For Immediate Release: May 10, 2016
Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition Thanks Senate for Designating May Clean Water Counts Month
(HARRISBURG, PA) The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition, the largest coalition of conservation, recreation and preservation organizations in the Commonwealth, thanked members of the Senate for designating the month of May as Clean Water Counts Month.
“We are pleased that members of the State Senate recognize the need to improve water quality in Pennsylvania,” said Andrew Health, executive director of the Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition. “Our Coalition looks forward to working with lawmakers in the upcoming months to identify funding for a Growing Greener III initiative to help keep our drinking water clean, protect our wildlife, parks and open space, and preserve our family farms and precious resources.”
Heath thanked Senators Richard Alloway (R-York) and Chuck McIlhinney (R-Bucks) for sponsoring the Clean Water Counts Month resolution, which passed unanimously. The House unanimously passed a similar resolution sponsored by Representative Stan Saylor (R-York) last week.
“We need to do all we can to improve the health and condition of our rivers and streams in Pennsylvania,” said Alloway. “Clean water provides for greater health, stronger communities and thriving economies within our region.”
McIlhinney said: “Clean water must be a priority for Pennsylvania. Our ability to attract growing businesses and to provide a healthy environment for our residents depends on it.”
Pennsylvania has approximately 19,000 miles of rivers and streams that do not meet basic water quality standards. In other words, nearly one quarter of the creeks, rivers, and lakes that Pennsylvanians rely on for recreation, and for drinking and household uses, are polluted.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation launched the statewide Clean Water Counts campaign in 2014 calling on the Commonwealth to prioritize funding and increase investments for clean water.
“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is calling on Pennsylvania officials to make clean water a priority, to commit the needed resources, and to ensure that all our 86,000 miles of waterways are clean,” said Harry Campbell, Pennsylvania Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a member of the Growing Greener Coalition. “We are thankful to the Senate for designating the month of May as Clean Water Counts month and look forward to their continued support.”
Sixteen Pennsylvania counties have adopted resolutions supporting the Clean Water Counts campaign and calling on state officials to make clean water a priority for the Commonwealth. Those 16 counties are: Berks, Cumberland, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Jefferson, Luzerne, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Somerset, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming, and York.
The Pennsylvania Growing Greener Coalition has urged the General Assembly and the Wolf Administration to pass legislation to fund a Growing Greener III program to address the pressing needs of the Commonwealth, including the need to keep drinking water clean, protect parks and open spaces, and preserve family farms.