To find contact information for your elected officials, just enter your zip code and your elected officials will be displayed with all the information you need to contact them including email, phone, social media hashtags, and mailing address. For more information about contacting your elected officials, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law last year, there is cause to be excited yet focused and vocal in anticipation of a one-time, 5-year program (2022-2026) that will increase the amount of grants and low-interest loans available to local governments, especially those considered disadvantaged communities, to fund lead service line replacements and other large water storage, treatment, and distribution upgrades.
Applications for these “state revolving funds” (learn more here) are time-consuming, very detailed, and often beyond the scope of a local government’s capacity. And while these loans are low-interest, many communities have not been able to afford taking out loans to pay for aging water infrastructure since this program was created by a 1996 amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
We encourage residents to engage NOW with their local officials on this issue because of the upcoming annual deadlines for funding consideration. Many localities have already completed the process, and usually the number of qualified applicants outnumbers the available annual funding. If it is too late this year for your community, it is the perfect time to begin the process for next year to ensure your community has access to safe, affordable drinking water for decades to come.
How can you begin the conversation with your local officials?
Let us know how your conversations go! Contact Kristen at 231-348-8200 x 9 or kristen@freshwaterfuture.
Millions of people across the country currently do not have access to tap water or are facing their water being shut-off due to the billions of dollars of utility debt that has grown exponentially during the pandemic. As the Delta COVID variant cases ramp up, it is imperative to pass legislation that secures utility debt relief so everyone has the ability to wash their hands and masks.
Unfortunately, the over $1 trillion Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill moving through the Senate does not include a prohibition on utility shut-offs or utility debt relief. Access to clean, safe, and affordable water is a basic human right and need. Congress has a role in ensuring all Americans have access to this life giving resource. Call your Congressional members today and urge them to pass the Maintaining Access to Essential Services Act.
Last week we shared that an asphalt plant was proposed near Flint and that due to its proximity it may increase exposure of Flint residents to environmental pollutants from the facility. Freshwater Future has prepared a summary with talking points you can use to submit comments to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The deadline to submit is August 16, 2021. To view these talking points, click here.
In June, the Biden administration delayed the implementation of the Trump Administration’s federal lead and copper rule (LCR) until December 2021 to seek additional public comments and potentially revise the Trump Administration’s LCR. Along with the delay, the U.S. EPA launched a public commenting period, holding roundtable discussions in 10 locations across the U.S. They are also seeking public comments until July 30, 2021. The U.S. EPA is asking individuals to submit comments through a specific online portal, and we are asking you to take a few minutes and use the talking points HERE to craft and submit your individual comments by going to https://www.regulations.gov/
It only takes a few moments to send a letter through our automated system. CLICK HERE to see how easy it is to make your voice heard.
Households across the Great Lakes are being crushed by a tidal wave of water utility debt. That weight — which totals in the billions of dollars nationally — is decades in the making and was worsened by the economic and health emergencies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As vaccination rates go up, our economy is starting to improve, but many people are still feeling the economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately however, government support has or is starting to expire. It is critical that we work together to ensure that people are able to access tap water for good individual and public health as well as our economy. No one should ever have to decide between paying their utility bills and paying for other essentials.
Urge your members of Congress to #CancelUtilityDebt in the infrastructure package.
A variety of Ohio, Regional, and National organizations, representing medical, environmental, housing, and community interests, are requesting $1 billion of the proposed more than $5 billion the state will receive in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to be dedicated to residential full lead service line replacements. Ohio is second in the nation for lead service lines at an estimated 650,000 lines. The American Medical Association and CDC have determined there is no safe level of lead in humans. Impacts to children exposed to lead include: neurological disorders, decreased cognitive behaviors, lower IQ, ADHD, and kidney disease. If you are involved in an organization that would like to support this request, please contact Kristy Meyer at email@example.com.
New York State residents, take this urgent action today to ensure the health of everyone! Urge Governor Cuomo to Sign-into Law a Statewide Moratorium on Water Shutoffs Today! PLEASE SHARE.
Go online HERE to sign on.
Contact state Senator and House of Representatives Leadership today and urge them to keep tap water flowing to all Michiganders!
On March 31st, the moratorium on shutting off water and restoring tap water to residents unable to pay their water bills expired. NOW is not the time to resume water shutoffs. While Michiganders are getting vaccinated, COVID is once again on the rise. The CDC still maintains washing hands frequently is one of the best ways to prevent spreading COVID-19.
Our decision-makers must ensure all families have access to running water in their homes for good individual and public health. The National Bureau of Economic Research found the number of deaths due to COVID-19 would have been reduced by 14.9% if a federal water shut-off moratorium was in place from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak through November 2020.
No one should have to worry about how they will wash their hands and masks, cook their food, and get their drinking water. Please take action today by contacting Michigan State Legislature leadership to ensure all Michiganders have access to tap water until June 30th.
Click HERE to go online and easily contact your legislators.
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!