Report | Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center

Wasting Our Waterways

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic discharges from industrial facilities are responsible for polluting more than 17,000 miles of rivers and about 210,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

To curb this massive release of toxic chemicals into our nation’s water, we must step up Clean Water Act protections for our waterways and require polluters to reduce their use of toxic chemicals.

Report | Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center

Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year—threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 14,000 miles of rivers and streams, more than 220,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

Report | Environment Maryland

2012 Legislative Agenda

Environment Maryland’s Legislative Agenda for 2012: restore the Chesapeake Bay, repower Maryland with clean energy, reduce global warming pollution, protect MD from natural gas drilling, preserve open spaces, and improve Marylanders’ quality of life.

Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

An Unsustainable Path: Why Maryland's Manure Pollution Rules are Failing to Protect the Chesapeake Bay

Phosphorus from manure applied to farmland is a major source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Intensive chicken production, particularly on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, generates large volumes of manure. Growers and farmers often spread this manure on their fields as fertilizer, but when applied in excess, the nutrients that make manure useful for fertilizing crops also contribute to dead zones in the bay.

Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Urban Fertilizers & the Chesapeake Bay:

For more than 26 years, states in the Chesapeake Bay region have attempted to clean up the Bay, but it continues to choke on a lethal overdose of pollution. In order to achieve a clean, sustainable Bay, states in the Bay watershed will have to reduce nitrogen levels in Bay waters another 30 percent and reduce phosphorus by an additional 8 percent—in spite of a projected population increase of 30 percent by the year 2030. Reductions of that magnitude will only be possible if governments target all the watershed’s sources of nutrient pollution.

Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Growing Influence:

Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Corporate Agribusiness and America's Waterways

Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the "dead zones" in the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides. Farming is not an inherently polluting activity. But today’s agribusiness practices – from the concentration of thousands of animals and their waste in small feedlots to the massive planting of chemical-intensive crops such as corn – make water pollution from agribusiness both much more likely and much more dangerous.

Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Protect Our Great Waters

Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Wasting Our Waterways:

To protect the public and the environment from toxic releases, America should prevent pollution by requiring industries to reduce their use of toxic chemicals and restore and strengthen Clean Water Act protections for all of America’s waterways.

Report | Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Watermen Blues:

More than 25 years since the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of December 1983 created a region-wide partnership "to improve and protect the water quality and living resources of the Chesapeake Bay,"  the bay's water quality has not improved, and communities that rely on a clean, sustainable bay are paying a high price for the lack of progress.

Pollution is a major cause of the bay's problems. Fertilizer-laden runoff from farms and lawns, as well as discharge from sewage treatment plants, flows into the bay. This fuels algae blooms, using up oxygen in the water and creating unnaturally large dead zones—areas where dissolved oxygen levels in the water are so low aquatic creatures flee or die. Sediment from farms, roads, and construction sites further pollutes the bay.

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