Rachel Morgan

Residents of Harmony Township and Ambridge should expect a few more knocks at their doors this summer.

PennEnvironment launched its annual door-to-door public education and engagement effort Tuesday, urging national leaders to close what the group says are loopholes in the Clean Water Act.

"For decades, the Clean Water Act has covered all of the nation’s waters, from the source-water streams to the seasonal streams that feed our drinking-water supplies," said Erika Staaf of PennEnvironment.

She said two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions -- Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (or “SWANCC”) v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  in 2001 and Rapanos v. U.S. in 2006 -- and U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policies have thrown that longstanding certainty into doubt.

"Under varying interpretations of the Supreme Court decisions and the agencies’ policies, the smaller water bodies that feed our drinking-water supplies and the wetlands that clean our great waters are among those for which the extent of Clean Water Act protections has been questioned," she said.

The group will go door-to-door through July 5, asking residents to sign petitions urging national leaders to restore the Clean Water Act to its original form.

“It’s so important that President Obama, and our leaders in Congress, understand that closing these loopholes and reducing pollution into our rivers and streams is a win for our waterways, our health and our communities,” said Jenny Griggs, PennEnvironment campaign director. “Keeping our rivers protected from threats is going to take a big show of public support.

"But I know that Harmony Township and borough of Ambridge residents care deeply about their rivers and streams and are ready to get involved and make sure that leaders like our senators and President Obama hear from us.”