The Clean Water Blog

Wins for Clean Water Across the Country

This past year, Clean Water Action has made a big impact for our water, health and communities across the country! Check out this roundup of the latest and greatest accomplishments. We couldn't achieve these incredible victories without our supporters and  members. To support our programs, make a special contribution here. By speaking out together, our voices are heard!

California

Clean Water Action celebrated a big win for our water, environment and health when Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB1200 into law, which bans toxic PFAS in food packaging and requires cookware companies to give us our right to know if harmful chemicals are in cookware. Clean Water Action co-sponsored this bill alongside Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, NRDC, Environmental Working Group, and Clean Water Action.

Connecticut

Connecticut is now a national leader in taking action to restrict major sources of toxic PFAS chemicals from further harming public health and our environment. Connecticut Governor Lamont signed a law banning PFAS in food packaging and firefighting foam, while requiring the state to implement a take-back program and shift to a safe, fluorine-free foam. Clean Water Action led this initiative along with a coalition of diverse allies. Clean Water Action members played a critical role in getting this important bill over the finish line.

Maryland

Maryland’s legislative session resulted in the passage of several important bills promoting our priority campaigns including zero waste, better septic regulations and forest protections. HB264/SB483 will reduce the amount of organic waste heading to landfills and incinerators and SB304 clarifies that burning trash is NOT recycling. HB407/SB22 will make sure property transfer inspectors (the people who tell homeowners and homebuyers whether or not their septic system works) have a professional licensing system like comparable industries in Maryland and HB878/SB701 will allow counties to bond Bay Restoration Funds for septic repairs, giving counties more flexibility and residents more tools to fund septic repairs. Clean Water Action also helped stop two bills that would have harmed forest protections.

Massachusetts

Helped ensure passage of the Children and Firefighters Protection Act to protect children, families and firefighters from toxic flame retardant chemicals. This victory would not have been possible without the support of Representative Marjorie Decker, Senator Cindy Creem, Senator Bob DeLeo, Senate President Karen E. Spilka, the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM), all of our partners in the The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, and every Clean Water Action member who took action over the past 8 years.

Michigan

After a long fought battle, the aging Line 5 pipeline running through the Straits of Mackinac will be permanently shut down (pending the results of an Enbridge lawsuit). For 67 years, this pipeline has risked Michigan’s most precious natural resources and has spilled a cumulative total of over 1 million gallons of oil. With the Governors’ action in November 2020, this dangerous pipeline will no longer threaten our Great Lakes, the drinking water source of millions of Americans. This victory would not have been possible without the leadership of Governor Gretchen Whitmer and every Michigander who took action to help protect the state’s water resources.

Minnesota

Minnesota recently celebrated a few clean water and public health victories including a ban on PFAS in food packaging starting in 2024! The legislature also acted to protect more Minnesota children from lead by lowering the blood lead level required for action to be taken and by expanding where lead assessments can be completed when a child tests positive for lead exposure. The measure also increases the ages eligible for testing and protective measures to 18 to ensure that all of Minnesota’s children have a chance to benefit from support services if they are exposed to lead.

Clean Water also stopped harmful provisions from entering the final state budget agreement as well: 1) A proposal that would have overturned Minnesota’s nuclear moratorium. 2) A proposal that would have allowed for the incineration of plastics to be considered recycling in Minnesota (known by the brazenly misleading term “advance recycling”). Clean Water Action thanks state legislative champions, as well as every single member who made a call, sent an email, took action and encouraged others to do the same, and supported with a donation. Clean Water members truly made the difference.

New Jersey

Clean Water Action celebrated a watershed victory when PennEast canceled its 116-mile project that would have harmed precious resources and waterways from Northeast Pennsylvania to Mercer County in NJ! Stopping this dangerous and unnecessary pipeline would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the members and organizers of Clean Water Action and its partners, local activists, and champion elected officials.

Clean Water’s New Jersey team also helped to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing aka fracking throughout the Delaware River Watershed region in NJ, NY, DE and PE, protecting the drinking water supplies for millions. This victory would not have been possible without the support of NJ Governor Murphy, Clean Water Action members, canvassers, and volunteered, and coalition partners and allies Delaware Riverkeeper, Sierra Club, Environment America, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Food & Water Watch, NRDC, League of Women Voters and so many more who fought for over a decade.

Clean Water also played a huge role in passage of the strongest Environmental Justice law in the nation to protect vulnerable communities from the cumulative impacts of pollution, as well as the strongest law to ban single-use carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products in stores and food service businesses.

Texas

After many years of effort by Clean Water Action and our allies, the Austin City Council gave final approval to requirements that major new developments install dual plumbing so they can capture and use onsite recycled city water as well as rainwater, AC condensate, and treated grey water and back water for toilet flushing, irrigation and more. This will help build resilience to climate change, extend water supplies and keep water bills in check.

Clean Water Action is now gearing up to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2022! Please continue to support Clean Water with a special gift right now to help us get ready for our campaigns next year and beyond. Your donations help us to make a difference every day to protect clean water, safeguard our health from toxic chemicals, tackle the climate crisis, and more.