(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauds the Schuylkill 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 the Schuylkill 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.
Nearly 750 miles of waterways flow through Schuylkill County, but unfortunately over 480 of those miles are polluted. Overall, abandoned mine drainage is the greatest source in the county, polluting 183 miles. Other pollution sources in the County include agriculture, which accounts for 76 miles of polluted waterways, urban and suburban runoff which pollutes 102 miles, and 'other' pollution sources impair 105 miles of local creeks and streams.
Through public education and engagement, CBF is hoping to increase awareness of water pollution issues, like those in Schuylkill 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, Northumberland, and now Schuylkill 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.