Waterkeepers are known for taking legal actions against polluters and regulators to enforce laws and to ensure cleanup of pollution. But not all pollution issues call for a legal remedy. Sometimes the issues are complicated and we need to employ several different strategies under a campaign. We often have to enlist the community to stop pollution or demand better laws. Sometimes we need a legislative solution or regulatory reform which means we lobby for better laws and comment to improve regulations and permits. We enlist the media’s help to shine a spotlight on an issue. We send out calls for action when we need your voice and need you to show up at public meetings and rallies. Check out our current campaigns and see how you can become involved.

Projects

  • Maryland’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permits

    Stormwater runoff from streets, parking lots and other impervious surfaces in urban and suburban areas carries fecal bacteria, oil, chemicals, trash and nutrients from sediments into storm sewers that carry this polluted water directly to nearby waterways. The result is degraded water quality that fails to meet minimum standards for

  • Massanutten Sewage Treatment Plant & Pollution Trading

    Shenandoah Riverkeeper is working to stop nutrient trading and get stricter limits on nutrients from the Massanutten Sewage Treatment Plant to better protect Quail Run, Boone Run, and ultimately, the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. This facility discharges treated wastewater from the ski resort area, including the lodge, restaurants, condominiums, and

  • Maryland’s Public Information Act & Nutrient Management Plans

    “Confidential” business plans for farmers, or what we refer to as Nutrient Management Plans, go against the Maryland Public Information Act, preventing public access to necessary information to safeguard our rivers from nutrient pollution that exceeds permitted limits. Currently, citizens only have access to nutrient information about Combined Animal Feeding

  • Upper Potomac River Commission (UPRC) Wastewater Treatment Plant

    UPRC operates under permits which allow for discharges that exceed normal TMDL’s (a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards) through the use of “mixing zones”. UPRC’s mixing zones emit discharges directly into a section of the river

  • West Virginia’s Weak Discharge Permits Into the Maryland Owned Potomac River

    Facilities in West Virginia that discharge pollution into the [Maryland-owned] Potomac River often follow much weaker standards than their Maryland counterpart. For example, many permits do not require daily monitoring for TMDLS’s (total maximum discharge limits), allowing much higher amounts of pollutants to enter the water as would otherwise be

  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)

    In 2014, our attorneys at Environmental Integrity Project filed a lawsuit against the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) for illegal discharges of millions of pounds aluminum and Total Suspended Solids exceeding permitted limits. On October 21, 2015, WSSC elected to enter into a binding legal agreement with Potomac Riverkeeper, the State

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    Paddle Potomac! Paddle Shenandoah! 2015

    Would you paddle over 300 river miles to promote a clean and healthy Potomac and Shenandoah River? Maybe not, but our three Riverkeepers did just that. Starting on September 19th, Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks paddled 300 miles of the Potomac River, starting in Cumberland Maryland. Joined by Upper Potomac Riverkeeper Brent

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    Marlowe Towne Center Wastewater Treatment Facility

    The Marlowe Towne Center Waste Water Treatment Facility, part of the Berkeley County Public Service Sewer District of Martinsburg, WV, has been discharging pollutants, including fecal coliform, zinc and sediment into the Falling Waters area of the Potomac River. The facility was initially identified as a facility of interest in

  • Eliminating Sewage Overflows in DC

    In 2005, the EPA ordered DC Water to implement a Long Term Control Plan (LTCP) to reduce or stop combined sewage overflows (CSOs) into DC waterways. This plan included the construction of huge underground holding tunnels designed to prevent raw sewage from entering the Potomac, Anacostia, and Rock Creek during

  • Petition for Stronger Controls of Factory Farms (CAFOs) in Virginia

    Virginia has various deficiencies in its Combined Animal Feeding Opertation (CAFO) permitting program under the federal Clean Water Act. However, the state of Virginia has refused to improve their regulations in order to sufficiently protect our waters from CAFO manure runoff. These large livestock enterprises often have thousands of chickens and