Monday, April 26, 2010

Unless You're a Trout, You'll Get Dirty Water

Clean Water Action has issued a news release complaining about the Pennsylvania State Senate's failure to act on legislation designed to protect our drinking supply by creating "critical zones" near rivers and wells. Under current law, a pristine trout stream gets better protection from pollution than our own drinking sources. Not only do we drink dirty water, but it's full of fish piss.

Despite the support of 10 Republican and 14 Democratic state senators, this proposal is as stagnant as a pond. Myron Arnowitt, who heads up Clean Water Action in Pa, claims "most of our drinking water rules are focused on how much treatment is required to take pollution out of our rivers and streams. It is much less expensive for the public if we ensure from the start that we are not putting too much pollution into our drinking water supply.”

Locally, Senators Lisa Boscola and Bob Mensch, a Democrat and a Republican, are co-sponsors. Senator Pat Browne is not among the co-sponsors ... yet.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Why should anyone care what Clean Water Action says or reports on the environment. They have become mere partisan hacks? Where are they on a variety of local issues that relate directly to clean water? Silent!

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, I have no idea what you're talking about locally. I do know this is bipartisan legislation. Our drinking water suypply should be at least as safe as a trout stream.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Do a quick Google search and read for yourself how this organization has involved itself with left wing politics, meanwhile it said nothing locally about the townhouse development on Fish Hatchery road, Ed’s plan to cut down trees for cash, or the paving of walking trails at Cedar Beach.

Scott Armstrong

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am awarw that CWA is a left-leaning group. I'm not sure that a state organization would have that much detailed knowledge about the specific A-town problems you mention. But the law in question, which creates critical zones around drinking water areas, might very well have an impact on some of these problems, preventing precisely the kind of problems created by those actions.

Anonymous said...

According to news accounts, a former city leader once promised to protect the Little Lehigh at this site, a one mile long world-famous historic fly fish landmark.
Reporters stated this particular city official was not going to
allow the project to move forward, citing the projected damage to the park that would be required to construct and link the sewer lines to the city's water and sewer system. Once this city leader changed his mind, the property developer had natural park resources cleared and now parts of this concrete sewer system are clearly visible.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

I have to agree with Armstrong on this one.

PA Clean Water Action has turned a blind eye to far too many environmental issues in Allentown to protect the positions of democrat elected officials in the city. They are a political organization first, environmental second.

I have no idea what the group's angle is on the legislation you cite, but they've lost all credibility with me.

Brady Russell - Eastern Pennsylvania Director said...

Dear Lehigh Valley Ramblings:
Thanks for covering this issue! Sen. Browne has told us a number of times that he intends to co-sponsor, but he hasn't done it yet. Please call his office and ask him to get on Senate Bill 777.

You can also take our online action here: http://ow.ly/1BSQr

For those who feel that Clean Water Action hasn't taken on as many local issues that you'd like, please be in closer touch with our office. You can call our Organizer in Bethlehem to alert her to issues at any time: 610-691-7395

Local issues that we have worked on recently:
- The dredging waste dump proposed in Hazleton.
- Protecting the watershed land owned by the city of Bethlehem
- Promoting natural resource protections in Lower Macungie.
- Stopping a massive quarry development in Lower Macungie
- We've recently begun working on protecting a major steep slopes development as well.

We would be more than happy to work on other issues. We aren't going to catch them all without folks reaching out to us, tho. A good portion of our Bethlehem organizer's staff time has been eaten up lately organizing folks in Northeast Pennsylvania to resist the behemoth of natural gas drilling which is going to have a massive impact on the whole state.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brady,

I appreciate your outreach here. I believe that the local concerns focus on Allentown and some of the thingas going on there. ironically, some of what is complained of may very well becopme "critical" zones once this legislation becaomes law. I will attempt to collect these concerns and presnt them to the person you name.

Anonymous said...

The townhouses on Fish Hatchery Rd are on the Salisbury Township side of the Road.

The city doesn't have any say in this matter. Armstrong is the partisan.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Regardless whether it is A-town proper or Salisbury, the question is whether it aids pollution. I will talk to Scott later today and hope he can point me in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:54,

Afflerbach signed a waiver on retention ponds to collect run-off from running into the Little Lehigh. Council didn't protest the waiver. I'm a partisan for good reasons. I also sign my name.

Scott Armstrong

Chris Amato said...

Senator Browne should be commended for his support of the Bertsch Hokendauqua Catasauqua Watershed Association. Thank you Senator Browne. I do not know why he has not sponsored the bill yet, but so far his actions have spoken loudly in favor of clean water protection.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think he'll come around.

Anonymous said...

I don't think retention ponds reduce pollution. They just slow the pace that water enters our streams.

Chris Amato said...

Anon 3:34

In some case retention ponds are not the most efficient way of dealing with storm water. I have seen people use other methods that can be less expensive and can do a better job of treating storm water like the important natural resource that it is. Retention ponds are still currently the accepted norm, personally I think that we can do better however.

Chris Amato said...

Bernie, If he does come around that would be great, if not I am sure there is a reason for it. As an elected official there are many things that go on behind the scenes that the general public is not aware of...for instance, is there a caveat in this bill that would significantly hurt the land owner? I don't know, I have not read it, so therefore I can't formulate an opinion.

Brady Russell - Eastern PA Director said...

Sen. Browne has been generally good on environmental stuff. We agree. If he sends in this co-sponsorship memo, he will be a little better.

Retention Basins are a very old style way to manage stormwater, but they are cheap where there is a lot of land. Green roofs and trickle systems are other really good forms.

Really, there's a lot of great ideas out there to work on stormwater. We also hope to produce some programming before long in the Lehigh Valley about dealing with the dwindling water supply there by promoting greater water-reuse. This is becoming more and more common and can dramatically cut down water useage in really good ways. With all the development in the valley, it would be very affordable to begin doing water reuse or even on site water treatment in some new projects.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

The point is that the waiver released the developers from making any provisions for rain water runoff that would flow directly into the Little Lehigh from the town house development. I believe the “Morning Call” buried a half hearted article on this story so one could find some insights there.
I was a donor to Clean Water Action until one of their paid canvassers showed up at my door asking me to support a Democrat candidate who was no more green than his/her Republican opponent. Until then I was na├»ve enough to believe the environment was an issue that wouldn’t be politicized.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

I think endorsing Obama is better for the environment than some run-off. Thanks Clean Water Action. You guys Rock!

Allentown Democrat Voter

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget how Roy Afflerbach signed off on an agreement to let Myron Haydt dump stormwater from his stupid townhouse development on Fish Hatchery Road right into the fly fishing only stretch of the Little Lehigh. Haydt might have lost some lot yield if he built a detention pond. Roy Afflerbach is the most self serving, ingnoramous politican I ever knew. Word has it he is firmly entrenched with a $100,000 a year do nothing state job. Let's hope he's not in a position to screw anything up, that nitwit.

Anonymous said...

Anon,

Clean Water Action was right there for us on that one. Great work.
Put your green roof where the sun doesn't shine.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

CWA didn't stop the quarry in Lower Macungie Township. Jaindl stopped the quarry in return for all the goodies he got in the MOU with Lower Macungie Township. The Township did its best late 1930s Czech government impression.

You want a real news story, take a look at that MOU, and the virtual takeover of a township by one person.

CWA is peddling around the LVPC model ordinances. When they say they are protecting slopes and water quality, they are just borrowing work your tax dollars have already paid for. You'll pay them for consultation you've already received.

What CWA is however, good promoters, and they enjoy attending meetings.

Anonymous said...

To the ignorant Anonymous, Myron Haydt never had a townhouse development on Fish Hatchery Road, get your facts straight.