The Clean Water Blog

Stream in a yellow meadow

2017 in Review

2017 has been full of challenges. Because of Clean Water members and activists, we've been able to face up to them.  Below are just a few highlights.

Clean Water members have sent nearly 200,000 hand-written letters, personalized post cards, and emails to EPA, Members of Congress, Governors, State Senators and Representatives, and CEOs of big companies. That includes almost 50,000 comments to EPA, demanding that Scott Pruitt drop his reckless attempt to repeal the Clean Water Rule which protects streams, wetlands, and drinking water. EPA received so many comments about the proposed repeal that the agency had to slow down the repeal process in order to review them all. That's huge.

This year we have continued to report on the oil and gas industry:

  • We exposed the industry’s stunning influence on our politics (spoiler alert: it's corrupting). 
  • Our groundbreaking research shined a light on a widely-used, but little known extraction technique that could have a huge negative impact on our water. 
  • Right now we're raising the alarm about bills in Congress that would encourage even more oil drilling by giving oil companies a huge handout while reducing the requirements for these companies to report what they are doing.

We're also taking the Trump administration to court for putting our water at risk. Late in the spring EPA announced a proposal to roll back rules that would require coal-fired power plants to drastically reduce the toxic wastewater that they dump into our rivers, lakes, and streams. This commonsense safeguard is vital to protecting our drinking water. It's unacceptable to roll it back. We're making sure EPA knows that.

Throughout the year we have been tracking votes in Congress so we can hold these elected officials accountable at town hall meetings, their offices, and the ballot box. The scores aren't great. You can count on a robust campaign in 2018 to elect clean water leaders to Congress.

We've already told you about some of our amazing victories across the country, but visit the pages below for a deeper dive.

  • Passed the strongest ban on toxic flame retardants in kids' products and furniture in Rhode Island.
  • Pass a bill requiring manufacturers to list the chemicals in cleaning products on labels and other wins in California.
  • Passed a public financing for elections plan in Howard County and other victories in Maryland.
  • Elected clean water governors in Virginia and New Jersey.
  • Working with community activists in Texas we stopped an oil and gas land farm that would have put the Attoyac River and Lake Sam Rayburn at risk.
  • Blunted the oil and gas industry's influence in Pennsylvania.
  • Passed requirements for lead testing in schools in Minnesota.
  • Negotiated an agreement to shut down a polluting coal plant in Michigan.
  • And so much more.

None of this is possible without you. Our members are our greatest asset. Thank you for your support and activism.