Saturday 23 September 2017

Press Statements (57)

Waterkeepers Chesapeake Calls on MDE to Prohibit Fracking in Maryland The EPA has reversed it’s earlier conclusion of it’s 5-year fracking study and now concludes that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances and identifies factors that influence these impacts. The report identified several vulnerabilities to drinking water resources, including water withdrawals for fracking in drought-stricken areas; inadequately cased or cemented wells resulting in below-ground migration of gases and liquids; inadequately treated wastewater discharged into drinking water resources; and spills of hydraulic fluids and wastewater. The EPA removed the “widespread, systemic” language because it “could not be supported due to data gaps and uncertainties” and “did not clearly communicate the topline finding of the report.” The EPA had inserted the earlier statement about “no widespread systemic” contamination under pressure from the oil and gas industry. Waterkeepers Chesapeake issued this statement: “We applaud the EPA for basing the conclusion of their 5 year study on science, instead of oil and gas industry spin. The EPA now concludes what we have known all along: our drinking water sources have been contaminated with toxic compounds from fracking activities. This conclusion would not have happened without all of the public feedback and participation on the report, especially from the impacted people from across the country who shared their stories with the Science Advisory Board. This highlights the increased need for citizen engagement and enforcement to hold regulators and polluters accountable. In our recent comments on Maryland’s draft fracking regulations, we…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Dec. 8, 2016): We at Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of 19 Riverkeepers, Coastkeepers and Shorekeepers from around the Chesapeake Bay watershed, ask the U.S. Senate to scrutinize and reject the selection of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the incoming Trump administration. The appointment of Pruitt, a self-confessed climate change denier and mouth piece for the oil and gas industry, is an insult to Americans who not only deserve, but have a right to clean air for breathing and clean water for drinking. This appointment will take America in the wrong direction. We urge the United States Senate to block confirmation of this appointment.   The science of climate change is clear. With the rise of fake news, it is easy to muddle facts and confuse the public. Alongside the scientific community, the U.S. military has acknowledged and is preparing for a future with conflicts resulting from rising seas, population migration, severe drought, increasingly violent storms and more.  “Our Waterkeepers are on the front lines seeing the impacts of pollution, rising sea levels and climate change,” said Betsy Nicholas, executive director of Waterkeepers Chesapeake. “The leader of the EPA should be someone who believes in the core mission of the Agency. Pruitt is not the man for the job.” We recognize that most Americans want to be proactive when faced with threats. In the 1950s, we worked to beat back smog and air pollution by passing the Clean Air Act. When faced with…
A message from Waterkeepers Chesapeake Executive Director Betsy Nicholas: Waterkeepers Chesapeake is a coalition of 19 Waterkeepers from around the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. For years, we have worked to protect our most precious natural resource: water. The President-elect is beginning to fill out cabinet and executive agency positions, giving us a preview of what kind of administration is coming to Washington, DC in January. Based on that preview, we are extremely concerned about our water resources. Waterkeepers, along with our staff and volunteers, have worked tirelessly toward the goal of cleaning up the environment and restoring clean water to the Chesapeake Bay and the Coastal Bays and our local rivers and streams. On a daily basis, we monitor water quality. We hold polluters accountable. We advocate at the local, state and federal level. We work every day toward the goal of swimmable, fishable, drinkable water for you and future generations. We will not see that work reversed. The president-elect has talked of rolling back regulations in very general terms. He provides no details. We don’t know what he has in mind yet, but we do know that regulatory oversight is sometimes all that stands between safe drinking water and water poisoned by things not limited to shoddy infrastructure, industrial pollution, and energy interests (drilling, exploration, legacy and transport). Ask the people of Flint, Michigan. It isn’t pretty when you can’t trust the water that comes out of the tap. We will steadfastly oppose regulatory policies that threaten water quality. We…