Conservation Policy & Advocacy News Around the Region: September Edition

Check out some of the big news, success stories, and advocacy efforts of your ANS staff and volunteers over the last few months…


The attacks of the Trump Administration and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on environmental protections continue. In July, Pruitt formally began the process of rolling back the Clean Water Rule, which protects the small streams and wetlands that are the beginnings of all our water sources. Rolling back this rule threatens protections for the drinking water of 117 million Americans—and 67% of Marylanders, and 28% of Virginians, rely on small streams protected by the Clean Water Rule for the water they drink. THANK YOU to all the ANSers who have sent letters in support of keeping the Clean Water Rule—this will be a long battle. Your voices will all help! The comment deadline was extended until September 27 so please keep writing in and sharing how important clean water is to you.

Around the Region

The Zombie Bridge is back: Loudon County elected officials, and exurban developers on both sides of the river, are trying to get an Outer Beltway Bridge over the Potomac River put back on the drawing board. This bridge has been studied to death over decades, but despite strong resistance from Montgomery County Council, it’s now going to get studied again by the regional Transportation Planning Board. Thanks to letters, phone calls, tweets, and more from ANS members and allies around the region, our elected officials have heard loud and clear that a new bridge over the Potomac would bring sprawl to our rural lands, threaten our drinking water supplies, and not solve traffic problems. We need to invest in existing infrastructure, watershed protection, and transit alternatives, not keep building pavement in a 1950s-era model for growth. See our past action alerts here & here and stay tuned for ways you can stay involved.

In Montgomery County, the Department of Environmental Protection released a new policy designed to make the Green Streets program work better in neighborhoods currently in design phase. The new policy is in line with ANS’ recommendations and will make it easier for the Department to explain the Green Streets program to neighbors and offer choices that people wouldlike to see in front of their houses. We thank DEP for listening to community concerns and for their commitment to making Green Streets a success! Learn more about Green Streets by clicking here.

About Eliza Cava

Eliza Cava is the ANS Director of Conservation, where she leads our MD & DC policy, advocacy, and conservation outreach work, supervises our citizen science programs and VA advocacy work, and supports Woodend restoration as a demonstration landscape for the region.
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