On Tuesday, June 28th, U.S. (PA-04) will host an "Educational Evening," a panel discussion with Marcellus Shale experts from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Community College of Allegheny County's North Campus, located at
Marcellus Protest will hold a rally prior to this event, at 6 p.m. The rally is in opposition to the newly introduced bill, which would paralyze the already limping EPA - the bill is an attack on the federal Clean Water Act – and Cong. Altmire is one of the bill’s sponsors.
Why the rush to get H.R. 2018 through Congress?
• Is it due to the EPA’s current studies on fracking’s impact on water? The federal EPA is studying both Bradford and Washington counties. Last week the agency confirmed high levels of sodium in a Bradford County couple’s water well. This increase occured after a near by Chesapeake gas well blew up two months ago.
• Is another factor pressure from political donors in the gas drilling industry? US Congress members, including Jason Altmire, continue to receive thousands of dollars from drillers.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to implement minimum provisions to protect water quality, ensuring a minimum standard of protection. This prevents a “race to the bottom” in states, like PA, where the benefits of clean water are ignored for short term economic and political gain.
H.R. 2018, known as the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011,” would remove the EPA’s ability to protect our nation’s water without state-by-state approval.
It would limit the EPA’s ability to make and implement improvements to state water quality standards that would reflect modern pollution challenges. It would restrict the EPA from upgrading toxic pollutants standards where existing standards currently provide limited protection. This would allow states free rein to define their standards and would block the EPA’s ability to withhold federal funding to states even if the state’s implementation of water quality standards does not protect water quality.