EPA Rejects Proposal for Pebble Mine

On Tuesday July 15, I had the privilege of attending my first hearing on Capitol Hill. I got there early to take it all in, and was the first one in the audience by a good fifteen minutes. Clean Water Action assigned me to listen and report on the hearing, held by the House Sub-Committee on Water Resources and Environment, a Subcommittee of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The hearing was about Section 404c of the Clean Water Act, which authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “restrict, prohibit, deny, or withdraw the use of an area as a disposal site for dredged or fill material if the discharge will have unacceptable adverse effects on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas.” This means that EPA can even revoke a Clean Water Act discharge permit that has already been issued if it is determined that it will have unacceptable impact. Read more…

Posted on July 24, 2014  | Filed Under Protecting America's Waters | 1 Comment

Protect Clean Water, Protect the Merrimack River

By Shanene Pierce, Massachusetts Intern – Boston Office

It wasn’t until I joined the cross-country team in high school that I began to pay closer attention to the Merrimack River and Valley that I called home. I used the winding paths along the Merrimack to challenge and build my running endurance while training for my first 5k race. I’ve seen bald eagles soar above me while commuting along the river to and from my classes at University of Massachusetts Lowell. The Merrimack River is a beautiful place: when the Pawtucket Falls freeze over in midwinter, the rushing of snowmelt come spring transforms the steady flowing river into raging rapids that bring life to the connecting wetlands and streams. Read more…

Posted on July 24, 2014  | Filed Under Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | 1 Comment

Protecting Clean Water in the Real World


Ellen Gilinksy -the EPA Senior Advisor for Water- at event in Austin, Texas

It’s hard to imagine a U.S. House of Representatives more out of touch with reality.  People support protecting water resources and getting in front of climate change and off of fossil fuels.  Today, the Committee responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act passed a bill to block EPA progress in restoring protection to streams and wetlands.  Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill blocking important policy proposals on both these critical issues.

Out in the real world, our Protect Clean Water Campaign activities continue to demonstrate that elected officials, farmers and the public want to protect our streams, wetlands and drinking water sources.

  • Over the weekend, Senator Mark Udall attended a “Celebration of Clean Water” event hosted by Clean Water Fund, the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union, the Colorado Renewable Energy Society and the American Sustainable Business Council.
  • Today in Austin, Texas our staff joined Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Environment Texas at an event with top EPA officials to share comments in support of the proposed rule.
  • Clean Water’s Eastern Pennsylvania Director Brooks Mountcastle had a compelling opinion editorial published in the Reading, Pennsylvania Berks Country today.  Contrary to PA Farm Bureau, Farmers Do Support Clean Water Rules.

Posted on July 17, 2014  | Filed Under Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off

DC Imposes a Citywide Ban on Polystyrene Foam

by Lily Biggar, Communications Intern

For folks like me living in the nation’s capitol, this summer has brought unbearable humidity, another so-so season for the Washington Nationals, and continued congressional frustrations. However, DC has finally given us a reason to smile.

On July 14th, the City Council voted to place a ban on polystyrene foam, the harmful petroleum-based material used in everything from packaging to takeout containers.

While the ban may go unnoticed by consumers using polystyrene only to hold their morning coffee, it will certainly be noticed by our environment. Read more…

Posted on July 15, 2014  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off

What the Appalachian Trail Taught Me about Clean Water

by Rachel Sicheneder, Clean Water Action alum

Water. Clean Water. It’s amazing how my thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail has completely centered my life around it. For safety measures I carry at least one liter of water at all times. Because of this I am constantly checking and re-checking my maps to locate my next water sources. Will my next fill up be a spring or a river? Will I have to travel up or down a mountain to get to it? Will it be clean enough to drink straight? Or will obvious signs of pollution force me to pull out my filter?

I sometimes try and find towns along the way by following the small blue trails of water outlined in my guidebooks. I’ve found that nearly every time a river widens or converges there will be some form of civilization along its banks. We have always based our lives around the availability of water and the Trail is no different. Read more…

Posted on July 3, 2014  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | 1 Comment

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