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Statement On 50th Anniversary of Earth Day by Attorney General Donovan

April 22, 2020

Contact: Rob McDougall, Chief, Environmental Division, 802-828-3172

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan released the following statement for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day:

“Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day being celebrated around the globe. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of two important environmental laws: the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Vermont’s very own Act 250.

Earth Day – even living under the current stay-at-home order – is a time for us to remember why we all choose to live in Vermont. For so many Vermonters, our environment – our green mountains, forests, and waters – define “home.” Our ability to get outside and walk, garden, hike, run, or simply enjoy the sunshine has helped us all cope with our current situation.

While we all are focusing on dealing with COVID-19 and Vermont’s eventual recovery, we are seeing and learning that a profound environmental impact can happen in a short time. On a world-wide stage, the COVID-19 crisis has shown the earth’s potential for resilience and how sensitive it is to human activity: emissions are down in cities around the world; water is cleaner; and, animals are thriving. This can help motivate us all to take the steps we need to take to build a sustainable future.

My office will continue its work to protect Vermont’s environment. Polluters won’t pause for this crisis and the protection of our environment shouldn’t either. Vermonters want clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. We want to leave the planet in better shape for those who come after us.

So, on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, in this time of crisis, I encourage all Vermonters to be safe, be well, be optimistic, and stay connected – to each other and to our environment.”

For more information on the Vermont Attorney General’s environmental work and to keep up-to-date on the latest activities of the Office of the Attorney General, please visit the Office’s website – – and find us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Information on multi-state environmental actions taken or joined by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office since January of 2017 can be found here: