Freshwater Future Weekly: December 15, 2023

Freshwater Future Weekly: December 15, 2023

This Week: Take Action – Use your Voice to Ensure the Strongest Lead Protections in Drinking Water; Rocket Launch Site on Lake Superior Blocked; Give and support NO Lead is Safe; Road Salt is Harming Our Waters – Meet the Advocates Fighting for a Solution; Open-Pit Mine Threatens Lake Superior with Acid Mine Drainage

Take Action: Use your Voice to Ensure the Strongest Lead Protections in Drinking Water

The Lead and Copper Rule is intended to protect families by preventing and responding to lead in drinking water. The U.S. EPA is  taking public comments until February 5, 2024 on their proposed updates to the Lead and Copper Rule. We have an opportunity to urge the U.S. EPA to adopt the strongest protections possible. Use your voice and Take Action to demand changes that will better protect public health and respond to lead in drinking water. 

This is a HUGE opportunity to push for changes that will reduce lead poisoning. The more people speak out the better chance we have to get the strongest possible improvements.  You can do more and learn more at Freshwater Future’s January 9th virtual event where we will discuss the proposal and how to make your voice heard through written or verbal comments to the U.S. EPA – Sign up here!

Win! Rocket Launch Site on Lake Superior Blocked 

Freshwater Future grantees Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior (MI) achieved a significant victory as the Powell Township Board passed a resolution, stating a proposed rocket launch site project is prohibited under the current zoning ordinance. The resolution states that the 2,892-acre rocket launch site is inconsistent with current and future land use defined in the Township Master Plan. Over the past few years, the advocates at Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior have worked hard to educate and engage residents, get expert opinions, and create petitions. We are thankful for their community involvement and commitment to protect Lake Superior! This resolution marks a significant win in the ongoing battle to protect Lake Superior. Freshwater Future will continue to keep you updated. 

Give Your Year-End Gift Today and Support NO Lead is Safe!

Your year-end contribution to Freshwater Future is vital in our fight to eliminate lead and other contaminants from our freshwater resources. Your financial gift will make a positive difference in keeping families safe and will strengthen and uplift community action on water issues with more tools and resources groups need. Thank you for caring, sharing, and giving your support toward this critical cause! You can help by clicking here!

Road Salt is Harming Our Waters: Meet the Advocates Fighting for a Solution 

Excessive road salt use during winter is harming the water quality of lakes and groundwater, and requires immediate attention, according to researchers at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. The researchers’ study revealed a significant increase in salinity of Ontario’s groundwater and lakes, leading to oxygen depletion that negatively impacts aquatic life. Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, as a part of the Road Salt subnetwork of the Great Lakes Network, is working to “Shake the Salt out of Freshwater” by advocating for stronger regulations on the use of salt in stressed freshwater watersheds. Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director of Rescue Lake Simcoe, said of the coalition “Over the fall the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition and Water Watchers have pulled together a number of groups in Ontario who are interested in campaigning together to fight salt pollution in our freshwater.”

Open-Pit Mine Threatens Lake Superior with Acid Mine Drainage

Back in April, we reported on plans for a $1.1-billion open-pit palladium and copper mine on the northern coast of Lake Superior. Recently, the Toronto-based mining company reached a key milestone with the approval of its closure plan and permits for endangered species, air, and noise emissions. However, Freshwater Future is particularly concerned with the ore’s sulfide-bearing rock, known to generate toxic acid mine drainage when exposed to air and water. Past instances, like the Creighton mine in Sudbury, Ontario, underscore the persistent water pollution and waste disposal challenges associated with sulfide rock mining, even with proper permits. The proximity of open-pit mines in sulfide-bearing rock to a vital water source like Lake Superior raises significant environmental and public health apprehensions.