Potomac Riverkeeper files its first enforcement actions
Potomac Riverkeeper actions lead to reduced sewage pollution from Charles Town, WV and Hagerstown, MD
Testimony to Congress on Growing Problem of Intersex Fish
Potomac Riverkeeper Ed Merrifield testifies before Congress on the intersex fish problem in the Potomac River
Enforcement Action leads to clean up of lead contamination in Seneca Creek
Maryland agrees to clean up lead contamination from shooting range in Seneca Creek after a four-year battle
Federal Court Agreement to End Pollution from WSSC Drinking Water Plant
Potomac Riverkeeper Network signs consent decree agreeing to eliminate discharge of more than 2 million pounds of sediment, aluminum, and other pollutants and establish a $1 million fund for local environmental restoration projects
Enforcement Action leads to clean up of lead contamination in Lawsuit Challenges EPA’s Weak Limits on Sewage Bacteria in DC Waters
Maryland agrees to clean up lead contamination from shooting range in Seneca Creek a WPRK files suit challenging the EPA’s inadequate standards for protecting people swimming and paddling in the Potomac from sewage pollution
Federal Court Settlement Requires Coal Plants on the Potomac to Reduce Toxic Pollution
Suit against Morgantown and Dickerson Coal Plants leads to more protective discharge limits and $500,000 fund for Oyster Restoration in the Potomac
Tightened Limits on Massanutten Wastewater Treatment Plant discharges
- Tightened Limits on Massanutten Wastewater Treatment Plant discharges
- Got nutrient trading stopped at the facility
- Numeric nitrogen and phosphorous limits put in place, and Facility upgrade accelerated from four years to just one year
- Prevented WWTP from exceeding their permit and halts nutrient trading
Virginia passes law to end sewage dumping from Alexandria by 2025
PRK Campaign leads to bipartisan legislation requiring Alexandria to virtually eliminate its dumping of 140 million gallons of untreated sewage into the river annually by 2025
Virginia Legislation Passed Requiring Cleanup of Toxic Coal Ash in Virginia
PRK Campaign leads to bipartisan legislation requiring Alexandria to virtually eliminate Virginia enacts bipartisan legislation to require safe disposal of 28 million tons of toxic coal ash from pits leaking into Potomac River
Drone Surveillance Leads to Protection of Pristine Trout Stream
In 2019, Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, was part of a coalition to save beautiful Tom’s Creek in Adams County, PA, from devastation from sedimentary runoff from the Specialty Granules, Inc., (SGI) quarry. An historic and pristine trout stream was at real risk and so Brent and his team went into action.
Brent used his drone to photograph cloudy sediment discharging from the quarry’s settling ponds. Those images gave him the evidence he needed to file a Clean Water Act Notice of Intent to Sue against SGI. This is the first time, so far as we are aware, of drone photography being successfully used for this kind of enforcement activity.
And it worked! SGI has agreed to install a state of the art system to filter sediment and pollution out of its stormwater before it’s released to Tom’s Creek, a first for a quarry in our watershed.
Upper Potomac Riverkeeper part of coalition stopping fracked gas Potomac Pipeline
Upper Potomac Riverkeeper Brent Walls’s multi-year effort, as part of a larger coalition, succeeded in stopping the construction of the dangerous and unnecessary Potomac Pipeline, which would have threatened the safety of nearby residents and the health of the river.
Stopping the Atlantic Coast Fracked Gas Pipeline
A 600+ mile unneeded and unwanted natural gas pipeline that would have cut across the entirety of the Commonwealth, including the headwaters of the Shenandoah River system.
D&L Forced to End Coal Waste Discharges into Potomac
A 600+ mile unneeded and unwanted natural gas pipeline that would have cut across In July 2020, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper filed a Notice of Intent to sue D & L Coal Company for illegal stormwater discharges and NPDES violations containing coal waste into the Upper Potomac. Represented by Environmental Integrity Project and Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Brent obtained the company’s agreement in September 2021 to remove all coal and equipment from the site and to withdraw West Virginia NPDES permit, thus halting all operations.
SRK Advocacy Drives New Standards to Protect Shenandoah from Nuisance Algae Outbreaks
Even though we sued the EPA twice (and lost) under provisions of the Clean Water Act, through our relentless pressure and the we still got legislation passed to get cattle out of Virginia rivers and perennial streams by the end of 2025, compelled to DEQ to stand up a Shenandoah Algae Methodology Study, develop Chlorophyll A standards for the entirety of the Shenandoah River system, got Virginia Department of Health to issue their first-ever Harmful Algal Bloom Advisory in the Shenandoah River system and had $2.5M inserted into the Governor’s budget to conduct a Harmful Algal Bloom Study on the Shenandoah River system.
Enforcement Action Stops Discharges of Black Liquor into Potomac
Thanks to the efforts of Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, and in a major victory for cleaning up the Potomac River, in April 2021, the owners of the closed Luke (now Verso) paper mill in Western Maryland have agreed to clean up toxic pollution that has been seeping into the waterway and pay the state a $650,000 penalty. The pollutants leaking into the river include “black liquor,” a caustic byproduct of the paper pulping process, as well as contaminants associated with coal ash waste.