Chesapeake Currents - Summer 2015

June 9, 2015

2015 Maryland Legislative Update

Years of clean water victories came under siege in Maryland’s 2015 legislature. Clean Water Action responded with ramped up efforts to educate sixty-eight new legislators and the new Governor, Larry Hogan, about the importance of preserving the state’s legacy of landmark protections for water resources and healthy communities. Read more

Introducing Brent Bolin

Hello members and friends. My name is Brent Bolin, and in April I joined Clean Water Action as the new Chesapeake Regional Director. In my years at the local, state and regional levels in the Chesapeake Bay clean water movement, I have developed a strong appreciation for the power and importance of grassroots public involvement in winning effective environmental and health protections and building lasting change. I am excited about the way Clean Water Action connects members directly to the policy process protecting clean water and building healthy communities.

Historic Victory to Protect Our Water

After ten years the US EPA has restored protection under the Clean Water Act to 60% of our stream miles and millions of acres of wetlands.

These are waterways that used to be protected from pollution, but those protections were called into question a decade ago, putting the sources of drinking water for 1 in 3 Americans at risk.

Thank you EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and President Obama for fixing this problem and protecting clean water.

Baltimore Bomb Trains

Baltimore is a port city where crude oil-by-rail is starting to rear its ugly head. Production, transportation, and export of crude oil-by-rail from American port cities are on the rise. U.S. railroads moved more than800,000 barrels per day of crude oil in 2013, a 70-fold increase from 2005. Not coincidentally, accidents are also on the rise, with five derailments and explosions since January 2015.

Ships will unload one million gallons per day of North Dakota Bakken crude oil, known to be highly explosive and volatile, onto rail cars in Fairfield Peninsula. From there, they will begin a crisscrossing local trip turning neighborhoods in the south, downtown, and parts of northeast Baltimore into de facto oil pipelines. The proposition is both dangerous and irresponsible. The prospects for either an accident or harmful impacts to health and the environment seem certain. Read more

Defending Clean Water inthe 2015 Virginia Legislature

Clean Water Action and its allies successfully defeated HB 1488, HB 1572 and HB 1293, which threatened Virginia’s land conservation program and stormwater management by making it more difficult to protect open space and waiving stormwater permit fees for property owned by religious associations. Clean Water Action members across Virginia urged elected officials in the General Assembly to oppose these bad bills and support Stormwater Impact Fees and preserving open space as a cost-effective strategy to reduce flooding and water pollution. Read more

Anacostia Phases Out Foam!

On April 28th, Prince George’s County joined the District of Columbia and Montgomery County in banning polystyrene foam (plastic foam) food containers. The law, which will go into effect in July 2016, includes packaging materials and the retail sale of foam food materials.

Clean Water Action received over 500 handwritten letters from residents throughout the region expressing their concern on the issue foam poses. On average, plastic foam accounts for 30 percent of the annual trash collected in clean-ups and trash traps in the area. All three councils voted for the bans unanimously.

This is an amazing victory for the Anacostia River and the nearly 2.5 million people living in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. Special thanks to all the council members, allies and residents who made this possible. Read More