We are leading a campaign for a new state requirement that would prevent development right up to the water’s edge, preserving at least a 100 buffer zone along all our rivers and streams. Buffer zones of at least 100 feet would improve water quality in our streams, reduce flood damage and protect drinking water.
Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation across northern and western Pennsylvania could be a huge economic boon to the state…but it it’s not done right, it could cause huge environmental damage too. Some streams have already been de-watered and the Monongahela River has suffered serious pollution problems. We are fighting to strengthen state standards and to make sure that existing protections are enforced.
These are the state’s best and most pristine streams. The state’s Exceptional Value program is designed to recognize these streams and protect them from degradation. We are working to make sure that all qualified streams get EV status, and that they are really protection from pollution.
Old methods of managing stormwater focused on getting runoff away from a property and into a nearby stream as quickly as possible. But this aggravated flooding, damaged the stream, and depleted our groundwater. We are working to improve stormwater management in our state, pressing for management of runoff on site, and infiltration of rainfall into the ground. We are also pushing for strong rules to require buffers along our rivers and streams, preventing development along the water’s edge. Go to the Workgroup page for more information.
Wetlands prevent flooding by soaking up rain and releasing it slowly. They provide habitat for many plant and animal species too, including lots of threatened and endangered species. Pennsylvania has already lost half of our wetlands, and can’t afford to lose any more.