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COVID Weekly Update: May 1, 2020

May 1st, 2020

Water is the single most important resource on the planet

We are fortunate in the Upstate in that most of us have access to plenty of clean drinking water whenever we need it. During this COVID-19 situation, I’ve been even more appreciative of the fact that I have access to clean, reliable water with a turn of the tap. Think about how difficult a simple hygienic measure like hand washing would be without easy access to clean running water. As our region grows, it’s more important than ever to recognize the tremendous value of water — and to fight to protect it. 

We dove deep into this topic for the new issue of the Upstate Advocate, Upstate Forever’s twice-yearly publication sponsored by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises. In “The Value of Water” issue, we shed light on Upstate Forever’s Clean Water work. We shared stories from people across the Upstate who care about clean, abundant water. And we offered ways you can join us in the fight to protect this precious resource. Read the Spring/Summer 2020 issue

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Also in this week's email update: 

  • Landmark Supreme Court decision impacts Upstate pollution suit

    Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark opinion in a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit from Hawaii concerning the indirect pollution of federally protected waters via groundwater. This ruling gives broader protection to our waterways and is closely tied to Upstate Forever’s and Savannah Riverkeeper’s CWA pollution suit against oil and gas pipeline operator Kinder Morgan for their 2014 spill of almost 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel in Anderson County.

    “This ruling establishes that Kinder Morgan’s spill, which they failed to adequately clean up, is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge and therefore a violation of the Clean Water Act,” said UF’s Director of Energy & State Policy Shelley Robbins about the ruling. “But more importantly, the Supreme Court has made a statement that pollution of our waters will not be tolerated.” Read more from our official press release

  • New USDA funding partnership
    Upstate Forever has been awarded a $3.9 million funding partnership from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Funding from this program will be used to protect the region’s most critical lands for water quality. Read more

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