Freshwater Future Weekly: March 31, 2023
Our Work Pays Off in the Canadian Budget!
The 2023 Federal Budget released this week includes a much needed, long sought after, commitment to freshwater in Canada. After Prime Minister Trudeau’s pledge to protect and restore the Great Lakes, Finance Minister Freeland proposed a $650 million (over 10 years) investment to support monitoring, assessment and restoration of key Canadian lakes and rivers, including $420 million specifically for the Great Lakes. Additionally, the government announced the creation of the Canada Water Agency, with an $85 million (over 5 years) initial commitment. The Canada Water Agency will be based in Winnipeg and will be a new, stand-alone entity that will work with provinces/territories, First Nations communities, local authorities, and scientists to manage our freshwater systems. Freshwater Future has long advocated for long-term, sustainable investments in the Great Lakes, and we look forward to working with the various governments on these new initiatives.
Submit Public Comments to Stop Toxic Coal Ash Disposal at Two Michigan Energy Plants
The U.S. EPA announced a preliminary decision to deny an application for an energy company to continue dumping toxic coal ash into unlined waste ponds at two coal-fired power plants. Stating that the ponds adjacent to the Raisin River and Belle River are not sufficiently protecting groundwater, the U.S. EPA recommends denial. But the company still has an opportunity to refute this claim during the public comment period which will close on April 10th. Sign our letter to the U.S. EPA today to support the permit denial and avoid any further contamination. Freshwater Future will send it to the U.S. EPA on April 10th. Don’t wait, it only takes a minute to sign on.
Last Chance to Register For All About Water!
On Tuesday, April 4th from 9:30 AM – 12 PM ET, we will hold our All About Water Spring Convening. This event will feature expert speakers on accessing the billions of federal dollars flowing through programs called State Revolving Funds. We will discuss how to include community voices when planning these projects, ensuring local contractors are utilized and how to connect these issues to community action to ensure unprecedented water infrastructure funding reaches the communities that need it the most. Don’t hesitate, register now for the upcoming session!
Chemical Spill In Delaware River Stirs Panic in Philadelphia Residents
On the evening of Friday, March 24th, a Bucks County, PA latex finishing plant spilled chemicals into a Delaware River tributary, sparking a frenzy for bottled water after residents were recommended to not use tap water on Sunday afternoon out of an “abundance of caution”. The tap water advisory was quickly retracted that same day after Philadelphia officials reported that they did not find contaminants in the water sampled at the city’s Baxter Water Treatment Plant. City officials are continuing to monitor the water quality, but the full extent of the spill remains to be seen. While the water has been declared safe to drink now, there is still distrust in many communities with residents continuing to stock up on bottled water despite the city officials advice. This spill, like many others, calls attention to the need for more stringent protections of drinking source waters, as well as laws that ensure financial and environmental accountability to remediate disasters.
Online Viewing of PFAS Documentary, No Defense, on Monday, April 3
The PFAS documentary, No Defense will be aired virtually on Monday, April 3, at 6:30 pm ET. The 2020 film focuses on PFAS contamination from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan. The film features the work of Tony Spaniola and Need Our Water (NOW) working to get the contamination cleaned up and addressed. You can register for free at: https://www.sounddefensealliance.org/events