Saturday 16 February 2019

Clean Water Advocacy (30)

Upholding & enforcing the Clean Water Act. 

Our 2019 Legislative Priorities to Protect Your Clean Water Featured

Waterkeepers Chesapeake and our 18 members work on legislation at the local, state and federal level. At the beginning of each year, the legislatures in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are in session. We are tracking bills to clean and restore our local waterways – making them swimmable, drinkable, and fishable in the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays regions, once again. Please be on the lookout for our legislative Action Alerts and subscribe to your local Waterkeeper lists to stay up to date. Every year, your participation is what makes our clean water legislative priorities successful. Maryland Resolution on Conowingo Dam: Our number one priority in Maryland is to pass a state resolution on Conowingo Dam. The resolution we drafted specifies that the Maryland General Assembly is of the view that Exelon Corporation – the private company that operates and profits from the dam - must pay its fair share (20 - 25%) of the total clean-up costs associated Conowingo Dam under the state’s Water Quality Certification and the Conowingo Dam Watershed Implementation Plan. Other priorities include: Green Amendment – This bill offers a self-executing, statewide Amendment to the bill of rights section of our state Constitution and will give us the right to clean air, water, and a healthy environment. This Amendment will give individuals standing in court to be able to sue if they feel the environment is threatened or their health is adversely affected. Pipeline & Water Protection Act - Requires Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to utilize its authority under the Clean…

Waterkeeper Groups Sue EPA on Tap Water Safety Featured

Regulator has missed Safe Drinking Water Act deadlines for toxic and carcinogenic contaminants Waterkeeper Alliance, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and California Coastkeeper Alliance sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today because the EPA has failed to revise regulatory standards on certain contaminants and develop new standards for emerging contaminants as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The environmental groups are represented in this matter by Reed W. Super, Esq. and Mike DiGiulio, Esq. of Super Law Group, LLC. EPA’s mandatory obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act include identifying unregulated contaminants for monitoring and/or regulation, regulating those contaminants, and reviewing and revising existing drinking water regulations, all according to a timetable mandated by Congress.  But EPA failed to perform these mandatory legal obligations and is unnecessarily putting people’s health and lives at risk. For instance, EPA has not promulgated a revised National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for the carcinogenic chemicals tetrachloroethylene or trichloroethylene, even though it determined more than eight years ago that existing standards for these chemicals needed to be more protective. In contrast, it has taken the Trump administration less than eight months to decide not to regulate two highly toxic chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, in Americans’ drinking water.  The mandatory duties the environmental groups intend to enforce in this suit involve the following contaminants: Chromium (including hexavalent chromium, known from the movie “Erin Brockovich”) was regulated in 1991 with an enforceable limit of 100 parts per billion, based on the assumption that it was noncarcinogenic through oral exposure even though it is known…

Waterkeepers Chesapeake 2018 Year-End Reflections Featured

Recent years at Waterkeepers Chesapeake have been marked by pronounced growth in our organization and our capacity to protect clean water in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays regions. Waterkeepers Chesapeake has been working hard to magnify the impact of each member organization to reduce pollution by focusing on long-term systemic change, organizing collective legal and advocacy campaigns, coordinating information and resources, and amplifying the voices of our Waterkeepers. Now Waterkeepers have more influence in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays restoration efforts than ever. Please explore some of what you have helped us achieve with your support and participation! Passage of Groundbreaking Laws & Policies that Protect Water - Banned the toxic practice of fracking Eliminated the use of antibiotics in farm animals that are not sick Established the Healthy Soils program Created tax credits for farmers who donate surplus food Voice for Water Quality - Commented on key state and federal policies that affect local water quality Watchdogged polluter-facilities that fall under state permits Submitted Public Information Act requests based on water quality enforcement concerns Built Powerful Movements – Through our Fair Farms work, we have been able to utilize our relationship with farmers and our consumer base to garnish public support for food systems policies that also improve the health of our waterways. The Fair Farms campaign now has over 37,000 activated consumers and 178 partners! Waterkeepers Chesapeake helped launch the Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition in 2015 to push for a long-term moratorium on fracking in Maryland. A two-year…

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