clean water action endorses Barack Obama
We are committed to mobilizing our million-member base behind this endorsement, along with millions of other voters across the U.S. who care about clean drinking water and clean rivers and streams.Clean Water Action’s Bob Wendelgass joined with other major environmental group CEOs this April to announce an unprecedented early Presidential endorsement. Statements by Wendelgass and others highlighted President Obama’s leadership and strong first-term performance on clean water and other environmental and health protection issues. They also pointed up the sharp contrast posed by Gov. Romney’s candidacy. Read more
Clean Water Action is celebrating the Clean Water Act’s 40th anniversary this fall. Passage of that law was Clean Water Action’s very first victory, so we’re celebrating that, too — along with our own 40th birthday.
The Clean Water Act has brought incredible cleanup progress, but daunting challenges remain.
Forty years ago, some of the Great Lakes were declared dead. The Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay and other estuaries were choking on pollution, and their fish was unhealthy to eat. The Delaware, Anacostia, Potomac, Colorado and many other rivers were inhospitable to fish, smelled terrible, and were used as dumping grounds for all kinds of noxious pollution. The Everglades and other national treasures were being drained and filled out of existence. Read more
The Clean Water Act is one of America’s most successful environmental laws. Clean Water Action’s in-volvement was pivotal to the law’s original drafting and its passage by Congress in 1972. The law faces un-precedented challenges in Congress, and much remains to be done to clean up and protect the nation’s water resources. But there is plenty of progress worth celebrating today:
No More Polluters’ Free-for-All: Before the Clean Water Act, most pollution was unregulated and factories discharged their wastes directly into rivers, lakes and streams. Now most discharges are limited through permit systems overseen by state and federal agencies. No more direct dumping into the water.
No More “Pollution Shopping”: The Clean Water Act set uniform national water protection standards, and polluters are no longer able to move to states or communities offering weaker protections. Read More
Happy Birthday to Us
The same four decades that have brought one Clean Water Act success after another have also brought change and accomplishment for Clean Water Action, founded just as the law was getting its start. Clean Water Action has grown from a tiny DC-based operation to become the nation’s largest, most effective grassroots organization active on water, energy and environmental health issues. Clean Water Action has one million members and on-the-ground programs directly reaching people in more than seventeen states and the District of Columbia.
What are some of the things that make Clean Water Action so successful? Here are some of the answers offered by organizational staff and leaders from around the country: Read More
Electricity generation imposes heavy environmental and health costs in the U.S. Thanks to Clean Water Action and allies, most people are now aware of problems associated with the coal that fuels nearly half the country’s electricity needs. Toxic mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants contaminate fish caught by recreational anglers in most states. These same smokestacks emit particulates and smog-causing chemicals responsible for cancers, asthma and other respiratory disease. Burning coal also releases the greenhouse gasses that accelerate global warming. Mining, processing and transporting coal to the power plants adds to the devastation.
But there is another coal-burning danger — no less serious than these others — which far fewer people have heard about: Coal ash, the toxic residue that remains after coal is burned. Coal ash contains high levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxic substances. Coal ash is the nation’s second largest waste stream. Yet despite these concerns, coal ash has never been regulated by the federal government. This means that some states may have stricter standards for municipal trash than for toxic coal ash. Read more
Update: Diesel in Fracking
Since 2005, fracking techniques used in oil and gas development have been exempt from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, with one important exemption: “when diesel fuel is used.” Diesel’s widespread use in fracking means chemicals linked to cancer, kidney and liver problems, and nervous system damage now threaten drinking water sources. These chemicals dissolve easily in water and are toxic at very low levels. Read more