One Step Closer to Restoring Protections for All Water
New policies proposed in March 2014 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 priority.
When Congress first passed the 1972 Clean Water Act, it was with the understanding that all streams and wetlands can impact the biological, physical and chemical integrity of larger downstream waters. But starting in 2001, polluter-friendly court decisions and agency actions that followed stripped away longstanding Clean Water Act protections, leaving critical resources vulnerable to pollution and destruction. Read more
$1 million for Clean Water. That’s how much has been raised so far by hundreds of thousands of supporters using the simple online-shopping app from We-Care.com. Here, Clean Water Action’s CEO, Bob Wendelgass receives the “big check” from We-Care.com’s Dylan Nord, Gina Navani and Bryan Cockerham. Join us, and make your online purchases count for clean water.
A faulty storage tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston, West Virginia leaked 10,000 gallons of a coal-washing chemical (crude 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, MCHM) in January. The spill made its way past a failed containment wall and into the Elk River, upstream of the drinking water intake serving hundreds of thousands of people.
The continuing crisis reveals critical gaps in:
Clean Water Action’s response focuses on:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in January that it intends to finalize long-overdue coal ash disposal rules by the end of 2014. Public outcry following a catastrophic December 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee that buried homes and contaminated nearby streams prompted EPA to propose action for the first time in June 2010. But, despite hundreds of thousands of letters and comments supporting the rules, it took legal action to compel EPA to move forward until now.
Coal ash is one of the largest, most toxic waste streams in the U.S. today, contaminating water and threatening health with a toxic mix of arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, nutrients, bromides and other harmful pollutants. Yet this toxic waste stream has never been subject to federal regulation.
Nor have federal agencies limited the amounts of toxic chemicals dumped directly into water by power plants around the country. Last year, EPA proposed the first-ever standards, but electric utilities and the coal industry are pressuring EPA to weaken them. Industry is also arguing that coal ash should be left up to states to regulate, despite overwhelming evidence that most states have failed to limit the pollution. Read More
This February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took long-overdue steps to regulate toxic diesel used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking), issuing its first Permitting Guidance to protect underground drinking water sources from the practice. EPA’s action follows a year-long campaign by Clean Water Action and allies that featured more than 10,000 comments to the agency from Clean Water Action members.
In a special deal for the energy industry, Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from Safe Drinking Water Act protections in 2005. But even then lawmakers recognized that diesel used in fracking poses special risks to drinking water sources and made that one aspect of fracking subject to the law’s Underground Injection Control Program (UIC). Read more
New reports released by Clean Water Action with Clean Water Fund and allies in California and Boston have been grabbing strong media attention this spring. Shaky Ground, explores the potential for the California oil industry’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) boom and “acidizing” practices to increase risks in this earthquake-prone state.
Also in March, Boston’s Zero Waste Task Force released sweeping recommendations that will spur innovation and help grow the city’s green economy. See this page for more.