(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauds the Erie County Council members 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 Erie County Council members 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.
More than 1,700 miles of waterways flow through Erie County, but unfortunately more than 200 of those miles are polluted. The leading cause is urban/suburban polluted runoff damaging more than 90 miles of waterways. Pollution from agriculture ranks second, polluting 60 miles of rivers and streams.
Through public education and engagement, CBF is hoping to increase awareness of water pollution issues, like those in Erie 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, Schuylkill, Fayette, Cumberland, Washington, Greene and now Erie 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.
To learn more about the campaign go to cbf.org/PAForCleanWater.