Take Action (10)
- Tuesday, 17 October 2017 15:20
On this 45th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, we reflect on how our local Waterkeeper programs are needed more than ever to safeguard our clean water resources.
Over the past few years, Waterkeepers Chesapeake has successfully brought together 19 local Waterkeepers programs to collaboratively advocate for and bring legal action to protect communities and waterways throughout the Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Bay regions.
Waterkeepers Chesapeake has focused on unifying Waterkeeper efforts behind important clean water priorities, like the passage of the fracking ban in Maryland and the passage of protective coal ash laws in Virginia. Waterkeepers Chesapeake also works on issues at the federal level - coordinating efforts against EPA's rollback of clean water protections, the slashing of EPA funding, and Scott Pruitt's appointment.
Through the Fair Farms campaign, Waterkeepers Chesapeake is addressing agricultural pollution while supporting sustainable farming efforts. This year, we worked to pass a second-in-the-country law to restrict the routine use of human antibiotics in livestock.
At the core of our work we empower people to stop pollution and encourage better local water quality through tools and legal rights under the Clean Water Act. Waterkeeper programs were founded to engage and organize citizens to protect their right to clean water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supposed to promulgate and enforce laws and regulations to protect human health and the environment. Sadly, under this administration, the EPA has been fully captured by the fossil fuels industry and industrial polluters. To date, the EPA has rolled back or repealed the Clean Water Rule, the Clean Power Plan, and effluent limits on the discharge of toxic coal wastewater.
Now, our Waterkeepers are the last line of defense for citizens to protect their clean water. Some examples of how our Waterkeepers are encouraging public participation in protecting our waters include:
- For the past several years, the Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN) has conducted compliance sweeps of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued under the Clean Water Act to assess violations before a major incident occurs. In a recent sweep, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper found that 38 out of 291 facilities had severe violations. PRKN’s first step is to communicate pollution concerns with the facility, and to offer assistance in mitigating the problem. If there is no cooperation or development of a remedy, then they notify the State. If the State does nothing to remedy the problem, then they escalate to legal action on behalf of the impacted citizens.
- Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC) and Chesapeake Legal Alliance (CLA), produced the Citizen Guide – Public Participation in Maryland’s NPDES Permitting Program. The Guide was produced for the purpose of improving the vital component of citizen involvement in environmental decision-making in Maryland. The Guide is used as an outreach tool to engage organizations and citizens to get involved with the many key avenues for public participation in protecting our waters. It is critical that those impacted by permit violations be engaged in the early stages.
- The Lower James and Upper James Riverkeepers have created an advocacy tool called Our River at Risk to educate and rally citizens around toxic pollution threats like coal ash. They use maps, online petitions and email updates to elevate the public’s voice and participation in regulatory and permitting processes.
- The South Riverkeeper published a report on a county’s enforcement of its environmental code to show the county that it needs to step up resources for clean water enforcement. The report clearly showed that current penalties are not effective deterrents for environmental carelessness.
These are just a few examples of how our Waterkeepers bring the Clean Water Act to life on the local level and empower citizens to participate in the protection of their right to clean water. In an era when the EPA administrator only meets with corporate polluters and ignores the public, an engaged and active citizenry on the local level is more important than ever.
What You Can Do
- Visit our website to get involved and support your local Waterkeeper program
- Support Waterkeepers Chesapeake
- Use our Water Reporter app to report pollution to your local Waterkeeper
- Take Action! Tell your federal representatives to resist any rollbacks or repeals of clean water protections, to stop any reductions in funding of the EPA, and to protect citizens’ right to sue when government fails to enforce the law.
- Monday, 09 October 2017 11:41
David J. Collins, Executive Secretary
Maryland Public Service Commission
6 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-6806
Much more information about all of this is at bit.ly/novocpollution. Please help protect the air around Cove Point and stop a terrible decision that could have much broader ramifications!
- Tuesday, 15 August 2017 14:10
We need to act fast! The proposed 600-mile fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is on its way to being built – unless we all work together to stop this unnecessary and economically and environmentally devastating project.
This pipeline project proposed by Dominion Resources and Duke Energy would carry gas from the Marcellus Shale field in central West Virginia through Virginia to users in southeast Virginia and North Carolina, and would be shipped to overseas markets. The 600 mile, 42” diameter pipeline would require excavation of an 8 to 12-foot-deep trench, the bulldozing of a 125-foot-wide construction corridor for its entire length, and new and expanded compressor stations.
The route would cross two national forests and traverse steep, forested mountain slopes and fragile karst topography, presenting a significant hazard to the Shenandoah and James Rivers and other waterways without providing any benefit to local communities impacted by the pipeline’s construction and operation.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is responsible for authorizing the construction, operation, and maintenance of interstate natural gas transmission pipelines, just rubberstamped this project.
But Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) can stop this pipeline by denying its water quality certification. We urge you submit comments on the draft water quality certification --- but act fast because the deadline is August 22.
You can use these talking points and submit your own comments at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ProtectionRequirementsforPipelines.aspx
Don’t hesitate! In your own words, tell Virginia that the Shenandoah and James Rivers are important to you. Would your drinking water supply be threatened by the construction of the pipeline? Do you use a stream for fishing, boating, swimming, or just for aesthetic enjoyment -- these are valid recreational uses that DEQ must protect.
DEQ is taking shortcuts to expedite the project review, instead of performing a careful and thorough review. We need to tell DEQ that this is unacceptable and the water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline should be rejected!
Thank you for taking action for clean water!
- Friday, 28 July 2017 12:04
The Trump administration launched its assault on our clean water and drinking water protections with a proposed repeal of the Clean Water Rule. A lengthy, deliberate, and inclusive process led to the 2015 Clean Water Rule, a rule protective of vital waterways and based in sound law and sound science. By comparison, the Administration’s scheme to repeal and eviscerate the 2015 Clean Water Rule has been hasty and haphazard, ignoring the strong legal and scientific basis for the Rule, disrespecting its broad public support, and providing little opportunity for the many clean water stakeholders to voice their interest in inclusive Clean Water Act coverage to protect the nation’s waters.
This proposed rulemaking contradicts the law and science that is the foundation for the Clean Water Act successes of the past 40 years, will remove Clean Water Act protections for millions of wetland acres and stream miles, and will cripple federal and state clean water initiatives for the foreseeable future. This rulemaking ignores the robust record in support of the Clean Water Rule, and intentionally limits the opportunity for affected communities to express their views about this proposal.
We oppose this heartless scheme to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and to gut the protections that have prevented reckless pollution of the nation's waterways for decades. The repeal will mean more pollution to the lakes and streams we rely on for drinking water supply or for fishing and swimming, and a green light for the rampant destruction of wetlands that prevent dangerous flooding. We urge the Administration to withdraw its proposal immediately. If the agencies decide to consider any potential revisions to the 2015 Clean Water Rule, they must engage in a thoughtful, inclusive, science-based, and legally sound process for doing so.
Make your voice heard! The Clean Water Rule was published in the Federal Register. Comments must be submitted to the docket by September 27, 2017.
Repeal of Clean Water Rule: What’s At Stake, SELC, June 2017
Putting Drinking Water First: Restoring Clean Water Act Protections to Streams and Wetlands, Clean Water Action, Spring 2017
We All Live Downstream, National Wildlife Federation, March 2017
New Attempt to Muddy Clean Water Protections, National Wildlife Federation, June 2017
Clean Water for All Campaign, http://protectcleanwater.org
Hashtags: #DefendWater #ProtectCleanWater #DirtyWaterRule
- Thursday, 20 July 2017 16:27
- Thursday, 20 July 2017 16:09
From Hancock to the Bay, Maryland citizens are rising up to resist pipelines in their communities. This summer in Maryland, we’ll be camping out to protect our water and STOP TransCanada from building a fracked-gas pipeline underneath the Potomac River and C&O Canal.
On August 11th at 1:00pm join Maryland legislators, CCAN, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, Waterkeepers Chesapeake and concerned citizens for a press conference and kayak action against the Potomac Pipeline. We'll be gathering at Taylor's Landing on the C&O Canal Towpath, near Sharpsburg, MD.
Together, we'll say NO to TransCanada's proposed fracked-gas pipeline under the Potomac!
This summer, we are forming a resistance to stop the pipeline under the Potomac. We will do this by staging camp outs along the C & O Canal throughout the summer to draw attention to the many groups, concerned citizens, and elected officials who are opposed to endangering the drinking water of millions for a pipeline that wouldn’t even benefit Maryland citizens. We’ll be calling on Governor Hogan to deny the permit that would allow TransCanada to drill under the Potomac in Maryland.
Call Governor Hogan today and leave a voicemail asking him to reject the pipeline!
SAY: Hi my name is _____ and I am calling as a constituent [a Potomac River and national park user] to ask Governor Hogan to reject the pipeline under the Potomac. Thank you!
Governor Hogan has the authority to stop this pipeline. He can direct the Department of the Environment to deny a special water quality certification under the Clean Water Act. Please take a minute right now to send an email to Governor Larry Hogan to tell him to reject the Eastern Panhandle Expansion project!
Follow along on social media at #NoPotomacPipeline & #NoPPL
Support our work to protect your clean water!
- Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:45
Help Waterkeepers Chesapeake pass a bill in the Maryland General Assembly to maintain forested areas being depleted by overdevelopment.
We need you to call your Delegate and ask to get House Bill 599 passed out of committee. The number to call the Maryland General Assembly is 800-492-7122.
Here is the list of legislators to reach:
- If you live in Rockville or Gaithersburg, please call Chairman Kumar Barve.
- If you live in Baltimore County, please call Vice Chair Dana Stein.
- If you live in Calvert County, please call Del. Jerry Stein.
- If you live in Prince George's County, please call Del. Marvin Holmes.
- If you live in Kent, Queen Anne's, Cecil or Caroline County, please call Del. Jay Jacobs.
- If you live in Somerset or Worcester counties, please call Del. Charles Otto.
- If you live in Montgomery County, please call Del. Shane Robinson.
- Monday, 20 March 2017 10:54
The proposed 600-mile fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is on its way to being built – unless we all work together to stop this unnecessary and economically and environmentally devastating project. Under the new federal administration, this pipeline will be expedited and built as quickly as possible – despite overwhelming local opposition. We need to act now and submit comments by April 6th.
Not surprisingly, given Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) history of rubberstamping pipeline projects, it concluded that any impacts on the environment could be mitigated so that “the majority of project effects would be reduced to less-than-significant levels.”
Now is the time for people to comment on FERC’s grossly inadequate and incomplete draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). The burden is on FERC to fully investigate the environmental risks and costs associated with the ACP, including all new and supplemental information. FERC has not done this.
In addition to FERC approval, in order for the ACP to be built across national forest lands, the US Forest Service must issue a special use permit and amend both national forest management plans for the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests.
The public can submit comments on the DEIS to FERC by April 6th, including comments on the request to the Forest Service for a special use permit. There are several ways to do this. The fastest and easiest is by signing this petition and we will submit it to FERC.
Please submit comments by April 6th. Do it today by signing this petition!
- Wednesday, 11 January 2017 21:20
We need your help! The current moratorium on fracking will expire October 2017. The time is now to pass a ban on fracking during the 2017 Maryland legislative session.
Send an email today to demand a ban on fracking to protect our water, air and people.
A growing body of peer-reviewed evidence finds that fracking simply cannot be done without risk to public health and the environment—and that regulations are not capable of preventing harm.
No state has developed and enforced regulations protective enough of the environment and public health to warrant allowing it. In fact, Maryland’s proposed regulations are remarkably weak and would put our drinking water, air and health in danger. Rather than use the time during the moratorium to conduct a thorough risk assessment of fracking, Governor Hogan’s administration instead issued proposed changes to draft regulations written during Governor O’Malley’s tenure that would further weaken, not strengthen state fracking rules.
Send an email today to demand a ban on fracking!
While Garrett and Allegany counties would be immediately and disproportionately burdened if fracking proceeds, the long-term impacts would be felt across Maryland. Federal approval of the Cove Point natural gas export terminal will spur development of natural gas pipelines and compressor stations across the state, resulting in additional air and water impacts
Sustainable jobs from tourism and agriculture, as well as from future economic development and green jobs, could be lost due to the industrialization that accompanies drilling and fracking. While the oil and gas industry seeks to profit from selling Maryland's gas, we would be the ones left with the legacy of pollution.
Governor Hogan and the gas industry want to start fracking as soon as the current two-year moratorium expires. If the industry succeeds, generations of Marylanders would pay the environmental and public health costs.
Our current two-year moratorium was a great start, but we need a statewide fracking ban to safeguard Maryland's long-term future. Please send an email to support a ban on fracking to protect the health and environment of Maryland residents.
Join us on March 2nd for the March on Annapolis to Ban Fracking Now! RSVP & sign up for bus ride here!
Make a donation to support our efforts to ban fracking!
- Wednesday, 21 December 2016 21:03
We at Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of 19 Riverkeepers, Coastkeepers and Shorekeepers from around the Chesapeake Bay watershed, ask the U.S. Senate to block the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Send your email today! Send a strong message to your elected representatives: reject this appointment.
Pruitt, a self-confessed climate change denier and mouth piece for the oil and gas industry, is an insult to Americans who not only deserve, but have a right to clean air for breathing and clean water for drinking.
The science of climate change is clear. With the rise of fake news, it is easy to muddle facts and confuse the public. Alongside the scientific community, the U.S. military has acknowledged and is preparing for a future with conflicts resulting from rising seas, population migration, severe drought, increasingly violent storms and more.
According to a report by the Environmental Integrity Project, available here, jobs and a healthy environment are inextricably linked. It is important to note that environmental protection is good for our economy. Choosing one over the other is always a false choice.
EPA is our top pollution-fighting agency. Unfortunately, the president-elect has selected a fox to be in charge of the EPA henhouse. The person administering the agency should not only understand and acknowledge the threats of fossil fuels, pollution, and climate change, but be willing to administer the laws he is sworn to uphold.
Waterkeepers throughout the Chesapeake and coastal bays watershed have remained vigilant to enforce local, state and federal laws. We work with citizens across five states to monitor watersheds and hold polluters accountable. We have significant work to continue to clean up the Chesapeake Bay from both point and non-point sources of pollution.
We will continue to do our job.
We urge the Senate to do theirs. Send an email today to your U.S. Senator!
11.20.2017 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Climate Change & the Eastern Shore with Assateague Coastkeeper
11.30.2017 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Creation Care Workshop with Midhshore Riverkeeper's
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