The 2016 Rhode Island General Assembly is underway. Clean Water is supporting several bills to protect our health and communities from toxic chemicals in flame retardants, disclose the ingredients in cosmetics, move Rhode Island forward on clean energy, and help combat climate change.
By Lynn Thorp, Campaigns Director - On Twitter (@LTCWA)
Our approach to drinking water protection - “Putting Drinking Water First” - feels light years away from the crisis in Flint, with seemingly nothing to offer based on what we have learned about the causes of this situation. Over 100,000 people are unable to use their tap water. Flint already had high levels of lead-poisoned children. Now those numbers have doubled. A Legionnaire’s disease outbreak may well be related. All because officials put the bottom-line first.
"Putting Drinking Water First”, exactly what officials didn't do in Flint, is animated by our belief that we can make smarter choices that will benefit us while keeping contamination out of our drinking water. It's focused on the need for 21st century thinking about how we handle pollution issues in a more integrated fashion. Ultimately, it’s optimistic thinking about making smart choices.
Unfortunately, we don't always do that.
Washington - Last night the President vetoed S.J. Res 22, a “Resolution of Disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Clean Water Rule, the Administration’s landmark initiative to restore critical Clean Water Act protections to our nation’s streams, wetlands and other water bodies.
Clean Water Action President and CEO Bob Wendelgass released this statement:
NJ Legislature Still Flunking on the Environment
By David Pringle, Campaign Director
Clean Water Action’s 2014-15 NJ Legislative Scorecard found a majority of state legislators failed on the environment, much as they did 2 years ago.
There were fourteen notable exceptions. These legislators, whom Clean Water Action called ‘heroes’, joined the call for immediate corrective action by the legislature. Click here to see what the heroes are saying.
Overall the Legislature took pro-environment positions less than half (47%) of the time. On every legislative initiative the anti-environment position succeeded or the pro-environment position was watered down because:
Environmental Rights at Stake in Pennsylvania Supreme Court Election November 3
The outcome of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court election may be the most important of the election season. The Supreme Court has made decisions in many cases critical to health, communities and the environment in the past decade. It will likely play a role in redistricting after the 2020 census and may hear cases related to local governments’ attempts to restrict fracking. The judges on the court matter.
In 2013 Pennsylvania passed Act 13, which stripped local municipalities of the ability to use zoning to protect communities from the dangers associated with natural gas drilling. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down this provision. The Court ruled Act 13 was unconstitutional because it violated the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Environmental Rights Amendment which states “the people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.” The three vacancies on the court are judges who ruled with the majority in this landmark case.
Clean Water Action has endorsed the following candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court because they have demonstrated a commitment in their personal and judicial philosophy to protecting public health and our environmental rights: David Wecht, Kevin Dougherty, and Christine Donahue.
North Texas Water Plan Heavy on Reservoirs, Light on Conservation
State law divides Texas into 16 water planning regions. Each region must present an updated plan for meeting future needs every five years. Region C covers the 16-county Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and includes some of the nation’s fastest growing suburbs. Region C’s proposed update was recently open for public comment.
In August, Clean Water Fund submitted comments on the Water Plan which faulted it for prioritizing expensive new reservoirs over conservation.
Dallas and Fort Worth have made progress in lowering per capita gallons of consumption (GPCD) through toilet rebate programs and the “Lawn Whisperer” campaign, which offers tips on more efficient lawn watering. However, the GPCD for most cities in Region C remains well above the state average, and few cities have programs in place to lower consumption. Fewer than half of Region C communities limit lawn watering, even during drought. Less than 40% have tiered rate structures to promote conservation and only 25% punish water waste. Read more
Clean Water Action is fighting to protect Minnesota’s communities, health, and water through systemic change. Through education, developing grassroots leaders, and mobilizing our members to get involved in policy decisions we're keeping the pressure on lawmakers to stand with people, not polluters. Our scorecard for the 2015 Minnesota legislative session and special session scores every Minnesota state legislator on their votes for or against renewable energy, water quality, and toxics in our environment.
Take action and tell your legislators what you think of their scores!