Freshwater Weekly: January 24th, 2020

Posted on January 25, 2020 by

January 24, 2020

This week:  Supreme Court Rules Flint Residents Can Sue City and State Over Water + Indiana Attempts to Limit Lake Access + Michigan Sues 17 Companies Over PFAS + Ice Balls Roll Up on Great Lakes Shores + Michigan’s Governor Requested to Declare Water Shutoffs Health Emergency

Supreme Court Rules Flint Residents Can Sue City and State Over Water

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions that would allow Flint residents to pursue legal cases against the City and State regulators related to the Flint Water Crisis.   The Flint Water Crisis started in 2014 when the City switched water supplies and failed to use corrosion control that caused an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease and lead contaminated water.  With this decision, Flint residents can take steps to hold accountable government officials for the crisis.

Indiana Attempts to Limit Lake Access

Public access and use of Lake Michigan’s shoreline in Indiana was validated in 2018 by the Indiana Supreme Court.  Indiana legislators introduced a bill that would transfer the ownership of Lake Michigan shoreline from the State of Indiana to private property owners. Indiana’s Lake Michigan shore runs 45-miles and many areas are dealing with erosion from the high water levels.

Michigan Sues 17 Companies Over PFAS

The State of Michigan is suing 17 companies for environmental contamination from the family of toxic chemicals called PFAS used in products for waterproofing, stain repellents, and fire retardants.  Scientific research shows health impacts from exposure to these chemicals including thyroid problems, cancer, and developmental and immunity problems for children.  The lawsuit seeks damages based on companies knowing the impacts and hiding them from consumers.

Ice Balls Roll Up on Great Lakes Shores

Beachcombing on the Great Lakes is for all seasons. Wintertime can be the best time to find interesting rocks and the only time of year you’ll find ice balls. Ice balls form when ice chunks are rolled over and over by waves smoothing out the jagged edges. Check out this video of ice balls formed recently on Lake Michigan.

Michigan’s Governor Requested to Declare Water Shutoffs Health Emergency

Shutting off water from unpaid bills is a disaster according to Mark Fancher, attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  Two groups, the ACLU and Great Lakes Environmental Law Center asked Governor Whitmer to put a moratorium on water shutoffs in Detroit. Research shows that water shutoffs significantly increase public health infections.

PFAS Test Kits – GIFT a KIT!
Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!


  • Pollution limits will help to protect drinking water for millions of Great Lakes' residents.…
  • Thank you to Pellston High School students for volunteering with Freshwater Future to address PFAS in drinking wate…
  • Research finds that most water filters do not completely remove Toxic PFAS. Follow the story here, and visit Freshw…
  • If we’re the ones drinking the water we should be the first to know what’s in it and where we’re getting it from! S…
  • Communities are suffering from a lack of clean and affordable water. The #DirtyWaterRule will increase water rates…

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