As previously reported on Conduit Street, Pennsylvania will likely to fail to meet its water pollution reduction goals during the 2017 “checkup” period for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load and general goals under the federal Clean Water Act. Pennsylvania’s failure will also affect the region’s Bay restoration performance. In a June 9, 2015 statement, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), a longstanding environmental advocacy group, responded to these concerns by announcing that it has joined the Clean Water Counts! campaign. The campaign is organized by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and seeks to make Bay restoration and clean water efforts a priority for Pennsylvania officials.
From PEC’s statement:
With nearly 20,000 miles of streams in Pennsylvania not meeting federal Clean Water Act standards, the Commonwealth continues to face one of its most significant environmental challenges. The Pennsylvania Environmental Council has joined the Clean Water Counts! campaign, organized by [CBF[, to draw attention to the need to do more cleanup of this vital natural and economic resource.
The most significant causes of water pollution in Pennsylvania are not new. Abandoned coal mines, which are the legacy of decades of unregulated activity, are the biggest offender. Left in their wake are dead streams and landscapes that will cost the Commonwealth billions of dollars to clean up.
Agricultural and stormwater runoff are the other two major sources of nonpoint water pollution that continue to vex our waterways and communities. Once again the adage of an ounce of prevent – through implementation of demonstrated management practices, green infrastructure, and riparian protection measures – proves itself as the sensible approach. …
Clean water does count. We need to do much more to ensure the insults to water quality from the past are cleaned up and to provide effective protection measures for the future. One way is to join the Clean Water Counts! campaign. We have, and we hope you will too.
The statement also noted the potential water pollution threat caused by natural gas hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) along the Marcellus Shale deposit in Pennsylvania.