Governor Corbett Defies Public Opinion - Orders More Fracking in State Forests
The public opposes it — nearly 70% of Pennsylvania residents. The state natural resources agency (DCNR) has studied the issue and reports problems. But Gov. Tom Corbett wants to forge ahead with his budget balancing scheme that would reopen state forest lands to natural gas drilling leases.
DNCR says past gas development in state forests has caused: Read more
Fracking Contaminates Water, DEP Finds
The potential for local water supplies to be contaminated by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas is among Pennsylvania residents’ top environmental concerns. Oil and gas companies claim this never happens. In 2011 testimony before Congress, Pennsylvania’s then- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary, Michael Krancer said he knew of no cases of contamination.
Clean Water Action has been helping a statewide coalition determine how many water contamination cases DEP is aware of. The groups want to know what the state has done to help affected families and what actions are being taken to prevent future contamination. Under pressure from Clean Water Action, environmental allies, legislators and the public, Krancer finally wrote a lengthy April 2013 response, stating that DEP was aware of twenty-five water contamination cases from Marcellus Shale gas wells. Krancer resigned as DEP secretary two days later.
In the Pittsburgh region, whenever it rains — even just a little bit — the sewer system is overwhelmed with stormwater. When this happens, ALCOSAN, the region’s sewer authority, cannot handle the huge volume of water and millions of gallons of raw untreated sewage pour into Pittsburgh’s rivers. ALCOSAN has been told by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fix this problem, soon.
The money to solve this sewage overflow problem, the biggest public works project ever in this region, will come from ALCOSAN rate payers. Rate payers need to be involved in the process so they can get the most value for the money they will be spending.
The beautiful and powerful Susquehanna River stretches 400 miles, provides drinking water to millions of people, supports wildlife and unique environments, and is the largest river feeding the Chesapeake Bay. Natural gas development is expanding throughout the watershed at a rapid rate. Governments responsible for protecting the watershed do not yet have much understanding of how fracking affects the watershed, let alone how to protect human or aquatic life from the negative impacts of fracking.
Clean Water Action’s “Greener Communities” report, released in January, evaluates green stormwater management by 25 municipalities in Chester County’s Brandywine 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.
On July 14th Washington, DC became the first major city on the East Coast to ban polystyrene foam food containers! Clean Water Action has been campaigning around this issue for months and thanks its many supporters who wrote letters in support of the ban to City Council members. These harmful petroleum-based containers are non-biodegradable and account for up to a fourth of the trash polluting the Anacostia River. Banning polystyrene is huge victory for the District and is an essential step in cleaning up the city’s rivers, wetlands and streams.
American Canoe Association - American Forests - American Rivers - Clean Water Action - International Fly Fishers Federation - Izaak Walton League of America - Natural Resources Defense Council - New Mexico Wilderness Alliance -River Network - Sierra Club - The Wilderness Society - WildEarth Guardians
July 21, 2014
The Honorable Thomas Vilsack
Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue
SW Washington, DC 20250
The Honorable Thomas Tidwell
Chief, U.S. Forest Service
Yates Building, 5th Floor, NW Wing
201 14th St, SW
Washington, DC 20250
RE: Support for the U.S. Forest Service Proposed Groundwater Directive
New policies to be proposed by the Obama Administration would finally restore protection for all streams and wetlands.
The long-anticipated move follows more than a decade of campaigning by Clean Water Action and allies, and seeing this restoration of Clean Water Act protections through to completion is a top priority. Read more
New England Currents
A Letter From Your Drinking Water
Here I am on my journey towards the Boston area, leaving the Quabbin Reservoir, on my way to your tap. Did you know that I save you millions of dollars with my well-buffered source water so pollution clean-up costs don't have to be added to your drinking water bill? (Don't worry, I get disinfected like all public drinking water supplies before you drink me, but cleanup needs are minimal because my sources are protected!)
My situation in New England, however, is a special one. Did you know that up until just last month, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a new proposal to restore Clean Water Act protections that were weakened under the Bush Administration, drinking water for 8.8 million New Englanders was at risk of being polluted... legally?