January 4th, 2019

This week:  Ontario's Drinking Water Under Threat+ Congress Prepares for Climate Change + Illinois Rejects Asian Carp Funding + Comments on Line 5


Ontario's Drinking Water is Under Threat

The Ontario government recently introduced a very alarming bill that would eliminate critical protections for drinking water - and we need your help in stopping it.  

Bill 66 would allow Ontario municipalities to pass by-laws for new major developments that do not have to comply with critical environmental protections, putting our drinking water at risk of contamination. In particular, we are concerned that these new by-laws would not have to follow sections of the Ontario Clean Water Act, which was created in the wake of the Walkerton tragedy to protect communities from further drinking water threats.  The bill would also remove the requirement for public input, eliminating your right to comment on proposed by-laws in your community.

We need to stop this bill.  Americans and Canadians alike can add their voice by sending a letter to Ontario politicians, urging them to protect our drinking water.


New Members of Congress Prepare to Tackle Climate Change

Yesterday, new members of the 116th Congress were sworn into office. Newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in her first address to the new Congress, called growing concerns over climate change "The existential threat of our time." Calls for a "New Green Deal" championed by congresswoman Alex Ocasio-Cortez, increased after last year's release of a grim climate report from the 4th National Climate Assessment.  The report predicted climate change to have catastrophic impacts on public health and the environment if left unchecked.

The Energy and Commerce Committee plan to address climate change in its first meeting of the year.  


Illinois Rejects Funding for Asian Carp Project

Illinois Governor Rauner recently rejected funding support from Michigan for operation cost associated with repealing Asian Carp. Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder sent a letter to Rauner urging him to accept the funding in efforts to combat the invasive species. Governor Rauner, set to leave office on the 14th, responded to Snyder in a letter, saying the funds wouldn't have been much help. Michigan's new Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to continue Asian Carp efforts. 


Freshwater Future's ED Jill Ryan Gives Thoughts on Line 5

Gov. Whitmer's first action on the controversial Line 5 is making headway in Lansing. Whitmer, who assumed office this past Tuesday, submitted a request to Attorney General Dana Nessel to respond to a series of questions to determine the legality of the deal. The move prompted a response from our Executive Director Jill Ryan. She spoke to 9&10 News about Whitmer's careful approach to addressing the tunnel and the potential threats that loom.   

Additional Resources

Whitmer's First Act

On her first full day in office on Wednesday, Gov. Whitmer signed her first executive directive. The directive requires state employees to report any and all potential threats to public safety, health, and welfare. Many applauded the decision as a direct response to the Flint Water Crisis.     

Great Blakes

Cheers to the New Year with a Great Blakes! Thanks to Blake's Hard Cider Co. and their generosity, proceeds from the sale of "Great Blakes" are being donated to Freshwater Future - cheers to that! Look for it on shelves starting February 1.

Freshwater Future
P.O. Box 2479  | Petoskey, Michigan 49770
(231) 348-8200 | info@freshwaterfuture.org

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