Harrisburg, PA (April 19, 2017) – PennFuture and the Choose Clean Water Coalition are joining together for a press conference supporting legislation that protects and restores our local streams, creeks, and the Chesapeake watershed.
This press conference, held on PA Water Lobby Day at the state capitol, is designed to send a clear message to the legislature: clean water matters to voters and citizens across the state. It will be held Monday, April 24 at 11 a.m. in the East Wing Rotunda, PA State Capitol Building in Harrisburg.
This is a continuation of our fight to help communities meet pollution limits as outlined in state clean water plans. PennFuture and the Choose Clean Water Coalition are asking legislators to continue to support funding clean water programs for local governments, communities, and farmers throughout our region.
Presenters include Rep. Garth Everett (Lycoming, Union), Sen. Rich Alloway (Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, York), Rep. Mike Sturla (Lancaster), Rep. Keith Gillespie (York), Carol Parenzan (Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper), Liz Deardorff (American Rivers Director of Clean Water Supply), and Marel King (Chesapeake Bay Commission).
“So much time and money has gone into improving and protecting PA streams and the Susquehanna River. We can’t take our feet off the pedals now,” said Jacqui Bonomo, PennFuture's Executive Vice President and COO. “The legislative and coalition partners coming together for PA Water Lobby Day aren’t about to let local water quality backslide."
One of the issues being discussed during the press conference includes state budget funding for clean water programs. By decreasing funding for the PA Department of Environmental Protection even further, the ability to regulate EPA clean drinking water standards in the Commonwealth will greatly decrease as well, leaving public health at risk. This funding is used largely to hire inspectors to test drinking water and monitor water pollution issues. Increased funding to Conservation Districts in both the Chesapeake Bay & Delaware River watersheds will allow for more technical assistance to farmers and land owners in meeting permit obligations and compliance with conservation and management plans.
In addition to state budget concerns, PennFuture is pushing for the addition of the Lower Susquehanna River to the 303(d) Impaired Waters List with the Environmental Protection Agency. One of the longest rivers in America, the Susquehanna River provides more than half of the freshwater to the Chesapeake Bay, drinking water to millions of people, countless recreational opportunities, and scenic value.
For these and many other reasons, the river is a valued natural and economic resource to this region. But the mighty Susquehanna and her keystone fishery, the smallmouth bass, need help. Recent declines in the smallmouth bass health and population, along with water quality data suggesting poor conditions at key locations and at key times of the year, indicate the river fails to meet some of the basic requirements of the Clean Water Act.
“We are calling on everyone – from state budget appropriators, to the governor, to the EPA – to follow our leads and ensure clean water for PA communities and businesses,” Bonomo said.
PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. For more information, visit www.pennfuture.org.
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Contact: Stephanie Rex
Director of Communications