WHEREAS the 1972 Clean Water Act, which aimed to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution to achieve fishable and swimmable waters, will mark its 50th anniversary on October 18, 2022;
WHEREAS the Clean Water Act has been central to the important progress we have made as a nation in improving the quality and health of our rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, and watersheds;
WHEREAS the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB), formed in 1940 as a regional, basin-based water quality agency, served as a precursor to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and subsequent Clean Water Act;
WHEREAS the ICPRB and its member jurisdictions, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C., have worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency under provisions of the Clean Water Act to improve basin water quality and increase public knowledge of and engagement in water quality and resources issues. These efforts include cooperative projects aimed at comprehensive water resources planning guidance, source water protection, nutrient reduction, pollution control in point and non-point sources, invasive species control, and other improvements;
WHEREAS these efforts that have improved water quality trends in the Potomac have also benefitted and assisted the federal/state Chesapeake Bay cleanup;
WHEREAS the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA) has asked ICPRB and other governments and organizations to recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act on October 18, 2022;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and authorizes the Executive Director to communicate such recognition to ACWA and the general public as deemed appropriate.
Approved by ICPRB Commissioners at the August 30, 2022, business meeting
** DUE TO EXPECTED RAIN, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 8**
Join us on October 1 for a hike in the Municipal Forest of the City of Frederick, Md. Our guide for this 3-mile hike is Jenny Willoughby, the Sustainability Manager of Frederick City. Jenny will share her extensive knowledge of the Frederick Municipal Forest and what it takes to sustainably and responsibly manage the city’s source of drinking water. She will talk about the active forest management, the history, and the flora and fauna of the area.
This is the first of several 2022 Walk in the Woods hikes produced by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.
On September 22, 2022, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin held a virtual conference on the state of the science, policy, technology, and the future of PFAS in the Potomac River basin.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – or PFAS – are a class of ubiquitous chemicals known as “forever chemicals” that are used in everything from non-stick pans to takeout containers. The chemicals have been found in water, soil, and air. Scientific studies indicate that PFAS may be harmful to human health.
During the webinar, 220 attendees heard about how the basin jurisdictions and the U.S. EPA are addressing PFAS through policy and research. They also heard talks on the environmental justice perspective, the latest scientific research, and what other organizations across the basin are doing to address the issue.
We help protect your drinking water – and you can, too.
If the majority of Americans don’t know where their water comes from, how can they protect it?
According to a 2007 EnviroMedia study, only 32 percent of Americans know the source of their drinking water. A 2017 Gallup Poll indicates that 63 percent of Americans worry “a great deal” about pollution in their drinking water, and 57 percent worry about pollution in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
“The Potomac River supplies 78 percent of the drinking water for the more than 5.1 million people who live and work in the DC Metro area – not to mention the countless daily visitors,” said Michael Nardolilli, Executive Director of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB).
During Source Water Protection Week, from Sept. 25 – Oct. 1, ICPRB will join water organizations from across the nation to share information about protecting sources of drinking water and simple steps everyone can take to make a difference, Nardolilli said.
What is Source Water Protection? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines source water as “sources of water (such as rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater) that provide water to public drinking water supplies and private wells.”
“Source water supplies raw, unfiltered water to water treatment plants. Source water protection is the proactive action taken to safeguard the water before it reaches the plant,” said Christina Davis, Senior Water Resources Planner at ICPRB.
According to Davis, clean water at the source reduces public health risks and controls costs at the water treatment plant. Safe drinking water coming from the water treatment plant to the tap protects infrastructure, appliances, and most importantly, human health. And it’s not just humans who benefit. The animals and plants that live in–and alongside–our waterways also benefit from cleaner source water.
Additionally, source water protection is an environmental justice issue, according to the United Nations. The organization declared access to clean drinking water as a human right, yet low-income and minority communities are more likely to suffer from the impacts of polluted streams, rivers, and reservoirs.
“During Source Water Protection Week, water suppliers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations will be sharing information on what is being done in the Potomac basin and what we all can do to Protect the Source. We look forward to celebrating source water protection throughout the week, and we encourage basin residents to do the same. They can start by learning more about their local water source through their water utility’s Annual Water Quality Report,” said Davis.
The EPA provides access to Annual Water Quality Reports for community water systems across the nation on their Consumer Confidence Report website.
Perhaps most important, Davis notes, is to get outside and enjoy the recreational opportunities our rivers, streams, and lakes provide. Stewardship grows from knowing and appreciating our natural resources.
Nardolilli says source water protection takes many forms, “For example, ICPRB works with organizations like the Potomac River Basin Drinking Water Source Protection Partnership (DWSPP), a coalition of water suppliers and government agencies who work together on source water protection issues. The DWSPP recently completed a Land Prioritization Mapping Project that aims to assist land conservation organizations in prioritizing specific parcels of land in the Potomac River basin to obtain the most drinking water quality benefits.”
Join the conversation on social media by following #protectthesource and #protectthepotomac.
Renee Bourassa Interstate | Commission on the Potomac River Basin| email@example.com | 301.417.4371
Winter brings cozy sweaters and steaming cups of hot chocolate, but it also brings piles of winter salt that could end up in our rivers and streams. Winter salt harms aquatic life, plants, infrastructure and our drinking water.
Join the Izaak Walton League of America and the City of Gaithersburg on Oct 29 at 9:00 am for a fun and informative hike to learn more about our addiction to deicing salt and how we can all live on a low winter salt diet.
This event is free but please RSVP on Eventbrite in case of delays or rescheduling due to bad weather.
The ICPRB Section for Cooperative Water Supply Operations on the Potomac (CO-OP) has issued its September Water Supply Outlook, which has determined an above-normal probability that releases of water stored in reservoirs might be needed to ensure that metropolitan area drinking water demands will be met through the fall. Learn more on the Water Supply Outlook and Status page…