Thur 6/6: Do an “Interpretative” dance with the EPA – Write a comment to stop a dirty loophole in the Clean Water Rule. Deadline, Friday, 6/7.

How does a river catch on fire…13 times? Ohio’s Cuyahoga River caught fire because flammable petroleum products were being dumped directly into it, along with contaminated seepage from groundwater. Images like these from 1962 inspired the creation of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Action – Write a comment on why Andrew is wrong before 11:59 pm EST Friday 6/7!

Hey, remember this guy? Andrew Wheeler, fossil fuel lobbyist, Washington Coal Club VP and putative Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? An earlier public notice period alerted him to Big Ag and Industry’s annoyance with requirements to get NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits. And they didn’t think they should have to for releasing hazardous waste to groundwater systems with direct hydrologic connections to potable surface water. So Andrew issued an INTERPRETATIVE STATEMENT – the EPA and the Clean Water Act (CWA) would no longer protect the public from releases of pollutants from a “point source” to groundwater, regardless of the risks posed by hydrologic connections to potable surface water. If this rule change goes through, it’s another win for big agricultural, industrial and commerical polluters. Significant sources of water pollution, like agricultural storm water discharges and return flow from irrigated agriculture are already excluded the EPA’s charge. Now, this proposed regulatory loophole will allow polluters to avoid CWA liability by encouraging them to dispose of their problem wastes directly into local groundwater supplies, even when they know it flows into navigable, potable water. Already, a fifth of the United States, over 63 million people, have been exposed to potentially unsafe water.

Stop this now! Take 5 minutes to read some facts we’ve gathered, get mad, and write a comment. It doesn’t have to be long or technical. Just original. Comment here.

image.png Continue reading “Thur 6/6: Do an “Interpretative” dance with the EPA – Write a comment to stop a dirty loophole in the Clean Water Rule. Deadline, Friday, 6/7.”

Thurs 5/23: SB 200 / AB 217 – Drinking Water – “Nearly every Californian is exposed to unsafe drinking water.”

Quote from To pack the biggest punch, ALL of the CA Indivisible coalition are working together to drive calls to our legislators to push important bills through their house.  Today, we’re focusing on water. 

polifact on water

Not only were Governor Newsom’s remarks true but the number of Californians affected by water pollution is probably higher than 1 million and the contaminants found have serious associated health risks including cancer. There are almost 400 small rural water systems and schools are unable to provide safe drinking water and the problem could effect everyone.

Existing CA state law already established that every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water. SB 200 (which has already passed the State Senate and goes to the Assembly) and AB 217 (still in the Assembly) establishes a “long-term sustainable funding source” – the  Safe Drinking Water Fund –  to maintain and supply clean water to certain communities with general fund dollars and fees on agriculture. CA is already spending $10 billion on water pollution control every year. This makes it official and sets the stage for new solutions to help keep our water sources cleaner.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Assemblymember [___] to support  SB 200 and AB 217 to ensure that all Californians, including me and my family, have access to clean, safe drinking water. Continue reading “Thurs 5/23: SB 200 / AB 217 – Drinking Water – “Nearly every Californian is exposed to unsafe drinking water.””

Wed. 3/28 – California’s not going back.

LOS ANGELES: Downtown highrise buildings are shown cloaked in dirty air shortly after sunrise September 11, 2002 in Los Angeles, California. Although air quality in Los Angeles has improved in recent decades, smog levels remain among the nation’s worst. Numerous wildfires in the region have also contributed to Los Angeles’ air pollution problem. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The current administration wants to degrade the protections that keep our water and air clean and our population healthy.

Maybe they think we won’t remember how important these safeguards are, even as we watch the continuing nightmare in Flint, MI, and our own state’s rating as  having the “highest ozone levels” and “worst smog levels” in the country.

So let’s do a quick historical tour of two of our nation’s greatest environmental protection acts. Each one is rooted in tragedies that cost human lives.

Update: (thehill) EPA’s  Scott Pruitt is expected this week to declare that 54.5 mpg standard by 2025 is too strict for the nation’s auto fleet and lower the target, possibly eliminating California’s waiver. CA is committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent by 2030, a goal that would be in jeopardy if it cannot hold cars to a high fuel standard.

The Clean Water Act

(alleghenyfront) “June 22, 1969—the day the Cuyahoga River caught fire. In a way, this was nothing new: The river had burned at least a dozen times before, costing millions, and even killing five people.” “It was a river catching fire. I think the rest of the country looked at it and was just—that’s it. That’s over the top. Something has to be done.” – Elaine Marsh, environmental activist

What was done was the passage of the “Clean Water Act“.

Continue reading “Wed. 3/28 – California’s not going back.”