Protect Our Rivers and Streams

Pennsylvania's waterways

From Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers to the smaller streams in our backyards, Pennsylvania’s waterways are part of what make living here so great.

Yet incredibly, more than 15,000 miles of our streams and rivers are so polluted that they’re considered unsafe for fishing and swimming. This is partially because polluters take advantage of inadequate protections for more than half of Pennsylvania’s streams, leaving them vulnerable to more pollution.

More than half of our streams are unprotected

How can this be? Polluters are exploiting loopholes in the Clean Water Act—threatening to turn back the clock on 40 years of progress toward cleaning up our rivers and streams. We need our elected officials to restore Clean Water Act protections to Pennsylvania’s streams and waters across the country, before it’s too late. Stand up for our river and streams.

Together, we can show our elected officials the support they need to stand up to polluters.

Our streams are not sewers

We cannot allow polluters to treat our rivers and streams like their own personal sewers. Until we close these loopholes in the Clean Water Act, however, nearly 45,000 miles of streams in Pennsylvania will continue to lack the protections they need—and deserve.

While proposals have been put forth to close these loopholes, polluting industries and their allies in Congress have threatened to block these protections. We need to show our elected officials the public support they need to stand up to the polluters.

Together, we can win

Protecting Pennsylvania’s waterways is a big challenge, but we’re up to the task. We are talking to Pennsylvanians about what’s at stake, testifying in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., educating lawmakers, and shining a spotlight in the media on the need to protect our waterways. But the real key to winning this fight is you.

Together, we can ensure protection for all of Pennsylvania’s great rivers and streams—now and for future generations.

Clean Water Updates

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Businesses, Anglers and Environmentalist Kickoff Campaign to Support EPA Proposal to Protect Brandywine Creek

Days after the opening of trout fishing season in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade, PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center joined with anglers and businesses to show support for the clean water rule proposed last week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps).  The proposed rule would clarify Clean Water Act protections for  a vast network of Pennsylvania waterways that serve as source of drinking water for more than 8 million Pennsylvanians.

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News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

EPA Proposes Biggest Step for Clean Water in a Decade

Today, in the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act that leave 59% of Pennsylvania’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands at risk of unchecked pollution and development.

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PennEnvironment launches door-to-door campaign

Residents of Harmony Township and Ambridge should expect a few more knocks at their doors this summer. 

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment, Sierra Club announce Clean Water Act lawsuit against PPG

Two statewide environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit today against PPG (Pittsburgh Plate Glass) Industries alleging ongoing violations of the federal Clean Water Act at the company’s Ford City site which is polluting the neighboring Allegheny River. 

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Report | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Wasting our Waterways 2012

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year—threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threat- ening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and streams, more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide. 

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