Billions in environmental justice funds hang in the balance

By Drew Costley, AP Science Writer

Tens of billions of dollars for U.S. environmental justice initiatives originally proposed in a $3.5 trillion domestic spending package now hang in the balance as Democrats decide how to trim the bill down to $2 trillion.

Investments in a wide range of these projects were proposed in the Build Back Better plan, but Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona demanded that the bill be reduced, with Manchin asking for it to be cut by as much as half.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/ap-environmental-justice-funds-balance/

The Associated Press

Intervention: Doctor who exposed Flint’s lead levels sees similarities in Benton Harbor water crisis

For Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, advocating for safe drinking water for Benton Harbor was an easy decision.

She called it a “duh” moment, a “choiceless choice.” Of course she would join a group of citizens and activists in requesting the U.S. EPA to use its emergency intervention authority in Benton Harbor, she said.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/intervention-doctor-lead-levels-benton-harbor-water-crisis/

Gary Wilson

Community Assistance: Report finds disparities in drinking water fund distribution

Drinking water systems in small and more diverse communities nationwide are less likely to receive state funding through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, according to a recent report.

Through the fund, the EPA awards grants to each state and the states add a 20% match, according to the agency.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/09/report-disparities-drinking-water-fund-distribution-inequity/

Taylor Haelterman

Great Lakes Protection Fund: Award celebrates work tackling plastics, invasives, equity

Their daily work aims at reducing microplastics and invasive species in the Great Lakes, increasing attention to equity in the region’s environmentalism, helping communities finance water infrastructure, and better connecting foundations in coastline cities.

For this, six individuals from around the Great Lakes region earned a 2021 leadership award from the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/09/great-lakes-protection-fund-award-plastics-invasives-equity/

GLN Editor

Some Chicagoans Wary of Lead Pipe Replacement

By Laura Gersony, 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/2021/07/chicago-wary-lead-pipe-replacement/

Circle of Blue

Great Lakes Moment: Ecosystem restoration needs more environmental justice

Great Lakes Moment is a monthly column written by Great Lakes Now Contributor John Hartig. Publishing the author’s views and assertions does not represent endorsement by Great Lakes Now or Detroit Public Television.

In southwest Detroit, evidence of environmental injustice can be found nearly everywhere, and communities of color and low wealth feel that polluting companies and government officials are not doing enough to address many long-standing environmental problems.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/07/ecosystem-restoration-environmental-justice-southwest-detroit/

John Hartig

Great Lakes Moment: The US-Canada ecosystem-focused approach to restoration

Great Lakes Moment is a monthly column written by Great Lakes Now Contributor John Hartig. Publishing the author’s views and assertions does not represent endorsement by Great Lakes Now or Detroit Public Television.

The United States and Canada now have over 40 years of collaborative history in use of an ecosystem approach to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/06/international-ecoystem-approach-restoration-great-lakes/

John Hartig

Environmental Justice: Michigan’s goal is to be a national leader

President Joe Biden has put a spotlight on environmental justice like no president before him, and that’s good news for Regina Strong.

“I feel like environmental justice is having a moment,” Strong told Great Lakes Now last week. She was referring to a recent indication that U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan may be willing to engage more than his predecessors with state and local governments on issues important to communities.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/05/environmental-justice-michigan-goal-national-leader/

Gary Wilson

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

Federal Agencies Plan to Investigate Links between PFAS Exposure and Viral Illness

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/2021/04/federal-agencies-plan-to-investigate-links-between-pfas-exposure-and-viral-illness/

Circle of Blue

In flooded Michigan neighborhoods, who should pay for sea walls?

For two straight summers, residents of Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood watched water pour into basements and pool in streets, a result of coastal flooding that will become increasingly common throughout the Great Lakes as climate change progresses.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/climate-change-flooded-michigan-neighborhoods-pay-sea-walls/

Bridge Michigan

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

Air, Wind, Solar: In the Great Lakes region, energy stands out in President Biden’s efforts

If you have the good fortune to gaze at a Great Lake – any Great Lake – sometime in this strange year, you’re not likely to spot a glaring example of President Joseph R. Biden’s new emphasis on protecting the environment.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t coming.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/air-wind-solar-great-lakes-energy-president-biden/

Dave Spratt

Senate confirms Fudge to lead housing agency, Regan for EPA

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development and North Carolina regulator Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, picking up the pace for confirmations in President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/ap-senate-confirms-fudge-regan-epa/

The Associated Press

Building Resilience in Rural America

By  Alessandra Jerolleman, 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.

 

In the United States, 2020 will be remembered not just for a global pandemic but also for a series of back-to-back and record-breaking disasters that affected much of the country, including many rural communities.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/building-resilience-rural-america/

Eos

Enbridge Line 3 divides Indigenous lands, people

CLOQUET, Minn. (AP) — Jason Goward was overjoyed to get a high-paying job on Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline project.

The job, clearing ground with a contractor for the Canadian energy company, meant he could at last pay child support for his two young sons.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/ap-enbridge-line-3-divides-indigenous-lands-people/

The Associated Press

Youth climate activists want an official seat at the table in Biden’s White House

By Ilana Cohen, Climate Tracker

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

 

Last November, youth climate activists helped elect U.S. 

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/youth-climate-activists-biden-white-house/

Climate Tracker

Speaking of Water: How Can the Biden Administration Deliver on Environmental Justice Pledges?

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/2021/02/water-biden-administration-deliver-environmental-justice-pledges/

Circle of Blue

Excited about Biden: Detroit advocate hopeful on environmental justice progress after decades of inertia

Detroit’s Michelle Martinez is acutely aware of the patience needed when your profession is advocating for environmental justice, the fair and meaningful involvement of all people related to environmental laws and policies.

Martinez is acting executive director and statewide coordinator for the grassroots Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition.

It was 1994, almost three decades ago, that President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12898 putting the federal spotlight on environmental justice.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/detroit-advocate-hopeful-environmental-justice-progress-decades-inertia/

Gary Wilson

Rollbacks, Climate, Justice: Environmental attorney on Biden’s commitments, opportunities and challenges

For President-elect Joe Biden, the environment and climate change as campaign issues weren’t tucked away in an obscure position paper. Neither was his intent to focus on environmental justice if elected.

Biden also put a spotlight on President Trump’s rollback via executive order of nearly 100 environmental protections in his four years.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/rollbacks-climate-justice-environmental-attorney-president-elect-biden/

Gary Wilson

Who in the U.S. Is in ‘Plumbing Poverty’? Mostly Urban Residents, Study Says

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/2020/11/plumbing-poverty-urban-residents-study/

Circle of Blue

Minority communities question election-year push by EPA

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Theresa Landrum lives in southwest Detroit, where residents complain frequently about dirty air. Tree-shaded neighborhoods with schools, churches and parks lie on either side of an interstate highway and in the shadow of a sprawling oil refinery that belches soot and fumes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-minority-communities-question-election-year-push-epa/

The Associated Press

Winning Work: Great Lakes Now recognized for communication excellence by Great Lakes Protection Fund

Each year, the Great Lakes Protection Fund chooses a theme and looks for innovation and excellence in work around that theme related to the Great Lakes. Then the best individuals and organizations receive the Fund’s Great Lakes Leadership Award.

This year’s theme is communication, and Great Lakes Now is one of the 2020 award winners!

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/great-lakes-now-communication-excellence-great-lakes-protection-fund/

GLN Editor

Drinking Water News Roundup: Illinois COVID-19 shutoff protections, Ontario First Nation evacuation

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:

  • Illinois Activists Push for Stronger COVID-19 Utility Shut-Off Protections as Winter Nears – The Intercept

In March, the Illinois Commerce Commission announced an emergency moratorium on utility shut-offs to protect customers during the COVID-19 health crisis, but most major Illinois providers resumed service disconnections by late summer.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/drinking-water-illinois-covid-19-coronavirus-ontario/

Grace Dempsey

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

Can the Climate Youth Tip the 2020 Election Against Trump?

By Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation

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

On Monday, The Nation and other Covering Climate Now partners held a “First-Time Voter Youth Day” to highlight the voices of the generation most affected by climate change as we launch a week of joint coverage of Climate Politics 2020.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/climate-youth-2020-election-trump/

The Nation

Want the Youth Vote? Prioritize Climate Change

By Jacob Wallace, The Nation

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

In the speech she gave at the People’s Climate March in Washington in 2017, Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, then 15, told a crowd of thousands, “This [climate change] is not just an environmental issue.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/election-2020-youth-vote-prioritize-climate-change/

The Nation

Intersecting Crises: Fighting for climate justice in a pandemic

Alongside the illnesses, deaths and closures caused by COVID-19, the threat of climate change still hangs over communities across the Great Lakes region and around the world. And the people and organizations fighting against climate change and for environmental justice have found themselves caught between these two threats to public health.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/intersecting-crises-climate-change-justice-covid-19/

Emily Simroth

Illinoisans demand stricter coal ash rules, denounce state proposal

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Illinoisans voiced their fears about coal ash silently contaminating their drinking water, or coal ash impoundments failing and deluging rivers with toxic sludge, during public hearings this week.

It was the latest step in a years-long debate in Illinois, which has the nation’s second-highest number of contaminated coal ash sites, according to a 2011 study.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/illinois-coal-ash-rules-state-proposal/

Energy News Network

Survey analysis finds race plays role in perception, vulnerabilities to climate change in Indiana

By Enrique Saenz, Indiana Environmental Reporter

People across the U.S. are taking to the streets to protest racial inequity, saying that people of color experience a wholly different experience in the country than white Americans. New findings from a statewide survey indicate that the disparity extends to how Hoosiers of different races perceive climate change and its risks.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/race-perception-vulnerabilities-climate-change-indiana/

Indiana Environmental Reporter

Demanding Justice: Detroit activists make formal complaint over hazardous waste sites

Calling their communities sacrifice zones for being home to hazardous waste storage sites, residents in a Detroit neighborhood are taking a stand.

Last week, residents with support from the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center filed a formal complaint with Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy over the agency’s January decision to allow a storage site to increase capacity by nine fold.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/detroit-activists-environmental-justice-hazardous-waste-sites/

Gary Wilson

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

Across America, Five Communities in Search of Environmental Justice

By Kristoffer Tigue, Nicholas Kusnetz, Judy Fahys, Ilana Cohen and David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News

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

In many ways, Maleta Kimmons defines her neighborhood by what it lacks.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/communities-minnesota-new-york-environmental-justice/

InsideClimate News

Great Lakes Moment: A tribute to Guy O. Williams, environmental justice champion

Great Lakes Moment is a monthly column written by Great Lakes Now Contributor John Hartig. Publishing the author’s views and assertions does not represent endorsement by Great Lakes Now or Detroit Public Television.

Guy O. Williams knew very little about the Great Lakes growing up in Lanham, Maryland, about 10 miles northeast of Washington, D.C.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/great-lakes-moment-guy-williams-environmental-justice/

John Hartig

Court: Flint class-action can proceed over lead in water

DETROIT (AP) — Flint residents whose health and homes were harmed by lead-contaminated water scored a legal milestone Wednesday when the Michigan Supreme Court said they could proceed with a lawsuit against public officials for the disastrous decisions that caused the scandal.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/ap-court-flint-class-action-lead-water/

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

Conflicted Over Copper: PolyMet copper-nickel mine has been trapped in litigation

This is the second in a three-part series that will explore the history of Lake Superior and the Boundary waters, the communities affected by two proposed copper mines, the arguments in favor and against the mines, and what the mines might mean for the future of the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/polymet-copper-nickel-mine-litigation-indigenous-environmental-groups/

Lorraine Boissoneault

What are Joe Biden’s views on two of the most controversial environmental projects in Minnesota?

By Walker Orenstein and Gabe Schneider, MinnPost, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

In late April, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign held a virtual event with Minnesota supporters to promote the Democrat’s plans to address climate change and a clean environment.

But while U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/joe-biden-minnesota-mining-line-3-pipeline/

MinnPost

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

Great Lakes Moment: Earth Day turns 50

Great Lakes Now Contributor John Hartig shares his own memories of the first Earth Day and the changes he’s noticed in the nature around him since then.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/great-lakes-moment-earth-day-turns-50/

John Hartig

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

Do More: Water rights advocates call for action from Gov. Whitmer, Mayor Duggan for residents without water

With the COVID-19 global pandemic continuing to spread throughout the U.S., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines have stressed the importance of staying hydrated and rigorously washing hands as a preventative health effort. 

But for thousands of residents in Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor, Hamtramck and other cities around southeast Michigan, following these guidelines is difficult when your water is shut off.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/water-rights-advocates-stations-michigan-governor-mayor/

Ian Wendrow

Struck Down: Federal court rules Lake Erie Bill of Rights unconstitutional

Judge Zouhary says LEBOR’s too vague to be a law.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/lake-erie-bill-rights-federal-court-unconstitutional/

James Proffitt