WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group has selected Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., a longtime champion of the environment and public health and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to be the first recipient of the EWG Courage Award.
The honor is bestowed on an individual who demonstrates great leadership and courage in the fight for a cleaner, healthier environment.
“Few leaders in Washington have done more to safeguard families and children from toxic chemical pollution than Senator Barbara Boxer,” said Ken Cook, EWG president and cofounder. “By standing up to polluters and ensuring our food, air, and water are safe, Sen. Boxer has been a true champion on behalf of families in California and across the U.S. She deserves repeated acknowledgment of her remarkable, tireless efforts to maintain a healthy, sustainable world.”
EWG Courage Award winners must share EWG’s deep passion for promoting environmental conservation and public health and exemplify the organization’s core values of courage, empowerment and protection. EWG has a long history of influencing consumers and decision makers and driving advocacy and action with science-based research and education.
Boxer, who plans to retire next year, at the end of her fourth term in the U.S. Senate, has ushered several important environmental and public health laws through the Congress. She successfully sponsored legislation to eliminate lead in drinking water and to set tougher regulations on arsenic contamination in drinking water. She has been one of the most steadfast and vocal lawmakers addressing the looming crisis of climate change and the dangers of oil and gas drilling. She led efforts in the Senate to block the Keystone Pipeline and to stop drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Earlier this year, Boxer proposed the only comprehensive plan to fix the nation’s broken toxics law, which governs thousands of chemicals in commerce, and has fought tirelessly to improve toxics legislation moving through the Senate.
Boxer continues to be the Senate’s lead advocate for labeling of GMO ingredients in food. To that end, she has introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. She has fiercely opposed legislation nicknamed the DARK Act that would block state and federal GMO labeling rules. She is fighting to keep this provision out of the year-end omnibus federal spending bill now before Congress.
“With the EWG Courage Award, we hope to raise the profile of leaders such as Sen. Boxer and to recognize those leading the charge against polluters and big industry,” Cook said. “We will honor game-changers who stand up for our shared beliefs and concerns, who speak truth to power and who are unafraid to push for a healthier environment and the public’s right to know.”
A committee of EWG staff and board members developed criteria and selected the EWG Courage Award winners. Sen. Boxer will receive her award at the group’s annual EWG Eats Gala tonight at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C.
EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Its mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Learn more: www.ewg.org.