Freshwater Weekly: August 23rd, 2019

Posted on August 23, 2019 by

August 23, 2019

This week:  Cyanide from Steel Plant Kills 3,000 Fish + Why More is Needed for Water Security + Water Shutoffs Escalate in Detroit + More

Cyanide from Steel Plant Kills 3,000 Fish

Indiana Dunes National Park closed two of its beaches due to unsafe levels of cyanide and ammonia-nitrogen discharged from Arcelor Mittal’s steel plant for days.  Over 3,000 fish died from the pollution in the Little Calumet River.  The leak discovered on August 12 by the company was not announced to the public by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management until August 15, raising concerns about proper notification.

Why more is needed for water security–Toledo Youth’s Editorial

Dominga Grace will never forget the do-not-drink water advisory that happened five years ago in Toledo as a result of toxic algae.  As a health student at the University of Toledo, Dominga participated in a Youth Water Summit this past June sponsored by Junction Coalition and Freshwater Future.  Her editorial about water quality and water security was recently published in the Toledo Blade.

UPDATE:  Documents Hidden and Permit Process for Mine on Menominee River Problems Revealed

Last week we shared concerns, revealed in an appeal case regarding a proposed open-pit mine on the Menominee River, with regulatory decision-making and transparency.  An interview on Michigan Radio with Detroit Free Press reporter, Keith Matheny provides additional details from the correspondence and the atypical process that was used to grant the wetlands and surface water permit.  The mining company still needs approval of additional permits including an amended mine permit, dam safety permit and air quality permit.

Water Shutoffs Escalate in Detroit

Over 5,300 Detroit homes this summer–one of the hottest on record–were without water for at least a week according to a Bridge Magazine article. Over the six year life of the water collections program, more than 130,000 homes have had their water shut off at least temporarily. While the Michigan legislature has seen proposed bills to protect people from shut-offs, the proposals have languished.  Freshwater Future believes access to clean, affordable water is a basic human right. We are working with community groups and decision-makers to try to move protective measures forward.

Waukesha Diversion Public Hearing Held

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources held a public hearing on Tuesday to take public comment on the pipeline to divert 8.2 million gallons daily from Lake Michigan to Waukesha.  The Great Lakes Compact Council approved the diversion that requires the water to be treated and discharged back to Lake Michigan.  Building the pipeline would cross 22 waterways. Written comments can be submitted to theWisconsin DNR until September 19.

August 31, 2019
Conkling Heritage Park
Mackinaw City, Michigan
12:00 to 6:00 pm

Water is Life Festival celebrates the water and those who work to protect it with music, food, and inspirational speakers.

Donate to Freshwater Future’s Walk, Paddle and Roll fundraiser

Friends of Freshwater Future are walking, paddling, biking, and swimming around the Great Lakes region this summer with a goal to raise $5,000 to support the people working tirelessly to protect and restore our waters from source to tap.

With YOUR support, Freshwater Future is making sure that community groups across the Great Lakes have the tools and resources they need to make sure their water is safe for drinking and recreation. With your gift, we will:

  • Test water in homes and schools for lead contamination

  • Educate and engage youth around clean drinking water, building tomorrow’s leaders for environmental justice

  • Identify waters contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals and educate people about this dangerous pollutant

  • Push for policy solutions that reduce pollution contributing to harmful algal blooms

  • And much more!

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!

Thank you to our Corporate Supporters:

Blake’s Hard Cider

Lush Cosmetics

Busch Systems

Coming Soon: Citizens Cider


© 2022 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.