The Dirty Water Rampage in Congress Continues

NATL_WaterInfo_Pieces_1By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director – Follow Lynn on Twitter (@LTCWA)

As we reported two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives is on a rampage against a wide range of environmental protections and progress. After approving a laundry list of harmful amendments to a federal agency spending bill the week before last, the U.S. House adjourned until today when they will get right back to work. Up this evening is the “Regulatory Integrity Protection Act” (H.R. 1732). This bill blocks commonsense policy to ensure that all of our nation’s water bodies are protected by Clean Water Act programs. You can learn more about this ridiculous bill from our colleague Jon Devine at the Natural Resources Defense Counsel (NRDC) here. You can use the really cool new Tweet Tool here to let your Representative know how you feel about protecting clean water.

It’s going to be a long hot summer here in DC if today’s 91 degrees is any indication. It would be cool if you would stay tuned and stay involved.

Posted on May 12, 2015  | Filed Under Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off on The Dirty Water Rampage in Congress Continues

How I spent my Earth Day. How’d you spend yours?

By Will Fadely, Baltimore Program Organizer – Follow Will on Twitter (@TrillChillWill)

April offers a unique opportunity for community members to recognize the importance of stewardship of their local environment and waterways. Residents are eager to shake off ‘Old Man Winter’, strap on their boots and get to their nearest stream or green space and get cleaning. Clean Water coordinated a variety of events for Baltimore residents to give back to the Chesapeake Bay.

On Earth Day, joined by the Towson University Environmental Science and Studies Club, the EcoReps, Office of Sustainability & student volunteers we took on the Towson Run stream, as part of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Project Clean Stream.IMG_1176

Cleaning from the Residence Tower to the Baseball field we collected and sorted ten pounds of trash, plastic & glass, and aluminum.

Now if any of you reading this are alumnae or have ever been on campus, you know that stream connects the bar scene and northern part of campus leading to many dorms and on campus apartments.

Most of what we found was leftovers from parties on the way to the bar or leftovers from the bar on the way to the after-party. But, that’s college and who’s to say we all haven’t celebrated after a test or term-paper.

IMG_1194Student passersby were interested in sorting trash appropriately and even stopped to ask questions about the importance of composting and how they might do it on campus.

Saturday brought a day of cleaning illegal dumping sites, green spaces, gutters, and adding some color to our communities by stenciling our most polluted storm drains in Hampden and Westport.

Starting in Westport, we worked with community members to clean Annapolis Road, the main street in the community, stencil storm drains throughout the resident’s neighborhoods, and even cleared litter and debris from the future green space hosting the new Westport Farmer’s Market.

Residents driving by pulled over to help clean and stencil the storm drains because they “are tired of people treating the drains like trashcans,” says Keisha Allen, President, Westport Neighborhood Association.IMG_1218

While the cleanup was underway in Westport, Clean Water coordinated another cleanup in Hampden, partnering with the Hampden Community Council and Towson University’s Big Event. Clean Water volunteers scrubbed and stenciled storm drains along Falls Road, encouraging residents “Don’t Dump” because it “Drains to the Chesapeake Bay,” expressed by the stencils.

Leading 15 volunteers from TU’s Pasión dance team through Hampden, Amy (Clean Water intern), split volunteers up to take on nearly a dozen storm drains. “Residents were coming out of their houses to ask us if they could help clean up,” says Amy. “It was a great opportunity to educate residents on the effects polluted runoff has on their local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay.”IMG_1188

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later that afternoon, we returned to South Baltimore for a Concert for Fair Development celebrating a recent victory in securing divestments from a toxic waste-to-energy incinerator just one mile from elementary and high schools, playgrounds and resident’s homes.

The Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) was the sole investor in the Energy Answers incinerator, consisting of 22 state entities aligned to receive energy from the WTE Incinerator.

Through a coalition of advocates, Clean Water helped secure the divestment of the 22 entities, leaving Energy Answers without financial support.IMG_1202

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The afternoon kicked off with a parade to support fair development in South Baltimore, followed by a concert from local residents.

IMG_1217A BIG THANK YOU to all our Earth Week 2015 partners and contributors: Towson University Big Event; TU EcoReps; TU Environmental Science & Studies Club; Westport Neighborhood Association, Hampden Community Council; Baltimore Community Toolbank; & MD Department of Natural Resources.

Posted on May 5, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | 2 Comments

This Week in Congressional Dirty Water Rampage

By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director (Follow Lynn on Twitter – @LTCWA)

NATL_WaterInfo_Pieces_2The Congressional rampage against protecting clean water, public health, clean air, wildlife and our national heritage continues this week.

First up are funding appropriations for federal agencies, always an opportunity to use the power of the Congressional purse to interfere with ongoing efforts to clean up water pollution and address other important health and environmental issues. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 (H.R. 2028), which includes the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and more. Read more…

Posted on April 29, 2015  | Filed Under Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | 1 Comment

It’s Personal: Calling on Walgreens for a Safe Chemical Policy

By Cindy Luppi, New England Regional Director

This post was originally published at Women’s Voices for the Earth

Cindy Luppi
Cindy and partners recently delivered over 135,000 petition signatures collected nationally to Walgreens stores in Hartford and Boston.

I feel really fortunate to live in the kind of community where your neighbors are a  cornerstone of your life — we get together for coffee on Saturday mornings in our pj’s, we take care of each others’ pets when someone goes away to travel, and we share our family life. In the past 5 years, my two closest neighbors and I have all lost our moms to cancer. Our 3 moms grew up in different areas, had very different lives, struggled in different ways with 3 different kinds of cancer. But the bottom line is that as neighbors, we tried to help hold the pieces together as we each struggled with first taking care of our moms and then learning how to live without our moms after they passed away. There wasn’t a specific chemical spill that had exposed our moms to cancer-causing chemicals, they didn’t work together in a potentially sick building, and none of them had a family history of cancer.  So how did this happen? How is it that all of us lost our moms too early in our lives? Why are cancer rates, and rates of other chronic disorders linked to toxic chemicals like learning disabilities so elevated population-wide? Read more…

Posted on April 23, 2015  | Filed Under Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work | Comments Off on It’s Personal: Calling on Walgreens for a Safe Chemical Policy

Burning Tires (Hazardous is the New Clean)

By Denny Green, Michigan Office Manager and Communications Coordinator

This post originally appeared on Eclectablog

You know that warm, cozy feeling you get from seeing black toxic plumes of smoke billowing up from a pile of burning hazardous rubbish and industrial waste? (No, I didn’t think so.)

Well, earlier this month Republican State Representative Aric Nesbitt introduced an eight-bill package that redefine burning old tires as “renewable energy”. (Yes, you read that right.) This pack of reckless and irresponsible ideas flagrantly thumbs its nose at Michigan’s current renewable energy standard (which defines “renewable energy sources” as things like wind and solar … you know, real renewable energy). Read more…

Posted on April 23, 2015  | Filed Under Global Warming and a New Energy Economy, Healthy, Safer Families and Communities, Making Democracy Work, Protecting America's Waters | Comments Off on Burning Tires (Hazardous is the New Clean)

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