Tuesday 17 July 2018

We’re super excited to be the recipient of a MOM’s Organic Market 5% Day at the grand opening of their Gaithersburg store June 1 – 3, 2018! MOM’s is an important partner for our work protecting clean water and promoting healthy, organic soils! This is a great opportunity for you to have your grocery shopping dollars support local efforts to protect your clean water and grow local organic farms!

Come find us at the grand opening and learn more about your local Waterkeepers and our Fair Farms campaign!

In addition, the Gaithersburg Grand Opening will feature:

  • Meet and greets with Neighborhood Sun, Montgomery Parks Brookside Gardens, Trash Free Maryland, Rock Creek Conservancy, Maryland Dept. Of The Environment, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Community Forklift - Nonprofit Reuse Center For Home Improvement, Oyster Recovery Partnership, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Local tastings, kids’ activity, music, activities, giveaways, and much more!

What you can expect from the new store…

  • Only the highest quality, certified organic produce
  • Naked Lunch, an all organic, vegetarian eatery
  • MOM’s Bake Shop, in-house made, unique, organic sandwich breads made from heirloom grains and live starters 
  • Sustainable insect proteins
  • Backyard Beekeeping section with all the tools needed to sustain these crucial pollinators at home
  • Free car charging stations
  • Only sustainable seafood (right down to the canned tuna!)
  • Wide variety of GOTS certified organic and sustainable clothing
  • Liquid bulk section including oil, vinegar, and honey
  • A recycling center for corks, eyeglasses, cell phones, household batteries, shoes, and plastic bags
  • Expansive Health & Wellness section including bulk organic herbs, plus bulk soap, bath salts, and body scrubs

Store location: 10 Upper Rock Circle, Rockville, MD 20850

 

P.S. You can support our work directly by making a donation today! 

Can you imagine what our recent torrential thunderstorms are doing to the exposed terrain and rivers and streams along the paths of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)? (See photo on the right of huge mudslide at a Mountain Valley Pipeline construction site in Franklin County.)This is yet another example of why these fracked gas pipeline projects should not be rushed and why we can't rely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) to ensure our waterways are protected. It's up to Virginia to step up in this process, and the way to do this is by requiring a stream-by-stream review of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

The Virginia State Water Control Board opened a new 30-day public comment period -- deadline has been extended to June 15 due to DEQ computer problems -- to hear citizens’ input on where the nationwide permit falls short in upholding state water quality standards and where stream-by-stream reviews are needed for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

Tell the State Water Control Board to protect Virginia waters. We should not use a federal “blanket” permit to allow pipeline construction!  The Nationwide Permit 12 is inappropriate for projects of this size, and our state Department of Environmental Quality should be analyzing the likely impacts at each water crossing instead.

Remember, YOU are the expert on the water resources that you use in your area. If you are downstream from either pipeline’s path, your use of waters is likely to be impacted. Simply tell the Board where and how you use these waters.

See below for instructions on how to submit your comments and what to include in them. 

  • All written comments submitted must include the name(s), mailing address(es), and telephone number(s) of the person(s) commenting.
  • All written comments submitted must reference exact wetlands and streams crossings using information — such as latitude/longitude or road mile markers — that is detailed enough to allow DEQ to identify the crossing or wetland of interest.
  • Comments may be submitted in the following ways:

By email (MVP) — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By email (ACP) — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By mail — DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218

By hand delivery — DEQ, 1111 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219

CLICK HERE to send a comment right now!

Written comments deadline has been extended to June 15th due to DEQ computer problems.

Our partners at Wild Virginia crafted a guide to help write comments to ensure they meet the State Water Control Board’s criteria. Our friends at Augusta County Alliance have also listed some examples below where the NWP 12 falls short and ways you can equip the State Water Control Board to advocate for better protections for our streams or wetlands:

NWP 12 does not consider cumulative impacts to water quality where there are multiple crossings along the same stream and its tributaries.

Without doing individual stream crossing reviews, the total threat to our water supply is not understood. For example, all of Staunton’s water comes either Gardner Spring or the reservoir in the National Forest, both located in the county and both downstream of intense pipeline construction. Since the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project began, city officials have been asking for individual wetland and stream crossing reviews in order to protect the city’s water supplies.

The proposed permit does not carefully examine on a case-by-case basis the unique characteristics of our special places. That is why our comments are so important. They need to hear what you and your neighbors know about the streams and wetlands that surround you — their special aquatic life, wildlife, recreational uses, and other features. Just don’t forget to mention your stream by name.

Without detailed review and research of our headwaters, there is no way for the pipeline developers and regulators to know what our frequent hurricane deluges do to the river bottoms and stream banks where the pipe is proposed to be buried. If you have information or pictures of what happens to a specific crossing during flood conditions, let the State Water Control Board know. An exposed and fractured pipe is an environmental and safety concern.

Use the form below to send a comment now!

The Conowingo Dam, at the mouth of the Susquehanna River near Havre de Grace, is owned and operated by Exelon Corporation. Exelon uses the dam to generate electricity from the river at a profit. The dam was completed in 1928 and has been trapping sediment and nutrient pollution from the Susquehanna and its 27,000-square-mile drainage area ever since. 

The reservoir behind the dam is now basically at capacity — it cannot trap any more sediment. This is a problem because when it rains, runoff pollution from the largely agricultural area upstream from the dam makes its way into the river and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Even more problematic is the potential for “scour,” where powerful floodwaters can actually scoop out the stored sediment behind the dam and send that downstream to the bay. If not for the Conowingo Dam, this load would have been delivered to the Lower Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay at normal rates.

If a major, catastrophic-level storm happens, this sediment can and will be mobilized and delivered downstream – smothering aquatic grasses that provide food, habitats and oxygen for marine life in the Chesapeake Bay. It’s not a matter of if a major, catastrophic-level storm will happen, but when.

When planning for an emergency, you generally plan for the worst-case scenario. Ships need to carry enough life boats for every passenger, not just a few. Fire regulations call for smoke detectors in every bedroom, not just one per floor. Vehicle safety ratings are tested for full-speed collisions, not just fender-benders. We should expect the same for environmental regulations. Unfortunately, a recent decision by the Maryland Department of the Environment concerning the Conowingo Dam does not follow the same rationale.

Exelon has requested a new 50-year federal license to operate the dam. In order to receive it, the State of Maryland must certify that the dam’s operations will not adversely impact water quality under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Last month, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) announced that it had issued its CWA water quality certification for the Conowingo Dam. The certification acknowledges the impact of the dam on water quality, including the threat posed by the accumulated sediment. And while there are admirable goals, the certification only requires Exelon to adopt a “nutrient corrective action plan” rather than put specific measures in place.

The Clean Water Act requires the dam’s operator to do more than promise to reduce pollution. It requires concrete conditions that will ensure there is no adverse impact to water quality. Governor Hogan and MDE needs to hear from you TODAY.

We cannot afford to give Exelon a new, 50-year license without specific, measurable conditions that ensure its operations do no more harm to the Chesapeake Bay. MDE, under Governor Hogan's leadership, should include a requirement to dredge some portion of the accumulated sediment and nutrient pollution stored behind the dam as a condition of its water quality certification for the new license. We also call upon MDE to properly account for the damaging effects of large storm events during the new license period.

To achieve the best results, we must plan for the worst. The Chesapeake Bay deserves a good emergency plan.

Governor Hogan and MDE needs to hear from you TODAY on this important issue! We can’t wait another 46 years before taking action!