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.
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.
Defending Clean Water
Bottom line for our water: a strong Clean Water Rule must be in place before the end of 2015.
The rule is needed to restore fundamental Clean Water Act protections, clarifying once and for all what resources will be covered under the law. Until the rule is finalized, small streams and wetlands — including drinking water sources for more than one in three Americans — remain vulnerable to pollution and development.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received 860,000 comments in support of this common-sense proposal. This outpouring of public sentiment in favor of clean water follows millions more calls, letters, emails and petition signatures mobilized by Clean Water Action and allies — more than on any other clean water issue — through our decade-long campaign. Read more
March 25, 2015 (Download the PDF here)