Thousands Ask for Stricter Drilling Rules
This April, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released changes to its 2014 proposed oil and gas regulation revisions. Though DEPs latest proposals follow tens of thousands of comments from the public, advocates, issue experts and industry and reflect some improvement, Clean Water Action believes further changes are still needed.
For example, DEP would continue to allow open pits for storing gas drilling wastes. While open pits on well sites would now be banned, industry would still be allowed to use huge off-site pits, each serving multiple wells — pits as large as two football fields and holding 15 million gallons of toxic wastewater. Read more
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.
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.
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.
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 August 2014, the California Legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), marking a fundamental shift in the management of water resources in California. For the first time, groundwater in the state will have to be managed to protect the long-term reliability of the resource. SGMA is thus an important step forward, but achieving the objective of sustainability will ultimately depend on the commitment and participation of a large number of actors throughout its implementation.
Alaska wilderness league *American Rivers * Clean Water Action * Defenders of Wildlife * Earthjustice * Environmental Defense Fund * Friends of the Earth * GreenLatinos * League of Conservation Voters * Natural Resources Defense Council * Sierra Club
July 27, 2015 (Download the letter here)
Clean Water Action * Earthjustice * Environment America Friends of the Earth * Greenpeace * League of Conservation Voters Natural Resources Defense Council * Sierra Club
July 21, 2015 (Download the letter here)