Freshwater Future Weekly: October 8, 2021
THIS WEEK: All About Water Virtual Convenings, October 20 and November 17–Save The Date!+ Canadian Government Uses 1977 Pipeline Treaty to Keep Line 5 Open + Ohio Carries Second Highest Rate of Children With Elevated Blood Levels + Freshwater Future’s 2020 Annual Report Available Now
All About Water Virtual Convenings, October 20 and November 17–Save The Date!
The All About Water convenings will be held October 20 and November 17 from 9:30 am to Noon virtually due to the standing restrictions and risks of COVID-19. The October 20th session will focus on ensuring federal funds target community needs. Water affordability strategy and solutions will be the topic for November 17. Please join us to learn more about how incoming federal funds can be accessed and used to address water safety, climate adaptation and affordability at the community level. Don’t miss out on these dynamic events, register today. Please share with others that may be interested in these events.
Canadian Government Uses 1977 Pipeline Treaty to Keep Line 5 Running
The Canadian government has intervened in the dispute between Michigan and a Canadian oil company (Enbridge) regarding the on-going use of the Line 5 pipeline. The Line 5 pipeline carries up to 540,000 barrels of crude oil and natural gas liquids a day to Ontario and Quebec through the ecologically sensitive Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has revoked the easement that allows the pipeline to cross state-owned lands because of the catastrophic risk it poses to the Great Lakes. According to the Canadian government, the 1977 Pipeline Treaty guarantees an uninterrupted flow of oil and gas across the border and that disputes should be settled with bilateral negotiations or arbitration.
Line 5 was designed to have a 50-year lifespan but has been operational since 1953. There have been 29 reported spills to date. The leaking of over 126,000 gallons of crude oil offshore of southern California on Sunday is a harsh reminder of what is at risk to the environment and the economy. Environmental organizations and Indigenous groups in Canada support Michigan’s efforts to shut the pipeline down and stress that there are viable alternatives to Line 5 that have not been appropriately explored.
Ohio Carries Second Highest Rate of Children With Elevated Blood Levels
According to the American Medical Association, studies show the state of Ohio ranked number two for highest recorded lead levels in children’s blood. In Ohio children, 5.2 percent have elevated blood lead levels, more than twice the national average of 1.9 percent. Older housing with lead-based paints and lead pipes carrying drinking water are significant sources of lead. No level of lead is safe for anyone because lead is a neurotoxin that impairs motor skills and deteriorates cognitive abilities especially in young children. Freshwater Future will continue to support efforts to replace the lead service lines in water systems to further reduce exposure to lead.
Freshwater Future’s 2020 Annual Report Has Been Released
Freshwater Future’s 2020 annual report highlights our year’s work and demonstrates the strength and resiliency of our communities in the face of turmoil. Together, Freshwater with our partners from all over the Great Lakes region stepped up to redefine what impact meant, adapting to COVID-19, and furthering efforts to ensure drinking water is clean, safe, and affordable. To learn more about the work of Freshwater Future with its partners over the last year, click here.