Watersheds

Pennsylvania is endowed with a rich mosaic of wetlands, lakes, rivers, and creeks sustained by pure aquifers that provide drinking water and world-class recreational opportunity ranging from sport fishing to paddling. Pennsylvania’s unique landscape and abundant precipitation supports 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, the most of any state besides Alaska.

Sadly, 15,000 miles of creeks and rivers are not drinkable, fishable, or swimmable – the goals of the Clean Water Act of 1972.  A combination of stormwater run-off, municipal wastewater, agricultural run-off, abandoned mine drainage, and industrial discharges degrade streams and present a complex long-term challenge.

We dig deep to understand and address policy barriers and to gather and promote innovative solutions such as green stormwater infrastructure, water quality trading, and inter-municipal cooperative agreements. PEC coordinates watershed-based programs to manage stormwater and to restore watershed function.  Rainfall is treated as a precious natural resource to be slowed and infiltrated to recharge groundwater and support stream base flow through green infrastructure.

 

Watersheds

Water Resource Brochures

Along its affiliates, PEC has published a series of water resource documents in accord with completed and in progress projects throughout Pennsylvania.

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PEC in the News

Guide Hopes to Encourage Small Hydro Growth in Pennsylvania

March 4, 2015HydroWorld.com

A new guide released earlier this month by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council aims to spur low-impact hydropower growth within the state. The guide, called the “Hydroelectric Permitting Manual for Pennsylvania”, was created based on feedback from the 2011 PA Hydropower...

Press Releases

DEP Seeks Nominations for Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

January 30, 2015

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Secretary John Quigley has invited individuals and organizations throughout the Commonwealth to apply for the 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. The awards program is open to all Pennsylvania businesses, farms, government agencies, educational institutions,...

Philadelphia Named No. 3 Place to Go in 2015
PEC Blog

Philadelphia Named No. 3 Place to Go in 2015

January 14, 2015By: Patrick Starr

Is Philadelphia an urban outdoor oasis? The New York Times thinks it is, and ranked the city No. 3 on its “52 Places to Go in 2015,” behind only by Milan, Italy and Cuba. Seriously? Absolutely, says the Times. The...

Policy Posts

PEC Offers Support For Pair of House Bills

February 2, 2015

Support for House Bill 48 (P.N. 42) On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I am writing to express our support for Representative Godshall’s House Bill 48 (P.N. 42) which would establish construction and decommissioning standards for private water...

Pennsylvania Environmental Council: Policy Priorities for 2015

January 23, 2015

Tom Wolf has been sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 47th Governor and the focus in Harrisburg can now move past campaigns and ceremony to the difficult task at hand: governing a state with a projected $2.3 billion deficit. Tough questions and...

PEC Statement on Act 162 of 2014

October 23, 2014

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Yesterday Governor Corbett signed House Bill 1565 into law as Act 162 of 2014. Act 162 amends Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law to weaken forested riparian buffer requirements in Pennsylvania’s most pristine watersheds. “House Bill 1565 weakens our...