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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.
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.
In October the Pennsylvania Legislature decided that big developers are more important than you and the health of our streams and rivers. Let them know what you think today.
The Legislature passed HB 1565 to undo the reasonable protections in place for Pennsylvania’s best streams and rivers.
Did your Senator and Representative vote for your interests or those of big developers? Find out and then hold them accountable if they decided to put our streams and rivers at risk.
Our state legislators betrayed their oath to preserve the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment when they voted to reopen our state forests and open our state parks for natural gas leasing as part of the budget.
Combating air pollution in Allegheny County, organizing with residents in the municipalities across the Ohio River to reduce the pollution coming from Neville Island and ensure that industry is being a "good neighbor is just some of our work to make air cleaner in Allegheny County.Find out more at the Bucket Bridgade.