Pennsylvania

One year after The Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge Oil Train Derailment, Danger Still Looms

City’s Office of Emergency Management Acts With Indifference; Clean Water Action Announces Community Listening Tour To Highlight the Continued Danger of Oil Trains to Public Health and the Environment

Philadelphia, PA – A year ago today, Philadelphia narrowly escaped a major disaster when six highly explosive CSX tank cars carrying volatile crude oil from the Bakken Shale region in North Dakota derailed on the Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge. This incident threatened the safety of nearby neighborhoods and the source of drinking water for 1.5 million city residents. Since that time city officials and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have done little to improve protections, help residents understand the dangers of crude-by-rail, or what residents should do in the event of an oil train accident. Clean Water Action on the other hand has worked to uncover and improve OEM’s preparedness and has also begun setting up community listening sessions to help raise awareness about oil trains and to involve city residents in the conversation.

“Philadelphia dodged a bullet and avoided a major catastrophe but the next time we may not be so lucky,” said Mary Donahue, Program Organizer. “Every day we see 160,000 barrels of oil rumble through our neighborhoods and over our rivers headed for refining at Philadelphia Energy Solutions in South Philadelphia. We need to know that as oil train traffic increases, we have protections and safeguards in place to avoid and address future disasters,” concluded Donahue.

Published On: 
01/20/2015 - 11:08

Greener Communities Report - Cordorus Watershed

Low Impact Development (LID) is a method of community development that seeks to use less pavement and more natural systems to reduce impacts on the environment.  This is Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund’s first report for the York County region.

Get the full report here.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is requiring townships and boroughs to update their local code to require more LID friendly techniques for new development as a condition of new MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permits. LID methods are better for the environment because they slow the rate and volume of water that is entering local waterways after a storm event, reducing flooding, damage to streams and pollution from the runoff.

5 Simple Things that Governor Tom Wolf can do for Pennsylvania’s Environment

In the last four years, Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania House and Senate have made repeated attacks on environmental protection and sought to maximize the profits of the gas, oil and coal industries at the expense of Pennsylvania’s health and safety.

2013 - 2014 Pennslyvania Environmental Scorecard

Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, and the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter released the joint Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard in October 2014.

This report scores all state legislators on key environmental votes cast during the 2013 - 2014 Legislative Session and whether those votes supported protection of the public and the environment.

Click here to view or download the scorecard.

PA Groups Release Scorecard on State Legislators’ Environmental Votes

State Legislators Receive Scores on Votes Affecting Climate Change, Enforcement of Environmental Protection Laws and Giveaways to Gas Drillers


(Harrisburg) – Three leading citizen-based environmental organizations released today the joint Pennsylvania Environmental Scorecard, which scores state legislators on key environmental votes cast during the 2013 - 2014 Legislative Session.

Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, and the Sierra Club graded lawmakers in the state House of Representatives and state Senate on whether their votes on important legislation supported protection of the public and the environment.
Published On: 
10/16/2014 - 07:01

Pennsylvania House Guts Stream Protections

House members cave to well-funded industry lobbyists, as appeals from Pennsylvanians and conservationists are ignored

Harrisburg, PA— A bill that threatens clean water by eliminating protections for certain streams with streamside buffers – the trees and vegetation that grow along stream banks – has passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The bill will be considered by the Senate, where it awaits a very uncertain future owing to a much stronger buffers bill, S.B. 1465 by Senator Rafferty.

Published On: 
09/22/2014 - 15:30

Settlement Reached on Lawsuit over Alleged Illegal Discharge of Gas Drilling Wastewater in Pennsylvania

Settlement prohibits unconventional wastewater, reduces discharge and protects Allegheny River

(Pittsburgh) – Clean Water Action and Waste Treatment Corporation (WTC) of Warren, PA agreed upon a settlement today of a federal lawsuit filed by Clean Water Action in October 2013. Clean Water Action alleged in its lawsuit that WTC violated the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and the state Clean Streams Law through their continued discharge of up to 200,000 gallons per day of gas drilling wastewater into the Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania.

Published On: 
09/11/2014 - 08:35

Failing to Enforce Fracking Rules

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Clean Water Action issues report on Pennsylvania’s lack of enforcement of gas drilling rules

Clean Water Action looked at how the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection did in 2011 for enforcing environmental rules on Marcellus Shale gas drilling companies.  Despite over one thousand violations, 9 out of 10 gas companies got off without paying a fine.

Download the report and learn more.

Fracking Wastewater Settlement!

clean water action reaches a settlement with pennsylvania sewage plant that was dumping fracking wastewater

Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Scorecard

Between November, 2011 and February, 2012, the Pennsylvania state legislature held a series of votes on HB 1950 (Act 13), a bill that proposed to overturn hundreds of local ordinances on gas drilling, while establishing the nation’s lowest impact fee and making minimal improvements to oil and gas regulations. Passage of Act 13 is the first significant legislation enacted in Pennsylvania since the Marcellus Shale gas drilling boom began over four years ago, and represents a giant step backward in environmental protection, especially through eliminating any local control over gas drilling. The Scorecard covers final passage votes as well as votes on floor amendments to the bill.

See how your state legislators scored by downloading the entire Marcellus Scorecard. Take action and hold your legislators accountable for their votes!

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