Waterkeepers Chesapeake and our 17 Waterkeeper 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 introduce and push for bills that will clean and restore our local waterways – making them swimmable, drinkable, and fishable in the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bays regions, once again.
The Safe Drinking Water Act is the primary federal law governing the health of the nation’s drinking water, but its protections do not extend to private drinking wells and smaller community-based water systems. Roughly 2 million Marylanders rely on well water as their primary drinking source and are expected to take the safety of their … Read more
The Virginia Senate is gearing up to vote on Delegate Betsy Carr’s HB 1902, which bans single-use polystyrene foam cups and food containers. Most everyone can agree that plastic pollution is a huge problem, and nothing that we use for a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our rivers and oceans for hundreds of … Read more
Residents and communities are usually the first to notice and report pollution in their local waterways. And they are often the ones harmed by that pollution. If a state takes action against the polluter, these citizens impacted by the pollution have a right under the federal Clean Water Act to intervene in the case so … Read more
People across the state and country are exposed to PFAS chemicals in consumer products, food and food packaging, and drinking water. Exposure to PFAS is linked to cancer and other illnesses. Urge your Maryland legislators to pass the PFAS Protection Act (SB195/HB22) introduced by Sen. Sarah Elfreth & Del. Sara Love. Maryland, like many states, … Read more
The Virginia legislature is considering HB2173/SB1164, a bill that would weaken environmental oversight and permitting of chemical plants that melt down plastic waste to turn it into fuel, or often more plastic. The chemical and plastics industries have branded this “Advanced Recycling”, but the truth is that this bill would give these polluting industries a … Read more
Maryland and Virginia’s 2021 General Assemblies convened on January 13 under very unusual and stressful circumstances due to the necessary COVID safety protocols, and the unprecedented security precautions due to the threats to state capitols following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Pennsylvania’s House and Senate meet at various times during the … Read more