Simple actions you can take to protect our waters, from source to tap:
In this pandemic, millions of New York households are struggling to keep healthy, receive and pay for medical care, pay rent, stay current on mortgages, put food on the table, find work or keep their jobs, provide childcare, and pay utility bills. Moreover, New Yorkers struggling the most are disproportionately people of color. Thankfully, the Public Service Commission has begun implementing New York’s new law establishing a moratorium on utility shut-offs during the COVID-19 state of emergency and has issued directives in a guidance published on August 11th for all utilities’ (including formerly non-jurisdictional municipal water utilities’) responsibilities under the shut-off law.
Very few municipal water utilities, however, have complied with the directive to submit a compliance plan and other information. A group of environmental-conservation and community groups, which includes Freshwater Future, has identified only a handful of municipal water utilities that have created forms for customers to declare that they have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. This serious non-compliance by water utilities could leave New Yokers unprotected from unlawful water shut-offs when New York’s state of emergency expires on September 7. The Commission and Department of Public Service staff must take immediate action to strengthen implementation requirements and to enforce the law regarding both public and private utilities.
New York is currently unprepared to deal with the expiration of the state of emergency and blanket moratorium on utility shut-offs on September 7. Moreover, New York utilities appear to have done little to advise their customers, as required by the shut off law, of the rights provided to utility customers in that law. Without strong policies in place guaranteeing New Yorkers their rights under the new shut-off law, and broad and effective communication of such rights and consumer remedies, waves of water shut-offs will likely sweep the state and countless New Yorkers will fall victim to crushing water bill debt.
Send a message to the Public Service Commission demanding that they take action to ensure that utility providers are following the law to keep New Yorkers safe during the COVID-19 crisis.
Water is essential for life and protecting public health. No one person should ever have to worry about whether they are able to put food on the table or have water flowing from their taps. You can urge your Congressional member today to support and work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to swiftly pass the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act and the Emergency Water is a Human Right Act.
Click here to take action!
During a global pandemic where access to clean water is vital and a time when communities are rising up against inequities faced by African-Americans and communities of color in this country, the Trump Administration once again delivers a massive blow to families and our communities across this nation.
Click here to take ACTION NOW!
Thousands of Michigan residents do not have access to clean water. Let the MI Governor know that you want all public water systems in Michigan to immediately begin supplying water to any and all households that have previously had their water service terminated for any reason. Take Action and Click here to send them an email now to make sure all residents have access to water during the COVID-19 crisis.
Please stand with us in the fight to protect the world’s most precious resource, water. To make comments visit regulations.gov – Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149 to compose your personalized comments.
Here are some things to consider when making comments to the EPA.
Clean, safe drinking water is a fundamental concern when addressing public health. Share your story of any health related impacts you have or may be concerned about related to water quality.
The EPA cuts to clean water protections increase the potential of greater exposure to water pollution from nearby industry sources and special interests. This exposure is likely to contaminate key sources of drinking water in rural communities such as surface, groundwater and private wells. Share any concerns you may have related to nearby industrial, commercial, or public use exposure.
In the Great Lakes region alone, billions of dollars are generated annually in both recreational and economic development. Millions of people visit beaches, swim, and explore various types of water activities. Share with the EPA any potential concerns you may have about how water quality might affect these activities in your life. That includes closure of a nearby favorite beach, being prohibited from sailing, swimming or any favorite water activities.
The treatment of wastewater and safe delivery of drinking water is a critical function of the Clean Water Rule. In many older communities across the country, old, crumbling water pipes, many of which are lead based, are still used to deliver drinking water to residential homes and other sites such as schools, day cares, and government buildings. Share your thoughts with the EPA on why advanced technology, research, and increased investment in water infrastructure is key in combating lead exposure for Americans across the nation.
Stay up-to-date on the latest action alerts and events, and stay in the loop on the work our organization is doing every day with the support of people like you.
Lake Erie algae is at a crisis point. Each year, hundreds of beach closures, drinking water warnings, and fish consumption advisories afflict communities across the Lake Erie shoreline. We know what solutions will work, and we already have laws on the books to implement them. Let’s fix this.
Ontario will not proceed with Schedule 10 of Bill 66!
As you many of you already know, the controversial Bill 66 would have allowed municipalities to override laws that protect the water and health of the Green Belt – including the Ontario Clean Water Act. But thanks to public pressure, and all of you who spoke out, the Ontario government has decided to take out the harmful provision. In the words of Green Party leader Mike Schreiner “The people were clear [they] want to protect the Greenbelt and clean water!”
Thank you to everyone who took our action and sent a letter to decision-makers. This would not have happened without you! If you’d like to get notifications to take actions like this one in the future sign up for emails here!
Tell your senators to oppose Andrew Wheeler!
Andrew Wheeler, current acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has been nominated by President Trump to be permanent head of the EPA. As a former coal lobbyist, we do not believe Wheeler will protect or waters, health, or the environment. Since July, he has proposed relaxed versions of the Waters of the United States Rules and mercury controls – threatening streams, wetlands, and our drinking water.
Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming said he expected the Environment and Public Works committee to vote on Mr. Wheeler’s confirmation in February before bringing it to the vote to the Senate floor.
Email your senators and let them know you do not approve of Andrew Wheeler as head of the EPA.
Will you help build water safety and trust in Flint, MI?
Freshwater Future is teaming up with the Flint Development Center to create a community owned and operated water testing lab – and we need your help!
This lab will provide Flint with:
–A trusted source of water testing services for Flint’s 30,000 homes
–Access to sound information about the safety of their water
–A way for Flint youth to lead the way out of the Flint Water Crisis
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.
Be sure to share this list with your friends and family in need of a nudge, a reminder, or a back-to-basics invasives education.
Sign up for our emails to get instant updates on opportunities for you to stand up for the Great Lakes. Additionally, you can learn more about our services, apply for a grant, or become a member today!