Freshwater Weekly 8/3/18

This week: Foxconn wants 7 million gallons + Freshwater Future goes to Washington + US EPA plan to clean up Lake Erie + funding opportunities.

FOXCONN WANTS 7 MILLION GALLONS OF LAKE MICHIGAN WATER PER DAY

The city of Racine, Wisconsin has requested that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approve a new water diversion of 7 million gallons per day from Lake Michigan for use at Foxconn’s upcoming electronics factory.

At Freshwater Future Canada, we believe this new diversion of 7 million gallons a day violates the intent of the Great Lakes Compact. The diversion is primarily for a private industrial use (Foxconn) rather than public (“largely residential”) use as required by the Compact which states, “all the Water so transferred shall be used solely for Public Water Supply Purposes within the Straddling Community.” The City of Racine is requesting this diversion for the Village of Mt. Pleasant and the Village is a straddling community.

Our sister organisation Freshwater Future is asking supporters to contact the DNR. Learn more here.

FRESHWATER FUTURE GOES TO WASHINGTON

Freshwater Future is in Washington, D.C. this week as a part of Healing Our Waters’ annual Great Lakes Day. Today we met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Congressmen Benny Thompson, James Clyburn, and Cedrick Richmond, as well as Senator Cory Booker.

We discussed the need for investments in infrastructure to prevent tragedies like Flint, Michigan, the adoption of public health standards to prohibit water shutoffs, the establishment of a national standard for affordable water rates, and the importance of fully funding the EPA’s enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Together, we’ll keep working to ensure safe, clean, affordable water for every resident of the Great Lakes.

THE U.S. EPA PLAN TO CLEAN UP LAKE ERIE

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement requires all jurisdictions surrounding Lake Erie to publish action plans for addressing increasingly severe algal blooms, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released theirs this week.

Because of the work our sister organisation Freshwater Future and others have done, the EPA plan contains benchmarks and projections to estimate the success of individual actions at reducing runoff pollution. This is crucial in evaluating whether we’re collectively meeting our pollution reduction targets.

So far, we’ve seen other final plans from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Canada-Ontario. We are still waiting to see what Indiana and Michigan propose. We’ll keep you updated when those are released, and what we’re doing to make sure they’re implemented with full funding.

GRANT WEBINAR THIS WEEK

One of the most important and impactful ways our sister organisation Freshwater Future protects the Great Lakes is by making grants to grassroots groups working throughout the region to protect the waters in their communities. We’re now accepting grant applications through April 10, 2018 from grassroots groups engaged in local advocacy efforts to protect shorelines, inland lakes, rivers, groundwater, drinking water, and wetlands in the Great Lakes Basin.

To guide you through the application process and answer any questions you may have, we’re holding a webinar on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST. Sign up here. If you miss the webinar, email [email protected] for a recap.

You can find all the details you’ll need to get started applying for a grant—including the request for proposals—here on our website. And if you’re not part of a grassroots group in need of these funds, help us spread the word by forwarding this email to someone who is.