June 21, 2016
CBF Applauds Cambria County as the 26th County to Join the Clean Water Counts Campaign
(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) applauds the Cambria County commissioners for adopting a Clean Water Counts resolution, calling on state officials to make clean water a top priority for the Commonwealth.
CBF and the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition launched the Clean Water Counts campaign in 2014, urging local governments across the Commonwealth to pass resolutions and join in calling on legislators in Harrisburg to invest in local clean water programs and practices.
Roughly 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania rivers and streams are polluted, and the Commonwealth has a Clean Water Blueprint to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment runoff that is damaging its waters.
But the Environmental Protection Agency reported recently that Pennsylvania is significantly behind in meeting its Blueprint goals of having 60 percent of the pollution-reduction practices necessary to restore water quality in place by 2017 and 100 percent in place by 2025.
Cambria County has about 420 miles of polluted waters, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. About 100 miles of those waters are damaged by agriculture and urban/suburban runoff.
Cambria is the 26th county to adopt a Clean Water Counts resolution, meaning the effort now represents more than one-third of Pennsylvania's population. The other 25 counties to sign on are Berks, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Luzerne, McKean, Montgomery, Montour, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Somerset, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming, and York.
"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 commissioners in Cambria and the other counties for publicly voicing their support for clean water in the Keystone State."
"We hope Clean Water Counts continues to build momentum," Growing Greener Coalition Executive Director Andrew Heath added. "The central region is extremely important to motivating greater leadership from Harrisburg on clean water issues and we look forward to working with the other counties in adopting resolutions."
By supporting the Clean Water Counts campaign, Cambria and other counties are telling lawmakers in Harrisburg that clean water is integral to Pennsylvania's economy, communities, and human health. It's a legacy worth leaving future generations.