July 17, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Here is how Philadelphia-area members of Congress voted on major issues last week: House National flood insurance. Voting 406-22, the House passed a bill (HR 1309) to renew the taxpayer-subsidized National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through 2016 and start key reforms. The bill authorizes the program to add $3 billion in new debt to the $17.8 billion it already owes the Treasury. The program insures about 5.6 million residential and commercial properties located in flood plains in 22,000 communities.
July 14, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled House passed a bill yesterday that would sharply curtail the federal government's role in protecting waters from pollution by barring the Environmental Protection Agency from overruling state decisions on water quality. The bill passed on a 239-184 vote. Sixteen Democrats joined the majority of Republicans in supporting it. The White House threatened to veto the bill, saying that it "would roll back the key provisions . . . that have been the underpinning of 40 years of progress in making the nation's waters fishable, swimmable and drinkable.
July 5, 2011
THIS JUST IN: Rivers often cross state boundaries. In fact, some rivers actually are state boundaries. So if hazardous waste were dumped into the Delaware River in, say, Trenton, some of it would almost certainly find its way to Philadelphia. And we likely would have a problem with that. When it comes to water quality, we're all in this together. That's why the Clean Water Act - which sets and mandates the enforcement of national standards for water quality - has been essential to protecting the environment for nearly four decades.
January 8, 2011
The Associated Press review of drilling water ("Can Corbett cut cash cord?" Wednesday) tries to convince readers that Pennsylvania streams and rivers are under attack by the natural-gas industry - stating that surface waters have become the "primary disposal place" for water produced in the process of developing the Marcellus Shale. In fact, the "primary disposal place" for this water is no disposal place at all - Pennsylvania's natural-gas producers on average recycle more than 90 percent of the water that returns to the surface.
July 28, 2010 |
After months of trying to impose tough new rules for how towns should manage their storm water, Pennsylvania regulators on Tuesday backed off and granted municipalities a nine-month extension for measures some had termed "draconian. " Towns were to have submitted plans by Sept. 10 detailing how they would comply with new rules to handle the gushers of rain that often flow through culverts directly into streams, carrying with them road oil, fertilizer, trash, and other pollutants.
March 4, 2010
MANY Americans are too young to remember the days when an American river really did catch on fire, when many waterways were like open sewers and lakes nearly died from pollution. They are too young to remember the dirty days before the 1972 Clean Water Act, signed by that radical environmentalist Richard M. Nixon, led the government to begin the massive task of protecting all "waters of the United States. " The Clean Water Act is a prime example of how prudent government regulation can make a huge difference in the health of the nation's environment and its people.
April 2, 2009 |
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling yesterday that industry praised but that environmental advocates said may lead to the continued "slaughter" of fish in the Delaware River, who die when sucked into cooling water intakes. The court ruled that the government may factor in cost - not solely benefit - when deciding whether power plants should install new technologies to protect fish. Widener University environmental law professor Jim May said the ruling could apply to all industrial facilities.
September 29, 2007
Cut traffic with tolls Re: Your editorial "Part of gridlock nation," Sept. 22: After giving readers a few good examples of how to ease congestion, you assert that this transportation woe "isn't going away. " May I suggest a solution? Let's allow the market to work its magic. Let users pay for the highways with tolls. End the government monopoly on ground transportation, which allows highway-choking trucks to take advantage of taxpayer money. Freight and passengers will move much more efficiently by a rail system that no longer has to compete with free roads.
June 25, 2006
In passing the Clean Water Act in 1972, Congress set a goal of making all American lakes and streams "fishable and swimmable" within a dozen years. Thirty-four years later, America is still chasing that dream. As demonstrated lamentably in Philadelphia during the last two weeks with Wissahickon Creek, industrial pollution and untreated sewage discharges still plague streams, killing fish and endangering human health and drinking water. Nationally, more than 3,700 major facilities - 62 percent - polluted more than their Clean Water Act permit allowed at least once in 2003 and 2004, according to a March report by PennEnvironment.