(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauds the Washington 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 Washington County Commissioners for publicly standing up for clean water in the Keystone State. Having such an important region of the Commonwealth voice their support for this initiative is a testament to how important this issue is."
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 1400 miles of waterways flow through Washington County, but unfortunately more than 700 of those miles are polluted. Overall, urban and suburban runoff is the greatest source in the county, polluting nearly 200 miles. Other pollution sources in the County include agriculture, which accounts for 171 miles of polluted waterways, abandoned mine drainage, which pollutes 178 miles, and 'other' pollution sources impair 155 miles of local creeks and streams.
Through public education and engagement, CBF is hoping to increase awareness of water pollution issues, like those in Washington 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.
To date, ten counties have decided to stand up for cleaner water in Pennsylvania. They include Berks, Cumberland, Fayette, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Westmoreland, Wyoming, York, and now Washington counties.
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.