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Freshwater Weekly: September 6th, 2019

Posted on September 6, 2019 by

September 6, 2019

This week:  Five Counties Adopt Resolution to Support Tunnel under Straits + Ohio Chamber Rewriting Ohio Law to Revoke Lake Erie Bill of Rights + Freshwater Future’s Testing Program Identifies Forever Chemical – PFAS – in Drinking Water Near Seneca Lake, New York + Canada and Ontario Teaming up for the Health of the Great Lakes

Five Counties Adopt Resolution to Support Tunnel under Straits: Yet an Independent Report Concludes Line 5 is Not Needed for Propane Supply

Five northern Michigan Counties have adopted resolutions supporting the construction of a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac for an oil and gas pipeline.  Their resolution language states there will be no interruption of service during construction of the tunnel.  A bill is expected to be introduced in the Michigan legislature supporting the tunnel soon. The $500 million price tag to construct the tunnel is a risky investment when less expensive and safer alternatives exist including decommissioning the Line 5 pipeline.  An independent report indicates that Line 5 is not needed for Upper Peninsula propane supply.

Ohio Chamber Rewriting Ohio Law to Revoke Lake Erie Bill of Rights

The Ohio Community Rights network request for public records revealed emails between the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and an Ohio Representative that requested language revoking legal standing for nature and ecosystems be added to the Ohio budget. 

“The Ohio Chamber of Commerce is rewriting Ohio law, handing it off to supposed ‘representatives of the people,’ in order to try to ban a people’s movement. But Rights of Nature is a movement whose time has come. The genie is out of the bottle, and not the state, not the courts, and certainly not the Ohio Chamber of Commerce can stop it. All that is uncertain, is which side of history those in power will be on,” said Toledo organizer Bryan Twitchell.

Freshwater Future’s Testing Program Identifies Forever Chemical – PFAS – in Drinking Water Near Seneca Lake, New York

Recently news broke that PFAS, a man-made chemical found in Teflon and other water repellent materials, was found in the drinking water of residents around the Finger Lakes.  Seneca Lake Guardian, a community organization, collected drinking water samples near the Seneca Army Depot to be analyzed as part of Freshwater Future’s PFAS testing program. PFAS can cause a number of health impacts from developmental effects in fetuses and children, to cancer. 

Seneca Lake Guardian is asking the state to:

  • Publicly share all test results for both public and private water supplies where testing has taken place in New York so far;

  • Confirm that individual well-owners have been notified and advised about the contamination, risks, and how to protect themselves;

  • Immediately promulgate state-level drinking water standards of no more than 2 parts per a trillion for PFOA and PFOS, combined; and

  • Immediately identify the source of contamination and a cleanup plan for areas contaminated by PFAS. 

Please call Governor Cuomo’s office today at (518) 474-8390.

Everyone has a right to access, clean, safe, and affordable drinking water. For more information about PFAS, check out our website.  

Canada and Ontario Teaming up for the Health of the Great Lakes

The governments of Canada and Ontario recently released the Canada – Ontario Agreement for public comments, which closed yesterday.

Canada and Ontario have a long history of working together to improve conditions in the Great Lakes. Since 1971, federal and provincial agencies have cooperated under a series of Canada-Ontario Agreements (COA).

Donate to Freshwater Future’s Walk, Paddle and Roll fundraiser

Friends of Freshwater Future are walking, paddling, biking, and swimming around the Great Lakes region this summer with a goal to raise $7,500 to support the people working tirelessly to protect and restore our waters from source to tap.

With YOUR support, Freshwater Future is making sure that community groups across the Great Lakes have the tools and resources they need to make sure their water is safe for drinking and recreation. With your gift, we will:

  • Test water in homes and schools for lead contamination

  • Educate and engage youth around clean drinking water, building tomorrow’s leaders for environmental justice

  • Identify waters contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals and educate people about this dangerous pollutant

  • Push for policy solutions that reduce pollution contributing to harmful algal blooms

  • And much more!

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