The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA applauds 5 counties— Cameron, Dauphin, Franklin, McKean and Montgomery— for joining the Clean Water Counts bringing the total to 24 counties who have joined.
CBF and the PA Growing Greener Coalition launched the Clean Water Counts campaign in 2014, urging local governments across the Commonwealth to pass resolutions and join in calling on legislators in Harrisburg to invest in local clean water programs and practices.
Roughly 19,000 miles of Pennsylvania waters are impaired. Agriculture is the largest source of pollution to the Commonwealth's streams and rivers. That pollution occurs when nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment run off farm fields into local waterways.
Here’s more background on each of the new counties--
-- Cameron County: The Department of Environmental Protection has identified about 35 miles of polluted waterways in Cameron County.
Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron) represent Cameron County.
-- Dauphin County: DEP says there are about 395 miles of polluted waterways in Dauphin County. Almost 130 miles are degraded by agriculture.
Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin), Rep. Susan Helm (R-Dauphin), Rep. David Hickernell (R-Lancaster), Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin), Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), Rep. John Payne (D-Dauphin) and Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Dauphin) represent Dauphin County.
-- Franklin County: DEP has identified nearly 300 miles of polluted waterways in Franklin County. About 260 miles are degraded by agriculture.
Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Adams), Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair), Rep. Adam Harris (R-Franklin), Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) and Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford) represent Franklin County.
-- McKean County: DEP assessments have identified about 150 miles of polluted waterways in McKean County. Almost 70 miles are degraded by agriculture.
Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron) represent McKean County.
-- Montgomery County: There are nearly 730 miles of polluted waterways in Montgomery County. About 340 miles are degraded by urban/suburban runoff of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment.
Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), Sen. Art Haywood (R-Philadelphia), Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Lehigh), Sen John Rafferty (R-Montgomery), Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Montgomery), Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-Montgomery), Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery), Rep. Mary Jo Daley (D-Montgomery), Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery), Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery), Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Montgomery), Rep. Stephen McCarter (D-Montgomery), Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery), Rep. Thomas Quigley (R-Montgomery), Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Montgomery), Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery), Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) and Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) represent Montgomery County.
"Healthy families, strong communities and a thriving Pennsylvania economy depend on clean water," said Harry Campbell, CBF's Pennsylvania executive director. "We applaud and thank the commissioners in each of the counties for publicly voicing their support for clean water in the Keystone State."
The counties who have joined the program include Berks, Cameron, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Luzerne, McKean, Montgomery, Montour, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, Somerset, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming, and York.
"We hope Clean Water Counts continues to build momentum," Growing Greener Coalition Executive Director Andrew Heath added. "The central region is extremely important to motivating greater leadership from Harrisburg on clean water issues and we look forward to working with the other counties in adopting resolutions."
By supporting the Clean Water Counts campaign, the counties are telling lawmakers in Harrisburg that clean water is integral to Pennsylvania's economy, communities, and human health. It's a legacy worth leaving future generations.
For more information and find out how clean streams are in your county, visit CBF-PA’s Clean Water Counts In Pennsylvania webpage.