Saturday 23 September 2017

Press Statements (57)

New Investigative Report Documents Nation’s Neglected Rail Infrastructure Waterkeepers from across the country identify significant areas of concern with 114 railway bridges along known and potential routes of explosive oil trains NEW YORK, NY AND SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 10, 2015 –Waterkeeper Alliance, ForestEthics and a national network of Waterkeeper organizations today in releasing a new investigative report Deadly Crossings exploring the condition of our nation’s rail infrastructure. From July – September 2015, Waterkeepers from across the country documented the structural integrity of 250 railway bridges along known and potential routes of explosive oil trains, capturing the state of this often neglected infrastructure in their communities. The Waterkeepers identified areas of concern with 114 bridges, nearly half of those observed. Photos and video footage of the bridges inspected show signs of significant stress and decay, such as rotted, cracked, or crumbling foundations, and loose or broken beams. Waterkeepers were also present when crude oil unit trains passed and observed flexing, slumping and vibrations that crumbled concrete. Upper James Riverkeeper Pat Calvert made several reports, including a narrow rail bridge located immediately upstream of the Richmond City drinking water intake facility that provides water to approximately half a million people has significant cracking and steel braces on the foundation that appear to be a makeshift repair. This effort was initiated out of concern for the threat posed by the 5,000 percent increase in oil train traffic since 2008. Oil train traffic increases both the strain on rail infrastructure, as well as the likelihood…

Waterkeepers' Statements on Chicken House Moratorium

Waterkeepers Chesapeake was among several groups calling for a moratorium on new chicken houses on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in response to Environmental Integrity Project’s report released September 8, 2015, More Phosphorous, Less Monitoring. Waterkeepers Chesapeake and local Waterkeepers released statements: Betsy Nicholas, Executive Director, Waterkeepers Chesapeake: "Until the poultry industry and the government bodies that regulate it can prove that our waterways, our tourism industry, and the blue crabs and wildlife that define who we are can be safe from any harms of an expanded poultry industry, we must stop the construction of new poultry operations on the Eastern Shore. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is calling on the state to immediately issue a moratorium on new poultry house construction.” Read full statement. Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastkeeper, said: “The level of industrialization of our rural areas due to the intensity and density of these large scale animal feeding operations prompted residents in Somerset County, in 2014, to ask for a moratorium on all new poultry operations while imploring their elected officials to protect the health and safety of their communities through zoning changes and adoption of health ordinances. The Environmental Integrity Project’s report substantiates the concerns of these citizens that their rural communities are being industrialized without proper oversight, and a moratorium is needed until the situation can be brought under control.” Read full statement. Timothy Junkin, Director of the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, said: “The Environmental Integrity Project report on phosphorus overloads highlights a profound and worsening pollution problem in Maryland, and particularly on the…
NEW REPORT: DESPITE PHOSPHORUS POLLUTION OVERLOAD, MARYLAND CUT WATER QUALITY MONITORING AND ALLOWS POULTRY EXPANSION Environmental groups call on state to restore funding for monitoring and consider moratorium on construction of new poultry houses FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 8, 2015 Washington, D.C. -- Despite the continued over-application of poultry manure to Eastern Shore farm fields, Maryland dramatically cut back water quality monitoring while the industry continues to expand, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project. The growth of the poultry industry makes it harder to understand why Maryland last year eliminated almost 60 percent (9 of 16) of its water quality monitoring sites that measured phosphorus pollution in rivers that run through the center of the poultry industry and into the Chesapeake Bay.     “It is penny-wise and pound foolish to stop monitoring Eastern Shore streams for nutrients while phosphorus builds up in the watershed and the industry keeps building new poultry houses,” said Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project and former director of civil enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency.  “We need to monitor water quality to find out whether efforts to keep the poultry industry’s pollution out of the Chesapeake Bay are actually working.” At least 200 new poultry houses are permitted for construction on the Delmarva peninsula, including 67 to 70 in Somerset County, Maryland.  This growth threatens to undermine any progress the state might achieve through its June 2015 manure management regulations, called the Phosphorus Management Tool (or PMT). The…