Freshwater Future Weekly: August 19, 2022

Freshwater Future Weekly: August 19, 2022

This week: Muskegon Heights Water Assistance Victory! + Partnership:  Freshwater Future + Flint Community Lab + More Funds Available for Fall Grants–Is Your Organization Eligible? + Updates on Hexavalent Chromium Spill in the Huron River

Muskegon Heights Water Assistance Victory! 

This week Muskegon Heights city officials signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to allow residents access to the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). Thank you to everyone who emailed city officials and signed the petition to request LIHWAP in Muskegon Heights! Low-income residents in need can now reach out to the Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency’s Muskegon County Office to receive assistance funds for water debt. Contact Information for the Muskegon County Office: 

  • Address: 878 Jefferson Street, Suite 2 Muskegon, MI 49440
  • Phone: 231-557-7622
  • Email: [email protected]

Freshwater Future will continue to work to get communities signed up for LIHWAP, and with your support, we hope to share more victories like these! 

Partnership: Freshwater Future + Flint Community Lab 

As a proud partner of the McKenzie Patrice-Croom Flint Community Lab, Freshwater Future collaborated to host a training session with staff and students working in the lab to innovate around sample collection and data analysis using a special lead tracking app. The Flint Community Lab has analyzed thousands of samples of Flint tap water, helping provide trusted information to residents about the quality of their tap water.  

More Funds Available for Fall Grants– Is Your Organization Eligible?

Freshwater Future has an additional $50,000 dollars available to support our Fall Grants cycle!  Join us for a Q&A Webinar on Freshwater Future’s grant programs, on August 24 at Noon, ET to learn more about how to apply to support your water work.  Register for the webinar here.  Visit our website grant portal to learn more or contact Laurie Breighner at [email protected], or 231-348-8200, ext. 1.

Updates on Hexavalent Chromium Spill in the Huron River

A no-contact advisory in the Huron River was lifted last week by state officials after sampling demonstrated that the hexavalent chromium spill from an automotive manufacturing business into a sewer system that discharges to the River was smaller than previously thought. Even though the amount of the toxin is less than first expected, water advocates are asking for greater accountability and various protests have been held since the spill occurred. The release of the carcinogenic chemical to the wastewater treatment plant was deemed operator error and happened after an employee overrode the manufacturer’s waste treatment alarms around 460 times. For more information click here.  Jill Ryan, Freshwater Future Executive Director noted “this is the second toxin this company has released to the river in recent years, and the state should hold them accountable for this continued indifference to the drinking water source into which their waste is discharged.”