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World Water Day is a day to celebrate water, a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues and a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future.


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[1THING] Blog: Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

[ March 18-24 is National Poison Prevention Week ]

Protect children from accidental poisoning by household substances. Lock up household pesticides, cleaners, and chemicals in a high cabinet out of the reach of children:


[ Fracking Report Finds Unacceptable Risks ]

The fifth Fracking Health Compendium finds that the oil and gas drilling technique poses high risks to food, water and the climate, and cannot be done safely.

The report is a compilation of the rapidly growing body of scientific research into the process that injects heavily treated water into deep shale formations to free trapped natural gas and oil. According to Sandra Steingraber, a biologist and co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, much of the research into the health and safety concerns of fracking comes from here in Pennsylvania.

“What it shows is that fracking is not safe and cannot be made safe through any regulatory framework,” she says. “And the risks that we had concerns about in the early days, now we have evidence for actual harm.”

Proponents of fracking say 250,000 fracked wells in operation around the country have proved that the process is environmentally safe.

But Steingraber – currently the distinguished scholar in residence in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Ithaca College – points out that in areas close to fracked wells and infrastructure, there are increased rates of asthma and other respiratory ailments – and among infants, various impacts such as lower birth weight, birth defects, and lower scores on infant development.

“We know from previous research that early life and prenatal exposure to chemicals like we know are coming out of fracking operations are indeed related to these kinds of outcomes,” says Steingraber.

One study looked at a million infants in Pennsylvania and found that incidents of impaired development increased the closer a mother lived to a fracking site.

Steingraber says the research in the report not only documents the harmful effects of chemicals associated with fracking but also examines efforts to mitigate those effects.

“We looked all over the world at many sets of regulations and could find no evidence to suggest that fracking could be done in a way that isn’t a threat to public health,” she says.

She says the research shows that transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 is critical to protecting our air and water, and to avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection


[ PA American Water Now Accepting Applications For Stream Of Learning College Scholarship Program ]

Applications are now being accepted for PA American Water’s 2018 Stream of Learning Scholarship Program to provide financial assistance to high school seniors who are planning to pursue careers in the water and wastewater industry. The deadline for applications is March 23.
The program is designed to support outstanding students living in Pennsylvania American Water’s service territories who are charting a course of study in specific fields, ranging from engineering to environmental science.
The company will award scholarships of $1,000 each to 10 students who are selected through the program’s application process. Applicants must meet the following criteria:
— Students must currently live in Pennsylvania American Water service area. (Students can attend a learning institution outside of the company’s service territory.)
— Students must plan to attend a two- or four-year college or technical school, and must plan to study environmental science, engineering, biology or chemistry.
— Students must be high school seniors. (Current college students are not eligible.)
Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and will receive their awards in May. Family members of Pennsylvania American Water employees are not eligible.
The ompany sent scholarship brochures and applications to high school guidance counselors throughout its service territory.
Click Here for more information and an application.


[ Bill Seeks to Reform Biofuels Mandate ]

Environmental groups say a bill now in Congress could reverse damage caused by the 10-year-old Renewable Fuel Standard. Critics of the biofuel mandate say that since its passage in 2007, it has resulted in massive loss of wildlife habitat, strains on water resources and increased climate pollution.

According to Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, the new bill would cap ethanol in gasoline at under 10 percent and invest more than $10 billion in the restoration of habitat lost to the conversion of land to corn and soybean production for ethanol and biodiesel.

“The Greener Fuels Act would move America towards a significantly cleaner and more sustainable biofuel system, he explains. “It’s a home run for wildlife, it’s a home run for water quality, it’s a home run for public health.”

Supporters of the Renewable Fuel Standard say the new bill would undermine some of its environmental benefits.

But former federal environmental protection specialist Lori Kolenda points out that the GREENER Fuels Act would enforce protections that are supposed to prevent converted land from qualifying as a source for biofuel material. She says it’s help Pennsylvania really needs.

“We have such a small percentage of land that can be used for wildlife now,” she laments. “And using it for a crop such as corn is not productive for ecoregions and habitats that we need to protect.”

The bill would also eliminate a loophole that allows older biofuel plants to skirt climate pollution standards.

O’Mara says the GREENER Fuels Act would not only reverse damage caused by the biofuel mandate, it would shift the focus to truly low-carbon, environmentally beneficial fuels.

“We shouldn’t have to choose between healthy wildlife populations and healthy water bodies and cleaner fuels,” he says. “We can do both.”

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection


[ Go Green-Scaping ]

March can still be cold but it’s when we begin to think of spring – pruning, lawns, and being outdoors. Get ideas and useful tips on environmentally friendly practices to improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden:

– Reducing waste: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-waste-what-you-can-do
– Pesticide safety: https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol
– Soak Up the Rain: https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain


[ Ready, Set, Color: Now Accepting Entries in Pennsylvania American Water’s “Protect Our Watersheds” Art Contest ]

Entries are now being accepted for Pennsylvania American Water’s 16th Annual “Protect Our Watersheds” Art Contest. All fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students in schools served by Pennsylvania American Water are eligible, as well as individual students who live in the company’s service area. The contest encourages students to tap into their artistic talents to express the importance of protecting Pennsylvania’s water resources.

Pennsylvania American Water recently sent contest information and applications to teachers in nearly 500 schools in its service territory. Winners will be selected based on creative vision, artistic talent, understanding of watershed protection and the ability to communicate that understanding. As part of their entry, students must write a brief narrative on the personal impact of watershed protection.

The deadline for artwork submissions is April 13, 2018. Contest guidelines and entry forms are available on the company’s website at www.pennsylvaniaamwater.com, under “News and Community.”

In 2017, the company received more than 500 entries from students across the state. The grand prize winner was Henry Rummel, a sixth-grade student from Indiana County.

In total, six students will be recognized with a first, second and third place winner selected from eastern and western Pennsylvania. First-place winners will be awarded a $100 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Second place winners will be awarded a $50 gift card and third place winners will be awarded $25 gift card.

In addition, the overall grand prize winner will have her/his artwork featured on “Bloomer” cards distributed by Pennsylvania American Water. Bloomer cards are seed-filled packets that, when planted and tended, produce a variety of wildflowers. All entrants will receive a Watershed Champion certificate. Awards will be presented in May as part of National Drinking Water Week activities.


[ National Groundwater Awareness Week ]

Life as we know it would be impossible without groundwater. It is the world’s most extracted natural resource, and it supports our ecosystems.
Don’t take groundwater for granted. Pay it forward during National Groundwater Awareness Week, March 11-17, 2018, by letting others know the importance of groundwater and asking them to pass it along.
Learn more about how you can get involved at GroundwaterAwarenessWeek.com.

[ Mariner 2 Restart Deal Called Breach of Contract ]

Environmental groups claim the agreement to restart the Mariner East 2 pipelines is illegal.

Pipeline construction permits were suspended in January for what the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection labeled “willful and egregious” violations. Five weeks later, Sunoco and the DEP reached a Consent Order and Agreement allowing construction to resume under what the DEP described as a “stringent compliance review.”

But Alex Bomstein, senior litigation attorney with the Clean Air Council, said that Consent Order weakened protocols already in place for preventing and responding to drilling-fluid spills. He said the protocols are part of a settlement agreement Sunoco and the DEP reached with environmental groups last August.

“That settlement agreement is a binding contract,” Bomstein said. “DEP didn’t give any notice to us that this had happened, and we discovered it on our own.”

The groups have filed a complaint in the Commonwealth Court and appealed to the state’s Environmental Hearing Board. Sunoco said it is in compliance with all agreements and permits, and that the lawsuit is without merit.

But Bomstein argued that stronger protocols are necessary to protect public health if drilling fluids used in pipeline construction are spilled.

“That can cause contamination of people’s water wells,” he said. “And indeed, dozens of people throughout the state have had their water wells contaminated.”

He added that drilling fluids also contaminate fish and wildlife habitat.

The groups are asking the court for a preliminary injunction to stop construction at sites where the protocols are not being applied. Bomstein said rolling them back was a breach of contract, and a breach of trust by environmental regulators.

“The environmental protections we secured are important, need to be in place,” he said. “And we need to be able to know that our regulators are looking out for us rather than looking out for industry.”

The Clean Air Council filed the lawsuits along with the Delaware Riverkeeper and the Mountain Watershed Association.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection


[ Hanson Petitioned To Cancel SeaWorld Performance ]

According to Pollstar, activists have created a change.org petition calling for Hanson to cancel a March 11 performance scheduled at the Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld in Orlando.

The petition states, “So many animals have died at SeaWorld– and the number grows and grows.”

 “At SeaWorld, intelligent, sensitive animals are confined to tiny tanks that to them are the size of bathtubs,” the petition, which has been signed by more than 19,000 people, read.
 “They are denied everything important and natural to them. And they don’t just suffer. They die. … SeaWorld is hell for animals.” “After hearing this and finding out how SeaWorld neglects and mistreats animals in its care, numerous bands have decided to cancel their appearances. Please do the same and move this show to a different venue. Your fanbase will support your decision and respect you for it.”
Read the full story from Pollstar here.



[ EPA Exhibit at 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show Highlights Healthy Headwaters ]

This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show showcases the Wonders of Water and the USEPA’s exhibit is no exception. By demonstrating the connection between headwater streams and wetlands, and the vital role they play in the overall health of downstream waters, the exhibit highlights the connection between healthy watersheds and healthy drinking water sources – and shows how the integrity of our drinking water supply begins far away from the kitchen faucet.

“The beauty of the native plants displayed in the exhibit’s headwater stream and bog wetland areas highlight the need to protect and enhance these aquatic resources,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio.  “Conserving and enhancing these aquatic ecosystems in our gardens promotes clean and healthy water, while serving as a sustainable landscaping practice in our own backyards.”

The exhibit illustrates how clean drinking water begins at the very tops of watersheds in small streams and wetlands which capture and transport water through our environment to larger downstream resources; ultimately being withdrawn for drinking water.  Two-thirds of our drinking water comes from these downstream surface waters (rivers and streams) like the Delaware River, which supplies drinking water to the city of Philadelphia.

EPA’s exhibit begins with a small headwater stream shaded with beautiful native trees such as magnolia, fringe tree, flowering dogwood, and the sweet fragrance of azaleas.  The exhibit also includes a bog that is teaming with wild and unique botanical beauty such as the carnivorous pitcher plant, exquisite swamp pinks, and magical fairy wands.

The native plants displayed in the exhibit will show how they grow in the wild and how to incorporate them in home gardens.  The environmental benefits of these native plants include providing buffers for aquatic resources that help naturally manage stormwater, which can directly improve or maintain healthy water quality. 

Exhibit volunteers will engage with the public on the connection between healthy aquatic resources and drinking water, as well as provide visitors with information on the benefits of using native plants, sustainable landscaping, and stormwater management practices to instill positive ways of protecting our water.

The objective of EPA’s exhibit is to foster the continued appreciation of the multi-faceted benefits of these aquatic resources to help ensure the Wonders of Water for generations to come.

EPA websites also include information on promoting healthy water through sustainable landscaping, and how to get started.  Photographs of sustainable landscaping practices used in residential settings are featured here:

https://www.epa.gov/green-infrastructure or https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain.

EPA’s flower show team, along with all the other exhibitors, are setting up the exhibit at the Philadelphia Convention Center this week.  The Philadelphia Flower Show opens to the public, on March 3, and will run through March 11.