Freshwater Future Weekly: October 20, 2023

This Week: Tell Congress to Renew Federal Water Assistance Program; Lobbying Basics for Nonprofits; Improve Minnesota’s Water System Funding; New Law Mandates Universal Lead Testing for Michigan Toddlers; Prevent a Nickel Mine from Polluting Lake Superior; Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Crypto-Mining Site on Seneca Lake Over Warm Water Discharges
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Take Action: Tell Congress to Renew Federal Water Assistance Program

Over the last two years, the first ever federal water assistance program has successfully helped residents pay off drinking water and wastewater debt to keep the services flowing. This program expired in September and many of our neighbors are facing increasingly unaffordable water bills with no help. Congress must now provide additional funding because everyone deserves safe and affordable water. Tell your elected officials in Congress to pass the Water Access Act (read it here) to continue the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program for another year.

Lobbying Basics for Nonprofits Topic of Freshwater Future’s Free Water Watchers and Wellness Session!

Freshwater Future offers monthly Water Watchers and Wellness sessions designed to meet the unique needs of grassroots environmental and community group leaders. Join us next Thursday, October 26th, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm ET, for a guided movement practice and relaxation followed by an informational session on lobbying basics for nonprofits. Register here!

Deadline November 13th: Your Voice is Needed to Improve Minnesota’s Water System Funding!

America’s water infrastructure is aging and failing.  The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is an important resource to ensure that public drinking water remains safe, clean, accessible, and affordable. Yet if changes aren’t made to Minnesota’s program, this money may not reach the communities that need it most. You can help by taking action through Freshwater Future today. Right now, Minnesota has their annual plans open for public comment until November 13th – Submit comments for Minnesota today!

New Law Mandates Universal Lead Testing for Michigan Toddlers

Michigan’s Governor signed legislation mandating lead testing for all 1- and 2-year-olds in the state. Starting next year, doctors treating minors must conduct lead poisoning tests at 12 and 24 months, with additional testing for those at risk. Michigan joins 10 other states, New York being the only other Great Lakes state, to have a universal lead testing requirement. The law aims to identify lead exposure early to prevent severe health, learning, and behavioral issues. This action is a step in the right direction, yet it must be coupled with actions and funding to help children with lead poisoning. Sign on to our pledge to demand a strong Lead and Copper Rule and read more in our blog

Submit Comments Today to Prevent a Nickel Mine from Polluting Lake Superior!

A Minnesota mine developer is hunting for nickel ore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. To do so, the company is seeking the largest lease request of 23,288 public acres. Nickel and copper that are in sulfide-containing rocks create acid mine drainage – a major threat to drinking and surface water sources as well as being toxic to fish and other aquatic life. We cannot afford to risk 10 percent of the world’s fresh surface water to pursue a mineral that is already being phased out of EV battery systems – Click here and take two minutes to tell the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to deny this dangerous mine! 

Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Crypto-Mining Site on Seneca Lake Over Warm Water Discharges, Ruling State May Skip Over Federal Rules

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging Greenidge Generation’s warm water discharges into Seneca Lake in Rochester, New York. Three environmental groups filed the lawsuit, claiming that Greenidge violated federal law by renewing its state discharge permit without filing aquatic impact reports required by the Clean Water Act. The judge ruled that state law, not federal provisions, determined whether a state-issued permit could be administratively continued during a renewal application. Freshwater Future believes this decision subverts the Clean Water Act and sets a dangerous precedent.