EPA, DEP Applaud County’s Water Quality Groups

From Potter County Today

speakerjuliekollarActions of two relatively new local organizations — the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition and the Water Quality Action Team – are being cited as water protection and public education models that could be followed across the nation. During a meeting this week at the Roulette Firehall, K. R. Young, a sourcewater protection specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, told Triple Divide Watershed Coalition members that his agency plans to cite Potter County’s locally driven watershed protection activities as a national example. During the same meeting, Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection water specialist Mark Stephens and Julie Kollar (shown) from the League of Women Voters also praised the work of local officials and volunteers.

Representatives from all 10 public water suppliers in Potter County have joined Triple Divide. Its goal is to protect public water sources from potential degradation caused by natural gas well drilling or other disturbances, through a combination of public education, communication with industry, and/or regulations. The group draws its names from the county’s unique geographic distinction as the headwaters for three major Northeastern U.S. watersheds. By forming the coalition, public water system managers in Potter County can share best practices and speak with a unified voice on proposed legislation and regulations/enforcement issues. Coalition members are also investigating options to control industrial activities in close proximity to public water sources and recharge areas. Another benefit is bulk purchasing of supplies, equipment, laboratory services, etc.

A companion organization, the Potter County Commissioners’ Water Quality Action Team, includes representatives from the county’s Conservation District and Planning Commission, as well as Trout Unlimited, Penn State Extension, Potter County Education Council and other organizations. Its mission extends protection beyond public water supplies to creeks, streams, rivers, springs and wells.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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