Thursday, December 5, 2019

In Great Lakes states, progress and setbacks on the water front

Updated from 12/4. But a collection of Indiana and Illinois officials seem determined to drag the Great Lakes Compact into an already muddled water sourcing municipal mess.

Gov. Evers declared 2019 as the Year of Clean Drinking Water in Wisconsin
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Inside the DNR's State Fair building this year
with initiatives aimed at lead abatement (trimmed $40 million by GOP legislators) and 'forever chemicals' contamination despite the typical support from some (Republicans) in Wisconsin for more brown, dirty, unhealthy or privatized water.

And it's great to see similar efforts in other Great Lakes states to protect the region's critical water supplies, including: 

* In Michigan:

Nestle's Ice Mountain bottled water operation in northern Lower Michigan is not an essential public service, its bottled water is not a public water supply, and Osceola Township was within its rights to deny the company zoning approval for a new booster pump station to move its water, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. 
Nestle Waters North America pursued the pump station in anticipation of receiving final approval on a plan to increase water withdrawals from its White Pine Springs well in Osceola Township from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute.
* And also in Michigan:
LANSING, MI — Michigan regulators want to revise how the environmental risk from spreading livestock waste on farms is evaluated as part of a new draft general permit for industrial scale agriculture businesses that would, among other things, prohibit the application of manure on farm fields during three winter months.
* In Ohio:  
— The nearly 1,500 public drinking water systems in Ohio will be tested for “forever chemicals” that can harm health, according to a plan announced Monday by the DeWine administration.
* And this one in particular with a WI and MN hook:
Three AGs sue to block Enbridge pipeline
I'm not saying this is revolutionary. It may be more a series of coincidences, and not even a trend. And there are still hurdles to climb posed by the Back 40 mine along the Menominee River, the Kohler golf course along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and Trump's move to allow toxic minion close to the pristine Boundary Waters, and the troubling approval by Evers of a bill to turn pipeline protesters into felons.

But let's treat the good news as building blocks her and regionally that sure look better than headlines like these:

Wisconsin Senate fires Ag Secretary

Is Central Sands or Kewaunee County, WI the next Flint?

More fecal matter found in more SW WI wells

Arresting reporters is no solution to crap in the water

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