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.
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.
Get the Fact sheet here.
As the fourth largest oil producing state in the country, California must responsibly manage the massive waste stream generated by the oil and gas sector. This report examines the risks to California water and air quality associated with just one part of this waste stream: oil and gas wastewater disposal into open-air and unlined pits. The investigation that preceded this report found a long-term ongoing failure on the part of regulatory entities tasked with protecting public health and the environment to properly monitor and restrict the use of these pits, despite demonstrated threats to public health and the environment.
November 17, 2014
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20460
Re: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2014-0170: Comments on Final 2012 and Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plans and 2012 and 2013 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report
The undersigned organizations present these comments on three aspects of the Final 2012 and Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines (ELGs) Program Plans:
This is the second in a series of white papers that illustarate the importance of Putting Drinking Water First. Read the first paper here.
Recent incidents of widespread drinking water service disruption have drawn attention to the importance of protecting drinking water sources from contamination.
Baltimore Officials Lead on Water
On September 9, while the U.S. House was voting 262-152 to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from fixing the Clean Water Act so small streams and wetlands are once again protected, Baltimore took a strong stand for clean water. Baltimore City Council members voted unanimously for a resolution supporting EPA’s clean water rule.
The Council’s decisive action shows that these local officials, at least, understand that small streams and wetlands are “vital to the health of Baltimore’s drinking water,” says Clean Water Action’s Andy Galli. Once EPA’s proposal is finalized, 835 miles of streams and other surface waters flowing into the Baltimore area will benefit, along with “100 percent of Baltimore residents, who get at least some of their drinking water from sources affected by these streams,” Galli says. Read more