Simple actions you can take to protect our waters, from source to tap:
City of Racine Seeks Approval for “Straddling Community” Water Diversion, Clashes With Great Lakes Compact
The water diversion application is to send Lake Michigan water to the southwest corner of Mount Pleasant, an area that includes the planned Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing campus. The application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is to extend water service to the part of Mount Pleasant located in the Mississippi River basin, outside the Great Lakes basin.
At Freshwater Future, we believe this new diversion violates the intent of the the Great Lakes Compact (an eight-state agreement in place to manage water diversions and withdrawals from the Great Lakes). The diversion is primarily for a private industrial use (Foxconn) rather than public (“largely residential”) use as required by the Compact which states, “all the Water so transferred shall be used solely for Public Water Supply Purposes within the Straddling Community.”
We’re asking you to contact the Wisconsin DNR; tell them to reject the City of Racine’s water diversion application to provide water to the future site of the Foxconn facility.
Company Seeks Wetland Permit for Sulfide Mine on Menominee River
Aquila Resources is developing an open pit gold-zinc sulfide mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 150 ft from the Menominee River—the U.P.’s largest river and a tributary of Lake Michigan. To build the mine, Aquila is requesting a permit to destroy valuable wetlands. We’ve written extensively in the past about the dangers of sulfide mines. There isn’t a single one in existence that hasn’t released toxic acid pollution into nearby waters.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments on the permit application through February 2. Tell them to deny the wetlands permit and save the Menominee River from potentially devastating pollution.
THIS CAMPAIGN HAS ENDED. Thank you for taking action to protect Michigan waters. The DEQ is no longer accepting comments on this permit application, but we’ll keep you updated on their decision and any next steps.
Federal Bill Would Require Transfer of Superior National Forest Land to Mining Company
Our neighbors in Minnesota are in an urgent struggle to protect Lake Superior from the PolyMet open-pit sulfide mine. We need your help to block a federal bill (HR 3115) that would require a land exchange transferring 6,650 acres of Superior National Forest land to the PolyMet mining company, which plans to build a sulfide nickel-copper mine near Lake Superior. Over 60 regional environmental groups oppose the land swap, and the National Congress of American Indians has passed a resolution in opposition.
Michigan Bills Would Dramatically Change State’s Environmental Law
Michiganders, we need your help to stop two sets of bills that would undermine existing environmental protections and dramatically change how our environmental laws are implemented. If passed, these bills could impact all environmental law in Michigan, for years to come.
1. Senate Bill 652 and House Bill 5333 transfer decision-making power from environmental experts to a committee of stakeholders comprised primarily of industry representatives. There is no requirement that committee members have environmental science education, training, or experience—only that they have a stake in the outcome of decisions.
2. Senate Bill 653 and House Bill 5332 change the appeal process for environmental permit applicants. DEQ decisions—like denied permits for mining or for development in wetlands—could be appealed to a board of the governor’s political appointees, and their decisions would be final.
Email your Michigan senator and representative today. Tell them you want experts—not industry—making the state’s environmental decisions; tell them to vote “NO” on this collection of bills.
Our Favorite Tips for Keeping the Lakes Healthy and Clean
Small actions can make a big difference! At Freshwater Future, we help thousands of communities around the Great Lakes protect their local waters so that, together, we can protect the whole of the Great Lakes. Individual actions are powerful, too! Here are five little things with big impact that you can do to help keep our lakes healthy and clean.
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