As Clean Water Action celebrates our 40th Anniversary we're looking back on forty years of Action for Clean Water and planning for the future. Our Clean Water People - friends, alumni, partners, activists, and members are sharing their stories of Clean Water Action, the campaigns they were a part of, the victories won, and where life after Clean Water Action has taken them.
This is Annie.
I was hired onto the Clean Diesel Campaign at the end of 2007, not long before the economic crash. Despite a challenging economy our campaign passed one of the first in the nation clean-diesel-construction laws for Providence, RI, requiring retrofit filters on heavy duty diesels and short-term phase-out of the most polluting equipment. At another juncture, I found myself testifying against a fancy new incinerator that was trying to enter Rhode Island borders, masquerading as renewable energy. (In what world?!) During a rather heated exchange while testifying before the House Environment Committee, Chairman Jan Malik roared his approval to my statements with a decidedly ‘Rhody Italian “BA-DAH BING.”
In 2011 I moved to San Francisco, CA to help build a family company, Blue Planet Water Solutions. We were active participants in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup in 2010, though our technology for separating oil from water has been around since the early 1990s. With an all-star engineering team we are finding solutions for clean drinking water, wastewater treatment, desalinization, and industrial produced-water all over the world. Most recently we were contracted for hydrocarbon remediation in the Canadian tar sands. I plan to focus my energy on the preservation of the “water planet” for the rest of my career.
CWA taught me not to fear politics or our government – to see that they are as fallible, or more so, than ourselves. Perhaps more importantly I saw the triumph of positivity in my colleagues even in the face of temporary defeats. Sheila Dormody, RI Director, told me something I’ll never forget – “We do win in the end. It may take years, but there comes a point when the facts and the truth are undeniable. And then we win.”