Clean Water Action

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Clean Water Action
Area served
United States
President & CEO
Robert Wendelgass
$8,240,346 (2015)[1]

Clean Water Action is an American environmental advocacy group.[2] Created in 1972, the group focuses on canvassing and gaining support for political issues and candidates. It is a 501(c)(4) organization and is based in Washington, D.C.


The group was formed in 1972 by David Zwick as a grassroots and lobbying organization whose goal was to enact platforms delineated in the Zwick publication, Water Wasteland. To reach this goal, Zwick outlined a grassroots strategy of door-to-door canvassing and public education.[3] One of its first accomplishments occurred in 1986 when, along with the National Campaign Against Toxic Hazards, the group published a report claiming the Environmental Protection Agency was failing to properly enforce the federal Superfund toxic waste cleanup program.[4]

Political advocacy[edit]

Clean Water Action has endorsed both causes and political actors. In 2008, Clean Water Action and Earth Justice brought a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for not complying with state and federal water protection laws by allowing partially treated fracking wastewater to be discharged into the Monongahela River. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff.[5][6] In 2012, the group supported the re-election of President Barack Obama.[7]

Clean Water Action also has been involved in campaigns to reduce the environmental impact of plastics through their support of California's Assembly Bill 888, which proposed to ban the use of plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care products.[8][9] Similar federal legislation was enacted with the passing of the Microbead–Free Waters Act of 2015. The group also supported Minneapolis's ordinance restricting the use of single-use plastic bags.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Internal Revenue Service Form 990" (PDF). Clean Water Action. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  2. ^ Phillips, Ari (August 13, 2014). "This Leading Candidate For Texas Governor Really Doesn't Like Clean Water". Think Progress. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  3. ^ "About Us". Clean Water Action. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Superfund Cleanups Termed Lax". The New York Times. November 24, 1987. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Victory in Fracking Wastewater Fight in PA". 7 August 2013.
  7. ^ Samuelsohn, Darren; Goode, Darren (April 17, 2012). "Big green groups to back Obama". Politico. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  8. ^ "EcoWatch". EcoWatch.
  9. ^ "Bill Text - AB-888 Waste management: plastic microbeads".
  10. ^ "In praise of Minneapolis' proposed plastic-bag ban".
  11. ^ "Municode Library".

Further reading[edit]

  • Zwick, David; Benstock, Marcy; Nader, Ralph (1971). Water Wasteland: Nader Task Force Report on Water Pollution. Center for Study of Responsive Law. OCLC 5753934.