Freshwater Future Weekly: June 24, 2022

Freshwater Future Weekly: June 24, 2022

This Week: Construction Season is Here–Be Prepared for Lead Service Line Replacements + Meet One of Our Spring Project Grantees: Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition + Update on Flint River Oil Spill + Webinar Next Week, 6/29 on Maumee Watershed Nutrient TMDL Project + Juneteenth–Freedom, Hope, and More Work Needed + All About Water Recording Available!

Construction Season is Here–Be Prepared for Lead Service Line Replacements 

It’s finally summer and you know what that means: porch time, hot days, lots of sun, and construction season! However, next time you are stuck in traffic or listening to a morning chorus of construction vehicles, remember that road work isn’t the only reason for the season. Summertime is when improvements to water systems happen too, including replacing lead service lines. If you notice construction of water pipes in your neighborhood, there are some important things to know to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water during water service line construction.  Check out Freshwater Future’s blog post for more information

Meet One of Our Spring Project Grantees: Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition 

The future of hydroelectricity is balancing hydropower needs with environmental and recreational needs. That’s an issue that the Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition seeks to address in their Spring project, focused on empowering citizens’ interests in relicensing and enforcement of settlements for four hydropower projects. View the full list of 2022 grantees on our website. 

Update on Flint River Oil Spill 

News of a release of thousands of gallons of an oil-based substance into the Flint River broke last week and authorities have been working since to both identify the source of the spill and clean it up. The exact substance is still unknown and may not be identified until next week according to EGLE representatives. Thus far, nearly 14,000 gallons have been pulled out of the river. While on June 17th, EGLE confirmed with “chemical fingerprinting” analysis that Lockhart Chemical Co was responsible for the spill, the exact location of the source is still unknown. While Lockhart has accepted responsibility for funding and conducting cleanup and remediation efforts, the city of Flint issued the company a cease and desist order. As there are no drinking water intakes on the river, officials state residents drinking water is not impacted but a no contact order remains in place. 

Webinar Next Week, 6/29 on Maumee Watershed Nutrient TMDL Project 

The Maumee River watershed of northwestern Ohio is a major tributary to the western Lake Erie basin. Municipalities partially or fully in the watershed include Toledo, Defiance, Findlay, Lima, Van Wert, Napoleon, and Perrysburg. The Maumee Watershed Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Project aims to reduce phosphorus pollution in the Maumee River and protect drinking water, aquatic life, and recreational water features of the Lake Erie Shoreline, Open Water, and Islands of the Western Basin. 

This virtual meeting will outline the draft model developed to show different pollutant sources and how the project would reduce them to meet water quality standards. Additionally, the webinar will show how to submit comments during the public comment period. The draft Preliminary Modeling Results is expected to be released for stakeholder review and comment at the end of June 2022. Register here for the June 29th Webinar at 2 pm EST

Juneteenth–Freedom, Hope, and More Work Needed

Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Union soldiers brought the news to approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865, now it is a U.S. federal holiday, Juneteenth or Freedom Day.  Juneteenth provides an opportunity to reflect on our nation’s history and an opportunity to assess progress on equitable policies and practices. Looking at water equity–access to safe, clean, affordable water–we know we have a long way to go.  Freshwater Future will continue working on water equity and justice issues such as our recent work to get water service restored and maintained for thousands of residents in the Great Lakes region and uplift and support the voices and work of our partners and black leaders working in the environmental justice realm.

All About Water Recording Available!

If you missed our All About Water Convening this week, you can watch the recording here. Go to our website to find out more about our speakers and view resources.