Thoughts on Flint: Putting Drinking Water First - Back to Basics

By Lynn Thorp, Campaigns Director - On Twitter (@LTCWA)

Our approach to drinking water protection - “Putting Drinking Water First” - feels light years away from the crisis in Flint, with seemingly nothing to offer based on what we have learned about the causes of this situation. Over 100,000 people are unable to use their tap water. Flint already had high levels of lead-poisoned children. Now those numbers have doubled. A Legionnaire’s disease outbreak may well be related. All because officials put the bottom-line first.

"Putting Drinking Water First”, exactly what officials didn't do in Flint, is animated by our belief that we can make smarter choices that will benefit us while keeping contamination out of our drinking water. It's focused on the need for 21st century thinking about how we handle pollution issues in a more integrated fashion. Ultimately, it’s optimistic thinking about making smart choices.

Unfortunately, we don't always do that.

Protecting Clean Water - The President Gets It

Washington - Last night the President vetoed S.J. Res 22, a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Clean Water Rule, the Administration’s landmark initiative to restore critical Clean Water Act protections to our nation’s streams, wetlands and other water bodies.

Clean Water Action President and CEO Bob Wendelgass released this statement:

Published On: 
01/20/2016 - 06:34

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.

You + Me + Congress = Action on Climate and Energy Legislation!

post by Christine LeMieux, Global Warming and Energy Programs Coordinator

While media headlines as of late are dominated by the latest healthcare happenings on the Hill, progress on climate and energy legislation continues. Both issues are related to critical questions about how we will take care of our public health and our economy in the coming decades. Over the past month, 6 Senate committees have held hearings and action is expected after Congress returns from recess in September. 

Chronic Underfunding Putting Vital Programs at Risk

American Forests - American Rivers - Clean Water Action - Defenders of Wildlife - Environment America -  Green Science Policy Institute - League of Conservation Voters - Natural Resources Defense Council - Ocean Conservancy - Sierra Club - The Wilderness Society 

Published On: 
02/11/2016 - 08:23

Tap Into Clean Water

Heavy seas bag on the river's edgeClean Water Action and Clean Water Fund celebrate the connection between Clean Water and Great Beer, starting with a spotlight on Clean Water Fund’s new partnership with Heavy Seas Beer.

Hugh Sisson, Heavy Seas Beer’s founder, puts it like this: “Without Clean Water There is No Beer!”

Our partnerships are just getting going. So check back for:

The President Stood With You! Thank Him!

The President Stood With You! Thank Him!

On January 19, 2016 President Obama vetoed a resolution from Congress that would have repealed new, commonsense policies to better protect streams and wetlands from pollution. 

Small streams and wetlands are vital because they feed into our nation’s rivers, lakes and bays and are sources of drinking water for 1 and 3 Americans. 

Thank the President today! Take action HERE.

Reduce Methane Pollution Now!

The oil and gas industry is carelessly leaking millions of tons of methane pollution and toxic chemicals into the air that harm our health and speed up climate change. These industrial leaks are like an invisible oil spill happening every day and the oil and gas industry is getting away with it. We need stronger Methane Pollution Standards that will protect Americans with low-cost safeguards that already exist to clean up pollution from oil and gas sites.

Take action now.

Thankfully, EPA proposed new standards, which would combat the devastating climate and health impacts from methane and VOC pollution from NEW oil and gas facilities. Right now EXISTING oil and gas facilities are exempt from the rule and account for the vast majority of current methane emissions.

Send a message to Gina McCarthy and let her know that you want strong standards for ALL sources of methane pollution before President Obama leaves office - click here.

Another Day, Another Attack on Clean Water

Washington DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Clean Water Rule, the Obama administration’s landmark initiative to restore critical Clean Water Act protections to our nation’s streams, wetlands and other water bodies.

In response, Clean Water Action’s Water Programs Director Jennifer Peters released the following statement:

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