2016 Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® Year End Appeal

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Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the Gunpowder River! This year we championed enforcement and compliance of environmental laws within the watershed to protect and conserve the River for all users. We could not have been successful without your generous support.

The Gunpowder River watershed faces environmental threats that must be argued in a legal context. Our organization works collaboratively and proactively to find solutions to pollution problems. We are effectively using legal action but only after exhausting all other methods to represent member’s interests in protecting the Gunpowder River and its watershed from sources of pollution.

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We are asking for your support again in 2017 to address these environmental threats:

PCBs in the Gunpowder River: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s) pose a serious risk of causing significant adverse impacts on the health and quality of the Gunpowder River and its fish and crabs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) plan that will not meet water quality standards for 49 years in the Gunpowder River and 93 years in the Bird River. We are now researching legal solutions to this administrative delay.

Foster Branch Pollution: Riverkeeper is currently investigating several potential improperly regulated upstream point and non-point sources of sediment, nitrogen and bacteria pollution that impacts the Foster Branch section of the Gunpowder River.

C.P. Crane Power Plant Discharge: Riverkeeper has requested a stronger permit for the 53 year old coal-fired powerplant that would provide more monitoring of various potential pollutants ensure pollution levels are properly reported and mitigated. Riverkeeper’s goal is make sure that discharges are protective of the waters of state and of public health.
Gunpowder Riverkeeper links and protects the forests, the fish and the faucet. Our work is a shared waters perspective that is pro-active and respective of the varied economic, recreational and biological aspects of the River. The Gunpowder supports varied recreational interests, habitat for native and wild trout, drinking water for 1.5 million Baltimore-Metro Area residents and important tidal habitat for Rockfish, Perch and crabs.
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A few highlights of our work in 2016 include:

Riverkeeper filed an emergency motion in Circuit Court that held Columbia Gas accountable for following the court ordered settlement agreement between Riverkeeper, Columbia Gas Transmission and MDE to provide baseline fish sampling at five sensitive streams crossed by the 21.1 mile interstate Gas pipeline project. The result was that Columbia agreed to alter its construction schedule on the 190 million dollar project in order to perform the required sampling. As a result, Riverkeeper and the public will get information about water quality impacts from the pipeline project.

Riverkeeper garnered significant public opposition to a proposed amendment of the Natural Resource District (NRD) zoning code that would have stripped protection of approximately 1,100 acres of non-tidal wetlands in Harford County. The result of Riverkeeper’s efforts was that the council crafted a more protective amendment that was voted into law.

Clean Water in the Gunpowder watershed is everyone’s right and as a shared resource must be protected for all! Everyone that recreates within the Gunpowder deserves an opportunity to be engaged in the regulatory process. Meaningful public participation results in better projects-those that are protective of drinking water, property interests, sensitive species, recreational and aesthetic values.

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We need your financial support to keep the River protected now and in the future. Please consider an annual donation of support or a year–end donation to amplify our outreach, advocacy and legal action.

You may donate at: http://www.gunpowderriverkeeper.org/#support or by sending a check to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111.

Thank you for your support!
Theaux M. Le Gardeur
Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®

GRK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit categorized by the IRS under Natural Resource Conservation and Protection. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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A few words from Jackie Guild, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance.
“The Gunpowder Riverkeeper is a true champion for his river and the human and wildlife inhabitants of its watershed. It has been CLA’s privilege and pleasure to support Theaux Le Gardeur’s work on many projects during the past five years, and in particular with regard to his work to prevent environmental harm posed by the Columbia pipeline extension. This project is truly a David versus Goliath undertaking and Theaux has remained undaunted throughout and will persevere to its conclusion.With the support of a team of volunteer attorneys, Theaux took on Columbia on multiple issues in court battles, through submission of comments, and in letters to government agencies.Not only will Theaux’s victories provide greater protection for the Gunpowder watershed, they also establish strong procedural and legal precedent for others facing similar problems throughout Maryland. His efforts also sent a clear message to the Maryland Department of the Environment that it must thoroughly assess potential environmental damage and provide adequate protections through permit conditions before issuing permits under its domain, and it must provide adequate public participation as part of its decision making process.The communities of the Gunpowder River are fortunate to have such a vigilant and stalwart defender of their piece of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. CLA looks forward to future collaborations with the Gunpowder Riverkeeper.”

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