped shape the regula-tory details of the program through numerous federal agency meetings. We also partnered with engine and vehicle manufacturers to push for regulatory improvements that encourage the deployment of new and innovative fuel-saving technologies. NRDC experts were widely quoted in the media when the standards were proposed, helping to pave the way for broad public support. The standards, which include improve-ment for model years 2014 to 2018, will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons.

    Taking aim at diesel pollution, we worked with a broad coalition of hundreds of environmental, public health, industry, and labor organiza-tions to help pass the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010. The new national

    law authorizes $500 million in diesel cleanup funds over the next five years for communities to retrofit or to replace the dirtiest engines, including old school buses, construction equipment, and the equipment used in busy ports around the nation. We now have the

    technology to eliminate more than 90 percent of this pollution with advanced controls that are standard equipment on new engines. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, every dollar spent by the program will yield between $13 and $28 in health benefits from reduced asthma emer-gencies, cancer, premature deaths, and other diesel-related health problems.

    dRiVing gloBAl PRogRESSIn July 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for new ships, becoming the first industry to regulate itself. We worked closely with the U.S. delegation to the IMO, industry leaders, and our environmental part-ners around the world to spur the adop-tion of this pioneering program. In real world terms, by 2020 ship operators will save $5 billion in fuel costs annually, and global warming pollution will be reduced by an estimated 45 million to 50 million tons per year.

    In 2011 we celebrated another global milestone: Leaded gasoline has been eliminated in almost every country of the world, and more than 99 percent of the worlds gasoline is unleaded. NRDC helped achieve this as a found-ing member of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles with the United Nations Environment Programme, the U.S. EPA, and a wide range of govern-ment, industry, and environmental stakeholders. According to a recent peer-reviewed study, the global phaseout of leaded gasoline will yield $2.4 trillion in health and economic benefits annually, including the elimination of 1.2 million premature deaths every year.

    The tougher standards will cut U.S. oil consumption by about 1.5 million barrels

    per day by 2030 and generate about $80 billion in consumer fuel savings

    by 2030.

    There are no real macro solutions for the planet without high-impact initiatives in India. NRDCs team, composed largely of Indo-Americans and highly effective and committed women, is well on its way to delivering real results. nRdC Trustee Arjun gupta

  • 6establishing a Clean energy future

    As our leaders in Washington weigh Americas long-term energy future, NRDCs Stop Dirty Fuels campaign is fighting to slow and ulti-mately halt the expansion of tar sands, liquid coal, and oil shale while promoting environmentally sustainable transportation alternatives that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Launching into large-scale production of these high-carbon dirty fuels would inflict irrevers-ible damage on our envi-ronment. Not only would greenhouse gas emissions rise, but heavy capital expenditures for dirty fuels infrastructure would drain precious investment away from clean energy alternatives. Combining our research and tech-nical knowledge with campaigning and advocacy at the international, federal, state, and local levels, we

    are mounting pressure on the Obama administration and Congress to protect our climate, our environment, and our health by rejecting dirty fuels development.

    NRDC made important headway in our three-year fight to block TransCanadas Keystone XL tar sands pipelinea sweeping proposal that has come to symbolize a place to draw

    the line against dirty fuels. The pipeline would carry up to 900,000 barrels of toxic tar sands fuel a day from Canada to oil refineries in Texas. Not only would a spill along the 2,000-mile pipeline route spell disaster for American rivers and other important freshwater resources, but the project would drive further expansion of destructive strip-mining and drilling

    of tar sands bitumen from under Canadas boreal forest and have far-reaching climate change impacts for the world. To block the proposal, NRDC is using a multi-faceted strategyincluding outreach and education directed at the Obama administration and Congress, research and analysis, communica-tions and media work, grassroots mobilization, and technical participation in the environmental review processto make the stron-gest case possible against the pipeline. Our report, Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks, has brought significant media and public attention to the dangers of the pipeline to U.S. waters, changing the nature of the national debate and helping to garner bipartisan support from the U.S. heartland.

    Our powerful advocacy efforts, including a flood of

    pipeline protests: nrdC is Curbing the spread

    of dirty fuels from liQuid Coal to oil shale and tar sands

    NRDC is using a multi-faceted strategyincluding outreach and education directed at the obama administration and Congress, research and analysis, communications and media work, grassroots mobilization, and technical participation in the environmental review processto make the strongest case possible against the spread of dirty fuels across the country.

  • NRDC quickly sprang into action when lawmakers took aim at Americans bedrock environ-mental laws, including the Clean Air Act, and the Environmental Protec-tion Agency (EPA).

    In early April, NRDC launched a massive cross-institutional cam-paign and helped compel the Senate to vote down four amendments that

    would have prevented the EPA from addressing carbon pollution. our legislative and campaign teams orchestrated a rapid response in the days and hours leading up to the vote. Drawing on recent NRDC messaging research that showed that connecting the EPAs air rules to public health risks such as asthma was the strongest possible

    argument to use, we helped shape the winning message. Meanwhile, NRDC Trustee leonardo DiCaprio broadcast our hard-hitting message to his 2 million Twitter and Facebook fans. As a result, the Senate rejected the proposal, leaving the House with an empty victory for the Republican leadership. Moreover, our win helped prevent bad climate riders from making it into the continuing resolution being negotiated at the same time.

    In the late spring, scientific analysis and messaging guidance by NRDC helped shape an ad campaign by the league of Women Voters that tied votes by Senators Scott Brown (R-MA) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) to childhood asthma. The campaign had a significant impact on Senator Browns favorability ratings, dem-onstrating for the first time that ignoring this health concern can be a liability for politicians. In a related effort to hold members of Congress

    accountable, we launched to track lawmakers who are voting against clean air and the impact of their actions on health in their home states.

    The House is now weighing a suite of bills that would roll back safeguards for deadly air pollution such as mercury, soot, and smog. In September 2011, as expected, the House passed the TRAIN Act, that would repeal the more protective smog and soot limits in the EPAs Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and block adoption of mercury and air toxics standard for power plants. But thanks to the hard work of NRDC and our partners, the bill passed under a cloud of controversy, garnering far less support than predicted and drawing a presiden-tial veto threat. We will continue to stand behind the EPA and fight any congressional attempts to weaken our clean air protections.


    Soon AfTER THE nEW CongRESS TooK offiCE in JAnuARy 2011, CHiEf REPuBliCAn lAWmAKERS moVEd SWifTly To unlEASH THE moST SWEEPing ATTACK on AmERiCAS HEAlTH And EnViRonmEnT in 40 yEARS.

    petitions from our Members and online activists urging the State Department to complete an additional environmental impact state-ment, have helped achieve another review and improve the information under consideration during the permitting process for the proposed pipeline. Now it is up to President Obama to take a close look at the case we have built and decide whether the pipeline is in our national interest. If this reckless project moves forward, we will act to block additional permits for the pipeline at the federal and state level, and we will go to court if necessary to stop the proposal.

    On a separate front, as the natural gas fracking debate widens across the country, NRDC is sending a strong message to lawmakers: We will not support fracking without the strictest possible

    safeguards for health, the environment, and local communities. In New York, we launched an all-out campaign this year to chal-lenge a state plan that could result in 1,600 drilling appli-cations annually. We identi-fied places of extraordinary environmental, ecological, or hydrological significance that should be placed off limits to drilling. We went to court to protect the home rule rights of communities to establish local compre-hensive plans and zoning ordinances. We engaged in a detailed scientific, technical, and legal review of the states proposed environmental study on fracking. And at the national level, we advised the Environmental Protection Agency on regulations for fracking with diesel fuel. We also proposed methods for handling toxic fracking waste, called for more scien-tific research to understand

    the threat of fracking to drinking water supplies, and pushed for new rules to protect Americans from fracking-related air pollu-tion. Meanwhile, fighting in and out of court, we built pressure on the Obama administration to protect sensitive wildlife habitat in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah from fracking and other destructive oil and gas drillingand succeeded in removing some lands from the industrys hit list.

    We also reached a key milestone this year in our fight to curb the production of coal-derived liquid fuel. In October 2011, NRDC and our partners reached a settle-ment agreement with Baard Energy to end its pursuit of a proposed $6.9 billion coal-to-liquid plant in eastern Ohio. While we do not support Baards plan to use natural gas as the feedstock for the proposed facility, our

    agreement avoids the use of more than 9 million tons of coal, some 11.2 million tons of carbon emissions, and more than 2,000 tons of other harmful pollutants annually. Earlier in the year, tackling the threat of dirty fuels development in our western wildlands, we reached two settlements with the Obama administration in lawsuits challenging the implementa-tion of flawed rules for the leasing of oil shale and tar sands on public lands. As a result, the federal govern-ment must now establish environmental protection plans that will safeguard against destructive oil shale development. The govern-ment must also withdraw plans allowing the commer-cial leasing of oil shale and tar sands resources on more than 2 million acres of iconic wildlands in the western United States.

    BATTling foR ClEAn AiR oN CAPITol HIll

  • reviving our oCeans

    nrdC helps seCure historiC treaty to limit bottom-trawling fishing

    In the 1990s, scientists conducting deep-sea dives discovered mount-ing evidence that the worlds high seasa loosely regulat-ed expanse of international waters spanning half of the Earths surfaceare home to a vast array of previously undiscovered marine spe-cies. The divers witnessed something else, too. Massive areas of the ocean floor, the lifeblood of our deep-seas realm, had been scraped clean by a form of industrial fishing called bottom trawl-ing. Bottom-trawling boats use weighted nets up to 200 feet long and 40 feet wide to go as far as 6,000 feet below the oceans surface. With a single pass, these nets wipe out everything in their path, from centuries-old coral for-ests to delicate sponge fields. Shocked by the scientists re-ports, NRDC set out to sound the alarm in the worlds ulti-mate rule-making forum: the U.N. General Assembly. In 2011, following five years of steady pressure and rigorous oversight by NRDC and our partners, the worlds leading fishing nations signed a land-mark treaty to protect more than 16 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean from unregulated, destructive bot-tom trawling.

    We began laying the groundwork for this historic victory back in 2006 when, armed with the best avail-able scientific evidence, we helped convince the U.N. to pass a resolution calling on fishing nations to stop un-regulated bottom trawling. For the first time, the resolu-tion restricted countries from authorizing bottom-trawling expeditions without first examining the impacts of this activity on corals and other ecological treasures,

    and then adopting measures to prevent those impacts. With this key milestone in place, we began the pains-taking process of drawing up a treaty ensuring that fish-ing nations lived up to their commitments. As a mem-ber of the U.S. delegation, NRDCs International Oceans Program Director Lisa Speer reviewed and commented on reams of government documents and enlisted the worlds leading scientists to help at crucial moments.

    Given the mix of countries involvedCanada, Japan, Russia, China, Korea, and Taiwana strong U.S. posi-tion was essential. To achieve this, we worked closely with the State Department and other conservation groups to highlight the impacts of high-seas bottom trawling on U.S. fisheries and other do-mestic interests. Gradually, a strongly worded treaty began to take shape.

    Finalized in February, the treaty prohibits any new bottom trawling unless its impacts on corals and deep-sea fish are considered and controlled. The agreement also creates the North Pacific Fisheries Commission, which is charged with implement-ing and enforcing these restrictions. In the coming months and years, we will continue to work with our partners to win stricter requirements for assessing, monitoring, and controlling the impacts of bottom trawl-ing and to extend protec-tions to unregulated areas in the southern reaches of the North Pacific. In the mean-time, this hard-won treaty is an important step toward ensuring that the mysteries of the sea amaze and inspire future generations.

    High-tech fishing trawlers and lethal sonar noise are just two of the grave threats putting many ocean species at risk, including sea turtles and whales.


    It was midnight on the night before Thanksgiving 2006, and we were huddled, exhausted, in the basement

    of the United Nations, awaiting a decision. Finally, it came. Although they rejected a moratorium on high-seas bottom trawling, we won a key victory: For the first time ever, fishing nations would have to assess and report

    the environmental effects of their bottom-trawling expeditions. lisa Speer, director, international oceans Program

  • 9According to the January 2011 report of President obamas indepen-dent, bipartisan oil spill commission, which included NRDC President Frances Beinecke, the risks of deepwater drilling have far outpaced the technology and safeguards we rely upon to keep our workers, our waters, and our wildlife safe. But Congress has yet to pass a single bill to strengthen the oversight of offshore oil and gas development. In fact, the House passed legislation in the spring that would expand offshore drilling off virtually every coast while weakening existing safety regulations.

    Moving forward, we will continue to fight any attempts in Congress to allow drilling in sensitive areas, and we will advocate for increased protec-tions for the workers, waters, and wildlife at risk from dangerous drilling practices. our staff experts are urging the Department of the Interior and members of Congress to implement the recommendations of the presidents oil spill commission. In a parallel effort, we are fighting in federal court to block the obama administrations approval of proposed seismic explora-tion in the Gulf that poses a serious threat to whales and other sensitive marine mammals. We are also challenging the administrations approval of a new exploratory well in the Gulf, in waters deeper than those plumbed by BPs Deepwater Horizon rig. Meanwhile, to help advance the obama administrations efforts to identify the environmental damage caused by the BP blowout and to develop a recovery plan, our attorneys are reviewing documents, submitting comments, and talking with Gulf residents about the restoration remedies that they believe are necessary.

    At the same time, our communications team continues to put all of its tools to work in keeping the Gulf story alive. on the one-year anniversary of the spill, Frances Beinecke, NRDC Executive Director Peter lehner, and our staff experts broadcast our call for government action via television, radio, newspapers, and other media outlets across the United States and the world. Meanwhile, as Chinas rapidly growing demand for oil promises to make it a bigger player in offshore drilling, our Beijing staff are promot-ing the Chinese edition of lehners book, In Deep Water: The Anatomy of a Disaster, the Fate of the Gulf, and How to End our oil Addiction. To help keep policymakers and the public informed of NRDCs ongoing response to the spill, we launched The Deans list, an online blog by noted Washington journalist and NRDC staffer Bob Deans. Also, NRDC staffer Rocky Kistners ongoing coverage of the area led to his being selected in 2011 as one of the Huffington Posts 100 Game Changers: innovators, visionaries, and leaders changing how we look at the world and the way we live in it.

    over the longer term, the single most important thing we can do to reduce the chances of this kind of tragedy is to reduce Americas demand for oil.

    TWo yEARS AfTER BPS dEEPWATER HoRizon dRilling Rig BlEW ouT, unlEASHing SomE 170 million gAllonS of ToxiC CRudE oil inTo THE gulf of mExiCo, WE ARE figHTing To Hold oil ComPAniES ACCounTABlE And PuSHing CongRESS And THE WHiTE HouSE To AdoPT STRongER And moRE ComPREHEnSiVE fEdERAl REgulATionS To REduCE THE CHAnCES of AnoTHER SuCH diSASTER.

    THE gulf oil diSASTER

  • 10

    Two decades ago, as timber companies clamored to raze Americas mighty old-growth forests, NRDC set out to identify the best opportuni-ties to protect our nations remaining forest frontier. We fixed our sights on the 17-million-acre Tongass rainforest in southeast Alaska. The crown jewel of Americas national forest system, the Tongass is home to thriving populations of grizzly bears, salmon, bald eagles, and other wildlife. Through the years, we have joined forces with our local partners again and again to keep the wild reaches of the Tongass safe from logging and road building while extending our battleground eastward to Canadas vast boreal forest. In 2011, fighting on each of these fronts, we scored two landmark victo-ries for North Americas last wild forests and the extraor-dinary wildlife that depends on them for survival.

    In March, following a prolonged court battle made possible by the strong support of our Members, a federal judge in Alaska ruled in our favor and protected 9.5 million acres of pristine, roadless areas in the Tongass from destructive logging and road building. Our legal

    fight began in 2003, when we joined forces with Earthjus-tice, Alaskan natives, local businesses, and other groups to protect Tongass wildlands after the Bush administration illegally exempted the forest from the Roadless Rule. This landmark rule bars timber sales and logging roads in undisturbed areas of our national forests. Eight years later, we prevailed. The court rejected a series of claims concocted by Bush admin-

    istration officials and agreed with us that there was no evidence that the Roadless Rule cost jobs in the Tongass region, interfered with plans to connect remote communi-ties, or caused instability for local businesses. The judge struck down the Bush-era exemption and declared the Roadless Rule immediately reinstated. Moving forward, we are defending the courts decision against any appeals by the state of Alaska and the timber industry. Finally, we

    will continue to work toward accelerating the Obama administrations plan to end all old-growth logging in the Tongass.

    Our second success story centers on NRDCs Heart of the Boreal Forest BioGem. Though most of the worlds original wild forests have been logged or developed, approximately 80 percent of the boreal forest in Canada is still undisturbed by roads. In recent years, though, this

    sprawling northern wild-land has come under threat from industrial logging and hydropower, mining, and oil and gas development. Over the past seven years, NRDC Members and online activists have sent tens of thousands of messages urging Canadian officials to allow the Poplar River First Nation to keep unwanted industrialization out of its traditional territory on the eastern coast of Lake Winnipeg and to manage these lands along with the

    wolves, woodland caribou, and songbird populations that live there. In June, the government of Manitoba heeded our call and grant-ed permanent protection to nearly 2 million acres in this swath of the boreal, an area the size of Yellowstone National Park. We are now one step closer to our goal of creating a World Heritage Site that would safeguard a full 10 million acres of this spectacular BioGem.

    Despite these recent advances, our continents vast old-growth forests continue to face an uncertain fate. The Obama administra-tion weighed a proposal to construct a 2,000-mile pipe-line that would have trans-ported toxic tar sands oil from under the boreal forest to refineries in Texas. To help protect the boreal forest and its abundant wildlife from the ravages of tar sands strip mining, we mobilized our Members and online activ-ists to escalate pressure on the White House to reject this destructive proposalwhich it did. Now NRDC is joining forces with the First Nations and other local groups to protect Canadas Spirit Bear Coast, North Americas larg-est temperate rainforest, from threats by yet another tar sands oil project.

    defending endangered wildlife and wild plaCes

    saving north ameriCas last wild forests

    NRDC and our Members won protection for more than 11 million acres of North American forestsroughly the area of five Yellowstone National Parks in southeast Alaska and in the Canadian boreal.

  • 11

    Following years of pressure from NRDC Members and online activists, the federal, state, and tribal agencies that manage Yellowstones bison announced a historic agreement that will permit the animals to graze on 75,000 acres of land in Montanas Gardiner Basin during the winter and much of the spring. Moving forward, we will continue to press government agencies to allow these iconic animals access to other portions of their historic winter habitat.


    WHY IS THIS WHAlE CAMPAIGN So URGENT? Since 2006 Iceland has killed hundreds of whales, in defiance of the global ban on commercial whaling. They have shown time and again that they will not stop for anything short of sanctions. Fortunately, working closely with actor and marine mammal activist Pierce Brosnan, weve been able to mobilize our Members and online activists to escalate pressure on the obama administration at several critical junctures. President obama took a key first step by imposing diplomatic sanctions, but were still urging him to impose tough economic sanctions on Icelandic seafood companies with direct ties to the whaling industry.

    WHAT WAS THE MoST ExCITING ASPECT oF THE IWC MEETING? I got a behind-the-scenes look as U.S. officials were finalizing their decision to recommend sanctions against Iceland under conserva-tion legislation known as the Pelly Amendment. The final wording of their decision clearly states that Icelands whaling practices are unacceptable. In addition, we were able to pass a resolution, put forth by the United Kingdom, aimed at strengthening transparency and the overall effectiveness of the IWC.

    WHY ARE WHAlES So CAPTIVATING To YoU? Whales are extremely powerful and intelligent, and yet so vulnerable. They were decimated by commer-cial whaling. Plus, I grew up in the

    1970s with that famous slogan Save the Whales. When the international moratorium on commercial whaling took effect in 1986, many whale populations rebounded. But now, its as if were in a second phase of the Save the Whales campaign. Iceland, Japan, and Norway continue to kill whales. Meanwhile, entanglements, underwater noise, seismic activi-ties, and marine debris are on the rise. Together, these hazards are taking a serious toll.

    TAlKING WITH TARyn KiEKoW, STAFF ATToRNEY WITH NRDCS MARINE MAMMAl PRoTECTIoN PRoJECTSpearheading our campaign to end icelands illegal slaughter of whales, Taryn represented nongovernmental organizations as a member of the u.S. delegation at the annual meeting of the international Whaling Commission (iWC) in Jersey, Channel islands. for more news about whales, follow Taryns blog at

    Watch our whale video featuring Pierce Brosnan at

    nRdC flix on

    nRdC mEmBERS And onlinE ACTiViSTS HAVE SEnT AlmoST 175,000 mESSAgES in ouR

    WHAlE CAmPAign.

  • More than a gen-eration has passed since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first recognized that feeding livestock low doses of certain antibiotics could promote superbugsantibiotic-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people. Yet the FDA, bowing to pressure from the livestock and pharmaceutical industries, has failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that antibiotics continue to work when we need them most: when our families are ill. This year, backed by the conclusions of the worlds leading medical, scientific, and public health orga-nizations, NRDC and our

    partners filed a lawsuit to force the FDA to follow its own safety findings and withdraw approval for most nontherapeutic uses of peni-cillin and tetracyclines in animal feed.

    A staggering 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are consumed by live-stock animals. The antibiot-ics, which are mixed into feed or water for pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys to pro-mote faster weight gain and compensate for unsanitary living conditions, are used at levels too low to treat disease, making bacteria more resis-tant to medical treatment. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of

    Science has warned that if antibiotic resistance is not addressed, the specter of untreatable infectionsa regression to the pre-anti-biotic erais looming just around the corner.

    The FDA has shut its eyes to this horrifying scenario. Following a lawsuit that chal-lenged the FDAs lack of ac-tion, the agency responded to citizen petitions on this critical issuethe first of which was filed in 1999. Even then it moved only to recommend that livestock operations voluntarily stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics. In September 2011, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other leading health groups sent a letter urging

    Congress, the White House, and the FDA to take imme-diate action in light of clear scientific evidence linking the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in food animals and the spread of antibiotic resistance. The same month, a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that federal agencies, including the FDA, have made only limited progress in addressing anti-biotic use in animals.

    By focusing on good hygiene and improved management practices, a facility can dramatically reduce illness among live-stock and, in turn, the need for antibiotics. In fact, all 27 countries in the European Union have already stopped using antibiotics to promote growth and increase pro-duction, thereby reducing the incidence of antibiotic- resistant bacteria in meat. NRDC is making sure that America is next in line.

    proteCting our health by preventing pollution

    foiling superbugs with safe, wholesome food

    70 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are used on livestock that are not even sick.

    Senior Attorney Avinash Kar and Koob litigation Fellow Jen Sorenson


  • 13

    populated community in Jersey City, New Jersey. The settlement calls for a 700,000-ton cleanup to standards more protective than state chromium guidelines and includes funding for community expert oversight. Meanwhile, Californias Environmental Protection Agency announced in July that it was setting a safe level for hexavalent chromium in drinking water. NRDC health experts have been battling for years to

    advance this crucial standard, the first of its kind in the nation and a major step toward enforceable limits on the toxic compound in drinking water.

    Also in California, the state legislature passed a bill that would ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups, capping a three-year push by NRDCs Los Angeles Leadership Council and our California-based online activists. BPA has been linked to reproductive abnormali-ties and other diseases and poses special risks to fetuses, infants, and young children. California is the 11th U.S. state to adopt the ban. This move spurred the chemical indus-try to petition the FDA to remove BPA nation-wide to assure market uniformity. In a consent agree-ment with NRDC, FDA has agreed to make a decision this spring. Moving forward, our health team will continue to contribute its technical expertise to local efforts aimed at strengthening restrictions on unsafe chemicals, including toxic flame retardants, BPA, and phthlates across the country.

    Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats fac-ing the nation, but few people are aware of how it can affect them. Children, the elderly, and communities living in poverty are the most vulnerable. Explore our interactive maps to see climate-related health threats in your state, actions that are being taken to protect communities from climate changes serious health threats, and what you can do to safeguard your family.

    Visit nRdCs new online pages about climate change and health at:


    Challenging the ChemiCal industry to Clean up

    everyday toxiC hazards

    A ccording to recent polls commis-sioned by NRDC and our partners, an overwhelming majority of Americans view chemicals as a serious health threat and support stronger controls. Yet Washington lawmakers and the White House, siding with the chemical industry, have failed to adopt a host of common-sense measures to protect our families from toxic dangers in toys and other childrens products, cleaning supplies,

    building materials, fabrics, furniture, elec-tronics, food and beverage containers, and more. In response, NRDC and our allies are fighting state-by-state and chemical-by-chemical to strengthen safeguards against these hidden health hazards, as we escalate pressure on our leaders in Washington to act.

    Thanks in part to pressure from NRDCincluding targeted action campaigns waged by our leadership, supporters, and thousands of our Members and online activistsa strong federal bill was introduced in the Senate in April 2011 that would enhance the Environmental Protection Agencys authority (and responsibility) to regulate toxic chemi-cals. We are working with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Familiesa coalition of hundreds of health, science, consumer, and environmen-tal groupsto engage additional sponsors for the Safe Chemicals Act and move it to a floor vote. Crucially, this legislation will shift the burden of proof from the EPA to the chemical industry in demonstrating whether a chemi-cal is safe to enter or remain on the market.

    We are also gaining ground in our campaigns to reduce exposure to and use of specific chemicals, including hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen made famous by the film Erin Brockovich. After fending off two attempts to oust our case from federal court, we settled a lawsuit against PPG Industries for its toxic legacy of hexavalent chromium contamination in a densely

    When Congress passed Americas bedrock chemical control law back in 1976, some 62,000 chemicals were allowed to remain on the market without safety testing. of

    those, only 300 have since been tested and just 5 have been regulated.

    Californias recent adoption of a BPA banits the 11th state to take actionhas shaken the ground all the way to Washington, D.C., and may prove to be the tipping point in finally getting meaningful federal action to protect the public from this widespread toxic chemical.daniel Rosenberg, director of the health programs toxic chemicals reform project

  • 14

    ensuring safe and suffiCient water

    Clean and plentiful water

    Citing a friend of the court brief submitted by NRDC, a federal court upheld the EPAs authority to require polluters to clean up their

    Superfund sitesincluding a 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River contaminated with highly toxic PCBs.

    Siding with NRDC, a federal district court judge ruled that the city of Malibu, California, violated the Clean Water Act by discharging

    polluted water into a marine coastal preserve in northern los Angeles County.

    NRDC and our partners announced a negoti-ated agreement with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to dramatically improve water efficiency standards for new residential clothes washers and dishwashers, among other key measures.

    Thanks to strong advocacy by NRDC, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California set a 10-year target to reduce per

    capita water consumption by 20 percent across Southern California by 2020.

    The California Court of Appeal voted unanimously to reverse a trial court decision that would have prevented the state from

    applying protective water quality standards to urban runoff. NRDC successfully intervened in the case after the state lost.

    The EPA finalized a landmark cleanup plan for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. NRDC offered key technical support for the plan and defended it against congressional attacks.

    In a West Virginia state court, we successfully defended a pioneering plan that relies heavily on green infrastructure approaches to control urban runoff.

    Under pressure from NRDC and more than 10,000 messages from our online activists, the EPA secured a legally binding commitment from General Electric to finish cleaning up its toxic legacy of PCBs in the Hudson River.

    Siding with NRDC, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an assertion that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lacks authority

    under the commerce clause of the Constitution to regulate a purely intrastate species like delta smelt.

    Working closely with NRDC experts, Philadelphia approved a plan to control sewage overflows using the most comprehensive network

    of planted roofs, porous pavement, parks, and other green infrastructure in the country.

    Following a powerful campaign of litigation, communication, analysis, and public advocacy by our Midwest Program, water regulators in Chicago voted to end the practice of dumping contaminated sewage into local waterways.

    Thanks to a three-year lobbying effort by NRDCs Water and Urban teams, the New York State Senate passed legislation requiring that large water withdrawals from state rivers, streams, aquifers, and the Great lakes meet strict environmental criteria.

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the County of los Angeles has discharged polluted stormwater in violation of water

    quality standards, marking a major stride in our legal effort for limits.

    At the urging of NRDCs Midwest Urban Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers abandoned a plan to allow larger ocean-

    going ships to enter and transit the Great lakes Navigation System and St. lawrence Seaway.

    In response to our challenge to New York Citys Clean Water Act permits, a state court ruled that the citys existing obligations to reduce sewage overflows are enforceable by citizen groups. Moreover, the public can object and seek a hear-ing if the city and state propose to modify the standards.

    NRDC and our partners in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program won the Secretary of the Interiors Partners in Conservation

    Award. The award recognizes organizations that have produced outstanding conservation achievements by fostering collaboration and partnerships.

    for decades nRdC has fought to keep dangerous pollution out of our nations lakes, rivers, streams, and aquifers. Today, swelling demand for water and changing climate patterns pose an urgent risk to the supply and quality of our water resources. To meet these challenges head-on, nRdCs Water Program is advancing an ambitious agenda that integrates our expertise in pollution prevention, water efficiency, and climate change. our water advocates, now staffing nearly every nRdC office, made strides on several key fronts over the past year:



















  • 15

    david Beckman is leading our efforts to ensure that the water we have is clean and that we use it as efficiently as we can.

    WHATS NEW ABoUT NRDCS APPRoACH To WATER? NRDC is devising and supporting policies that address the quality and availability of water at the same time. For example, green infrastruc-ture strategies such as parks, porous pavement, and planted roofs reduce water pollution and also help capture stormwater where it falls. So we are helping to control the biggest source of water pollutionurban runoffas we green our cities and limit the amount of water used for landscaping and other purposes. We also are now moving to advance integrated solutions in the agricultural sector, which currently accounts for 70 percent of Americas water use and releases large amounts of polluted runoff into our lakes and rivers.

    HoW ARE YoU lEVERAGING NRDCS ASSETS To MEET YoUR GoAlS?To improve water efficiency, were making use of some of the same techniques that NRDC has used successfully for years in the area of energy efficiency. We reached a very significant agreement last year with the largest trade association of appliance manufacturers in the country to increase the efficiency of clothes washers and dishwashers. By negotiating with a range of stakeholders that otherwise might have been our adversar-ies, we were able to make great progress.



    As key developments unfolded simultane-ously in several of our water-related campaigns last december, our media team hustled to put our water experts front and center. on the brink of the new year, their voices rang out from coast to coast.

    12/14: While we go back and forth trying to find more perfect information, the estuary keeps declining.Kate Poole (San Francisco) quoted by the Associated Press after a federal judge dismissed a plan to protect Californias threatened delta smelt.

    12/15: This is a limited victory [for water contractors] I tend to think that they will have very similar pumping restrictions the next round.doug obegi (San Francisco) in the los Angeles Times on the delta smelt court ruling.

    12/15: This decision will protect millions of people who use local beaches and water resources throughout Southern California and assures that science remains the focus when these standards are developed.david Beckman (los Angeles) in the los Angeles Timess l.A. Now blog on a court ruling that will allow state water regulators to enforce water-quality standards.

    12/16: It can be done relatively quickly with off-the-shelf technology Its troubling that they continue to rely on more study when its clear that whats really needed is just the political will to move forward.Thom Cmar (Chicago), quoted by the Associated Press on stopping the Asian carp invasion of the Great lakes.

    12/17: Under these cleanup standards, theres no doubt well have a much cleaner and healthier Hudson River than we do today.larry levine (New York) in The New York Times on the tightening of EPA rules for the second phase of General Electrics cleanup of toxic PCBs.

    12/20: Great lakes invasions do not stop at the lakeshore; they spread across North America Now is the time for us to get to work and finally address this costly problem. Thom Cmar (Chicago) in an Indianapolis Star op-ed on invasive species.

    12/22: They dont want to have this on their books anymore as a contingent liability of unknown size The only option is to opt in.larry levine (New York) in Greenwire on whether GE would comply with tighter EPA rules for its Hudson River cleanup.

    12/24: It isnt wastewater until we waste it.noah garrison (los Angeles) in the los Angeles Times on incorporating

    relatively simple water-harvesting techniques to capture and reuse stormwater.

    We are fortunate to have talented people on our Board who help shape our objectives and then breathe life into them by providing support. nRdC Trustees Bob fisher and Kate greswold have an excellent grasp of policy

    and are incisive thinkers about water and other environmental issues. Bob and Kate are in our corner, but they challenge us, too, by asking the right questions at the right time.david Beckman

  • fostering sustainable Communities

    growing a new generation of healthy, sustainable Communities


    As NRDC Trustee Jonathan Rose says, With perhaps 10 billion people living on earth by 2050, we are going to have to figure out how to live in ways that are more envi-ronmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. Toward that goal, NRDC helped conceive and develop LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND), the first set of consensus-based national standards to steer new development to-ward environmentally sound sites and design.

    We kicked off our first urban revitalization project in 2011 in the MapletonFall Creek neighborhood of Indianapolis. Long ne-glected by private investors reluctant to accept risk, the community suffers from a

    50 percent vacancy rate and serious poverty. Working with Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the neighborhood-based MapletonFall Creek

    Development Corporation, we helped construct a prag-matic, achievable vision for MapletonFall Creek that includes affordable housing; access to shops, services, and

    jobs; transportation options; energy and water efficiency measures; and green storm-water management strate-gies. The neighborhood is now progressing toward its

    goal of achieving certification under LEED-ND for a 27-acre area.

    In sites across the coun-try, our revitalization work is engaging local residents

    to the greatest extent pos-sible in planning and de-sign, applying sophisticated environmental analysis to quantify the benefits we hope to achieve, recording lessons learned along the way, and developing instructional reports and handbooks. The development and planning templates generated by our initiative will help enable community development corporations (CDCs) to apply our strategies in inner-city-neighborhoods nationwide. In an average year, Americas nearly 5,000 CDCs and related community-based nonprofit organizations build some 86,000 homes and millions of square feet of commercial space. We are now exploring opportunities to launch simi-lar demonstration projects in Boston and Los Angeles.

    Thank you so much for helping us achieve a deeper understanding of sustainable development

    practices and the ability of lEED-ND to serve as guidance as we continue our neighborhood

    revitalization work.Tyson domer, MFCDC lEED-ND Taskforce Chair and doressa Breitfiel, MFCDC Nonprofit Administrator and Econ. Dev. Coordinator


    At the suggestion of Trustee Robert Redford, NRDC became the nations principal envi-ronmental adviser to professional sports in 2004, providing in-depth guidance about greener practices that reduce environmental impacts.

    In an important milestone in 2011, NRDC helped launch the Green Sports Alliance, which now includes nine professional leagues, such as Major league Baseball, the National

    Football league, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey league, and Major league Soccer, as well as more than 50 teams, arenas, and stadiums. The Alliance shares information about better practices and opportunities to measure and reduce environmental impacts. NRDCs valuable sports greening resources have helped many stadium and arena operators realize that going green is smart business, protects public health, and provides many environmental benefits. For example,

    n The Cleveland Indians cut their waste in half by expanding recycling and adding composting, saving the club $50,000 annually.

    n The Seattle Mariners will now keep 5.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air and save about $500,000 in utility costs annually.

    n Through investment in energy conservation and following an energy and water audit facilitated by NRDC, the STAPlES Center (home to the l.A. lakers, the Clippers, the Kings, and the Sparks) installed a large solar array on its roof, which provides 3 percent of the energy used at the arena, and replaced all 176 urinals with waterless fixturessaving more than 7 million gallons of water a year and about $30,000 in water costs. To track league-wide environmental progress, NRDC helped establish the first ever environmental data gathering system in professional sports.

    Today the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) voted 141 to adopt the first Sustainable Commun i t i e s

    Strategy to implement SB 375 in California. After hours of public testimony and debate, SANDAG Chairman Jerome Stocks summa-rized his thoughts on the day and called for the vote.

    We are the first in the state, the nation, and possibly the world to adopt a Sustainable Communities Strategy, and that does matter, he said.

    Since the summer, NRDC has been working with SANDAG to recommend improvements to the plan. We are pleased to see that some of our recommendations have been incorporated into the final plan and grateful to staff for their willingness to work with us, particu-larly at this late date. In particular, we are pleased to see SANDAG commit to adopt an early action

    measure for active transportation by next summer, to develop a transit- oriented development policy to ensure its $53 billion investment in transit leads to strong ridership gains, and to develop a complete streets policy. We also appreciate SANDAGs commitment to evaluat-ing alternative land use scenarios through its upcoming Regional Comprehensive Plan.

    Cardinals Green Team volunteers collect recyclables during the 2011 World Series games in St. louis, Missouri.


    SAn diEgo AdoPTS onE of nATionS fiRST SuSTAinABlE CommuniTiES STRATEgiES


  • The NRDC Action Funda sister organi-zation of NRDC has fought successfully for years to build support for pro- environment legislation through paid advertis-ing, phone-banking and grassroots mobilization. In the summer of 2010, after its clean energy allies in Congress came under fierce attack for supporting a comprehensive climate bill, the Action Fund set out to bring the advocacy power of its most influential support-ers to the table. Through the Adams Project, named for Board Member (and NRDC founder) John Adams, the Action Fund keeps this network of high-profile environmental ambassadors

    up to date on congres-sional intelligence and strategy decisions, helps them connect and build relationships with elected officials, and lets them know how they can help advance and defend key pro- environment legislation.

    In 2011, when Tea Party leaders in Congress proposed a suite of bills aimed at undermining bedrock protections for our air and water, the Action Fund quickly mobilized its Adams Project ambassadors to meet face-to-face with senators and members of the media with whom they have relationships. In April, due in large part to this strategic effort, the Senate voted down four amendments

    that would have curbed crucial clean air protections. Later in the year, as the leading environmental grasstops network in the country, the Adams Project helped shore up the necessary political will to secure tougher vehicle fuel efficiency and pollution standards, derail anti-environment appropriations measures in Congress, and stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Moving forward, project members will continue to fan out from coast to coast to build support for Action Fund priorities in key political hubs and help engage new high-profile ambassadors, particularly in the Midwest.

    the nrdC aCtion fund: ensuring the hill hears the faCts


  • Science provides a critical cornerstone for identifying and solving our most urgent environ-mental challenges. Yet over the past two decades, science has been under attack: Public trust in science and key scientific theories has been eroded, and in the political arena, science is now regu-larly distorted or ignored. In 2006, NRDC established the Science Center to enhance our scientific capacity, cred-ibility, and visibility. Working

    closely with our program staff to ensure our policy and legal positions

    are supported by

    sound and current science, the center helps advance our advocacy efforts across a range of priority issues.

    During the first five years of the Science Center, we hired top-notch scientists to tackle critical problems at the nexus of science and policy, including climate change, health impacts of toxic chemicals, and endan-gered species protection. We coordinated NRDCs internal and external peer-review process to ensure the scien-tific accuracy and quality of our studies, reports, and publications. Meanwhile, we raised our profile in the scien-tific community by publish-ing peer-reviewed journal

    articles and increasing our engagement at conferences, on advisory boards, and with professional societies such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We built more effective work-ing relationships with federal agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and opened up new scientific collabora-tions with universities.

    In 2011, as political reali-ties placed the fundamental framework of our environ-mental protections at risk, we repositioned the Science Center to meet this escalat-ing challenge head-on. To lead the fight, we hired a new director, Dr. Christina (Tina) Swanson, who is nationally renowned for her leadership on environmental, biologi-cal, water quality, and water resource management issues. We also brought in three new science fellows: Briana Mordick, an expert

    in geology and petroleum engineering, who has been instrumental in our research on natural gas extraction; Greg Gould, a specialist in computer modeling of transportation systems and air pollution emissions, who has provided critical analy-ses for Southern California and Chicago-area highway and freight transport plans; and Jordan Weaver, a nuclear engineer with expertise in nuclear safety and radiation detection, whose work with us is especially timely after the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster. Over the next several years, the Science Center will continue to build its effectiveness by promot-ing internal collaboration among NRDC scientists and by establishing long-term relationships and partner-ships with outside scientists and scientific institutions. We will also increase the diversity and effectiveness of our science communica-tions with the addition of a science communications expert to the Science Center staff in 2012 and through the use of more short films, investigative journalism, and web-based media to reach broader audiences.

    the nrdC sCienCe Center: underpinning poliCy with robust researCh


    nrdC CommuniCations: advanCing on all fronts of digital media

    The Science Center serves as support for NRDCs scientists, a bridge for NRDC collaboration with other scientists, and a voice for the critical role that science plays in our work.Bill Schlesinger, nRdC Trustee

    Featuring great stories and great solutions from some of the best journalists on the planet, OnEarth is a magazine and website about the environment and its impact on how we liveand vice versa. Founded in 1979 as The Amicus Journal, our publication explores the challenges that confront our world, the solutions that promise to heal it, and the way we can use those solutions to improve our

    homes, our health, our communities, and our future. Today OnEarth is reaching new audiences and building greater influence for NRDC through, which provides a home for environmental journalism and commentary beyond what is published in the pages of the magazine. With web-exclusive stories, online columns, multimedia features, and the growing OnEarth Blog Network, we publish fresh news and

    insights about environmental issues and solutions several times a day. Our in-depth reports have helped shape the national conversation and held polluters and the politicians that protect them accountable. And by pursuing topics such as food, health, and culture that reach beyond the traditional audience for environmental issues, is bringing in new readers who are also potential new activists and NRDC

    members. Our efforts are being noticed: In 2011, was honored by both the Online News Association and the Eddie Awards, which recognize editorial excellence in the magazine industry, and was named one of the 10

    best environmental blogs by Outside


    Tina Swanson, Director of NRDCs Science Center

  • 20

    augustjuly september october november december january february

    July 2010: siding with nrdc and our partners, a federal district court judge in alaska ordered a halt to all oil and gas activities in more than 29 million acres of the chukchi sea, home to half of americas polar bears.

    september 2010: the ninth circuit ruled in favor of nrdc and other environmental groups and upheld regulations giving the public a significant voice in grazing decision-making and emphasizing an ecological approach to grazing management.

    november 2010: nrdc and our partners reached an agreement with commonwealth edison on a three-year plan to install energy-efficiency technologies that will save more than 16 million megawatt-hours of electricity.

    deCember 2010: thanks to ongoing legal pressure from nrdc and our partners, the department of the Interior designated some 187,000 square miles along the coast of alaska as critical habitat for the polar bear.

    January 2011: siding with nrdc, an Indiana

    administrative law judge ruled that permits to

    expand two corn-ethanol refineries had been

    issued in violation of the federal clean air act and

    state law.

    January 2011: In the wake of a court settlement with

    nrdc and our partners, the epa proposed a rule that will make it harder for the chemical industry to use people as test subjects in pesticide research sent to

    the agency.

    february 2011: nrdc forced a settlement on oil shale development that would prevent the leasing of this dirty fuel on millions of acres of wilderness and key wildlife habitat in the West.

    february 2011: In response to an nrdc lawsuit joined by states and other groups, the ninth circuit court of appeals ruled that the department of energy failed to comply with fundamental environmental laws protecting sensitive ecosystems and wilderness when it designated two huge electric transmission corridors, covering 10 states in the southwest and the east.

    february 2011: a federal judge granted nrdcs motion to compel the administrative record in a lawsuit challenging the navys plan to build a giant underwater sonar training range off the coast of northeastern florida.

    february 2011: a federal district court ruled in favor of nrdc and our partners and allowed the state of Washington to move forward with implementing a strong, new energy efficiency code for residential buildings.

    nrdC litigation team: winning viCtory after viCtory in the Courts

    The NRDC litigation Team is the most talented and versatile group of environmental litigators in the nonprofit world. NRDC Trustee gerald Torres

  • 21

    march aprIl may june july august september october

    marCh 2011: under legal pressure from nrdc and our partners, ohio university agreed to retire its existing coal-fired steam heat plant by 2016 and to replace it with a non-coal alternative.

    marCh 2011: taking aim at invasive species in the great lakes and other waters, nrdc and our partners forged an agreement that requires the u.s. epa to issue a new permit regulating ballast water discharges from commercial vessels.

    april 2011: In response to an nrdc lawsuit, the fourth circuit court of appeals ruled that duke energys cliffside coal plant in western north carolina must abide by the stringent rules governing hazardous air pollutants.

    april 2011: siding with the epa, california, and nrdc, the d.c. circuit court of appeals rejected a challenge by the u.s. chamber of commerce and auto dealers to californias landmark standards to cut carbon pollution from new cars.

    may 2011: the ninth circuit court of appeals ruled in our favor and against a highly destructive and wasteful highway project through tongass wildlands north of juneau, alaska.

    June 2011: siding with nrdc and our partners, a federal judge upheld a may 2008 decision that polar bears throughout their range should be protected as a threatened species under the endangered species act.

    June 2011: We won our legal

    challenge to the illegal registration of a highly dangerous hemorrhagic poison used to kill prairie

    dogs on 2 million acres of the mountain West.

    July 2011: the d.c. circuit court of appeals ruled in favor of nrdc in our challenge to an epa guidance document allowing some of our nations smoggiest areas to avoid assessing a fee on major stationary sources of pollution, including refineries and power plants.

    July 2011: a colorado district court restored endangered species act protections in Wyoming for the prebles meadow jumping mouse. the court agreed with nrdc and our partners that the fish and Wildlife services practice of delisting species on a state-by-state basis was based on a dubious legal opinion.

    July 2011: following legal action by nrdc, duke energy ohio announced plans to retire its 862 mW beckjord coal-fired power plant near cincinnati by 2015. the plant emits more than 68,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 4 million tons of greenhouse gases annually.

    July 2011: siding with nrdc, the epa, and others, the

    d.c. circuit issued a decision denying a petition for review filed by ports and shipping

    interests challenging a national epa permit to protect states water quality from invasive

    species in ballast water. July 2011: the l.a. county board of supervisors approved a negotiated settlement with nrdc and our partners that will improve health and environmental safeguards for residents living near active oil drilling in the baldwin hills neighborhood of south los angeles.

    august 2011: the u.s. court of appeals for the fourth circuit upheld energy efficiency standards issued by the department of energy (doe) for commercial small electric motors. nrdc submitted a friend of the court brief on behalf of the doe.

    september 2011: the u.s. court of appeals for the second circuit ruled in nrdcs favor and struck down the epas approval of the pesticide dichlorvos. this neurotoxic chemical interferes with the human nervous system and can cause severe health problems.

    oCtober 2011: the u.s. supreme court denied consideration of an appeal by the livestock industry which sought to overturn federal court decisions secured by nrdc and our partners on new grazing rules for public lands.