|From the Desk of Harry Campbell
Clean Water Counts
CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell.
In our last newsletter, I shared with you that our team was embarking on a statewide effort to increase awareness of the importance of clean water and to urge the state to prioritize the programs and funding opportunities for clean water efforts. Since then, we have been contacting county commissioners throughout the state and asking them to consider passing a Clean Water Counts resolution.
To date, we have six counties on board, with resolutions declaring that clean water needs to be a priority for the Keystone State. We're happy to announce that Berks, Luzerne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York, and most recently, Northumberland counties have all passed resolutions—with many more on the way.
We've also been asking citizens to sign the online Clean Water Counts petition. Please join the hundreds who have already signed. It takes just a minute, but your signature goes a long way toward telling decision-makers that you care about clean water, and they should, too. Click here to add your name.
We have a legislative update to share, and the news is not good. Earlier this month the House and Senate both passed House Bill 1565. This bill removes protections for Pennsylvania's most pristine streams and allows developers to cut down streamside trees. The bill is a huge step backward for the Commonwealth's clean water efforts, and CBF and other conservation organizations are now calling on Governor Corbett to VETO the bill.
The crux of the issue is this: Pennsylvania has a commitment to clean water, and streamside forested buffers are one of the most cost-effective, common-sense solutions to reducing pollution, managing floods, and maintaining iconic and economically important fish, like the brook trout.
It simply does not make sense to allow developers to cut down existing trees, or to not require they be planted, on land development larger than one acre.
Thousands of farmers and hundreds of developers, local governments, and businesses throughout the state have already planted and preserved buffers. These investments have all been made with the goal of managing polluted runoff, reducing flooding, and enhancing property values in the Keystone State.
Throughout the past few weeks we have been issuing press statements calling on the legislature to reject the bill, and we asked many of you to write to your elected officials. Hundreds of you did so, and we cannot thank you enough. We'll keep fighting, and we are taking this to the Governor, so please join us and contact the Governor's office today.
We'll keep you updated, but in the meantime, you can check out our website for updates and press statements or call us at 717/234-5550.
Thank you for caring about clean water and for helping CBF to make a difference, locally and downstream in the Chesapeake Bay.
Pennsylvania Executive Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation