Archive for the 'Protecting America’s Waters' Category

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 the rest of this entry »

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 the rest of this entry »

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.

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 the rest of this entry »

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 the rest of this entry »

Talking About #ProtectCleanWater

by David Gerraughty, Community #ProtectCleanWater Campaign Team Leader

Put Drinking Water First


Providence, Rhode Island — When I talk to people on their doorsteps in Massachusetts and Rhode Island about our Waters of the United States campaign, the reaction I get most often is:


I tell them that small streams and wetlands have lost federal protections that had been in place for 30 years. They say:

How can that be?

I talk about how our powerful opponents have used the court system to whittle away at the scope of the Clean Water Act. They say:

That’s just wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the Communications Intern!

By Lily Biggar, Communications Intern

I have always loved the water. My sister and I grew up in central Florida with a neighbor kind enough to let us enjoy the vast lake hidden behind his property. The two of us spent afternoons wading in the shallow waters as we searched for minnows and took turns sitting on my dad’s lap as we cruised across the lake in the old speedboat.

When my family moved to Washington, DC, I left the lake behind, but took with me a lasting appreciation for water. Read the rest of this entry »

The Need to #ProtectCleanWater Should be self-Evident

Put Drinking Water First

Yesterday on Facebook, Clean Water Action said this:

One more time (you might be guessing how important this is because we keep posting about it)! We need everyone (that means you!) to tell the Senate to reject any dirty water amendments that would stop U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters from protecting clean water. Let Senators like Senator Harry Reid, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Jack Reed, U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, and both of your Senators know that you support the rule to #ProtectCleanWater

Hundreds of Clean Water Action members and fans responded by taking our online action and sending urgent #ProtectCleanWater and #NoDirtyWater messages to their U.S. Senators. Read the rest of this entry »

A Clean Water Summer

Hello! My name is Danny Fanaroff, and I recently joined the Clean Water Action team as a summer intern in the communications department. I’ll be making sure that you hear the latest news and information about our water and what we’re doing to protect it.

I was hired based on my extensive background in journalism and communications. I got my start writing for my high school paper in the sports section and eventually became editor of that section my senior year. For the last six months, I have been writing for a local DC sports blog called All Over the Hill covering the four major sports teams in the greater Washington area as well as some of the local universities.  During my time writing for the site, I used my platform as a means to address some of the social issues affecting the sports industry, most notably the Donald Sterling controversy affecting the Los Angeles Clippers, and the well-documented debate surrounding the Washington Redskins potential and necessary name change.

The reason I wanted to work with Clean Water is simple – I believe in this cause. I know that Clean Water Action’s priorities and campaigns are something that everyone can rally behind.

We are fighting to protect our nation’s water.  We’re making sure that polluters are held accountable if they contribute to the decay of our rivers, lakes, and streams. We’re raising awareness and taking action whichever ways we can. With your help we educate the public and our elected officials and pressure them to protect our water, communities, and environment.

That is why I am here, Clean Water. I am excited to be a part of such a passionate organization and connect to our members and supporters. I can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish together.



Baltimore Takes a Stand for Clean Water

By Will Fadely, Baltimore Program Organizer – follow Will on Twitter: @TrillChillWill

This spring, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took some long-overdue steps to fix the Clean Water Act, ending confusion over which streams and wetlands are protected by the law. Loopholes in the law created over the past decade have left more the half the stream miles in the U.S. and drinking water sources for 100% of Baltimore City residents at risk from pollution and development.

Polluters and their allies in Congress are fighting tooth and nail to block EPA from taking this common sense step to protect clean water. In the U.S. House and Senate, they’re throwing a series of “dirty water” amendments and riders into the budget and appropriations process, hoping to sneak something through.

Today, on behalf of its 100,000 Maryland members and supporters, Clean Water Action urged U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski to oppose all dirty water amendments and riders proposed for the FY 2015 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Sen. Mikulski is a key clean water leader on the Senate panel which will get first crack at these measures. Read the rest of this entry »

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