Water Access: As moratoria on shutoffs end, old problems return to the forefront

As moratoria expire across the Great Lakes region, advocates say ongoing affordability and debt relief are key.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/04/water-shutoffs-debt-infrastructure/

Kari Lydersen

The problem within: Biden targets lead pipes, pushes equity

CHICAGO (AP) — In the modest bungalows and two-flats of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, there’s never a shortage of needed home repairs staring residents in the face. And then there is the less obvious but more ominous problem lurking in their pipes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/04/the-problem-within-biden-targets-lead-pipes-pushes-equity/

The Associated Press

Spotlight on Infrastructure: Policy executive talks new Biden plan, definitions of infrastructure

While President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, officially the American Jobs Plan, emanates from the White House, a veteran Chicago policy executive says we should consider its genesis as broader than top down.

“It is something that cities and regions have requested – full partnership with the federal government – for quite some time,” said MarySue Barrett, president of the non-profit Metropolitan Planning Council.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/04/infrastructure-biden-administration-policy-qna/

Gary Wilson

Drinking Water News Roundup: New York water standards deferrals, microplastics in Pennsylvania

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

  • Brain-damaging Lead Found in Tap Water From Most Illinois Communities During the Past 6 Years – Chicago Tribune

More than 8 of every 10 Illinoisans live in a community where brain-damaging lead was found in the tap water of at least one home during the past six years, a new Chicago Tribune analysis found.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/drinking-water-news-new-york-microplastics-pennsylvania/

Grace Dempsey

Drinking Water News Roundup: New York water standards deferrals, microplastics in Pennsylvania

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

  • Brain-damaging Lead Found in Tap Water From Most Illinois Communities During the Past 6 Years – Chicago Tribune

More than 8 of every 10 Illinoisans live in a community where brain-damaging lead was found in the tap water of at least one home during the past six years, a new Chicago Tribune analysis found.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/drinking-water-news-new-york-microplastics-pennsylvania/

Grace Dempsey

Priority Shift: Great Lakes exec moves environmental justice to top of list

Chicago’s Joel Brammeier came of age advocating for the Great Lakes in an era when federal programs that are widely accepted today like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative were barely on the drawing board.

Brammeier started his advocacy work in 2001 when he managed habitat programs for the Lake Michigan Federation, which later became the Alliance for the Great Lakes as its mission expanded.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/great-lakes-environmental-justice-priority/

Gary Wilson

Drinking Water News Roundup: Climate change and Illinois water withdrawals, clean water for Michigan students

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

More Illinois Residents Are Turning to Lake Michigan for Their Drinking Water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/drinking-water-climate-change-withdrawals-michigan-quebec-first-nations/

Grace Dempsey

Drinking Water News Roundup: Joliet picks Chicago, Minnesota road salt, Ohio EPA loans

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

  • Joliet Council Picks Chicago, Not Hammond, to Supply City’s Drinking Water –  Northwest Indiana Times

The city council in Joliet, Illinois has chosen Chicago to be its next water source, despite efforts by Hammond officials to persuade them otherwise.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/chicago-lake-michigan-minnesota-road-salt/

Grace Dempsey

Deal reached on project to protect lakes from invasive fish

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan, Illinois and a federal agency have agreed on funding the next phase of an initiative to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes by strengthening defenses on a Chicago-area waterway, officials said Thursday.

The two states and the U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-deal-reached-brandon-road-project-asian-carp/

The Associated Press

Drinking Water News Roundup: Joliet water supply, contaminated water, support for Wisconsin farmers and water quality

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

  • Chicago Competing With Hammond To Supply Joliet With Drinking Water From Lake Michigan – CBS Chicago

The aquifer that supplies Chicago suburb Joliet’s drinking water is expected to dry up by 2030.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/water-withdrawal-contaminated-farmers-water-quality/

Grace Dempsey

Great Lakes Gift Guide 2020: Remember that road trip, boat ride, microbrew or sweatshirt you should’ve bought with this list

Want to give your loved ones a holiday gift that connects to that summer trip up north or the fall color tour you took together? 

Or maybe you have a trip planned for after the COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed and want to give them something to remind them they have something to look forward to. 

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/great-lakes-gift-guide-2020-list/

Natasha Blakely

Lack of Utility Data Obscures Customer Water Debt Problems

By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/utility-data-customer-water-debt-problems/

Circle of Blue

Policy Expert Q&A: Keep advocating with elected officials for safe drinking water

The Flint water crisis that made national and international headlines was a failure on many levels, according to University of Chicago Professor Sabina Shaikh.

Particularly, it was a public policy failure, Shaikh told Great Lakes Now in an interview, and the failure in Flint put a spotlight on environmental injustices.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/policy-expert-advocating-elected-officials-safe-drinking-water/

Gary Wilson

Chicago Wetlands Shrank by 40% During the 20th Century

By Kimberly M. S. Cartier, Eos

This story originally appeared in Eos and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

As Chicago’s industries and population boomed in the late 1800s, city officials decided to reverse the course of the Chicago River so that it flowed away from Lake Michigan.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/chicago-wetlands-shrank-40-20th-century/

Eos

One Old, One New: Teen project finds meteorite fragments in Lake Michigan

The teenagers and scientists searching for the 2017 meteorite in Lake Michigan found more than they had been looking for, representatives from the team reported yesterday.

In a live update on the Adler Planetarium’s YouTube channel, students and researchers shared two major finds from The Aquarius Project’s years-long attempt to find the meteorite: a sample that could be from that meteorite and a sample from a meteorite much, much older.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/aquarius-project-findings-update-meteorite-fragments-lake-michigan/

Natasha Blakely

Missing Meteorite: Did the search in Lake Michigan find it?

Three years after a meteorite crashed into Lake Michigan, the Adler Planetarium is giving a live virtual update on the search to find it.

Join at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT on Thursday, Sept. 10. Watch here:

In February 2017, a meteorite lit up the night sky before crashing into Lake Michigan off the Wisconsin shoreline.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/planetarium-update-lake-michigan-meteorite/

GLN Editor

Eastland Documentary: Filmmakers talk behind-the-scenes journey and stories

The latest episode of Great Lakes Now takes a trip to Chicago to learn all about the Eastland tragedy – one that isn’t well known, despite its big impact.

On July 24, 1915, a steamship capsized in the Chicago River, and 844 people drowned.

A documentary about the tragedy, “Eastland: The Shipwreck That Shook America,” is airing on PBS stations around the country.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/eastland-documentary-filmmakers-behind-the-scenes/

GLN Editor

Chicago’s Eastland Disaster: Explore this Great Lakes tragedy with a Storymap

Historic photos, newly discovered film reels, archival accounts from survivors and stories from their descendants are all part of the new documentary “Eastland: The Shipwreck That Shook America.”

The steamship capsized on the Chicago River as hundreds of passengers boarded. Their destination: a day trip to Michigan City, Indiana, just across the southern end of Lake Michigan.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/chicago-eastland-disaster-great-lakes-tragedy-storymap/

Sandra Svoboda

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Back Forty mine setback, Illinois and Ohio utility shutoffs

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Controversial open-pit sulfide mine in UP faces major delays due to COVID-19, utility companies in Ohio and Illinois set to resume disconnections after pandemic-induced moratorium lapses, and Enbridge completes replacement work on Line 5 under St.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/great-lakes-energy-back-forty-mine-illinois-ohio-utility-shutoff/

Ian Wendrow

In a time of COVID-19, millions of Americans are plagued by water debt

Mass water shutoffs in Detroit following the city’s bankruptcy proceedings brought the issue of water affordability and water shutoffs into public notoriety in the U.S. in 2014.

The threat of COVID-19 brought the issue back to the forefront as the CDC urged people to wash their hands frequently.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/water-debt-environmental-justice/

GLN Editor

Number of fish types in Chicago waters up to nearly 60 from about 10

CHICAGO (AP) — The variety of fish swimming in Chicago’s rivers have increased in recent decades, which authorities attribute to a decline in pollution, according to a sampling study released Monday by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

The report claims there are nearly 60 different types of fish swimming in the Chicago and Calumet rivers.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/ap-fish-types-chicago-waters-increases/

The Associated Press

Priority Shift: Chicago mayor sets environmental sights on neglected communities

Since taking office in May 2019, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has emphasized that her environmental priorities are focused on the social justice issues of access to drinking water and clean air.

“The mayor is deeply committed to putting environmental justice at the forefront of her environmental agenda,” spokesperson Hali Levandoski told Great Lakes Now.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/chicago-mayor-environmental-priority-neglected-communities/

Gary Wilson

Outdoor Escape: Visitors flock to parks, beaches, lakes as states reopen

Great Lakes states and provinces have opened up their parks to overnight campers again now that COVID-19 closures have been lifted.

In March, national parks were closed in Canada, along with Ontario provincial parks. In the U.S., while parks remained open to visitors, facilities and many campgrounds were closed to the public.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/visitors-flock-parks-beaches-lakes-provinces-states-reopen/

Emily Simroth

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Lake Huron nuclear waste storage plan dropped, renewable energy in Midland

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Ontario Power Generation formally withdraws its application to construct a repository for nuclear waste near Lake Huron; Illinois looks to construct offshore energy wind turbines but faces resistance; University of Minnesota may expand viability of geothermal energy in Midwest; and flood-ravaged Midland, Michigan, coming around on renewable energy.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/energy-nuclear-huron-renewables-midland-wind-geothermal/

Ian Wendrow

Green Reset: COVID-19 offers opportunity for lighter environmental impact

Out of the tragedy that is COVID-19 can come opportunities to improve our lives, our workspace and our environment.

That includes softening the impact we have on natural habitat.

That’s the view of veteran Great Lakes executive Cameron Davis who says, like businesses in big cities that are assessing their space needs, we should pause and assess our impact on the environment.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/green-reset-covid-19-offers-opportunity-for-lighter-environmental-impact/

Gary Wilson

May 29, 2020

TThis week: Floodwaters Mix with Chemicals After Dam Failures + Some Residents of Chicago May Find Relief from Lack of Running Water + Funding for Lakewalk in Duluth Approved + Wind Turbines in Lake Erie Moves Forward with Limitations + Our Own Alicia Smith Receives “Urban Waters Learning Network Award”

Floodwaters Mix with Chemicals After Dam Failures

Two dams failed in mid-Michigan after 4.7 inches fell on mid-Michigan in 48 hours after several previous days of rain. The flooding surrounded Dow Chemical, headquartered in Midland. Levees designed to protect the plant from external forces were infiltrated causing floodwaters to comingle with dangerous chemicals within the plant creating potential environmental contamination.


Some Residents of Chicago May Find Relief from Lack of Running Water

Many cities in the Great Lakes region are scrambling to reconnect their water customers with service in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In Chicago, residents fear having to pay past bills before they can have their water restored.  Relief may be in sight for those who qualify, as the City has announced a Utility Billing Relief Program featuring reduced rates, no late penalties or debt collection, and debt forgiveness with on-time payments for 12 months.


Funding for Lakewalk in Duluth Approved

A popular seven-mile trail that follows the Lake Superior shoreline in Duluth received funding approval from City Council to rebuild the Canal Park section.  High waters and storms damaged the trail.  Federal and state funding will cover 75% of the improvements and City funds will be used for the remainder.


Wind Turbines in Lake Erie Moves Forward with Limitations

A pilot project for six-offshore wind turbines in Lake Erie, which would be the first of its kind in North America, took one step forward.  The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation received approval from the siting board with 33 conditions including no nighttime operations from March through October to reduce impacts to bats and birds.  The energy company stated that the conditions could kill the project. Opponents are concerned that the environmental assessment did not adequately address all the potential impacts.


Our Own Alicia Smith Receives “Urban Waters Learning Network Award”

A huge congratulations to our Community and Policy Director, Alicia Smith for receiving the Urban Waters Learning Network Award, presented at the Virtual River Rally for her work with the amazing Junction Coalition in Toledo, Ohio.

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-may-29-2020/

Leslie Burk

Animal Quiz: What Great Lakes aquarium animal are you in quarantine?

The animals at various aquariums are dealing with their own COVID-19 lockdown struggles as they adjust to new routines, new procedures and a distinct lack of the public, and each animal handles it a little differently.

Thanks to Great Lakes aquariums like Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, the Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing in Brockville, Ontario, and Belle Isle Conservancy in Detroit, the public can get a peek at the various things staff are doing to keep the animals happy and entertained.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/animal-quiz-great-lakes-aquarium-animal-covid-19-quarantine/

Natasha Blakely

Day in the Life: How are Shedd Aquarium’s animals coping in the absence of visitors?

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is one of the more popular, well-known aquariums around the country with 2 million visitors every year.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has closed it to the public, which is a big change for the penguins, whales, fish and other creatures that live in the Shedd’s various habitats.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/covid-19-shedd-aquarium-visitors/

Natasha Blakely

Record Rainfall Prompts Reversal of Chicago River into Lake to Ease Flooding

By Patty Wetli, WTTW News

Chicago is drying out Monday after a record rainfall that flooded streets and yards over the weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, Sunday’s precipitation total at O’Hare Airport was 3.11 inches, the most ever recorded on May 17.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/record-rainfall-chicago-river-lake-michigan-flooding/

GLN Editor

State Struggle: Budget shortfalls stall Asian carp plan, put cleanups at risk

With the federal government writing trillion-dollar checks to fight COVID-19, support collapsing businesses and feed cash into the economy via stimulus checks, Great Lakes legislators and advocacy groups are seizing on the opportunity to secure federal funding while the money still flows.

Recently the senate committee that oversees water infrastructure projects unanimously approved legislation authorizing $18 billion for projects nationally.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/state-federal-budget-shortfalls-asian-carp-toxic-cleanups/

Gary Wilson

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: DTE Energy rate hike, Chicago firm fined for polluting canal

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Michigan Public Service Commission reigns in planned rate hike by DTE Energy, Michigan’s Lower Peninsula failed to meet energy grid reliability standards set by regional monitor, Hilco suburban development fined for failing to prevent pollution of Chicago canal, and renewables are forecasted to overtake coal as a leading source of electricity by the end of this year.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/great-lakes-energy-rate-hike-pollution-renewables/

Ian Wendrow

May 1, 2020

This week: The Hell of Not Having Running Water During a Pandemic + Lawsuit to Stop Clean Water Rollbacks + Drinking Water Quality Threatened by Climate Change + Increased Water Withdrawal Approved by Judge +  Chicagoans Waiting for Plovers Monty and Rose to Return

The Hell of Not Having Running Water During a Pandemic

Amidst the pandemic, We The People Of Detroit CEO and founder Monica Lewis-Patrick continues her free water delivery service. After Governor Whitmer made an executive order on water restoration, food pantries and nonprofits delivering water are calculating hundreds if not thousands of residents still without running water. For years, We The People Of Detroit has argued that shutoffs threaten the health of impoverished families. African Americans bear the brunt of this pandemic with higher COVID-19 death tolls occurring in the same areas without running water.

Lawsuit to Stop Clean Water Rollbacks

Six environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to stop clean water rollbacks.  The Trump Administration duplicitously named the rollbacks “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” although it would eliminate those protections. The lawsuit contends the rules are a violation of the Clean Water Act.

Drinking Water Quality Threatened by Climate Change

With Great Lakes water temperatures increasing due to climate change, precipitation has also increased, including extreme rain events. Increased rain means increased runoff that dumps nutrient pollution into our waterways. When coupled with high temperatures, this runoff creates the perfect conditions for harmful algal blooms. The combined events create severe threats to our drinking water, demonstrating our vast water supply can still be vulnerable and undrinkable if not properly protected.

Increased Water Withdrawal Approved by Judge

Unfortunately, a judge ruled this week that Néstle Waters Inc. can increase its pumping rate to withdraw 576,000 gallons of groundwater per day.  Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, an environmental organization that has worked for years to protect groundwater and surface water from water withdrawals, is considering options in response to the decision.

Chicagoans Waiting for Plovers Monty and Rose to Return

A nesting pair of piping plovers at Montrose Beach in Chicago persevered through a music festival and more last summer.  This summer, the plovers, affectionately named Monty and Rose, may not have to share the beach with humans due to the pandemic.

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-may-5-2020/

Alexis Smith

To protect people in the Great Lakes region from climate extremes, weatherize their homes

As climate change makes heat waves more frequent across the region and the nation, cities will need more tools to protect their residents.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/rust-resilience-climate-extremes-weatherization/

The Conversation

Earth Day 2020: How to participate from the safety of your home

This year’s Earth Day is a special one, and not just because it’s the 50th anniversary of the event.

With stay home orders and heavy social distancing recommendations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual large gatherings of people to show support, clear trash and do more to help the planet just aren’t plausible.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/earth-day-2020-participate-from-home/

Natasha Blakely

Environmental Justice During COVID-19: Communities bear extra burden

When you ask well-intentioned government officials about environmental justice issues and why they are so difficult to remedy, the response usually goes like this:

“Some of the challenges we see as environmental problems are really rooted in decades of disinvestment in parts of our urban communities,” Liesl Clark, director of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy told Great Lakes Now in a 2019 interview.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/environmental-justice-during-covid-19-coronavirus/

Gary Wilson

After the Flood: How Chicago is Coping with the Effects of Climate Change

The city has begun short-term erosion mitigation measures along Chicago’s shoreline.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/rust-resilience-flood-chicago-climate-change/

Belt Magazine

From Rust to Resilience: Climate change brings new challenges and opportunities

Great Lakes Now is sharing work from our partners in a project on what climate change means for Great Lakes cities. Here is the initial piece in the series.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/rust-resilience-climate-change-great-lakes-cities/

Ensia

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Toxic coal ash, utility company water withdrawal, Line 5

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Chicagoans furious after smokestack demolition releases dust in Little Village, toxic coal ash to remain on Michigan shorelines indefinitely as coal plants close, Minnesota and Wisconsin natural gas plant opting away from water withdrawal for cooling purposes, Ohio consumer advocate pushing to divert energy efficiency funds to COVID-19 relief payments, and Enbridge’s project to replace part of its Line 5 pipeline under the St.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/great-lakes-energy-line-5-coal-ash-demolition-water-withdrawals/

Ian Wendrow

Sporting Uncertainty: COVID-19 casts shadow over Great Lakes sports events

Events around the lakes are being canceled, postponed or put on hold until more information comes out.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/covid-19-coronavirus-sports-recreation-events-canceled/

Gary Wilson

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: COVID-19 impacting utilities everywhere and across industries

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/great-lakes-energy-coronavirus-covid-19-nuclear-solar/

Ian Wendrow

New law mandates Indiana schools test for lead contamination

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Drinking water fountains and taps at public and private schools in Indiana will be required to be tested for lead contamination by 2023 under a new state law.

The law requires schools’ drinking water equipment to be tested by Jan. 1, 2023, and take action if results show lead at higher than 15 parts per billion.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/ap-new-law-indiana-schools-test-lead-contamination/

The Associated Press

Lack of social distancing leads to closure of parks, trails in Chicago and elsewhere

All over the United States, mayors and other officials fed up with residents who ignore social distancing guidelines have been shutting down parks, beaches, marinas and other public areas.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/ap-covid-19-closure-parks-trails-chicago/

The Associated Press

Water for All: Milwaukee, Chicago lead in ensuring water during COVID-19 crisis

Some Great Lakes cities and states are ahead of the game when it comes to ending water shutoffs during the COVID-19 crisis. Others aren’t.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/water-shutoffs-milwaukee-chicago-detroit-cleveland-buffalo-duluth/

Gary Wilson

March 27, 2020

#Turn Water On, #Keep Water On, and #Make Water Affordable + Finding Hope in Tough Times +Flushing Do’s and Don’ts + Federal Agency Waives Some Compliance Requirements Amid Coronavirus Crisis

#Turn Water On, #Keep Water On, and #Make Water Affordable

Here is a brief update on efforts to ensure people have access to water during the coronavirus. (If you use social media, please use the hashtags above to increase awareness.)

Ohio:

On Wednesday, Ohio’s legislature unanimously passed legislation that halts all future water shutoffs and restores residential water services to residents across Ohio as an emergency measure to protect public health during the COVID-19 crisis. 

As a result it:

  • Requires a public water system to restore service to any customer whose service was disconnected as a result of nonpayment of fees and charges;

  • Requires a public water system to waive all fees for connection or re-connection to the public water system; and 

  • Prohibits a public water system from disconnecting customers because of nonpayment of fees and charges.

Freshwater Future will continue to work with our community partners to ensure the water is getting turned on in a timely manner.

Local Spotlight
Junction Coalition is a strong community organization that supports families in Toledo, Ohio fighting against challenges like access to food and water due to levels of poverty. The needs of the community are being magnified during the COVID-19 crisis as unemployment skyrockets. Junction is working to ensure that non-English speaking Toledo residents have access to information and support as well. Working with Freshwater Future they are ensuring that water democracy is continued to secure affordable water rates now, and after this pandemic. 

Michigan:

The coronavirus is hitting hard in the City of Detroit.  Outside of New York and New Orleans, Detroit has the highest per capita infection rate in the country.  With 1 out of 3 residents being impoverished and a high rate of diabetes, Detroiters are more at risk from the virus.  In addition, thousands of Detroit residents still do not have access to running water. The City has put a moratorium on shutoffs and is returning service, but at a slow rate.  

Local Spotlight
Our friends at We the People of Detroit have galvanized volunteers, with proper safety equipment, to utilize their water distribution points and are urging the City for a faster rate of restoration.  Stay tuned, we’ll be sending an opportunity for you to help get water restored for all Michigan residents early next week.

Illinois:

The City of  Chicago has an existing moratorium on water shutoffs and connected with local advocates and environmental organizations to discuss effectively restoring water to all homes. Data issues within the City, such as what homes have been reconnected which have not, are delaying re-connection and local organizations such as Blacks in Green are working to help resolve those issues.

Finding Hope in Tough Times

March 22 was World Water Day, providing an annual platform to elevate how vital water is to our lives. The pandemic has underscored the importance of having water to wash our hands and to drink. Freshwater Future is here working every day to ensure people have access to clean, safe, and affordable water.  We are committed to supporting our community partners efforts to protect public health and safety. Please enjoy this video as we extend the celebration of World Water Day!

#WorldWaterDay

Flushing Do’s and Don’ts

DO FLUSH–If your water service was recently restored FLUSHING is necessary to move out the stagnant water. Here are step by step tips on how to do proper flushing.

DON’T FLUSH–Antibacterial or any kind of “flushable” wipes are NOT good for waste water treatment systems or septic systems. Even if they say they are “flushable” it causes havoc with pipes and water systems. They should be disposed of in trash.

Federal Agency Waives Some Environmental Compliance Requirements  

Cleaner, summer-grade gasoline may be slow to come to the gas pump this year.  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is waiving compliance requirements for some industries due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, the waivers will not increase pollution that impacts public health.  We will keep you posted.

“Freshwater Future believes this action is irresponsible and endangers peoples’ health from toxins at the same time they are worried about and confronted with Covid-19. Congress should exercise its oversight authority with the agency to protect our people, water, air and land.” says Jill Ryan, Director of Freshwater Future. Keep an eye out next week for a related action.

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-future-weekly-march-27-2020/

Alexis Smith

Chicago mayor thinking about closing city trails, parks

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday that the sight of crowds along Lake Michigan despite a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus has her considering shutting down the city’s parks.

“When we have masses of people out there as I just saw … it’s a problem,” Lightfoot said.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/ap-chicago-mayor-thinking-about-closing-city-trails-parks/

The Associated Press

Inside Entertainment: COVID-19 has Great Lakes aquariums and museums offering online activities

The public can continue to enjoy aquariums, museums and centers as the facilities close buildings. But starting March 25, Parks Canada is closing all national parks.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/aquariums-museums-online-livestreams-covid-19/

Kathy Johnson

Student Protesters Demand Lightfoot Live Up To Campaign Promises on Environmental Protection

By Brett Chase, Better Government Association, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

 

More than two dozen Chicago young activists Friday called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to reinstate a city department of environment to combat heavy pollution in black and Latino neighborhoods and increase efforts to fight climate change.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/student-protesters-chicago-lightfoot-campaign-environmental-protection/

Better Government Association

March 6, 2020

This week:  Worried about what’s in your drinking water? + Chicago River’s History–It’s Complicated + Flint Community Lab Grand Opening March 25  + Freshwater Future Grants Available + Federal Court Knocks Down Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Worried about what’s in your drinking water?

Doubt is filling millions of homes as toxic chemicals contaminate our drinking water sources. Freshwater Future’s executive director, Jill Ryan sheds light on this issue of concern and shares tips on actions you can take.

Chicago River’s  History–It’s Complicated

The Chicago River was once a small stream that drained to Lake Michigan. Today its appearance is more like an industrial canal.  It even flows in the opposite direction to the Mississippi River, after dams and canals were installed in 1892 to send waste from the stockyard and sewage away from Lake Michigan, the City’s drinking water source.  This interesting article in Belt Magazine highlights the complicated history of the Chicago River and reimagines its future.

Flint Community Water Lab Opening in March

The Flint Water Crisis started nearly six years ago, and Flint residents still don’t trust their water, continuing to rely on bottled water.  A water lab built and run by Flint residents will have its grand opening March 25 at 1 pm and will provide free water tests to Flint residents.  A project of the Flint Development Center and Freshwater Future, the purpose of the lab is to provide a trusted source for testing that will help residents access information about lead in their water.  Please consider joining us to celebrate the opening of this first of a kind community lab! RSVP here.

Apply for a Freshwater Future Grant Today

For over 24 years, Freshwater Future has provided grants to community and grassroots groups supporting advocacy efforts to protect or improve drinking water, rivers, lakes, wetlands, shorelines, and groundwater in the Great Lakes region.  Check-out Freshwater Future’s 2020 grant opportunities guidelines to see if your organization is eligible.  The deadline for project grant applications is March 31, 2020.  Visit our website to learn more.

Federal Court  Knocks Down Lake Erie Bill of Rights

A federal judge ruled the Lake Erie Bill of Rights null and void last week noting that the law was overreaching and vague.  The Lake Erie Bill of Rights, a law based on the Rights of Nature movement gives water bodies or lands the same rights as people do.  Last February, Toledoans voted on the law and passed it with 61% voting in favor of it.

Toledo may be known for harmful algal blooms, scales and being a Rust Belt City, but the Toledoans for Safe Water rolled up their sleeves and worked relentlessly for two years to get the Bill of Rights on the ballot, showing a forward-thinking side of this Great Lakes city.  The group shared in the media that they will consider the options and keep the conversation going around Lake Erie’s rights.

PFAS Test Kits – GIFT a KIT!
Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-march-6-2020/

Alexis Smith

Piping Plovers: Film fest spotlights endangered bird’s return to Chicago’s Lake Michigan shore

The One Earth Film Festival kicks off its 9th season in Chicago starting Friday.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/one-earth-film-festival-great-lakes-piping-plovers-plastic-cafos/

Gary Wilson

Who’s in charge: Lack of storage facility oversight puts waterways at risk

In major lakeside cities around the Great Lakes, there isn’t a clear answer on who handles oversight of industrial storage facilities.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/seawall-inspections-industrial-storage-pollution-government/

Gary Wilson