Friday 24 May 2019

Polluted Runoff & Sewage Overflows (9)

Urban & suburban stormwater runoff

Good news! The Sediment and Erosion Reporting Act (House Bill 703)​ has passed the House and Senate. We now need Governor Hogan to sign it. Send an email urging him to sign this important bill that will allow for better annual reporting and, ultimately, enforcement on stormwater pollution related to construction activities.​ Stormwater runoff remains the fastest growing source of pollution to our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. The largest component of stormwater runoff pollution is dirt. There are laws on the books to regulate polluted runoff, but the question is whether or not they are being enforced. South Riverkeeper Jesse Iliff has been working on the Sediment and Erosion Reporting Act (House Bill 703) that would require the 23 jurisdictions in Maryland that enforce their own sediment and erosion control laws to report on those efforts and bring some sunshine to a process that many members of the public know next to nothing about. A report last year shows that current enforcement efforts of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) are lacking. The Sediment and Erosion Reporting Act (House Bill 703) would allow for better annual reporting and, ultimately, enforcement on stormwater pollution related to construction activities. The Act would require local counties and municipalities to report annually the quantity, nature, and amount of fines assessed for any violations related to our sediment and erosion control laws to MDE. The Act would also allow for increased transparency by requiring the reported information to be posted on MDE’s website.…
Dominion Energy’s Coal Ash Pond Pollution In Virginia, both the James and Potomac Rivers are being severely impacted by coal ash pollution. Earlier this summer, the James River Association (JRA) objected to Dominion Energy’s draft permit to dewater coal ash ponds at Dominion’s Chesterfield Power Station on the Lower James River. Lower James Riverkeeper Jamie Brunkow points out in public comments that the permit fails to protect the river and its ecosystems, while threatening public health. More recently, JRA, along with Southern Environmental Law Center took samples at four locations near the Chesterfield Station. The results revealed high levels of coal ash contaminants, like zinc, nickel, copper, lead and arsenic in the water. This month, a Virginia state board will vote on the draft permit governing the dewatering of the Chesterfield coal ash ponds. In addition, Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s challenge of the wastewater permit for Dominion’s Possum Point plant, on Quantico Creek near the Potomac River, goes to court later this month. Tests show coal ash contaminants in drinking water wells near Possum Point. READ MORE… Sewage Overflows in Baltimore City Back in 2002, Baltimore City entered into a binding agreement (a consent decree) with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fix its failing sewage system by January 2016. The agreement required Baltimore City to repair essential infrastructure in the City’s sewage system to prevent raw sewage from entering waterways and neighborhoods – bringing Baltimore City into compliance with the Clean Water Act. Although Baltimore City made some progress in the intervening 14…
by David Flores ACT NOW: Last Chance to Keep Sewage out of Baltimore’s Homes, Parks and Waterways Before 2033! Since 2011, more than 100 million gallons of sewage have entered streets, homes, parks and waterways in Baltimore. After failing to meet the 2016 deadline, a proposed legal agreement with Baltimore City pushes repairs to our aging sewer system to 2033. Join our petition to the EPA and Maryland to demand adequate and enforceable requirements to eliminate sewer overflows and protect our communities and waterways from raw sewage! Please forward this email to colleagues, friends, and family to join the united fight for clean water in Baltimore! Our Petition To the Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of the Environment: Baltimore’s neighborhood streams, rivers and Harbor receive failing grades year after year; highs levels of fecal bacteria in our waterways prevent safe swimming, fishing and boating; and chronic sewer backups threaten public health by contaminating homes and businesses.  The City was required to fix Baltimore’s pipes and eliminate sewage leaks by January 1, 2016.  However, a substantial amount of the work to fix the pipes remains incomplete and the sewer leaks continue. Without written explanation, the EPA and State have now proposed giving the City until 2033 to get the job done. We are individuals and community, environmental and health organizations who demand adequate and enforceable requirements to eliminate sewer overflows and protect our communities and waterways from raw sewage as soon as possible. We respectfully request that EPA and MDE revise the proposed Consent…