Freshwater Future Weekly: November 17, 2023

This Week: Save the Date: #Giving Tuesday; Grantee Highlight: Environment North is Taking on Nuclear Waste; Freshwater Future in DC; PFAS Found in 71% of Wisconsin’s Shallow Private Drinking Wells; Freshwater Future Receives Highest Ratings by Candid and Charity Navigator
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Save the Date: #GivingTuesday, November 28th – A Day of Giving, Sharing, and Caring!

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. You can ensure a brighter future and help make lasting change for our region through your financial support. Please support our efforts on #GivingTuesday on November 28th by making a financial gift, no matter the size. To give an early gift, click HERE. Thank you for all you do to help protect the Great Lakes region!

Grantee Highlight: Environment North’s Advocacy for Safer Nuclear Waste Disposal

Environment North, a Freshwater Future grantee and Hero Awardee, is actively opposing a nuclear waste project in Northwestern Ontario. Plans to transport and abandon 7.2 million used nuclear fuel bundles in Ignace, Ontario pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes. Environment North has intervened, engaging communities and Indigenous peoples, organizing information sessions, and exposing flaws in the abandonment plan. Teaming up with We the Nuclear Free North, they initiated the “Proximity Principle” petition, urging Ontario to manage nuclear waste closer to its origin. Thanks to their efforts, opposition to the proposed site has grown, leading to a delay in the proposed site selection. Environment North said of Freshwater Future’s support “It has assisted us immeasurably in getting the word out about the proposed nuclear waste dump as well as the transportation hazards of nuclear waste. Without this program we are certain that the plans for this facility would not have been delayed.”

Freshwater Future in DC: Making Sure Your Voice is Heard on Lead!   

Last week, Freshwater Future’s Kristen Haitaian went to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to attend the Get the Lead Out: A Policy and Networking Event. Her goal – to make sure that community voices are going to be heard in the development of the new federal Lead and Copper Rule. This month, the EPA will release a new draft rule that could change the way we handle lead in drinking water as a country, and it is more important than ever that impacted communities have a say in this process. Sign our No Lead is Safe pledge for a strong new Lead and Copper Rule and we’ll keep you posted as the public comment period begins, also check out Freshwater Future’s resources to keep your family safe from lead in drinking water!

PFAS Found in 71% of Wisconsin’s Shallow Private Drinking Wells

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are man-made chemicals that can cause health issues such as low birth weight, cancer, and liver disease, and are considered toxic even at extremely low concentrations. A survey conducted in Wisconsin in 2022 by the Department of Natural Resources, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and the state hygiene laboratory found that nearly three-quarters of water samples from 450 private wells were contaminated with PFAS chemicals. This survey, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, marked the state’s first attempt to sample shallow groundwater away from major municipalities or PFAS cleanup sites. The survey found 71 percent of the samples contained at least one PFAS chemical, indicating widespread contamination of private well water. 

As the extent of the PFAS problem grows, it is no surprise that a new report shows that since 2019, the PFAS industry has spent more than 110 million on lobbying. Moreover, since 2019, Congress has introduced more than 130 bills to clean up and mitigate PFAS – only four ultimately became law. None of which required the PFAS industry to fund cleanup. 

Freshwater Future Receives Highest Ratings by Candid and Charity Navigator

For the second year in a row, Freshwater Future has received a Platinum Transparency rating from Candid – the highest seal available. This initiative aims to standardize and centralize nonprofit data collection into a comprehensive database on nonprofits and their programs. Similarly, Freshwater Future’s 100%  score from Charity Navigator means you can donate to us with confidence that your gift will go towards our mission and your passion – all for the people and the waters of the Great Lakes!