Community Toxics Meeting and Pepco Clean Up

There have been six documented releases (1985-2003) of the toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the Pepco Plant at Benning Road into the Anacostia River.  ln 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency completed an assessment confirming these releases.  As a result, the District of Columbia filed complaint against Pepco citing its responsibility for the clean up.  Eventually, a consent decree, or judicial voluntary agreement between the District and Pepco (without admission of fault) was announced to the public, in February 2011.  At this time, it is unclear if the decree will address short term and LONG TERM environmental, social, and health related impacts from these spills.

Join us!

September 26, 2011
6:30pm - 9:00pm
Center For Green Urbanism
3938 Benning Road NE
Washington, DC 20019

Detailed Background Information

Anacostia River Toxic Sites

Breaking News: Potential Oil Spill on the Anacostia


Additional photos can be found on the AWS Facebook page.

Yesterday evening an oily substance was discovered covering a large section of the surface of the Anacostia River.  DC Fire Department crews were on the scene from 6:00pm Monday night until 2:00am Tuesday morning working to contain the spill.  The spill stretched from Bladensburg Road in Prince George's County, Md. to the 11th Street bridge near the Washington Navy Yard in DC.  Containment booms were deployed to keep the substance from spreading, but they didn't catch any pollution so they were removed this morning.  According to local news sources, initial tests show the substance is petroleum-based.  The US Coast Guard and the District Department of the Environment are investigating the situation. 

Prince George's County clean water public meeting

On Tuesday, August 16, 2011, Prince George's County government will hold a public meeting on their plans to meet federal clean water requirements.

August 16, 2011, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Prince George’s County Soil Conservation District
5301 Marlboro Race Track Road, Suite 100
Upper Marlboro, MD

Join AWS, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Clean Water Action, and other Prince George's County activists
Monday, September 12, 2011 at 6:30pm, at the Anacostia Watershed Society offices in Bladensburg, the Prince George's Clean Water Coalition will hold a kickoff meeting to connect with other county activists regarding campaign efforts for clean water in the county.
Anacostia Watershed Society
4302 Baltimore Ave
Bladensburg, MD 20710

Prince George's County Passes Stormwater Bill!

 

The Short Version

On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, Prince George's County Council took an important step forward by unanimously passing a new stormwater ordinance (CB-15-2011).

Our biggest champions were Transportation, Housing and Environment (THE) committee chair Eric Olson (District 3) and THE member Mary Lehman (District 1); both worked hard to improve the bill after the original draft of CB-15 handed down by County Executive Rushern Baker was a disappointment to environmental and community organizations.

Streambank erosion in Paint Branch (College Park) caused by severe stormwater flows
Streambank erosion in Paint Branch (College Park) caused by severe stormwater flows

CB-15: A good compromise for clean water?

On June 20, the Prince George's County Council's THE committee approved a set of modest improvements to CB-15, the stormwater management bill.  Don't believe what you are hearing from County Executive Baker and certain council members that this a "good compromise."

AWS and partners swim for a clean Anacostia River

On June 30, 2011 AWS, Anacostia Riverkeeper, and Senior Scientists & Policymakers for the Bay staged a press conference and "wade in" on the Anacostia River to protest a Clean Water Act deadline that federal, state, and local governments have missed by 28 years

Former State Senator David Harrington, Bladensburg Mayor Walter James, Cheverly Mayor Mike Callahan, and Mount Rainier Councilman William Updike erred on the side of caution

Former State Senator David Harrington, Bladensburg Mayor Walter James, Cheverly Mayor Mike Callahan, and Mount Rainier Councilman William Updike erred on the side of caution while others swam.
Special thanks to friend of AWS Krista Schlyer for use of her excellent photos.

UPDATE: Prince George's Stormwater Bill

On June 20, 2011, the Prince George's County Council's THE Committee (Transportation, Housing, and Environment) met to consider CB-15, the stormwater management bill, for the third time in 12 days.  If you have a wet basement or erosion on your property this bill should be of interest to you.  Communities like Edmonston have flooded because of poor past development practices that would be fixed by a strong stormwater bill.

SENIOR LAWMAKERS, LEADING SCIENTISTS AND CLEAN WATER PROPONENTS
TO IGNORE PUBLIC HEALTH WARNINGS
AND TAKE THE ANACOSTIA PLUNGE

Action to Highlight the 28th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act’s Missed Deadlines and Unmet Promises To Make Waterways Swimmable and Fishable

What:   Despite public health warnings and the danger of infection, clean water proponents and scientists will take the plunge into the Anacostia River to raise awareness about the failures to meet the deadline set by the landmark Clean Water Act for waterways to be made swimmable and fishable.

Speakers will call on federal, state and local officials -- including DC and Prince George’s county officials -- to take actions on storm water discharge and other measures to restore the Anacostia and all of the rivers leading into the Chesapeake Bay.

Donna Edwards supports green infrastructure, will you?

Represenative Donna Edwards is a big part of the Anacostia River's fantastic House Delegation (which includes Chris Van Hollen, Steny Hoyer, and Eleanor Holmes Norton).  Everyone in our delegation is a big supporter of the river, but Represenative Edwards is noteworthy for her longstanding support of green infrastucture.  In an interview published today, she makes several statements very relevant to our current legislative efforts in Prince George's County.

At a time when the region is embracing green infrastructure, the Prince George's stormwater bill (CB-15) offers a redevelopment standard that is "too little, too late" for the economic, aesthetic, and environmental health of county communities.  A healthy community has all of the following: a healthy economy, a healthy environment, and green and attractive areas to live, work, and shop.  An improved CB-15 could help the county realize that vision.

Rep. Donna Edwards at the groundbreaking of Edmonston's green street (courtesy Town of Edmonston)

Newsletter

 

Browse our newsletter archive to read articles previously published in our quarterly newsletter, Voice of the River!

Subscribe

Stay informed of the latest watershed issues by subscribing to our free email updates & event announcements.