Friday 19 April 2019

Clean Water Advocacy (32)

Upholding & enforcing the Clean Water Act. 

On Earth Day, We Salute Our Waterkeepers

The first Earth Day 49 years ago sparked grassroots advocacy around the nation that led to the passage of the Clean Water Act, among many other landmark environmental protection laws. Along side this historic movement for better environmental protections, the Waterkeeper movement was born. This year, Waterkeeper Alliance celebrates its 20th anniversary. Waterkeepers Chesapeake and all of our member Waterkeeper programs are proud members of this global alliance. We fight alongside more than 300 amazing Waterkeeper groups around the world who are doing their part to take on the global water crisis. We would like to share with you a few of our “water wins” here in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bay regions. Our local Waterkeepers are your on-the-water (and sometimes in the air) advocates for your local waterways. Working locally and building teams to tackle complex threats to our waterways takes a great deal of collaboration, coordination and time. We count on you – so please contact your local Waterkeeper today to find out how you can get involved and support them! Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit that resulted in the local power plant installing cooling technology for its wastewater discharges that has reduced the severity of fish kills. - Ted Evgeniadis, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Shenandoah Riverkeeper has cut the number of cattle directly accessing the river, and defecating into it, by half, drastically reducing nutrient pollution. - Mark Frondorf, Shenandoah Riverkeeper   Waterkeepers Chesapeake played a significant role in permanently banning fracking in Maryland.  - Katlyn Schmitt, Waterkeepers Chesapeake   Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper helped…
We had some important legislative wins for clean water in Maryland. But first let’s give a big shout out to the amazing win in Virginia on cleaning up a legacy of toxic coal ash stored on our river banks! Virginia Safe Disposal of Coal Ash - Great news in Virginia! On March 20, Governor Northam signed into law a bill (SB 1355) to safely dispose of 28 million tons of toxic coal ash Dominion Energy now has stored on the banks of the Potomac, James and Elizabeth Rivers. This bill sets a national precedent for how to safely remove a legacy of toxic coal ash stored along our waterways in our region and across the nation. Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks and James Riverkeeper Jamie Brunkow have worked for the past 5 years with local communities and legislators to fight Dominion's plan to cap-in-placecoal ash ponds that eventually leak into our waterways. This bill requires all legacy coal ash in the Commonwealth be recycled or safely landfilled within 15 years, rather than left in the current dangerous state of cap-in-place. Maryland Comprehensive Agriculture Reporting and Enforcement Bill (Del. Stewart – HB904 | Sen. Pinsky – SB546) This bill is arguably one of the most important agriculture bills that has gained traction in the Maryland General Assembly in the past decade. It will improve transparency and fairness in the State’s industrial agriculture permitting program, create penalties for violations of phosphorous pollution regulations, and improve the state’s overall agricultural enforcement efforts. It will prevent the state from waiving permit fees for…
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…

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