Freshwater Weekly: June 4, 2021

Posted on June 4, 2021 by

June 4, 2021

THIS WEEKPush For Historic Investments In Water & Sewer Infrastructure + Permit Requests Sand and Acid Rock Dam for Waste Storage + Administration Hopes to Replace Our Nation’s Lead Lines + PFAS Found in Home Garden Fertilizers

Push for Historic Investments in Water & Sewer Infrastructure

A press event on Monday in Toledo, Ohio focused on the need for massive investment in infrastructure that focuses on water and sewer. Ohio is second in the nation for the number of lead lines that continue to threaten public health (check Table 5 in the link). Freshwater Future’s team member Alexis Smith spoke at the event to highlight the need to remove lead service lines to protect public health. 

Permit Requests Sand and Acid Rock Dam for Waste Storage

Aquila Resources Inc. has applied for a permit to build a crushed waste rock and sandy soil dam design to hold mine tailings from the Back Forty mining project, a large metallic sulfide mine. The dam that would hold the mine’s tailings would be on the Wisconsin-Michigan border, 150 feet from the Menominee River, which feeds into Lake Michigan, a source of drinking water for 6.6 million people. The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin are seeking support and asking people to urge Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to deny the dam safety permit for the Back Forty Project. To send a letter, visit here

Administration Hopes to Replace Our Nation’s Lead Lines

Stories of young children with high-lead levels in blood continue to be reported in many low-income, minority communities in the Northeast and Midwest. The historic small town of Newburg, NY, is another example of a community struggling to pay for replacement of aging lead water pipes to improve public health and trust in their local water system. The Biden Administration hopes to alleviate this widespread environmental injustice by proposing $45 billion through grants and low-interest loans to replace the estimated 6-million lead-pipe service lines across the U.S.

PFAS Found in Home Garden Fertilizers

For many people, using bagged fertilizer is an easy and convenient way to nourish your garden. However, you may want to consider alternative fertilizer sources since recent research has found bagged fertilizer made from biosolids, even those labeled organic and natural, are contaminated with PFAS. Biosolids are sludge from water treatment plants and used in both home and agricultural application. More needs to be done to regulate PFAS contamination such as requiring wastewater treatment plants to monitor and remove PFAS from sewage.



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