Judge: Lawsuit can proceed against Flint water contractor

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Monday refused to dismiss a lawsuit against an engineering company, which is accused of not doing enough to stop the flow of lead-contaminated water in Flint in 2015.

Four families are suing Veolia North America. The company did not participate in the recent $626 million settlement with Flint residents, mostly paid by the state.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2022/01/ap-lawsuit-flint-water-contractor/

The Associated Press

Flint water crisis settlement claims process begins this week

By Michigan Radio

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/2022/01/flint-water-crisis-settlement-claims/

Michigan Radio

Judge OKs $626 million settlement in Flint water litigation

By Ed White, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — A judge on Wednesday approved a $626 million deal to settle lawsuits filed by Flint residents who found their tap water contaminated by lead following disastrous decisions to switch the city’s water source and a failure to swiftly acknowledge the problem.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/11/ap-judge-million-settlement-flint-water-litigation/

The Associated Press

Michigan to pay $300K to only staffer fired over Flint water

DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan said Friday it agreed pay $300,000 to settle wrongful discharge claims by the only employee who was fired as a result of lead-contaminated water in Flint.

The deal with Liane Shekter Smith, who was head of the state’s drinking water division, came weeks after an arbitrator said she was wrongly fired in 2016 by officials who were likely looking for a “public scapegoat” in one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/11/ap-michigan-pay-300k-staffer-fired-flint/

The Associated Press

Seven Years On: The Flint water crisis has yet to conclude

Although it’s been seven years since the Flint water crisis became one of the state’s biggest public health disasters, Flint’s struggle with both the repercussions of the initial incident and with getting clean water have not ended. The court cases continue to unfold, and the city slowly replaces its lead lines.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/seven-years-flint-water-crisis/

Natasha Blakely

Arbitrator: Official wrongly fired in Flint water scandal

By Ed White, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — The only Michigan official fired in the Flint water catastrophe likely was a “public scapegoat” who lost her job because of politics, an arbitrator said in ordering $191,880 in back pay and other compensation.

It’s a remarkable victory for Liane Shekter Smith, who served as head of the state’s drinking water office when Flint’s water system was contaminated with lead.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/ap-official-wrongly-fired-flint-water/

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.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

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

Gary Wilson

Drinking Water Roundup: Senate passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Canada reaches $8 billion settlement with First Nations

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:

  • State moves toward phaseout of firefighting foam with harmful ‘forever chemicals’ – Chicago Sun Times

Illinois will take a first step toward reducing the use of firefighting foam containing harmful “forever chemicals” under a bill signed into law by Gov.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/08/drinking-water-senate-infrastructure-bill-canada-settlement-first-nations/

Rachel Duckett

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

‘Some crumbs’: Critics urge rejection of $641M Flint deal

DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge listened Tuesday to Flint residents who were victims of the city’s lead-contaminated water, a step in determining whether she should sign off on a $641 million deal that would settle claims against the state of Michigan.

More than a dozen people without lawyers signed up to speak, all in opposition.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/07/ap-critics-urge-rejection-flint-settlement-deal/

The Associated Press

Dispute over Flint bone scan device heats up in water cases

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Lawyers are defending the use of a handheld device to check for lead in Flint residents, despite the manufacturer’s warning that it wasn’t designed for that work.

The bone scan device has been a source of controversy in a $641 million settlement with people who were exposed to lead-contaminated water in Flint.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/06/ap-dispute-flint-bone-scan-device/

The Associated Press

Judge rejects effort to extend sign-up for Flint water cash

DETROIT (AP) — A judge on Friday rejected a sudden effort to extend Monday’s deadline to register for a share of a $641 million Flint water lawsuit settlement.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy said she won’t upset a well-publicized 60-day deadline that was baked into a settlement involving Flint, the state of Michigan, residents who were exposed to lead-contaminated water, and other parties.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/ap-judge-rejects-effort-to-extend-sign-up-for-flint-water-cash/

The Associated Press

More than 30,000 registrations so far in Flint water deal

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — More than 30,000 registration forms have been received from people who want to participate in a $641 million Flint water lawsuit settlement.

The deadline is next Monday.

“The registrations are coming in at a pretty brisk pace but timing matters so I just want to repeat that deadline,” U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/ap-more-than-30000-registrations-flint-water-deal/

The Associated Press

Biden EPA to reconsider Trump rule on lead in drinking water

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Biden administration said Wednesday it was delaying the effective date of a policy intended to prevent lead pollution of drinking water, continuing a decades-old debate over how to remove a serious health hazard to children.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it was suspending a regulatory rewrite completed by the Trump administration in December, which is being challenged in court by numerous states and advocacy groups.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/ap-biden-epa-trump-rule-lead-drinking-water/

The Associated Press

Lawyers seeking 32% of $641M Flint tainted water settlement

DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers who negotiated a $641 million settlement for victims of Flint’s lead-contaminated water are asking a judge to set aside up to 32% for fees and expenses for years of work on the case.

If granted, the request would total $202 million in fees and $7 million in expenses for dozens of attorneys who made a deal with the state of Michigan, Flint, a hospital and an engineering firm, according to a court filing Monday.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/03/ap-lawyers-32-percent-641m-flint-tainted-water-settlement/

The Associated Press

Judge gives preliminary OK to $641M Flint water deal

DETROIT (AP) — A judge granted preliminary approval Thursday to a $641 million deal that would benefit Flint residents who were harmed by lead-contaminated water.

The settlement includes $600 million from the state of Michigan, although Flint, an area hospital and an engineering firm are also part of the agreement.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-judge-preliminary-ok-641m-flint-water-deal/

The Associated Press

Q&A: How to protect against lead as Michigan waits for new water pipes

By Kelly House, Bridge Michigan

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/2021/01/qa-how-to-protect-against-lead-as-michigan-waits-for-new-water-pipes/

Bridge Michigan

Michigan cities must begin replacing lead pipes. But who has the cash?

By Kelly House, Bridge Michigan

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/2021/01/michigan-cities-lead-pipes-funding/

Bridge Michigan

Flint families welcome water crisis charges, seek healing

By Kat Stafford, Mike Householder and Corey Williams, Associated Press Writers

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Flint mother Ariana Hawk struggled to find words. Bittersweet came to mind, as did frustrated.

“I literally could have cried,” said Hawk, sitting in her car after learning Tuesday that former Michigan Gov.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-flint-families-welcome-water-crisis-charges-seek-healing/

The Associated Press

Ex.-Michigan Gov. Snyder charged in Flint water crisis

By Ed White and David Eggert, Associated Press Writers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday with willful neglect of duty after an investigation of ruinous decisions that left Flint with lead-contaminated water and a regional outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

The charges, revealed in an online court record, are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ex-michigan-gov-snyder-charged-in-flint-water-crisis/

The Associated Press

Flint water crisis: Rooted in neglect, fallout continues

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, The Associated Press has learned.

Questions and answers about the crisis that made Flint a symbol of the nation’s decaying drinking water infrastructure:

WHAT HAPPENED, AND HOW?

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-flint-water-crisis-fallout-continues/

The Associated Press

Michigan plans to charge ex-Gov. Snyder in Flint water probe

DETROIT (AP) — Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, which devastated the majority Black city with lead-contaminated water and was blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2014-15, The Associated Press has learned.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-michigan-plan-charge-ex-gov-snyder-flint-water-probe/

The Associated Press

U.S. Justice Dept: Flint company owner dumped millions of gallons of untreated leachate in sewer

By Tracy Samilton, Michigan Radio

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/2021/01/flint-company-owner-dumped-millions-gallons-untreated-leachate-sewer/

Michigan Radio

Years After Flint Water Crisis, Lead Lingers in School Buildings

By Jane Johnston, 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/2021/01/years-after-flint-water-crisis-lead-lingers-school-buildings/

Circle of Blue

Demands for change, requests for information pertaining to Flint water settlement

By Amy Diaz, Flint Beat, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Flint, MI– A Flint activist and a Flint attorney are each taking action regarding the $641.25 million water lawsuit settlement the City joined two weeks ago.

Flint City Council voted to approve the city joining the settlement with $20 million of insurance funds, to the dismay of many citizens who were disappointed in the terms and amount of the settlement.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/demands-change-requests-information-flint-water-settlement/

Flint Beat

Flint joins $641M deal to settle lawsuits over lead in water

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The Flint City Council on Tuesday signed off on its portion of a $641 million settlement with residents of the poor, majority-Black city who were exposed to lead-tainted water.

The city’s insurer would kick in $20 million as part of a sweeping deal to settle lawsuits against Flint, the state of Michigan and other parties.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/ap-flint-joins-641m-deal/

The Associated Press

Judge plans to hear from residents in $641M Flint water deal

DETROIT (AP) — A judge said Monday that she’ll wait until January before deciding whether to give preliminary approval to a $641 million settlement in a lawsuit by Flint residents who were exposed to water contaminated with lead and bacteria.

Residents in the city of 100,000 still will get a chance to give their opinion if preliminary approval is granted, U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/ap-judge-residents-641m-flint-water-deal/

The Associated Press

Flint water settlement borrowing plan approved by lawmakers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan legislators on Wednesday finalized a plan to borrow $600 million to finance the state’s proposed settlement with the residents of Flint, whose water was contaminated with elevated levels of the neurotoxin lead.

The legislation received House approval on 105-3 and 104-4 votes and will be signed by Democratic Gov.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/ap-flint-water-settlement-borrowing-plan-approved-by-lawmakers/

The Associated Press

Michigan will borrow $600M for Flint water settlement

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers on Wednesday planned to begin swiftly passing a plan to borrow $600 million to fund the state’s proposed settlement with the residents of Flint, who sued after their municipal water supply was contaminated with elevated levels of lead for 18 months.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/ap-michigan-borrow-600m-flint-water-settlement/

The Associated Press

What should justice look like for Flint after the water crisis? Residents weigh in

By Amy Diaz, Flint Beat, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Flint, MI– Lorraine Taylor remembers when she first started having to fit bottled water into her already tight $20 weekly grocery budget.

She remembered thinking about how blessed she was to have a car so she could drive to the grocery store.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/what-should-justice-look-like-for-flint-after-the-water-crisis-residents-weigh-in/

Flint Beat

Officials: Flint makes progress toward ending water crisis

Flint has taken important steps toward resolving the lead contamination crisis that made the impoverished Michigan city a symbol of the drinking water problems that plague many U.S. communities, officials said Monday.

A total of $120 million in federal and state funding has helped Flint replace more than 9,700 lead service lines, which carry water from main pipes into homes, said Kurt Thiede, administrator of the U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/ap-officials-flint-makes-progress-toward-ending-water-crisis/

The Associated Press

How does a $641 million Flint water settlement get to residents? Attorneys give answers

By Amy Diaz, Flint Beat, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Flint, MI– Attorneys involved in the Flint Water Litigation provided an overview of the $641.25 million water settlement Nov. 23 on the City of Flint Facebook page.

This information session followed the proposal of a $20 million contribution to the settlement by the city’s insurer.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/641-million-flint-water-settlement-residents-attorneys/

Flint Beat

Drinking Water News Roundup: Wisconsin sets caps for 22 contaminants, lead pipes more likely in POC communities

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:

  • People of Color in Illinois More Likely to Live in Communities with Lead Pipes – WBEZ.org Chicago NPR

Research has long shown that pollution often disproportionately affects low income — especially Black and brown — communities.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/drinking-water-wisconsin-contaminants-lead-pipes/

Grace Dempsey

Flint water lawsuit settlement now totals about $641 million

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The proposed settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of residents of Flint, Michigan, who were harmed by lead-tainted water now totals about $641 million, officials revealed Tuesday.

The lawsuit was the result of workers following state environmental officials’ advice not to use anti-corrosive additives.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/ap-flint-water-lawsuit-settlement/

The Associated Press

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

Legionella and other dangerous pathogens still lurk in U.S. drinking water

By Lynne Peeples, Ensia, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Before her 73-year-old mom contracted Legionnaires’ disease at a nursing home earlier this year, Monique Barlow knew little about the deadly pneumonia and the waterborne pathogen that causes it.

“Until then, I didn’t give it much thought,” says Barlow.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/legionella-dangerous-pathogens-drinking-water/

Ensia

Judge: Flint must check water lines in newer neighborhoods

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Tuesday ordered Flint to check for lead or galvanized steel water lines in neighborhoods built since the 1990s, despite the city’s belief that the homes have copper pipes.

Flint is in the homestretch of digging down to water lines at more than 20,000 properties and replacing them if necessary, the result of a deal that settled a lawsuit by residents and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-judge-flint-water-lines-newer-neighborhoods/

The Associated Press

Michigan governor releases $500 million water infrastructure plan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a $500 million plan Thursday to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in Michigan that includes actions such as replacing lead service lines and removing chemical pollutants.

The initiative, dubbed MI Clean Water, calls for creating a pot of money from which local governments could apply for grants or loans to improve their water treatment systems.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-whitmer-michigan-500-million-water-infrastructure-plan/

The Associated Press

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

Across the U.S., millions of people are drinking unsafe water. How can we fix that?

By Lynne Peeples, Ensia, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

This story is the first in a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation.

Once a week, Florencia Ramos makes a special trip to the R–N Market in Lindsay, California.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/drinking-unsafe-water-contaminants-solutions/

Ensia

August 20, 2020

This week: Flint Children Beneficiaries of Legal Settlement + New York’s Environmental Justice Communities Eligible for New Water Infrastructure Project Financial Incentives + The 2020 Water Is Life Festival Goes Virtual Sept 5 and 6th + The Great Waterspout Outbreak of 2020 + Show Your Lake Erie Love on Social Media, August 26th with #WeAreLakeErie + Fall Project Grants Due September 30!


Flint Children Beneficiaries of Legal Settlement

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office announced the Flint Water Crisis victims will receive an anticipated $600 million settlement from the State of Michigan. The funds will be primarily directed to Flint children harmed from the exposure of lead contaminated water. While Freshwater Future is happy to see that some responsibility is being taken by the state, we know that this will not make Flint residents whole, and we will support their efforts to ensure the needed resources become available.


New York’s Environmental Justice Communities Eligible for New Water Infrastructure Project Financial Incentives

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced changes to New Yorks’ financing tools giving priority to water infrastructure projects that provide critical financial assistance to disproportionately affected low-income and disadvantaged communities that have historically faced some of the worst environmental impacts from years of neglect and disinvestment. New York’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund will provide zero- and low- interest loan incentives to support critical water infrastructure that protect the environment and public health.


The 2020 Water Is Life Festival Goes Virtual Sept 5 and 6th

The Annual Water is Life Festival celebrates our connection to the water and builds power through community to protect water resources. This year’s live-stream event encompasses music, art, youth activities, as well as poignant discussions on water equity. The Water is Life Festival is free-of-charge and open to the public. For event information and to register, visit their info page.


The Great Waterspout Outbreak of 2020

Great Lakes water temperatures have climbed high under the scorching sun this summer. Recent cold fronts that have passed over these warm waters in conjunction with changing wind direction resulted in a massive waterspout outbreak.  During the week of August 10, 84 waterspouts were spotted around the Great Lakes, crushing the previous record in 2013 at 67.


Show Your Lake Erie Love on Social Media, August 26th with #WeAreLakeErie 

As western Lake Erie continues to be plagued by annual—and sometimes toxic—algal blooms, Ontarians and Americans are being asked to join in a social media rallying cry for urgent action to protect the lake and, along with it, drinking water for millions of people. People can participate in this 4th annual social media event by sharing Lake Erie stories and photos on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtag #WeAreLakeErie to help create a virtual wave of support for the lake to demonstrate to decision-makers the important role the lake plays in the lives of so many people. The event was created in 2017 by three Canadian environmental organizations: Environmental Defence Canada, Canadian Freshwater Alliance, and Freshwater Future Canada. Anyone who participates will be entered into a draw to win a custom “I Love My Lake” tee.


Fall Project Grants Due September 30! 

For 25 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.  Visit our website for additional information: https://freshwaterfuture.org/grants/freshwater-future-grants/

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-august-26-2020-2/

Alexis Smith

Whitmer: $600M Flint water deal a step toward making amends

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A $600 million deal between the state of Michigan and Flint residents who were harmed by lead-tainted water is a step toward making amends for a disaster that upended life in the poor, majority-Black city, Gov.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/ap-whitmer-flint-water-deal-600-million/

The Associated Press

Source: Michigan reaches $600M deal in Flint water crisis

Michigan will pay $600 million to compensate Flint residents whose health was damaged by lead-tainted drinking water after the city heeded state regulators’ advice not to treat it properly, an attorney involved in the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Details will be released later this week, according to the attorney, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about it ahead of an official announcement.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/ap-michigan-deal-flint-water-crisis/

The Associated Press

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

Roller Coaster: Michigan’s long history with environmental contamination

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you are on a roller coaster ascending the first and highest hill on the ride. You hear the click, click, click as the car slowly climbs to the top and you start getting excited, even nervous, the closer you get to the peak.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/michigan-history-environmental-contamination/

John Hartig

March 20, 2020

SPECIAL EDITION: 
Water Issues During COVID-19

Dear Community Partners,

During this unprecedented crisis, Freshwater Future’s main priorities are to ensure the safety of our Great Lakes communities and partners and to help sustain public health and well-being. All of us and our families will be dealing with different levels of social, economic and health impacts from the precautions we need to take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Know that Freshwater Future is here to help you in any way with support, information, outreach, and contacting public officials.

Freshwater Future has been working diligently to ensure that water service is restored to those where it has been turned off and that safety issues continue to be at the forefront, such as availability of filters for lead and PFAS.  We will continue to move these critical water needs forward throughout the crisis and know that you will continue your important work as well. Please let us know your needs and questions by contacting Alicia Smith, alicia@freshwaterfuture.org or 231-348-8200.

We are in this together, and together, we will overcome this crisis and rise.

Jill M. Ryan, Executive Director, and Freshwater Future Team

Returning Water To Waterless Homes Important: Flushing Required

Between 2014 and 2018, water was shutoff to over 100,000 customers in Detroit alone.  People all over the Great Lakes region do not have running water. Because of the importance of hand-washing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, many cities are turning the water back on for residents.  In support with our community partners, Freshwater Future is asking Governors and Directors of Health and Human Service Departments to turn water on for all residents.

Here is an update and how you can help:

Michigan–The city of Detroit is turning water back-on for residents, very slowly, with only 400 of more than 3,500 homes having received service. Other cities have halted future water shutoffs, but have yet to restore water to residents currently without water in their homes.  Click here to ask Governor Whitmer and Robert Gordon to turn water on for all-now!

Ohio–Freshwater Future staff have been working to get water access returned for residents all over Ohio.  Columbus, Toledo, and several other cities have restored water access (learn more about our work here).

Wisconsin–After Governor Tony Evers declared a state of public health emergency to enhance response to the COVID-19, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission directed utilities– water, electric, and natural gas to stop disconnecting services. Utilities must also reconnect service for occupied dwellings.

If you need support with getting water turned on in your community, please contact Kristy Meyer, kristy@freshwaterfuture.org or 231-348-8200 ext. 7.

Water Back-On, Don’t Forget to Flush

After water is restored to a house, all water lines require flushing to remove stagnant water and potential pollutants.  If you have a family member, friend, or you face this issue, learn how to properly flush your water now.

Dr. Mona says 80% of Flint kids tested need special services

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician that helped reveal the Flint Water Crisis, stated in a “60 Minutes” interview that 80% of Flint kids will need additional educational services as a result of lead exposure.  Prior to the crisis, approximately 15% of Flint kids required additional services.  Dr. Hana-Attisha and her colleagues are studying lead in baby teeth to learn more about the correlation between learning problems and exposure to lead.

Freshwater Future, Calling All Smiles On Deck!

There are times like this when everything seems wrong and letting yourself fall seems like the only thing you can do. Until a helping hand reaches down to pull you back up, greeting you with a smile from ear to ear. Reminding you that this journey for clean and safe drinking water does not have to be endured alone. Freshwater Future works tirelessly with community members all around the Great Lakes to ensure that when times are tough they’ve got teammates to lean on. Coronavirus has arrived with a presence spreading into all levels of social, economic, and health areas. This too shall pass and we shall overcome it. Enchanted with brighter days awaiting us at the end of the tunnel. Fight on! We’re right there with you.

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-future-weekly-march-20-2020-covid-19-update/

Alexis Smith

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

Michigan Supreme Court hears case over Flint water liability

DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers urged the Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday to clear the way for Flint residents to sue state officials over lead-contaminated water.

The case at the state’s highest court is one of many in state and federal courts over the scandal.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/ap-michigan-supreme-court-flint-water-liability/

The Associated Press

January 24, 2020

This week:  Supreme Court Rules Flint Residents Can Sue City and State Over Water + Indiana Attempts to Limit Lake Access + Michigan Sues 17 Companies Over PFAS + Ice Balls Roll Up on Great Lakes Shores + Michigan’s Governor Requested to Declare Water Shutoffs Health Emergency

Supreme Court Rules Flint Residents Can Sue City and State Over Water

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions that would allow Flint residents to pursue legal cases against the City and State regulators related to the Flint Water Crisis.   The Flint Water Crisis started in 2014 when the City switched water supplies and failed to use corrosion control that caused an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease and lead contaminated water.  With this decision, Flint residents can take steps to hold accountable government officials for the crisis.

Indiana Attempts to Limit Lake Access

Public access and use of Lake Michigan’s shoreline in Indiana was validated in 2018 by the Indiana Supreme Court.  Indiana legislators introduced a bill that would transfer the ownership of Lake Michigan shoreline from the State of Indiana to private property owners. Indiana’s Lake Michigan shore runs 45-miles and many areas are dealing with erosion from the high water levels.

Michigan Sues 17 Companies Over PFAS

The State of Michigan is suing 17 companies for environmental contamination from the family of toxic chemicals called PFAS used in products for waterproofing, stain repellents, and fire retardants.  Scientific research shows health impacts from exposure to these chemicals including thyroid problems, cancer, and developmental and immunity problems for children.  The lawsuit seeks damages based on companies knowing the impacts and hiding them from consumers.

Ice Balls Roll Up on Great Lakes Shores

Beachcombing on the Great Lakes is for all seasons. Wintertime can be the best time to find interesting rocks and the only time of year you’ll find ice balls. Ice balls form when ice chunks are rolled over and over by waves smoothing out the jagged edges. Check out this video of ice balls formed recently on Lake Michigan.

Michigan’s Governor Requested to Declare Water Shutoffs Health Emergency

Shutting off water from unpaid bills is a disaster according to Mark Fancher, attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  Two groups, the ACLU and Great Lakes Environmental Law Center asked Governor Whitmer to put a moratorium on water shutoffs in Detroit. Research shows that water shutoffs significantly increase public health infections.

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-january-24th-2020/

Alexis Smith