Chesapeake Currents - Fall 2015

October 21, 2015

Virginia: 2015 Endorsements

Clean Water Action members know how important water is to our economy, health and quality of life in the Commonwealth. This election is critical. Be a Clean Water Voter on November 3.  Find your polling location here. Check out the below candidates. Then go vote!

You’re not just deciding who your next State Senator and Delegate will be. On Election Day, you will make important decisions about Virginia’s future and the progress cleaning up our rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay. Voters like you will make the difference in all those races. Make your voice heard on Tuesday, November 3 — and make sure your friends and family join you — we need to turn out as many clean water voters as possible. Read more

Defending the Clean Water Rule

The finalized Clean Water Rule returns Clean Water Act safeguards to most streams and wetlands and protects the drinking water for more than 117 million Americans, including 2.36 million Virginia residents. Clean Water Action has been fighting to restore these protections for nearly 13 years, and winning this restoration of the Clean Water Act was a historic victory.



Clean Water Action’s Virginia members were a key part of this success — submitting 9,931 public comments, including handwritten letters, in support of the rule. Clean Water Action mobilized support from Virginia municipalities, elected officials and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). As a result, Clean Water Action secured 3 resolutions/proclamations from the Cities of Alexandria and Charlottesville and the Town of Herndon and letters from 26 federal, state, and local officials and NGOs supporting the Clean Water Rule. Read More

DC Incinerator Contract Canceled

Clean Water Action and allies helped defeat a long-term (5–11 years) contract with Covanta to incinerate more than half of the District’s waste. Covanta’s current contract expires at the end of this year and required approval from the Council of the District of Columbia.

Clean Water Action successfully halted a longer term contract and persuaded the Department of Public Works instead to seek short contracts (one year), so that the District can find other alternatives to work toward zero waste. Read more

Virginia

Virginia Uranium, Inc. is proposing a complete uranium mining, milling, and storage facility at the Coles Hill site, in Pittsylvania County near Danville and Chatham. This area is in the Roanoke River watershed, where streams flow into Lake Gaston, the primary drinking water source for Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Norfolk Community Impacts

Uranium is usually mined in arid climates. But Norfolk is not arid, greatly increasing the water contamination potential.  The site is near Lake Gaston, which distributes water to more than 850,000 people in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Any accidents, even minor ones, could send radioactive and toxic chemicals into drinking water sources. Contamination problems would likely not be detected until after people are exposed. Read more

Capitol Heights Rain Garden

In June, Clean Water Action led Capitol Heights volunteers in completing the construction and native plantings for a 950 square foot rain garden in the town’s Municipal Center. The garden will help capture and treat 5,700 square feet of polluted runoff from nearby impervious surfaces. Learn how to install green infrastructure projects on your property.

Maryland

Oil Trains Endanger Communities, Water

In Maryland, oil trains are a danger to communities near rail lines, particularly to Baltimore since oil is exported through the city. The Bakken crude oil that the oil industry moves by train contains higher concentrations of flammable methane and toxic fracking chemicals, making it more toxic and explosive than conventional oil.

On August 17, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge ruled that information reported by railroad companies to the Maryland Department of Environment on the volume and frequency of oil train deployment is public information.

Less than a month later, on September 9, the state released documents that reported that CSX carried up to one million gallons of crude oil per week through Baltimore City and the entire state, up until the last quarter of 2014.  Read more

Legislative Neonic Committee

Although Maryland legislators failed to pass the Pollinator Protection Act of 2015 this past legislative session, Clean Water Action continues to work with legislators for strong protections for bees and other pollinators.  Read more