Target: Chris Abruzzo, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Goal: Designate the Susquehanna River as impaired so that pollution cleanup efforts can begin
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently discovered that two of four water sampling sites along the Susquehanna River were severely polluted. Despite these findings, the DEP has failed to designate the river as impaired. An “impaired” designation would propel cleanup efforts forward. Without an “impaired” designation, the river’s pollutants may never be cleaned up at all. Demand cleanup of the Susquehanna River’s pollutants now before it’s beyond repair.
A DEP report, which was also approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, noted that the quality of the Susquehanna River’s water doesn’t meet the Clean Water Act’s standards to justify an impairment designation. This report came as a shock to local environmental groups, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Chesapeake Bay Foundation, because the DEP’s prior investigation corroborated evidence that the river is in bad shape.
Smallmouth bass have been dying in unprecedented numbers in the Susquehanna River. Not only do the fish populations affect recreational fishing, they are also indicative of larger issues involving human food consumption and public swimming areas.
“Despite this setback, we will continue to work collaboratively with DEP and others to collect the necessary data to prove by whatever measurement necessary that the river is impaired,” commented John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “Our anglers and the smallmouth bass that remain in the river deserve our full attention while we continue to debate their fate.”
Ultimately, the DEP’s report has delayed cleanup efforts for at least another two years. Given the level of toxicity in the river, waiting another two years could very well make the river irreparable. Sign the below petition to urge the Pennsylvania DEP to reconsider the evidence and designate the Susquehanna River as impaired so cleanup efforts can begin.
[gravityform id=1 name=Signthe Petition: ajax=false]
Dear Secretary Abruzzo,
The Department of Environmental Protection’s recent report about the Susquehanna River’s water quality is unacceptable. The department has previously agreed with local environmental groups that the toxic river is unsafe for species that depend upon it for survival. However, we need the DEP’s seal of approval before we can begin cleanup efforts in the Susquehanna.
I am urging you to work with the DEP to continue monitoring the Susquehanna River on a regular basis. It has become clear that the condition of the river is getting worse every day. If we can prove this to the DEP, perhaps they will reconsider their position and designate the river as impaired. Thank you for doing your part in ensuring the vitality of the state’s natural resources.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ruhrfisch via WikiMedia