EPA Begins Closing Critical Gaps
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with proposals to clarify what water resources qualify for federal protections. Once finalized, this action will close critical protection gaps that have left drinking water sources for 117 million Americans vulnerable to contamination and destruction.
EPA’s September 17 announcement comes roughly twelve years after pro-polluter court decisions and actions by the Bush Administration weakened critical Clean Water Act protections. Sustained campaigning by Clean Water Action and allies helped to set the stage for this positive development. Clean Water Action expects continued strong opposition from polluters, who would prefer to see the law remain in its current, weakened state. Read more
Legislature Too Close to Governor Christie's Anti-Environment Agenda
For more than 40 years, New Jersey has enjoyed a national reputation for its strong and bi-partisan environmental leadership.
That reputation has been tarnished over last four years, with Chris Christie as governor and an increasingly anti-environment legislature. During this time, anti-environment bills sailed through to approval, rolling back hard-won water, air and land protections. The pro-environment position prevailed on only four of the eighteen most important bills, and even those were weakened considerably before passsage. Read more
Protect Michigan's Water from Toxic Power Plant Pollution
Power plants still have virtually unlimited permits to pollute rivers lakes and streams. Toxic discharge standards have not been updated since 1982, and power plants’ toxic dumping into the nation’s waterways now totals billions of pounds per day.
Clean Water Action is mobilizing its members to support the strongest possible standards to curb this toxic pollution. EPA is poised to issue new rules but public support is critical since Dirty Coal and the big electric utilities they supply threaten to weaken any new protections. In Michigan, where this toxic pollution directly threatens the Great Lakes, Clean Water Action staff and volunteers are organizing to submit 10,000 public comments that will become part of EPA’s official decision record. Read more
Fracking Contaminates Water, DEP Finds
The potential for local water supplies to be contaminated by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas is among Pennsylvania residents’ top environmental concerns. Oil and gas companies claim this never happens. In 2011 testimony before Congress, Pennsylvania’s then- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary, Michael Krancer said he knew of no cases of contamination.
Clean Water Action has been helping a statewide coalition determine how many water contamination cases DEP is aware of. The groups want to know what the state has done to help affected families and what actions are being taken to prevent future contamination. Under pressure from Clean Water Action, environmental allies, legislators and the public, Krancer finally wrote a lengthy April 2013 response, stating that DEP was aware of twenty-five water contamination cases from Marcellus Shale gas wells. Krancer resigned as DEP secretary two days later.
A Campaign to Stop Waste Before It Starts
Next time you grab lunch, check out the single-use disposables (SUDs) that come with your meal. These containers, utensils, napkins, cups, straws, bags and more are used briefly. Then they become waste. The quantity of these SUDs littering streets and waterways, filling up landfills, wasting money and resources is on the rise, as more people are eating out and on-the-go.
More than two thirds of SUDs litter in and around San Francisco is food and beverage packaging, according to a 2011 litter study by Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund. The organizations have launched a new Rethink Disposable campaign in response, to reduce this packaging problem at the source. Read More