Freshwater Weekly May 29, 2020
May 29, 2020
TThis week: Floodwaters Mix with Chemicals After Dam Failures + Some Residents of Chicago May Find Relief from Lack of Running Water + Funding for Lakewalk in Duluth Approved + Wind Turbines in Lake Erie Moves Forward with Limitations + Our Own Alicia Smith Receives “Urban Waters Learning Network Award”
Floodwaters Mix with Chemicals After Dam Failures
Two dams failed in mid-Michigan after 4.7 inches fell on mid-Michigan in 48 hours after several previous days of rain. The flooding surrounded Dow Chemical, headquartered in Midland. Levees designed to protect the plant from external forces were infiltrated causing floodwaters to comingle with dangerous chemicals within the plant creating potential environmental contamination.
Some Residents of Chicago May Find Relief from Lack of Running Water
Many cities in the Great Lakes region are scrambling to reconnect their water customers with service in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Chicago, residents fear having to pay past bills before they can have their water restored. Relief may be in sight for those who qualify, as the City has announced a Utility Billing Relief Program featuring reduced rates, no late penalties or debt collection, and debt forgiveness with on-time payments for 12 months.
Funding for Lakewalk in Duluth Approved
A popular seven-mile trail that follows the Lake Superior shoreline in Duluth received funding approval from City Council to rebuild the Canal Park section. High waters and storms damaged the trail. Federal and state funding will cover 75% of the improvements and City funds will be used for the remainder.
Wind Turbines in Lake Erie Moves Forward with Limitations
A pilot project for six-offshore wind turbines in Lake Erie, which would be the first of its kind in North America, took one step forward. The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation received approval from the siting board with 33 conditions including no nighttime operations from March through October to reduce impacts to bats and birds. The energy company stated that the conditions could kill the project. Opponents are concerned that the environmental assessment did not adequately address all the potential impacts.
Our Own Alicia Smith Receives “Urban Waters Learning Network Award”
A huge congratulations to our Community and Policy Director, Alicia Smith for receiving the Urban Waters Learning Network Award, presented at the Virtual River Rally for her work with the amazing Junction Coalition in Toledo, Ohio.