Accomplishments

What we do every day at PEER:

  • Expose political manipulation of science. Public agency scientists are under tremendous pressure not to report results that argue for resource protection, and when they do that work it’s often suppressed or re-written. PEER is working now in Congress to enact the very first laws protecting the integrity of public agency scientists. Follow our progress.
  • Enforce the law. PEER works with rangers, inspectors, attorneys and other specialists to make sure that our environmental laws are actually enforced – and that political obstructions are removed. Learn more>>
  • Defend whistleblowers. While we work mightily to avoid putting employees in the position of having to be whistleblowers, if that is not possible, we defend them ferociously. See how one case unfolded.
  • Protect public lands from the ravages of off-road vehicles. ORVs have become the number one threat to our public lands. Look at what PEER is doing to stem the tide of thrill-craft.
  • Fight to save wetlands. PEER is operating a national effort to end the central fraud – a practice called mitigation – which is powering the continued destruction of America’s natural wetlands. Follow our progress
  • Resist attempts to commercialize our parks and public lands. See how PEER blocked a plan to sell park naming rights and have park employees solicit corporate donations.
  • Make the Pentagon obey environmental laws. PEER pursues Defense agency violations of anti-pollution and wildlife protection laws. The best safeguards are the Pentagon’s own environmental professionals. Learn more>>
  • End giveaways of your public lands and resources. Disclosures through PEER have reformed the land exchange process. Learn more>>
  • Throw a “Lifeline” to every environmental employee. PEER wants to reach out to cubicles, field stations and laboratories across the country. Every employee who faces political pressures to ignore laws or put development above conservation should know how to call PEER.

What Else Would You Like to Know About PEER? Look around this site and find out!

What We Are Proud Of

Many of the best things we do at PEER, we cannot talk about. Working behind the scenes, we have saved the careers of hundreds of conscientious public servants, often by talking them out of publicly blowing the whistle and convincing them to work through PEER instead to expose a problem.

Looking at just the past year, our most notable achievements include the following actions where PEER has made significant progress in safeguarding public health, protecting wildlife, conserving public resources or securing freedom of speech —

      1. Achieved the first legal victory for scientific whistleblowers resulting in the first application of civil service whistleblower protections for scientific dissent. Significantly, the victory was on behalf of a departmental Scientific Integrity Officer who exposed scientific skewing by the Secretary of Interior’s office;

      2. Forced the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to improve their current protocols for Fisheries Observers reporting violations such as shark-finning, illegal by-catch and marine pollution offenses. NMFS has pledged to develop a new “uniform, transparent and consistent procedure for collecting and reporting all potential marine resource violations” in response to a PEER complaint filed on behalf of the Association for Professional Observers;

      3. Negotiated the largest civil service whistleblower financial settlement on record following a groundbreaking unanimous federal appeals court ruling won by PEER which made it more difficult for agencies to harass internal critics to the breaking point;

      4. Secured greater protections for irreplaceable rock art in New Mexico’s Petroglyph National Monument. Our successful campaign resulted in a new management agreement requiring National Park Service ranger patrols and federal resource standards to safeguard the roughly 20,000 petroglyphs on lands not federally owned;

      5. Vindicated Arctic scientists after an unprecedented official attack against research documenting drowned polar bears in ice-deficient Arctic waters. Global media coverage of our representation of Dr. Charles Monnett, whose work galvanized public understanding of climate change in the Arctic, highlighted the ham-handed and dangerous investigation. We are working to ensure that these scientific witch hunts will never happen again;

      6. Forced EPA to retract its safety assurances for artificial turf made from shredded tires. This is part of a larger effort to end reuse of toxic industrial wastes in consumer products

      7. Saved the jobs of seven U.S. Bureau of Reclamation fisheries biologists working on controversial Klamath Basin water allocation issues. In resolving the scientific misconduct complaint PEER filed on their behalf, the agency promised a new cooperative approach and, most unusually, issued an apology to the scientists;

      8. Documented scientific fraud in a variety of high-level environmental and public health decisions. Most prominently, our revelations about political manipulation of the science on the gray wolf forced the Fish & Wildlife Service to cancel its rigged peer review of its plan to strip federal protections from this iconic predator;

      9. Exposed and blocked an industry-sponsored scheme to “wire” national parks. Commercial providers would have been authorized to build cellular and internet “connectivity” within all major national parks, including along most roads and trailheads;

      10. Uprooted genetically engineered (GE) crops from all National Wildlife Refuges in the Southeastern U.S. Following a similar victory last year ending GE cultivation on Northeast refuges, we are continuing our drive for a nationwide ban on GE from all refuges.

One invaluable tool has been our robust use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation program. Guided by insider sources, PEER operates a wide-ranging transparency program powered by one of the most robust FOIA litigation practices in the country

There is a lot more going on at PEER. Check out our ongoing campaigns.

You can follow our work by signing up for PEERmail, and you can support this work by giving generously.