I worried, as I am prone to do, about the thousands of families in Detroit without even a dribble flowing from faucets, their water shut off because of unpaid bills. How do they wash their hands for 20 seconds when they enter their homes? How do they drink plenty of water at the first hint of COVID-19 symptoms? How do they stay healthy?
What we know is that water and public health are inseparable. Without water, we simply can’t fight this pandemic, let alone meet daily household hydration and sanitation needs. Much more work lies ahead to ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable water. Frontline communities like Detroit continue to be hardest hit by growing coronavirus cases.
Enbridge Energy’s permit application is out of step with Michigan’s legal process, according to FLOW. The Canadian energy-transport company has not even sought, let alone obtained, authorization from the State of Michigan for the easement and lease required by law to locate a risky, multibillion-dollar oil pipeline tunnel in the public trust soils and waters of the Great Lakes. Nor has the company sought and obtained a certificate of necessity and approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission to locate the tunnel in the Straits.
Photo by Kathryn DePauw for FLOW. To alleviate the rising threat to the safety and economic security of Upper Peninsula residents, a state energy task force at its April 13 online public meeting should act with urgency to adopt, prioritize, and schedule the implementation of the 14 recommendations in its draft propane supply report. Swift… Read more »
Like all of you, in this time of the coronavirus pandemic, the common ground we share—the ground we stand on—is shaking, sinking, shifting beneath our feet.
Governor Whitmer’s order on March 28 to halt disconnections and restore drinking water followed urgent calls by the People’s Water Board Coalition and its partners—some of which (like Michigan Welfare Rights Organization) have been leading this fight for nearly 20 years. Continued leadership and collaboration with these frontline groups must happen to ensure that water service is restored to every household in need as soon as possible, and that emergency water and sanitation supplies are provided during the intervening days.
By John Gannon My first job after graduating from high school in 1961 was working on the stewards’ crew of the S. S. Aquarama, a car ferry-passenger ship that ran from Detroit to Cleveland. It was put out of business the next year upon completion of freeways between the two cities. Its advertising promotion was,… Read more »
By Dave Long Plastic bottles, bags, straws, and packaging are often the focus for reducing plastics in Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes. But there’s a smaller, more ubiquitous type of plastic pollution, called microfibers—fibers less than 5 millimeters in length—that may pose a bigger threat and may be harder to solve. Many people are… Read more »
We cannot beat COVID-19 without access to safe water for all of us. Water is a public health issue. Water is a human right. This is what the pandemic tells us. Our work continues. It continues every day. We are developing legal and policy solutions for Michigan’s water infrastructure crisis and addressing the COVID-19 emergency needs, fighting Line 5 to prevent a catastrophic Great Lakes oil spill, educating about the importance of groundwater and the need for septic system pollution-control legislation, elevating the role of government in safeguarding our natural resources, and much more.
Today, March 26, would have been the 98th birthday of Michigan Governor William G. Milliken, whose leadership in the 1970s and 1980s put Michigan at the forefront of the 50 states in environmental protection. When the Governor passed away last October, FLOW was honored to be named one of two nonprofit environmental organizations to be designated by his family receive memorial contributions in his name. We continue to accept such donations and will carry on work in Governor Milliken’s name, focusing on protection of the Great Lakes, groundwater and drinking water for all.