a problem with plastics that could grow to a crisis. And a nonprofit group wants
the Environmental Protection Agency to take action.
The Center for Biological
Diversity has petitioned the EPA to declare the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
and its surrounding waters a Superfund site. That would trigger a lengthy
process of cleanup with federal money.
Emily Jeffers is an attorney
for the nonprofit. She says floating debris endangers marine life such as
turtles and monk seals, who mistake these items for food. While a Superfund
designation could increase funds to clean up the area, Jeffers stresses we also
need to consider how these items ended up in our waters.
The EPA is currently in the
process of reviewing the petition. It’s not clear when the
agency will make a decision on taking further action.
Full audio available here:
(Molly Solomon / HPR News)