Restoring Pennsylvania’s Waterways Looking at the glistening waters of our streams and rivers, it may be hard to believe that approximately 5,300 miles of streams in Pennsylvania are so polluted they are currently classified as "dead". Due to loopholes in the Clean Water Act, more than half of the streams in the Keystone State are vulnerable to pollution. This affects an approximate 8 million Pennsylvanians who are served by public drinking water systems that draw from surface water. Only recently has the EPA taken action to restore protection to waterways in the United States. Unfortunately, it will take time for our streams and rivers to be truly clean again. Clearly, it is time that we act to preserve these waterways. Most people, …show more content…
In spite of the fact that the earth is their home, they treat its streams and rivers as a sewer for their own personal gain. USS-Clairton Works Iron and Steel Mill, for example, dumped a reported 2,213,136 pounds of toxic chemicals into the Lower Monongahela River. This pollution will adversely affect the environment for years to come, even if we do our best to remove the chemicals. Studies have shown that most pollution incidents are due to negligence and bad practice. Obviously, this means that the pollution could have been avoided if these companies strictly adhered to a comprehensive pollution prevention program. Certainly there are a number of companies who have such a program in place and are committed to limiting their pollution, but the vast majority do not. As a result, the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory 2012 shows that various watershed regions in Pennsylvania are ranked among the top twenty most polluted in the United States. Much of this pollution comes from fracking, otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing. Scientific sampling and analysis has found high concentrations of ammonium and iodide in the wastewater discharges from various treatment plants, including several facilities in the Allegheny River watershed. Ammonium was found in high concentrations that were toxic to aquatic life, being 50 times higher than the federal water quality limit. What were these facilities
The Koch brothers are also well aware of this and they don’t care. Obviously we wouldn’t expect them to be tree huggers considering their business route, but we might expect some semblance of morals. The Koch brothers see the earth as their money making playground, not as a fragile ecosystem that provides life for everything living on it. Money is held in far higher esteem than ecological safety at Koch Industries despite their constant assurances otherwise. Charles Koch was recently quoted as saying "The role of business is to produce products and services in a way that makes people's lives better, It cannot do so if it is injuring people and harming the environment in the process." However their record of civil and criminal imposed by the EPA says otherwise as does their high count of felony charges throughout their career. Former employees have testified against the company telling of how they were told not to shut down oil pipelines for safety checks since it would decrease their profits. This lead to many spills the smaller of which the company would just break up a bit and wash down the river. One former employee who refused to file fake reports remembers being yelled at by his manager who said he “wasn’t a real Koch employee”. The company has also caused many large spills because of overly lax pipeline maintenance one example being when over 90,000 gallons of crude oil burst into Gum Hollow Creek in Texas leaving the surrounding bays with a 12in oil slick. There level of indifference towards the environment is so high that a former Koch manager said "Koch Industries has a philosophy that profits are above everything else." and that since regulatory fines usually don’t “amount to much” that it was worth the risk to not check the
In order to have a thriving and healthy society a clean water supply is a very simple but necessary resource. Dating back to the beginning of civilizations the need for clean water was an essential need. The Clean Water Act dates to Franklin D Roosevelt’s administration. In 1972 Congress amended and passed what is now known as the Clean Water Act to protect our precious resource of water. The clean water Act prevented the dumping of pollutants into navigable waters without a permit. Many municipalities and commercial entities had previously dumped sewage and unregulated waste in to our rivers and streams contaminating a great percentage of our drinking water. This wreck less contamination of our waterways not only affected humans but also affected our wildlife including fish and animal’s life that depended on these waters. Any municipality or company that could affect our waters would need to apply for a permit to do so. While the Clean Water Act was a landmark legislation that was supported by both Democrats and Republicans alike over the years has seen expansion of the EPA’s interpretation of the law and has created a controversy in Administrative Law that has many challenges up to the Unites States Supreme Court. (Television, n.d.)
In Jan. 2011, the EPA decided to veto the dumping of waste from the Spruce No. 1 Mine. But the agency’s efforts have so far been rebuffed by the courts as an overreach: Under the weird legal regime that governs mining, it’s the Army Corps of Engineers, not the EPA, which has the ultimate say-so over those permits. In 2012, the D.C. district court ruled that EPA lacked authority to veto the permit after the Corps had issued it. However, in fact EPA's decision is based on evidence from scientific research on serious environmental harm from mining. In May 2013, a coalition of Appalachian and environmental groups petitioned the EPA to set a numeric water quality standard under the Clean Water Act to protect streams from pollution caused by mountaintop removal mining . They claimed that “State politics and industry pressure have so far failed to end this pollution without such a standard and more and more streams and communities who rely on those waters are left vulnerable. We need EPA to act now.” The EPA’s authority over the Clean Water Act in respect to Spruce Mine No. 1 was finally affirmed by the Supreme Court in March 2014.
About two hundred forty one thousand two hundred twelve people live in Cumberland County, and all of those people somehow pollute the Conodoguinet Creek. The Conodoguinet Creek is a tributary to the Susquehanna river, which is the longest river on the American East Coast, spanning 464 miles long and draining into the Atlantic ocean. Many things, such as livestock, construction sites, fossil fuels and fertilizers, all go into the Conodoguinet creek. Now, that is A LOT of pollution that can (or will) go into the creek. This does not just affect the Conodoguinet Creek, but everything that the creek drains into, like the Susquehanna river, then the Chesapeake bay, and then the Atlantic ocean, which covers over 20% of thie whole globe! As you
Is the Conodoguinet creek polluted? I thought it was, but multiple tests from my peers and I proved my hypothesis wrong. To prove our hypotheses, my peers and I did multiple tests of the organisms living in the creek. We also tested the water quality. You may be wondering, “ How does this apply to me?” “ Why should I care?”, the fact is that the Conodoguinet runs through 100 miles of Pennsylvania. It runs through farms, towns, communities, and maybe even your backyard. So, making sure we protect it should concern all of us.
I just got done with reading "A Canadian Threat to Alaskan Fishing" by Brendan Jones I hate what is happening to our rivers and water ways that these dangerous mining practices that leach chemicals and heavy metals into the water. This has been going on for years. But the worst part is that there is an agency called the International Joint Commission that there whole duty is to protect American and Canadian water ways from becoming pollution from each other country. We have a clear and present danger that is affecting the Stikine, Unuk and Jaku rivers and people that can stop it haven't. This is just another example in how big corporations can buy influence to persuade governments and when there are regulations put in place they don't realy
Located near Cowan, Pennsylvania, Conley Run is a tributary of Buffalo Creek that has experienced severe degradation due to agricultural activity. Specifically, the deposition of large amounts of animal wastes, pesticides, and fertilizers has resulted in significant eutrophication throughout the stream. Furthermore, bank degradation associated with the movement of livestock has caused the displacement of foreign sediments into stream habitats. These factors, among many others, have caused the lake to be considered “impaired” by PA-DEP. In response, the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance, the the Union County Conservation District, and the Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Boat Commision have partnered in an effort to restore stream habitat and create a riparian buffer to protect the stream.
The steel production in western Pennsylvania is producing a lot of toxic chemicals, which float up in the atmosphere and fall back down here, causing acid rain. But is it polluted, or is the creek still healthy despite of all the environmental problems in the area? That is the question we are here to find out.
The Cape Fear River Watch is a non profit organization initiated to “protect and improve the water quality of the Cape Fear River.” They intend to help the river water remain “fishable, swimmable, and drinkable.” The Cape Fear River Watch provides a wide array of education, advocacy, and action programs for members of the Cape Fear River community. The Cape Fear River contains environmental habitats including salt marshes and black water swamps. The distinct and unique culture of the Cape Fear River demands protection. Large corporations have abused the Cape Fear River over the last few decades. Over the last century, the river’s fish population has decreased drastically. The Cape Fear River has developed water contamination and air quality issues from coal ash emissions and waste, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and is now further threatened by the possible introduction of Titan Cement company. Theses companies have significantly impacted surrounding communities. Environmentally, these issues are destroying our water and air quality, and are detrimental to ecosystems within the river. As we explored the Cape Fear River during our field trip, our guide focused on these three main contributing factors to the destruction of the river. We explored the Rock Arch Rapids the River Watch constructed. We evaluated the different factors of water contamination from large corporations like Duke Energy. Sociologically, surrounding communities are facing issues
Often, toxic substances are being drained into the air, waterways, and undergrounds wells. According to the report by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 60 million pounds of deadly chemicals are produced by industries in Florida. Notably, Florida’s water has been suffering mercury contamination until the state’s department of migration issues a circular regularly for regulations of eating freshwater fish in the region (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). In fact, such metals emanate from coal combustion’s emissions which run into water bodies. Not to mention, pesticides and herbicides utilized by government and homeowners pollute the environment (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). Indeed, all chemicals released into the atmosphere find themselves in rivers.
The Potomac Conservancy has served as the leading clean water advocate in the DC Metro area for over twenty-five years, fighting to improve the health of the Potomac River through local action. During that time, we have inspired thousands of local volunteers and activists to join us in our fight to preserve the Nation’s River and protect the water we drink. Many of these friends were first introduced to the Conservancy through our Community Conservation program. This program is split into two focus areas that introduce people to the lands and waters in their community: stewardship and recreation. Currently the more robust of our two focus areas, the Conservancy’s stewardship activities encourage residents of the DC Metro area to take action
These industries are doing serious damage to the health of the Duwamish river with the hefty amount of pollution that they are pouring into the river, “This area sits on the banks of what has been determined by the Environmental Protection Agency to be one of the country's most polluted waterways”(AmericanForests, 1). As this shows, the pollution problem here is even more severe than many people realize. One can only imagine how hazardous this is to the variety of marine life that inhabit this river. If this trend continues, thousands of fish will lose their habitat in the Duwamish river, “In addition to experiencing degraded habitat in the estuary, wild salmon growth may be affected by competition with more than three million hatchery fish released yearly into the river”(Cordell, 1). If this habitat is continuously infiltrated by harmful pollutants, especially these toxic chemical pollutants from these large industrial factories, the health of the Duwamish river will only continue to exponentially deteriorate and it will take a major toll on the organisms that rely on it for habitation. This will have a devastating impact on not only the marine life of the Duwamish River, but also to surrounding marine habitats as increased competition will take place for nearby habitat with the Duwamish River becoming uninhabitable. Ultimately, this will lead to the death of countless fish and other nearby organisms that rely on these fish as part of their food chain. With so many species becoming endangered and extinct across the world due to human carelessness, the Duwamish river is a prime example of why an end needs to be put to this blind mass polluting of this
For years upon years companies have wormed their way into the minds of Americans to consume. The companies mask all of the real problems. Many logging companies associated with larger corporations have failed to make Americans aware of the pollution and the increase in toxic gases and waste that is being dispersed every where. All that matters to them is the flow of money that the businesses are
Water quality is another aspect that should be taken into consideration. The process of fracking requires three to eight million gallons of water per well (NYC Environmental Protection, 2017). The water is needed to help break the rock deep underground and release natural gas. Wastewater is generated though the fracking process, and requires specific treatment and disposal methods. One process of disposal involves injecting the wastewater deep into the ground (NYC Environmental Protection, 2017). If disposed inadequately, there are chances that the wastewater could leak back into the surface, along with heavy metals, radium isotopes and other waste, with the possibility of leaking into groundwater and surface water sources (Zucker, 2017). In the case of New York City, the Catskill-Delaware watersheds lay on top of the Marcellus shale. This watershed is the source of drinking water for 9 million New York City residents (Eaton, 2013). When