Archive for the 'Making Democracy Work' Category

What’s Controversial? Absolutely Nothing (about the Clean Water Rule)

by Jonathan A. Scott, Director of Corporate Relations, on Twitter, @jscottnh

There’s no real controversy here…

Capping more than a decade of campaigning by Clean Water Action and allies, the Obama Administration released its final Clean Water Rule on May 27.

Although the protracted battle has received little news coverage, most of the time, when it has been reported at all, the news has focused on “the controversy” or “the controversial Clean Water Rule.”Nothing Controversial

We can’t really complain when the news media keep on doing what they seem to do best –seize on a perceived conflict and then report on it. We’ve seen this time and again with news coverage of the climate crisis, which magnifies industry-backed anti-science climate denial and portrays deniers’ fringe views as legitimate, mainstream ones. That’s just the way much of the news business works these days.

In fact, the Clean Water Rule is a relatively straightforward, common-sense fix to a growing problem within the Clean Water Act. Weakening changes first adopted during the Bush Administration (George W.) at the behest of polluter interests were made even worse by polluter-friendly court decisions. In the years since, fundamental protections were muddied to the extent that it was no longer clear what water resources were supposed to be protected. Enforcement suffered. Read the rest of this entry »

Clean Water Victory: A Lesson in Making Democracy Work

By Hilary Marcella, Assistant Canvass Director, Pittsburgh – Follow Our Pennsylvania Team on Twitter (@CleanH2OPA)

When I started my Clean Water Action journey in 2006, the first campaign I worked on aimed to restore Clean Water Act protections to small streams and wetlands. It was the era of George W. Bush, and policy decisions made by his administration left many bodies of water vulnerable to pollution.

At first it seemed hard to believe that such basic water protections were not being provided. After all, water is an invaluable resource, and I understood that because ALL water is connected through the hydrological cycle, protecting only some waterways really means not protecting any at all. Unfortunately, big polluters spend millions of dollars to influence elected officials. So despite the fact that science was on our side, money was not. That fact makes fighting for environmental justice a constant uphill battle. Read the rest of this entry »

Being the Change at Clean Water Action

By Zachary Turkheimer, Clean Water Action Maryland Intern – Follow Our MD Team on Twitter (@CleanWater_MD)

“Be the change you want to see”, that’s the motto that I have tried to live my life by. I believe this motto is applicable with the goals of Clean Water Action because they set the precedent of what changes they strive to see in our society.

I lived in the small town of Olney, MD for my whole life up until I moved to Towson, MD for college. I will be entering my junior year in the fall. I am an Environmental Science Major with a focus in Policy and Management and a minor in Political Science. I became interested in this field after I took an environmental science course in high school. Read the rest of this entry »

Pursuing a Passion for Clean Water

By Kaitlyn Lindsey, Clean Water Action Maryland Intern – Follow our Maryland Team on Twitter (@CleanWater_MD)

Hey Clean Water Community! My name is Kaitlyn Lindsey. I am going into my fifth and final year at Towson University where I have been studying Family Science.

I have a passion for helping people. More specifically, my passion is for helping families. I hope to one day make a difference by working with advocacy and policies that affect family life and maybe even go to law school. Read the rest of this entry »

35 Years of Clean Water in Maryland!

Group Photo from Maryland Celebration

Celebration in Baltimore!

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

Clean Water has been organizing and advocating for Maryland’s communities for 35 years now so we decided to throw a party!

Advocates, elected officials, community members, and the like dressed up and came down to Baltimore to honor former Regional Directors, Andy Fellows and Dru Schmidt-Perkins. Read the rest of this entry »

A Clean Water History Lesson

426_EPA_CleanWater_RallySign_03_x1a-1 - smallerBy Jon Scott , Director of Corporate Relations – Follow Jon on Twitter (@JScottNH)

Richard M. Nixon (R) 1969-1974 (1972 Clean Water Act veto over-ridden by Congress, which passed the law and overrode the veto with strong bipartisan support. After veto attempt and unsuccessful attempt to embargo Clean Water Act funding, upholds the Clean Water Act)

Gerald R. Ford (R) 1974-1977 (upholds the Clean Water Act)

Jimmy Carter (D) 1977-1981 (upholds the Clean Water Act) Read the rest of this entry »

Just Released Fracking Study is First Step in “Putting Drinking Water First”

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

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long-awaited draft Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil & Gas on Drinking Water Resources. For anyone who cares about drinking water, this is big news. The Assessment includes literature review and new research on dozens of topics related to how fracking threatens drinking water.

Spoiler alert: As my colleague John Noël says in our press statement here: The Assessment smashes the myth that there can be oil and gas development without impacts to drinking water. Fracking is a complex process that poses a complex array of potential risks to drinking water. The Study lets us know what we need to do to protect drinking water and public health by outlining the numerous vulnerabilities throughout the fracking water lifecycle. Read the rest of this entry »

Looking at the Clean Water Rule through a Trout’s window

Eastern Brook trout. Credit: USFWS

Eastern Brook trout. Credit: USFWS

By Chris Bathurst, National Canvass Coordinator

I live and fish in Western Massachusetts. I am particularly interested in native Brook Trout, which I have fished for more than 25 years. These beautiful creatures require very specific conditions to thrive. The presence of Brook Trout is an indicator as to the cleanliness and health of both the surrounding and upstream environment. Over the last 25 years of wading streams I have learned that all water, no matter how small the stream, eventually connects and influences the larger branch to which it flows. And it is the Trout that taught me. Read the rest of this entry »

Protecting Clean Water for All of the Water Bugs

water bug 1

By Becky Smith, Massachusetts Campaigns Director

My little water bug took her inaugural canoe ride on Saturday, May 23rd, just a few weeks before her first birthday. We paddled the waters of the “mighty Nemasket River” which wasn’t exactly mighty, but still a huge adventure for us that sunny day in Southeastern Massachusetts!

On our paddle, we hit a few rough spots of fast water, portaged over a couple of dams, and I shielded her face from several branches while taking a beating of my own. She came out smiling every time! I did not have to protect her from dangerous, dirty water, however, because we were in a river that has long been protected by the Clean Water Act, though it is a small tributary to the larger Taunton River. Read the rest of this entry »

EPA Clean Water Rule: Minnesota will now be the Land of 10,000 Cleaner Lakes

By Steve Schultz, Minnesota Program Organizer

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and water is an integral part of any Minnesota summer – cannonballs off the dock, mornings on the lake fishing, afternoons on the pontoon, lazy days at the beach. Minnesotans value our water for so many reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

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