Superfund Designation Sought For Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

NOAA

Could the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands become another Love Canal?

The Center for Biological Diversity, a mainland conservation group, has taken the unusual step of pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian islands and parts of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as a Superfund cleanup site.

“We think that plastic pollution is an increasing threat to our nation’s wildlife and particularly the wildlife in the northwest Hawaiian islands where you would hope, as a marine monument, it would have extra protections,” said Emily Jeffers, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

She said 267 species have been documented to have been affected by plastics, through entanglements or ingestion.

“It’s a problem that’s getting worse and worse as we use more disposable plastic," Jeffers said.

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