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.
Clean Water Action Issues Evaluation of Municipal Ordinances in Codorus Creek Watershed with Eye towards Water Quality and Low Impact Development
York, PA – Clean Water Action’s “Greener Communities” report, released in today, evaluates green stormwater management by 9 municipalities in York County’s Codorus Creek watershed. The report’s focus is “low impact development” (LID), an approach that uses less pavement and more natural systems and green spaces to reduce environmental impacts. Clean Water Action has hundreds of members in York County.
Using a tool developed by the Center for Watershed Protection, the report rated each municipality on how well their land use rules align with LID best practices.
Diverse group of environmental, conservation, faith based groups, unions, businesses and elected officials recognize the value of protecting headwaters for downstream water bodies, including lakes, bays, and wetlands
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Clean Water Action released public comment letters sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ for its Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act Rule. Over 100 Pennsylvania organizations, public officials, and businesses voiced their support for this rule. The comment deadline is set for this Friday, November 14th.
EPA’s proposed rule is supported by more than 1,000 scientific peer-reviewed studies that recognize the importance of protecting headwaters to the biological, chemical, and physical integrity of rivers downstream. At stake is drinking water for 117 million Americans, 2 million stream miles, and 20 million acres of wetlands. In Pennsylvania, the rule would protect drinking water for 8 million Pennsylvanians who rely on rivers and streams for their water from public water systems. Pennsylvania sportsmen will be the beneficiaries of improved fish habitat, cleaner rivers and streams, and wetlands protection.
Coalition Calls On Other Major Retailers and Massachusetts to Follow Suit
Clean Water Action welcomes publication of EPA's long awaited final science report that shows small streams and wetlands can impact water quality downstream.
Washington - Yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, an extensive, peer reviewed summary of the latest science on the vital importance of small streams and wetlands to downstream water quality, including drinking water sources. The findings in the report will guide the final Clean Water Rule currently being developed by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. These agencies are working to finalize a rule this spring that would clarify protections for over half of the nation's small streams and 20 million acres of wetlands. These vital water bodies feed the drinking water for more than 1 in 3 Americans.
Clean Water Action's President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released this statement.