Water

Clean water is the foundation for healthy & prosperous communities. While our nation has made significant progress since the 1970’s in cleaning up many of our rivers, bays and other vital water resources, we still face significant water quality and quantity challenges. Drinking water sources are threatened by pollution and overconsumption, and some of these threats are made worse by climate change.

Test tubes, table of elements. Photo credit: Ben Schonewille / Shutterstock

Congress: Time to act on PFAS

Congressional intervention is a critical part of the policy action needed to address the widespread presence of these troubling chemicals in the environment and their continued use in everyday products like food packaging, in foams used to fight fires, in industrial processes like chrome planting, and literally throughout the economy.

Recent Actions

Help us make polluters pay in Michigan

From 1990 until 1995, Michigan had the strongest “polluter pay” law in the country.

Tell Governor Lamont to Take Bold Action on PFAS

On July 9th, Governor Lamont formed a taskforce to make recommendations on how to manage PFAS contamination.  This is good news but we want to make sure comprehensive steps are taken to 1) restrict firefighting foam, 2) restrict other sources of contamination like food packaging, 3) implement strict water testing guidelines and 4) set a health protective drinking water standard.

EPA Can Do More to Protect Our Communities from Lead

EPA chose not to require full replacement of lead service lines — the largest source of lead in drinking water — and stopped short of other measures to reduce exposure.

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Water Blog Posts

The drain field component of a residential septic system is being put in place. Creative Commons license.
January 6, 2020

If your home is in a rural area in Maryland, your sinks, toilets, showers, dishwasher, and washing machine probably empty into a septic tank. How does a septic tank work? Watery waste, or effluent, is most of the waste, where anaerobic bacteria begin to break it down. The sludge, or inorganic solids which are the leftovers of bacteria digesting organic effluent, falls to the bottom of the tank.

Power plant on water
December 19, 2019

On Thursday, December 19th I participated in a "virtual" public hearing on the Trump administration's dangerous plan to let dirty power plants dump even more pollution into our rivers, putting more communities at risk. These rollbacks will impact communities across the country. Despite this, EPA decided not to host an in-person hearing on this issue, deciding instead to host the virtual hearing in the middle of the holiday season. This is not the type of meaningful engagement that communities deserve.

Below is what I told EPA. Please read it and then send a message to EPA!

Photo of protest signs at public hearing. Courtesy of Patch.com
December 11, 2019

In Abingdon in Harford County, a developer has proposed to build a new "Abingdon Business Park:" three e-commerce/warehouse facilities, four restaurants, two flex retail spaces, one hotel, one convenience store and additional flex spaces, requiring the clear-cutting of 226 acres of a 330-acre forest. While sometimes development on forested lands is necessary, the developer has not proven that the negative externalities to the public are outweighed by the benefits, or that they considered putting their project on sites that would have less of an impact on water quality.