Freshwater Weekly: March 19, 2021
March 19, 2021
This week: Helping Others Make a Difference: Board Spotlight + Michigan Residents Outraged by 8-month Disclosure Gap on PFAS + New York Legislature Moving Budget Bills for COVID Recovery, But Excludes Water Shut-Off Protections +Flint Water Crisis Update–Attorneys Want Large Percentage of Settlement Fees + World Water Day
Helping Others Make a Difference: Board Spotlight, Karen Reinbold
Freshwater Future board member, Karen Reinbold’s experience with community environmental activism at a young age was a powerful influence. Her mother demonstrated that protecting our waters is something we can’t take for granted or leave to others. This lesson ultimately helped connect Karen to Freshwater Future. Karen shares here how she was able to take action in her community and help Freshwater Future help communities around the Great Lakes.
Michigan Residents Outraged by 8-month Disclosure Gap on PFAS Contamination
Michigan residents and members of a citizens advisory group criticized state officials about taking 8-months to notify residents of an investigation of the toxic chemicals called PFAS near an airport, putting residents’ health at risk. The state had test results showing contamination and had informed airport officials but did not inform residents near the contamination for 8 months. Changes should be made immediately to the state’s outreach protocols to improve disclosure and transparency before and during environmental contamination investigations. Stay tuned for future opportunities to inform officials about PFAS contamination in Michigan.
New York Legislature Moving Budget Bills for COVID Recovery, But Excludes Water Shut-Off Protections
New York Senate’s budget proposal includes substantial funding for rental and homeowner assistance; the arts; education; businesses, including minority and women owned small businesses; and a provision for the creation of a $3 billion Clean Water, Green Jobs, and Green New York bond to be voted on in November, 2021. This bond would provide critical funding for the preservation, enhancement, and restoration of New York’s natural resources while reducing the impacts of climate change. Missing from both the Assembly and the Senate’s versions of the budget bill is the Governor’s proposed water shutoff moratorium language when there is a state of emergency.
Flint Water Crisis Update: Attorneys Want Large Percentage of Settlement Fees
Attorneys involved in the Flint Water Crisis civil lawsuit settlement filed for 32% of the total settlement to cover their fees, which is approximately $210 million. The majority of the settlement is designated for the children who were poisoned during the switch of the city’s public water source. The federal judge will decide what percentage of the settlement will be subject to attorney fees. Freshwater Future praises the lawyers for the assistance in doing what’s right and urges them to continue to do so by allowing more dollars to flow to the residents.
Deadline Approaching–Freshwater Future Project Grant Applications Due March 31, 2021
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