Freshwater Future Weekly: February 9, 2024

This Week: Private Water Company Will Pay $25M Settlement for Flint Water Crisis; Join our Monthly Giving Circle; Michigan’s Legal Battle Over Livestock Farm Pollution Permit; Forest Service Grant Allows Wisconsin to Acquire Pelican River Forest; Spring Project Grants are Open; Climate Innovation Town Hall Featuring Freshwater Future February 13th!
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Private Water Company Will Pay $25M Settlement for Flint Water Crisis

A private water company will pay $25 million as part of a class action lawsuit settlement of more than 45,000 Flint residents. The settlement will result in affected minors each receiving a payment of $1,500. The lead contamination of Flint’s municipal water system contributed to severe health impacts in residents including lifelong learning impairments as well as other medical conditions. The company was sued for not doing enough to urge the city of Flint to address the lead contamination by treating the highly corrosive water or returning to the regional water supplier. 

Join our Monthly Giving Circle! 

At Freshwater Future, we are dedicated to protecting the people and the waters of the Great Lakes region and helping to ensure everyone has clean, safe, and affordable freshwater. Please consider joining our monthly giving circle! Freshwater Future’s friends and supporters can contribute a monthly donation that fuels our efforts all year long. You can ensure a brighter future and help make lasting change for our region through your financial support now. You can start by clicking here. Thank you!

Michigan’s Legal Battle Over Livestock Farm Pollution Permit

In 2020, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) altered permit requirements to reduce manure pollution from large livestock operations known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  Agricultural producers claim the changes were major and should have been part of a longer rulemaking process. Michigan’s Supreme Court will decide whether EGLE has the authority to change pollution permits without a lengthy rulemaking process. Freshwater Future and other water protectors are concerned that a ruling favoring big agriculture could render EGLE powerless to address CAFO pollution. The outcome of this case will have significant implications for Michigan’s capacity to take timely regulatory action when it comes to pollution

Forest Service Grant Allows Wisconsin to Acquire Pelican River Forest!

The state of Wisconsin purchased conservation easements on 55,000 acres in the Pelican River Forest in Oneida County with funds from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy grant program. Although the land remains private, purchase of the easements means that the forest is open to public access for recreation. The easements also specify that no development, including mining, is allowed on the property.  An alliance of groups, organized by Gathering Waters helped to achieve this largest conservation purchase in state history, which includes 22,000 acres of forested wetlands and 58 miles of streams.

Spring Project Grants are Open! Does Your Water Group Need Funding? 

Our 2024 grant opportunities are open for applications from now until March 30th! Freshwater Future provides financial support for community groups working to promote drinking water, river, lake, shoreline, wetland, and groundwater protection in the Great Lakes Basin through grassroots advocacy efforts. Interested in applying? Call Freshwater Future staff to share more about your idea before submitting a project grant proposal. Contact Laurie Breighner, or (231)348-8200 ext. 107, to check your eligibility, help with your application, or to ask questions. You can learn more about our Spring Project Grants here and sign up to attend the Q&A Webinar on Thursday, March 14th from 12-1 pm Eastern Time.