(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauds the Northumberland County Commissioners for adopting a Clean Water Counts resolution, calling on state officials to make clean water a top priority for the Keystone State.
"Healthy families, strong communities, and a thriving Pennsylvania economy depend on clean water," said Harry Campbell, CBF's Pennsylvania Executive Director. "We applaud and thank Northumberland County Commissioners for publicly voicing their support for clean water in the Keystone State."
CBF embarked on the Clean Water Counts campaign in response to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) most recent statewide surface waters assessment. The results show that of the 86,000 miles of waterways flowing through the Commonwealth, nearly 20,000 miles are polluted. DEP also reported that the top pollution sources are agricultural and urban/suburban runoff, and abandoned mine drainage.
In Northumberland, 500 miles of waterways flow through the county toward the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. But nearly 30 percent of those waterway miles are polluted, including portions of Mahanoy and Shamokin Creeks.
Overall, agricultural activities pollute 326 miles of streams, the largest pollution source in the county. Toxic pollution from abandoned mine drainage kills life in over 130 miles of the County's rivers and streams, and sources considered unknown/other pollute another 173 miles.
Through public education and engagement, CBF is hoping to increase awareness of water pollution issues, like those in Northumberland County, and elsewhere in the Keystone State. The goal is to urge state officials to make clean water a priority and commit the needed funding and programs to ensure that the waters that we rely on for drinking and household uses, recreation, and to grow our food, all meet clean water standards.
Since launching this initiative, Berks, Luzerne, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York, and now Northumberland counties have all joined the effort and have passed resolutions.
In addition to calling on local officials to pass resolutions, CBF is asking residents to show their support by signing the Clean Water Counts online petition." It takes only a few minutes, but signatures will go a long way toward demonstrating the importance of clean water to our elected officials. Online petition signatures will be accepted through October 18th, the anniversary of the Clean Water Act.
To learn more about the campaign go to cbf.org/PAForCleanWater.