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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 27, 2018 11:30 AM
From: Representative Stephen McCarter
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution – “Clean Streams Week” in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution recognizing the importance of clean streams in Pennsylvania by designating the week of April 16th through 22nd, 2018, as “Clean Streams Week” in Pennsylvania.

There are more than 62,000 streams in Pennsylvania, covering nearly 83,000 miles. Streams provide drinking water to millions of Pennsylvanians, and the flora and fauna found in streams are the foundation of healthy ecosystems. These ecosystems support sport fishing, part of an outdoor recreation industry that contributed $29.1 billion in consumer spending to the Commonwealth’s economy in 2016.

Keeping Pennsylvania’s waterways clean is a challenge. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, nearly 20,000 miles of the Commonwealth’s rivers and streams are impaired, primarily due to nutrient-rich agricultural runoff. Pennsylvania has already invested billions of dollars in mitigating agricultural runoff as part of a broader cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay and is on the hook for billions more going forward. Other common sources of water pollution in Pennsylvania’s streams include acid mine drainage, illegal dumping, industrial emissions, and storm water runoff.

At the federal level, the United States Congress and the current presidential administration have worked to weaken protections for Pennsylvania’s waterways. Congress recently overturned the United States Department of the Interior’s Stream Protection Rule, which regulated waterway contamination from surface coal mining. The administration has also sought to narrow the definition of “waters of the United States” covered under the federal Clean Water Act so that certain small streams, headwaters, and wetlands are no longer included.

Please join me in recognizing the importance of clean, healthy streams in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HR787