Archive for the 'Making Democracy Work' Category

The Dirty Water Caucus Strikes Back


By Lynn Thorp, Campaigns Director – On Twitter (@LTCWA)

While in some places today people are voting in municipal and statewide elections, the U.S. Senate is voting on whether to undo clean water progress. Later this afternoon, U.S. Senators will take up a bill we call the Dirty Water Act. Spearheaded by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), the misleadingly titled Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S.1140) would block implementation of policy that clarifies Clean Water Act protection for critical water resources. As if that is not enough, it is likely that Senators will then proceed to invoke the rarely used Congressional Review Act to overturn the same U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/Army Corps of Engineers “Clean Water Rule.” Read the rest of this entry »

Science Advisory Board to EPA on Fracking: It’s Complicated

SAB pic

 By John Noël, National Oil and Gas Coordinator – On Twitter: @Noel_Johnny

Science Advisory Board Panel to EPA: Too Many Uncertainties to Say Fracking Impact on Drinking Water is NOT “widespread” or “systemic”

I spent 3 days in the Science Advisory Board (SAB) Panel review of EPA’s fracking and drinking water study, released in June. The SAB is a 30 person expert panel of multidisciplinary scientists from academia and industry. They were tasked with reviewing the almost 1000 page Assessment, chapter by chapter. I tagged along to testify with representatives from other NGOs and many other people personally impacted by fracking activities. Among other things, we wanted to make the case that it is untenable for EPA to keep in the Executive Summary the topline conclusion, “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have lead to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water in the United States” and the phrase “the number of impacts was small relative to number of hydraulically fractured wells.” Read the rest of this entry »

Honored to Receive an Award from Clean Water Action

This post was originally published on Groovy Green Livin’

By Lori Popkewitz Alper

Honored to Receive an Award for Rockstar Mom for Safe Chemicals Groovy Green Livin

This past Saturday was an incredible day. I received an award for being a “Rockstar Mom for Safe Chemicals” from one of my favorite Massachusetts organizations, Clean Water Action.

The award was given to 8 Massachusetts women who are champions of environmental justice, clean energy and safe chemicals. I was incredibly humbled to be in such amazing company. These women truly are rockstars!

In the photo above I’m standing next to rockstars Kristi Marsh and Erin Boles (with her son). Awards were also given to rockstar moms (see photo below) Cheryl Durr Patry, Eugenia Gibbons, Michelle Gottlieb, Gail McCormick and Laura Spark. Read the rest of this entry »

The Clean Water Act Can’t Work Without You

By Jennifer Peters, Water Programs Director – On Twitter: @EarthAvenger

This month marked 43 years since the landmark Clean Water Act became law. Yet, while many of our nation’s rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and bays are cleaner because of it, we still face water pollution challenges. Not because of lack of technology or innovation, but because of powerful polluting industries that have the ear of politicians – big oil, big ag, and big developers (just to name a few). Because of this constant political pressure to weaken critical protections for our water resources, paired with limited and often dwindling state and federal resources, enforcement of the Clean Water Act is largely driven by everyday people concerned about their communities.with gina - smaller

The Clean Water Act (CWA) is about democracy as much as it is about stopping water pollution. Public involvement in how the CWA is applied and enforced in the real world is vital to address water pollution problems. Congress recognized this importance by including explicit provisions for public involvement in the language of the CWA. Public empowerment is in the Clean Water Act’s DNA. Read the rest of this entry »

43 Years Young

43 Years of the Clean Water Act

By Michael Kelly, Communications Director – On Twitter, @MichaelEdKelly

The Clean Water Act turns 43 on October 18. Read the rest of this entry »

Victory: California’s new plastic microbead ban is nation’s strongest

Breaking News!  Governor Brown signed AB 888 (Bloom) to ban the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products into law. Clean Water Action was a co-sponsor of the bill fought for three years to get this landmark bill passed. This would not have been possible without Clean Water Action members like you.
AB 888 memeAB 888 is the strongest plastic microbead ban in the country. Unlike laws passed in other states, there is no loophole that allows biodegradable plastics to be used as a substitute. This is huge because biodegradable plastics don’t actually degrade in the marine environment. The new law does allow the use of natural alternatives. Read the rest of this entry »

The Golden State Exemptions: California Aquifers Are Being Lost to the Oil and Gas Industry

Sacrificing our water for oil and gas

Exempting an aquifer is to sacrifice it forever

 By John Noël and Andrew Grinberg – On Twitter: @Noel_Johnny and @AndrewBGrinberg

In January, Clean Water Action exposed a little known secret in the Safe Drinking Water Act that lets oil and gas companies dispose of their wastewater and conduct oil and gas extraction activities directly in potential sources of drinking water.

The secret is called an “aquifer exemption”. The reason it exists to make things easier and cheaper for drilling companies. The oil and gas industry had a hand in writing the provision decades ago and has been writing off our drinking water in the name of fossil fuel production ever since.

We wish we were making this up. Read the rest of this entry »

This Fall We Celebrate a HUGE Victory for Clean Water, Thanks to You!

PPP Chemicals Kid Pic

By Jennifer Peters, National Water Programs Director – On Twitter: @EarthAvenger

For years Clean Water Action and our allies have been fighting to rein in the largest toxic water polluter in the U.S. – coal-burning power plants. It’s no secret that coal-burning power plants pollute our air with unhealthy chemicals. What is not as well known is these plants have also been dumping arsenic, lead, mercury, selenium and other nasty pollutants directly into our lakes, rivers, streams, and bays for decades – far more than any other polluting industry.

At the end of September, the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) finally closed this longstanding polluter loophole in our nation’s Clean Water Act. Thanks to this power plants will no longer have a free pass to pollute our water with chemicals that are known to cause cancer, lower children’s IQs, or harm fish and other aquatic life. These first-ever national limits will reduce the water pollution from power plants by 1.4 billion pounds a year, protecting public health and water quality across the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Should We Protect our Water? A Day of Contrasts in our Nation’s Capital

By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director – On Twitter: @LTCWA

Two events today illustrate the divide on clean water protection here in our nation’s capital.

The first was today’s finalization of Clean Water Act limits on toxic water discharges from power plants. Controlling this pollution has been a priority campaign for Clean Water Action since the proposed rule came out in 2013. EPA finalized a strong proposal and deserves a lot of credit for slogging through interference from many sides, especially polluter lobbyists. Today’s announcement demonstrates this Administration’s commitment to exercising its authority to control pollution and protect downstream communities and our nation’s valuable water resources. Read our statement here. Read the rest of this entry »

Pope Francis: Bringing it in DC

Pic credit:

Pic credit:

By John Noël, National Oil & Gas Campaigns Coordinator – On Twitter: @Noel_Johnny

On Thursday morning I joined tens of thousands of people on the National Mall for the Rally for Climate Justice. Inside the Capitol, Pope Francis delivered a moving speech to Congress. Outside, large screens projected the Pope to the thousands gathered on the lawn. People were transfixed – you could hear a pin drop in the crowd for the entire 45 minute speech. Read the rest of this entry »

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