toxics

Capitol Update: Florida Lawmakers Putting Water Quality And Conservation At Risk

The Florida Legislature has been in session since less than a week and already the state’s water policy is under attack.  HB 7003, crafted by the Department of Agriculture, will delay clean-up of pollution and will shelf already established water quality standards.

This means we are backsliding on existing commitments to clean-up Florida’s largest lake – Lake Okeechobee. Lawmakers want to use a voluntary phosphorous pollution called best management practices (BMP’s) control program rather than tie pollution to permits and how much pollution the lake can actual handle. This jeopardizes the drinking water supply of millions of south Florida residents, tourism-based industries that rely on healthy coastal communities.

Protect Your Water from Toxic Pollution!

Last year's chemical spill into the Elk River in West Virginia, coal ash spill in the Dan River near Danville, and train derailment into the James River in Lynchburg prove that accidents happen. The risks posed by toxics jeopardize the quality of our water sources and our health.

Two pending bills, SB 771 and 1071, would make it easier to identify hazardous waste sites in Virginia and strengthen state's ability to protect your water and other valuable resources.

  • SB 771 establishes a list of non-federally managed toxic waste sites and makes it easier to respond to any contamination of groundwater or drinking water that may occur.
  • SB 1071 raises the civil penalty the DEQ can issues for environmental violations from $10,000 to $25,000. Virginia's current cap pales in comparison to other states such as North Carolina, which can impose an administrative penalty of $15,000 to $32,500 per day depending on the violation. 
Take Action!

Send a message to your state Senator and Delegate them to "Protect our Water" from toxic pollution!

VA General Assembly 2015 Legislative Priorities

Here are some of the bills that we are tracking in the 2015 Virginia legislative session:

Healthy Rivers

Healthy Rivers are vital to protect drinking water sources and improve the quality of wildlife habitats.

Recycling Mercury - a Shining Success

Gene: Fracking Frontlines

Gene - Fracking FrontlinesHis name is Gene and he lives in Greeley.

This is his story:

There are four wells and twelve tanks proposed to be built within 360 feet of where I live. This isn't the right place to build that. I'm legally blind, and several of my neighbors are handicapped. Having an increase in traffic in the area will be hazardous to our health and mobility, not to mention the hazard to the children and high school students who live in the area. This project is located in the heart of a residential area with three sides bordered by houses. Constructing these wells would change the entire safety of the area for someone like me.

Learn more at Fracking Frontlines

Connie and Mel: Fracking Frontlines

Connie nd Mel - Fracking FrontlinesTheir names are Connie and Mel, they live in Windsor.

This is their story.

"They have not even considered the consequences of their actions on nearby residents, which will include the impact on our health, damage to our roads, dust, noise, polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink, not to mention a decline in our property values.

We live about two miles from another drilling site, and when our windows are open, we can hear the noise caused by the drilling and smell the emissions.

During burn-off, the formerly beautiful night sky is no longer...it is all lit up, causing an eerie sight. It is unimaginable what a drilling operation within 700 feet of my home would be!

Water Supplies Sacrificed for Oil & Gas Industry Profit, Report Finds (Texas Release)

Austin, TX – Provisions of the federal law originally intended to protect drinking water are instead being used to allow oil, gas and uranium mining industry activities that would otherwise be illegal, according a report released today by Clean Water Action. This first-ever analysis of a critical Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) program found widespread sacrifice of underground water resources (aquifers) that could otherwise be used for drinking water in the future.

Published On: 
01/06/2015 - 13:07

The Aquifer Exemption Program

Executive Summary

A little known provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program allows certain oil and gas and mining activity to occur in groundwater that would otherwise be protected as a drinking water source. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the program in the early days of SDWA implementation to respond to oil and gas interests who cited SDWA language which states that EPA “may not prescribe requirements for state UIC programs which interfere with or impede” the injection of fluids associated with oil and gas production. Extraction proponents argued that certain energy extraction activities would not be able to continue if all underground sources of drinking water everywhere were protected. As a result, an aquifer is now eligible for an exemption if it meets certain regulatory criteria.

Regulating Oil & Gas Activities to Protect Drinking Water

When the U.S. Congress first passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)  in 1974,  it authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a program to protect vital under- ground drinking water resources from risks of industrial activities in which fluid is injected
into the ground. However, Congress also included language mandating that EPA not “interfere with or impede” oil and gas production unless it is “absolutely essential” in order to protect underground sources of drinking water.

The regulatory and legislative history of the SDWA Underground Injection Control Program (UIC) demonstrates the impact of this language on the UIC program’s evolution.

Austin Runoff Election Endorsements

Happy holidays! Please join Clean Water in celebrating democracy and the holidays by voting in the Austin mayoral and city council runoff elections! Early voting lasts through Friday December 12, and election day is Tuesday December 16.

Clean Water Members lplayed a key role electing Ann Kitchen, Kathie Tovo, and Delia Garza in November, and helped carry most of our other endorsed council candidates into these runoffs.

We need your help to finish the job!

Clean Water Action Endorses:

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