Wednesday, June 24, 2015

PennEnvironment Clean Water Rule Press Conference

    On Monday June 1st, PennEnvironment held a press conference at the Fairmount water works to show approval of the new EPA Clean Water Act expansion, The clean Water Rule. The event was attended by representatives of PennEnvironment, The Philadelphia Water Department, Sierra Club, Mom’s Clean AirForce, and Thomas Jefferson University's School of Population Health. Jim Kenney attended and spoke at the event, showing his support for the Clean Water Act expansion. The Clean Water Rule does the following as described from the EPA website.
    - Clearly defines and protects tributaries that impact the health of downstream waters. The Clean Water Act protects navigable waterways and their tributaries. The rule says that a tributary must show physical features of flowing water – a bed, bank, and ordinary high water mark – to warrant protection. The rule provides protection for headwaters that have these features and science shows can have a significant connection to downstream waters.

 - Provides certainty in how far safeguards extend to nearby waters. The rule protects waters that are next to rivers and lakes and their tributaries because science shows that they impact downstream waters. The rule sets boundaries on covering nearby waters for the first time that are physical and measurable.

 - Protects the nation’s regional water treasures. Science shows that specific water features can function like a system and impact the health of downstream waters. The rule protects prairie potholes, Carolina and Delmarva bays, pocosins, western vernal pools in California, and Texas coastal prairie wetlands when they impact downstream waters.

 - Focuses on streams, not ditches. The rule limits protection to ditches that are constructed out of streams or function like streams and can carry pollution downstream. So ditches that are not constructed in streams and that flow only when it rains are not covered.
  - Maintains the status of waters within Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. The rule does not change how those waters are treated and encourages the use of green infrastructure.
 - Reduces the use of case-specific analysis of waters. Previously, almost any water could be put through a lengthy case-specific analysis, even if it would not be subject to the Clean Water Act. The rule significantly limits the use of case-specific analysis by creating clarity and certainty on protected waters and limiting the number of similarly situated water features.”

Although it was a cloudy morning with the threat of rain, people came to the Press Conference to show support. It was an informative Press Conference with an appropriate setting right alongside the Schuylkill River. Under the gray skies, the future for our waterways looks bright, as we continue to fight for their protection!

Coverage By The Press and On the Internet

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Greenworks Open House Wednesday, June 10

Greenworks is hosting an open house tomorrow to present and discuss the future of a sustainable Philadelphia.

From their registration page:
    "2015 marks the horizon of the Greenworks implementation timeline. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) is hosting an informal public open house for residents and partners to come and share feedback. We want your thoughts on progress to-date, missed opportunities, and new areas of focus going forward. 

   Your input will help us as we begin to shape a future sustainability plan, which we plan to develop in 2015 under the leadership of the next mayor.

   Feel free to drop in or stay for the duration. The run of show will be as follows:
5-5:30pm: Brief overviews of work to-date by MOS staff
5:30-7pm: Feedback sessions, by topics of interest
   We hope you can join us. This will be a terrific opportunity for you to share your thoughts and ideas in an informal atmosphere, meet MOS staff, and enjoy early-evening snacks with other Philadelphians interested in sustainability. (We also promise a great view of Dilworth Park!).

   If you plan to attend, please register so we know how many people to expect."

When: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (EDT)

Where: Municipal Services Building -- Innovation Lab
               1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd
               16th Floor
               Philadelphia, PA 19102

What: Greenworks Open House


Registration page can be found here here