District of Columbia

Power Plant Rules

a landmark proposal to protect the air we breathe

Clean Water Action welcomes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal for controlling carbon pollution from new and modified power plants.  “EPA is taking common sense steps to protect people from air pollution and  climate change and to lead the way to a clean energy future,” said Clean Water Campaigns Director, Lynn Thorp. 

Download and share our statement and read Lynn's thoughts on We All Live Downstream.

Chesapeake Currents - Fall 2011

chesapeake currents
fall 2011 edition

we can’t live without clean water

It’s that simple. But sometimes, the people we elect seem to forget that. And they’ve been forgetting it a lot lately in Washington, DC and in too many of our state capitals.

Clean Water Action’s job – which we can only do in partnership with you, our members — is to keep the pressure on the politicians in Washington, and in their home districts across the country, telling them to protect our water.

From the Director - Chesapeake

we can’t live without clean water

It’s that simple. But sometimes, the people we elect seem to forget that. And they’ve been forgetting it a lot lately in Washington, DC and in too many of our state capitals.

Benning Road Cleanup

We all know that the Anacostia River is polluted.  District residents and our neighbors in the Chesapeake Watershed have waited years for something to be done.  Finally, the District of Columbia and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) are taking action to clean up some of the river’s worst toxic sites.

A Healthier Chesapeake

Clean Water, Healthy Families

Water defines our life in the summer in Maryland. We visit and vacation on the water. Sadly, this summer, many of us avoided spending time on Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Throughout the summer we saw reports of people and pets contracting serious infections from swimming in those waters that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.

Take action today to protect our waters!

District of Columbia Staff Profiles

District of Columbia

Chesapeake Staff Profiles

District of Columbia Office

1444 Eye Street NW  | Suite 400 | Washington D.C. | 20005
p: 202.895.0420202.895.0420
f: 202.895.0438


Clean Water Action Criticizes House Policy Riders

Washington DC – Clean Water Action is appalled that the leadership of the US House of Representatives appears willing to shut down the federal government in order to win passage of budget riders limiting the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and prohibiting funding for Planned Parenthood.

While recent press reports have indicated that the EPA restrictions may no longer be on the table, the House Republican leadership has brought the federal government close to the brink of shutdown over policy issues that should not be part of budget negotiations.

Published On: 
04/11/2011 - 09:37

Diesel: the Black Soot Menace

Today’s guest blogger is Emma Shlaes, Clean Water Action National Campaigns Associate.

Summer is winding down. When you put your child on the bus for school, or take that one last road trip of the season, you expect that everyone will stay safe and healthy, as long as there are no accidents. But there is a hidden danger lurking around most school buses, highways and too many residential neighborhoods and schools. Dangerous and preventable diesel pollution from buses, trucks and construction vehicles is placing families in harm's way.

Dirty diesel engines emit a mixture of particles, metals and gases called "particulate matter" which include over 40 "hazardous air pollutants" as classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act. This mixture can cause a range of health problems. From increased rates of asthma, to lung cancer, stroke and heart attack, diesel pollution contributes to countless illnesses and 21,000 early deaths a year.

In addition to being a serious public health problem, diesel pollution contributes to climate change by emitting a pollutant that’s aptly named “black carbon”. Black carbon soot is approximately 2,000 times more potent as a global warming agent than an equal amount of carbon dioxide (CO2). Over half the black carbon emissions in the U.S. come from diesel engines. Fortunately, black carbon is a short-lived pollutant and does not remain in the atmosphere, so this is one aspect of climate change we can do something about right now.

How do you ask? Available retrofits can reduce diesel particulate matter and black carbon emissions by at least 90% from the 11 million old, dirty diesel engines that are currently used in the U.S. This means an instant reduction of black soot in our atmosphere. Additionally, studies indicate that for every dollar spent on reducing particulate matter pollution from diesel engines, $12 would be avoided in monetized health damages. That translates to improved health for you and your family.

Since 2005, the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) has been funding retrofits for existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines in every state in the U.S. DERA has enjoyed support by: members of both parties in Congress, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and industry, labor, environmental and health groups. This important act is set to expire in 2011 and Congress must reauthorize it at the same level of funding if we are to see continued reduction in diesel pollution and the health effects it causes.

Clean Water Action works nationally and in the states to pass policies that will clean up diesel pollution and protect communities. Some states haven’t waited for government protections and funding to take action. For example, Clean Water Action recently helped Rhode Island pass the Clean Construction Law, which requires diesel-burning construction equipment on federally funded projects to be retrofitted to reduce emissions by 2013. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey have also taken action at the state and local level. Find out more.

Clean Water Action works as part of the Diesel Clean-Up Campaign, a nationwide collaboration of organizations committed to reducing diesel emissions 40 percent by the year 2012, 55 percent by 2015 and 70 percent by 2020. You can visit their website at www.dieselcleanup.org

Anacostia Restoration Fund Survives Threat of Budget Grab

Chesapeake Currents|online, Summer 2010

Last year, with the help of Clean Water Action members, the District set up a new fund supported by a fee on plastic and paper bags to help restore the Anacostia River and other District waterways. However, within a few months, this fund was threatened by proposals to raid the money to support other programs. One of the many positive aspects of the legislation that imposed a fee on bags was that it would generate money for river clean-up efforts, and thus provide funding during challenging fiscal times.

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