Our Drinking Water and Oil and Gas Development

It is widely recognized that Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in the 2005 Energy Policy Act. But it is less understood that SDWA still pertains in several ways to fracking and oil and gas exploration, drilling and wastewater disposal. 

Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund have found large problems with SDWA and how the Act protects drinking water from certain oil and gas and uranium mining activities. A groundbreaking report and a white paper, released in January 2015, explores two SDWA programs - the Aquifer Exemption Program and the Under Injection Control Class II Program.

New EPA Coal Ash Rule is a Timid Step Toward Cleaning up Leaking Waste Pits

Rule Requires Some New Standards but Still Leaves Communities at Risk.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first-ever national standards for coal ash disposal.  Coal ash is the toxic waste that remains from burning coal to generate electricity. This second largest industrial waste stream in the United States contains many known hazardous chemicals, including arsenic, mercury, lead, and hexavalent chromium.   This new rule is a first step toward better protecting communities from leaking coal ash ponds and landfills. However, for the most part, it leaves enforcement of the regulations up to individual states.

Published On: 
12/19/2014 - 11:52

Clean Water Currents | Winter 2014

clean water currents
winter 2014 edition

820,000 + Americans for Clean Water!

From Colorado to Minnesota to Pennsylvania, Clean Water Action members across the country have been standing up for clean water. Since March, Clean Water Action organizers have mobilized more than 135,000 comments from members and others who support the Obama Administration’s long-overdue proposal to fix the Clean Water Act, restoring protections for small streams, wetlands and drinking water. “People care about their water and want to see it protected,” says Clean Water Action President and CEO Bob Wendelgass. “They understand that if you want to protect our major rivers, lakes and bays, you have to protect the small streams that feed into them.”

More than a dozen municipalities worked with Clean Water Action to pass resolutions supporting strong Clean Water Act protections for streams and wetlands. Leaders from Philadelphia, Austin, Baltimore, Hartford and Pittsburgh representing tens of millions of people understand that a strong Clean Water Act means better protection for local water resources and for their residents’ drinking water. One in three Americans relies on drinking water sources fed by headwater or seasonal streams — the subject of this Clean Water Rule. Read more

Forty Years of the Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act, first passed by Congress in 1974, has resulted in remarkable public health protection.  Clean Water is unique in its focus on drinking water issues and Safe Drinking Water Act implementation.
Toast to Tap  Event in DC
in 2014, we marked this important milestone with new analysis, new materials, participation in events, Congressional testimony  and more.

We worked with the Source Water Collaborative on a Call to Action: A Recommitment to Assessing and Protecting Sources of Drinking Water

Remarks by Lynn Thorp for SDWA 40th Anniversary Forum

Lynn Thorp, Clean Water Action
Remarks for SDWA 40th Anniversary Forum
Washington DC
December 9, 2014

Good afternoon.  My name is Lynn Thorp and I am the National Campaigns Director for Clean Water Action.  We are a national organization working at the federal level and in 15 states on a wide range of issues including drinking water and implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. It is an honor to mark the Act’s 40th anniversary and share ideas with all of you. In celebration of the Act’s successes and with hope for its future, I want to issue a challenge to us today to put some “teeth” in the first step of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s multi-barrier approach – Source Water Protection.

Letter to the Senate: Don't Prohibit Ex-Im Bank from Restricting Financing for Overseas Coal Projects

Friends of the Earth ● Sierra Club ● Greenpeace USA ● Center for Biological Diversity
Environmental Defense Fund ● Union of Concerned Scientists ● Green For All
Environment America ● Pacific Environment ● Clean Water Action ●  Earthjustice ● Center for International Environmental Law ● Natural Resources Defense Council ● Physicians for Social Responsibility ● Rainforest Action Network

December 4, 2014 (Download the PDF)

Barbara Mikulski
Senate Appropriations Committee
U.S. Congress

Chairwoman Mikulski:

No Anti-Environment Riders on FY15 Appropriations Bills - 12/2/14

American Bird Conservancy * American Rivers * Audubon * Clean Water Action * Defenders of Wildlife * Earthjustice * Environmental Defense Fund * Friends of the Earth * League of Conservation Voters * Natural Resources Defense Council  * Ocean Conservancy * Sierra Club * Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance * The Wilderness Society

December 2, 2014

Dear Senator,

Comments on Final 2012 and Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plans and 2012 & 2013 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review

November 17, 2014
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Water Docket
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20460

Download this letter

Re: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2014-0170: Comments on Final 2012 and Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plans and 2012 and 2013 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report

The undersigned organizations present these comments on three aspects of the Final 2012 and Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines (ELGs) Program Plans:

Curbing Nutrient Pollution Puts Drinking Water First

Clean Water Action National Campaigns Director Lynn Thorp testified today before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy on issues related to “Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water”.  Cyanotoxins, the contaminant that forced the shutdown of the Toledo OH water system for several days in August of this year, are produced by Harmful Algal Blooms.

In her testimony, Thorp said “The most cost-effective way to prevent cyanotoxin contamination of drinking water sources is to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that is also causing numerous other drinking water, environmental and economic impacts.”

Published On: 
11/19/2014 - 11:16

Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water - Testimony of Lynn W Thorp - House Subcommittee on Energy & Environment

Testimony of Lynn W. Thorp - National Campaigns Director, Clean Water Action

Before the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee

Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water (download the testimony here)
November 19, 2014
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