Uranium and mining industry lobbying to lift a twenty-five year ban on uranium mining persuaded Clean Water Action and allies to mount a counter-effort that will last at least through the 2009 election year, and likely into the 2010 legislative session. Clean Water Actopm involvement stepped up following a Virginia state panel vote for a uranium study after a House of Delegates panel had killed a similar proposal during the 2008 session. The renewed prospect of uranium mining was initially generated by Virginia Energy Plan 2007, a plan on meeting future energy needs developed by the administration of Governor Tim Kaine under a General Assembly mandate.
The warming up of the planet poses tremendous challenges for the entire world. For America's Atlantic coast, rising sea levels will dramatically affect shorelines, with increasing flooding, droughts and severe storms having devastating consequences for water quality, quantity and residents of the region. Maryland's 3100 miles of coastline make it the fourth most vulnerable state to the coastal effects of climate change.
In Western Maryland, the Frederick County Board of Commissioners is considering building a solid waste incinerator, and hoping to do so in partnership with Carroll County. During the past few years, over 3,000 Clean Water Action members, staff and allies have been working to persuade the Board to scrap the idea, or at least institute a 5 year moratorium on its construction to study alternative solutions like a Resource Recovery Park for waste diversion and recycling.
Clean Water Action is working to resolve the growing problem of marine debris by preventing litter at the source. Thanks to the plethora of waste from our "throw away" society, there is a garbage patch in the Northwest Gyre1 of the Pacific Ocean estimated to be twice the size of Texas.
The Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) is fast tracking implementation of two bills passed by the state Legislature in 2008 -- AB 1879 (Feuer) and SB 509 (Simitian) -- with the goal of establishing related regulations this year. Clean Water Action is taking a lead role, along with our allies in the CHANGE (Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy) coalition, in DTSC's public stakeholder process. Our goal is to ensure that the regulations will be developed and enforced in a way that truly protects the environment and human health and drives the development of "green" chemicals.