WREN - Water Resources Network links.html Resources/Grants Local Projects calendar.html Monthly Feature About Wren Home

Water Policy News

About the Newsletter


Back to Resources/Grants

Contribute a photo to our site.

Sign up for our monthly e-mail update


January 1996
Water Policy News
Newsletter of the Water Resources Education Network

In this Issue


According to John Frederick of the Antis Township Action Committee in Blair County, receiving recognition as a Groundwater Guardian community was just one step in the satisfying job of working to protect groundwater, and drinking water, in his community.

Frederick, along with Keith Hill of Kutztown and Lisa Levy of the Washington County Groundwater Coalition, was recognized for his community's work at the 1995 Groundwater Guardian Annual Conference at "Hamburger U" the training center for McDonald Corporation in Oakbrook, Illinois. Conference attendees were able to learn, share resources and network with representatives of the 50 other communities recognized at the conference. Other Pennsylvania communities and organizations recognized as Groundwater Guardians were Franklin Township in Adams County, the Lancaster County Groundwater Education Project and the McKean and Potter counties Water Resources Councils.

The Groundwater Guardian program is sponsored by the Nebraska based Groundwater Foundation. The program recognizes on-going commitment to the challenging process of protecting groundwater in the long term. Communities receiving the designation will use the distinctive blue-and-white logo and year of recognition in their public activities. Four of the six communities recognized (Antis Township, Lancaster County, Washington County and McKean and Potter counties) received funding for some of their activities from the PA Groundwater Policy Education Project.

"People with faith in the future and the strong character to see a long process through" is how Groundwater Federation president Susan Seacrest characterized the members of the teams recognized at the conference. Congratulations to all the team members from Pennsylvania, for your hardwork and well-deserved recognition.

1996 GW Guardian Entries Due

Become a Groundwater Guardian community in 1996. Entry forms are available from the Groundwater Foundation. Call 1-800-858-4844 to receive a copy. Entry forms must be submitted by February 15.

Groundwater Guardian is a program which supports, recognizes and connects communities protecting groundwater. To learn more about the program from a community which has been there, call the LWVPA Water Resources Center (1-800-692-7281) for contacts in the 1995 Groundwater Guardian communities.


A new policy for defining "how clean is clean" for groundwater is under discussion at the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). The state's current policy, adopted as part of its Groundwater Strategy in1992, is that the goal for groundwater protection is to keep it clean and to clean it up to pre-pollution standards if it becomes contaminated. This is known as a "non-degradation" standard.

As a result of passage of the Land Recycling Act (Act 2), which is designed to encourage reuse of old industrial sites, Pennsylvania is developing a new policy for groundwater protection which defines "clean" as water that meets the requirements for safe drinking water or, for groundwater that feeds streams, meets the requirements for discharges to streams.

DEP is circulating a new document entitled "Agency Principles for Groundwater Pollution Prevention and Remediation," which sets forth a seriesof principles for I. Protection and Pollution Prevention, II. Monitoring,III. Assessment and Remediation, and IV. Identification of Priority GroundWater Areas for Pollution Prevention and Remediation in order to meet this non-degradation standard.

The focus of this document is that groundwater should be protected at levels which protect human health and the environment, but not at pre-pollution "background" levels. This is the policy set forth in the Land Recycling Act for industrial sites.

The debate that is expected to occur is whether that policy should also be applied to "greenfields," sites that are not currently polluted by man's activities.

The Principles document will be available on DEP's World Wide Web site at http://www.dep.state.pa.us or from Jim Ulanoski at 717-787-9633.


ENVIROSCAPE is a three-dimensional, interactive, portable model of a watershed that vividly illustrates how land activities affect water quality. Land uses found in a typical watershed that can be demonstrated include urban, industrial, commercial, agricultural, highway, forest, stream bank and lake shore. Best of all, control methods can be added to show how water pollution can be prevented. A unique communications and education tool, ENVIROSCAPE uses a hands-on balanced approach that has proven highly effective in communicating with all ages how we share in implementing water quality solutions.

ENVIROSCAPE, with an add-on component that demonstrates the surface water/groundwater connection, may be borrowed from the LWVPA's Water Resources Center. Call 1-800-692-7281 for information.


Lorelle Steach, an environmental educator for the Bedford County Conservation District, recently attended the 1995 Water Festival "Priming the Pump." The meeting was held in Nebraska, home of The Groundwater Foundation, and participants learned about water festivals, shared water education activities and materials, and networked with water festival organizers from across the U.S. and other countries.

The workshop featured two days filled with instructional presentations, each emphasizing different aspects of groundwater education.

Presenters focused on how to develop outcomes and success measures, raise funds and gain community support in the organization of a water festival. Others demonstrated hands-on activities and experiments that motivate children to learn about water. Visual aids illustrated how septic systems and landfills work, properly and improperly.

"Sharing with others, from around the world, experiences and successes of groundwater education programs was the highlight," said Steach, "the wealth of information gained from this workshop will be of immense value in our groundwater education program in Bedford County."


The newest water education curriculum was officially launched in Pennsylvania last summer with training programs for Conservation District personnel. Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) released its activity guide in May and training programs have been ongoing since then.

WET is an interdisciplinary program intended to supplement existing curriculum and covers all aspects of water. (See info on WOW!; The Wonder of Wetlands, which is part of Project WET, under RESOURCES.)

Like its sister programs, Project WILD and Project Learning Tree, the Project WET Activity Guide is available to people who attend a six-hour Project WET workshop.

For information on using Project WET in your community, contact PA's Project WET coordinator, Patty Vathis, PA Dept of Education, 717-783-6994 or Kurt Leitholf, PACD, 717-236-1006.


More than 40 workshops, sponsored by DEP and others will explain changes to the Sewage Facilities Act and regulations which took effect December 15. For the location of a workshop near you, contact the Local Government Liaison at your DEP regional office. The new regs provide municipalities with greater authority in the permitting and planning for on-lot sewage systems. DEP's role becomes one of support and oversight with municipalities having the primary responsibility for administering their on-lot system program.


Reinventing government has come to the EPA Drinking Water program. As the result of an "extensive reassessment" of the drinking water program, EPA has issued a proposal for changing how resources, both financial and human, are used in the future. The agency proposes placing more emphasis in the areas of "sound science and adequate data" and "risk-based priorities for setting high-quality standards," and less emphasis in the areas of implementation and source water protection.

The proposal initially states that these four primary objectives of the program are each of equal importance, but then goes on to say that since the agency does not have adequate funding to fully address all four objectives, the priorities relating to sound science, standard setting and chemical monitoring reform should have increased funding while source water protection and implementation will be scaled back.

Public comment was sought on the proposal in January and a final plan will be released later.


Small water systems (serving less than 3,300 people) are having increasing problems meeting the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Frequently the problem can defined as lack of appropriate technology - technology that is affordable and simple to use since small water systems lack both funds and the highly trained personnel needed to operate some of today's water treatment systems.

To address this need EPA has developed a Small Systems Research Program to study and provide information on technologies suitable for small systems. The Program will do both in-house and field-scale research to help small systems provide the best drinking water possible to its customers.

For more information on the Program, contact James A. Goodrich at 513-569-7605.


A GUIDE TO WELLHEAD PROTECTION (American Planning Association, 1995). A new report designed for planners, local officials and the public, includes overview of groundwater hydrology and contamination, planning tools and financing. Principal authors are Jon Witten and Scott Horsley. For ordering information contact Erin Flanagan at 202-260-5545.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK (Brandywine Conservancy, 1995). This two-volume, notebook format guide provides model ordinances, case law analysis, and regulatory interpretation on land use issues for municipal decision makers. The handbook is provided to subscribers to the Brandywine Conservancy's Environmental Management Assistance Program for $135 with annual updates Can be purchased independent of the EMAP subscription for $275. Contact the Brandywine Conservancy at 610-388-7601 for more information.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF RUNOFF CONTROLS (EPA, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, EPA 841-S-95-002, 16 pp, 1995) shows how well designed stormwater runoff controls can increase property values and provide economic benefits for developers. Written for developers and local decision makers. Available free from the National Center for Environmental Publications and Information (NCEPI), PO Box 42429, Cincinnati, OH 45242. 513-489-8190.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXPRESS (PA Dept. of Transportation) a new newsletter dedicated to environmental issues facing the transportation sector. Available free from Danielle Shellen-berger, PA Dept of Transportation, Bureau of Environmental Quality, Rm 1009, T&S Bldg, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

CITIZEN'S GUIDE TO PEST CONTROL AND PESTICIDE SAFETY (USEPA, 1995) This 49-page brochure addresses pest control and pesticide safety including non-chemical pest management methods and pest prevention indoors and outdoors. Available from the NCEPI (see address above). The guide is also available on Internet at EPA's World Wide Web address:


EDUCATING YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT WATER (Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, 1995) A series of three guides and a videotape containing ideas, checklists, references, partner lists and community action resources. The 60 minute video demonstrates outstanding water education programs in action. The package may be borrowed from the LWVPA Water Resources Center (1-800-692-7281) or ordered for $22.95 from CSMEE at Ohio State University (1-800-276-0462, e-mail: ericse@osu.edu.

WOW!: THE WONDERS OF WETLANDS (Environmental Concern and The Watercourse, 1995) A new revised 1995 Edition of this comprehensive curriculum guide of wetland information and learning activities for students K-12; includes classroom and outdoor lessons and activities. WOW!: The Wonders of Wetlands is the wetland module of Project WET. For more information contact PA's Project WET coordinator, Patty Vathis, PA Dept of Education, 717-783-6994. Available for $14.95 plus $4.50 s/h from Environmental Concern, Inc. 410-745-9620.

RURAL ACCESS GUIDE (The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, 1995) provides information about programs that can help rural communities and small towns. 100 pp available from The Center for Rural PA, 212 Locust Street, Suite 604, Harrisburg, PA 17101 717-787-9555.


(Borrow any of these from the LWVPA Water Resources Center; call 1-800-692-7281 for more information.)

WATERSHED MONITORING: WATER QUALITY SAMPLING OF OUR LAKES AND TRIBUTARIES and MANAGING LAKES THROUGH COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION (New York State Federation of Lake Associations) The first video (20 mins.) is a how-to; the second (20 mins.) describes how lake associations form and operate. A supplemental handbook produced by the Federation, DIET FOR A SMALL LAKE, is also available. Videos and/or handbook may be borrowed.

SOURCE WATER PROTECTION: AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION (American Waterworks Association) Video of satellite teleconference held Aug 3, 1995 demonstrates why a proactive approach to protecting source water is vital and cost effective. 4 hours.

CRYPTOSPORIDIUM, THE PATHOGEN; CRYPTOSPORIDIOSIS, THE DISEASE (US Dept. of Agriculture) Explains the parasite and the disease it causes. 22 minutes.


Developing Site-specific Criteria developed by EPA's Office of Science and Technology, highlights the role and importance of the water quality standards program in the effort to clean up our nation's waters. It's available on loan from EPA regional offices. For more information contact Evelyn MacKnight at 215-597-4491.


March 13 ----- Shippensburg
MAINTAINING BIODIVERSITY: THE ESSENCE OF INTELLIGENT TINKERING Sponsored by DCNR's Kings Gap Environmental Education Center and Shippensburg University, this one-day conference offers a variety of concurrent sessions on various topics relating to biodiversity. $35 registration fee includes lunch and breaks. Contact Kings Gap EE Center at 717-486-3799.

March 14-16 ----- Indiana
COOPERATION IN ACID MINE DRAINAGE REMEDIATION Co-sponsored by USEPA and Blacklick Creek Watershed Association Contact IUP,School of Cont. Ed., 412-357-2227.

March 25-26 ----- Harrisburg
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Co-sponsored by Penn State University, Widener University School of Law and PA DEP this conference will provide information on sustainable development achieving both economic development and environmental protection goals for Pennsylvania. $125 fee ($95 for non-profits) includes preconference, all sessions, materials and meals. For a detailed brochure contact Dr. Margaret Shaw at 717-948-6505.

June 8-12 ----- Baltimore
WATERSHED '96: Moving Ahead Together For more information contact the Water Environment Federation at 1-800-666-0206.


A series of workshops sponsored by DEP and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will focus on the design, construction and management of wetlands and discuss the latest technologies and treatment strategies.
he workshops are scheduled for:

  • Feb. 13-14, Wilkes-Barre, Ramada Plaza Hotel
  • Feb. 21, King of Prussia, Holiday Inn
  • Feb. 26-27, State College, Days Inn
  • March 5-6, Butler, Days Inn

The workshops are free, but registration is required by Feb. 1.

Design manuals have been developed as a cooperative effort by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and DEP. The five-volume set covers creating wetlands for agricultural wastewater, domestic wastewater, coal mine drainage and stormwater, as well as general considerations. For more information on the manuals or workshops, contact Barbara Lathrop, DEP, 717 787-5259.


**Receive Water Policy News at your E-mail address. Send a message to: Majordomo@philadelphia.libertynet.org In the message space type: subscribe WREN

**Visit the Water Resources Center on the LWVPA homepage. The address is: http://palwv.org/wren. Look for the Water Resources Center under Citizen Education Projects.

Week of May 7 is
National Drinking Water Week.


This newsletter is a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund - WREN.   Funded by a grant from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection

Top of Page

Sign up for Water Policy News and WREN E-News
Learn more

Home | About WREN | Features | Q&A | Grants
Calendar | Local Projects | Resources/Library | Links

Need to contact us or want to share your feedback?
Send an e-mail to: info@palwv.org

Copyright © 1997-2011 - League of Women Voters of PA Citizen Education Fund

You can also visit the Drinking Water Wise site and the
League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania site