Good as news: positive environmental stories you may have missed

Media Contacts
Arielle Ostry

Josh Chetwynd

Environment America

The Public Interest Network’s Environment America and PIRG work on multiple campaigns to ensure the country’s policies and practices create a cleaner, safer, better world for all of us. This monthly newsletter highlights recent good news on the environmental front — both from the work we do and elsewhere. If you have suggestions or comments, please email Arielle Ostry ([email protected]) or Josh Chetwynd ([email protected]). 

Bipartisan infrastructure bill becomes a law

After months of negotiations, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework was passed by the House and signed into law by President Joe Biden. The law includes a host of key investments for water infrastructure, electric vehicle charging networks and energy efficiency programs.

The investments for clean energy add up to $73 million in total, along with $55 billion for water infrastructure projects and $7.5 billion for EV charging.

“The infrastructure we build impacts our health and the environment for decades into the future,” said Wendy Wendlandt, Environment America’s president. “All Americans want clean air to breathe, clean, lead-free water to drink, and more options to get around…With a stroke of his pen, President Biden has set into motion a future with cleaner air and water. “

Apple reverses ban on selling parts to consumers

In a victory for the right-to-repair movement, consumers who buy and use Apple products will have access to the parts, instructions and software to fix their broken electronics. While this new self-service repair program is not as comprehensive as the reforms proposed this past year by advocates in more than a dozen state legislatures this past year, the move on Apple’s part is definitely a step in the right direction. 

Electronic waste is piling up in our landfills and polluting our environment, and Apple’s move to give consumers the tools and know-how to fix what is broken will help slow that growth.

“Our coalition of tinkerers, fixers, repair shops, DIYers, and consumer and environmental advocates has forced one of the world’s biggest companies to change for the better,” said Nathan Proctor, U.S. PIRG’s senior Right to Repair campaign director. “It’s a win for repair shops, it’s a win for consumers and it’s a win for the planet.” 

Biden proposes drilling ban for Chaco Canyon

President Biden announced the first step in instituting a 20-year ban on oil drilling in areas surrounding New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon. This comes on the heels of his administration’s move to protect other national monuments, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante,

The Chaco Canyon region is home to many indigenous people and is considered a biodiversity hub that sustains a wide array of microclimates

“This is a good day for the tribes and local communities who can breathe a little easier knowing that more drilling equipment is not about to mar what is left of the landscape,” said Virginia Carter, Environment America public lands campaign associate. “This ban will give archaeologists more time to study the area and generations of wildlife will have more space to live.”

What else we’re celebrating:

  • More habitat for the spotted owl: The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced this month that they will reverse a Trump-era ruling that severely cut back on the land classified as critical habitat for the endangered spotted owl. The northern spotted owl’s critical habitat will now span about 9.4 million acres. 

  • New bill introduced to address deforestation: U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer introduced new legislation to restore our forests and tackle climate change. The bill would establish a $9 billion fund to combat the global warming emissions caused by deforestation. This action would remove up to an estimated 180 metric tons of carbon emissions every year.

  • Vineyard Wind I construction begins: America’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm broke ground this month, paving the way for more offshore wind projects to follow. The 62-turbine farm is projected to generate 800 megawatts of electricity annually, enough to power more than 400,000 American homes. 

  • Protections proposed for multiple turtle species: The FWS began the process of providing endangered species protections to five map turtle species that reside in the southern United States. This group includes the Pearl River map turtle. Map turtles are well-known for the markings on their shells which look like maps, and are vulnerable to poaching and have been put in danger by nearby reservoir projects.

Looking for even more uplifting environmental content?

Environment America also has our Greener Together project. The project aims to help us all foster a stronger connection with the natural world and with each other. The initiative includes engaging events, fun activities and helpful guides for both adults and children.


Environment America is a national network with affiliates in 29 states. Our staff and members work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment.