Schools and childcare centers would get lead-free water filters under bills passed in the Senate

BY: - September 26, 2022

Two bills that streamline improving water quality in schools and childcare centers passed the Michigan Senate last week. The bills would install lead-free water filters and develop other water safety plans to be implemented in schools and childcare centers.  Senate Bills 184 and 185 were introduced by Sens. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) and Jim Ananich (D-Flint). […]

‘This is racism — environmental racism at its finest’

BY: - September 13, 2022

The Michigan head of one of the nation’s prominent civil rights organizations told the Advance this week that water quality challenges that have affected mid-sized cities such as Flint, Benton Harbor and now Jackson, Miss., are the cause of “white flight and corporate disinvestment.” “There is an overall issue that this country hasn’t been able […]

Lawmakers, activists call for stronger pollution regulations following Huron River chemical spill

BY: - August 10, 2022

More than 100 people gathered on the banks of the Huron River in Milford Wednesday to call for action and accountability in the aftermath of a chemical spill into the river system.  Representatives from Clean Water Action, the Environmental Council of Huron Valley stood alongside lawmakers, local officials, business owners and residents, demanding stronger polluter […]

Early results show no signs of contamination following Huron River hexavalent chromium spill

BY: - August 4, 2022

Following reports of a hexavalent chromium spill in the Huron River on Monday, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has begun testing at multiple sites in the river system.  Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen and can cause multiple negative health effects through contact with skin, or when inhaled or ingested. […]

‘We’re still here’: Indigenous water protectors call for Enbridge to respect treaty rights

BY: - July 25, 2022

On a cloudy May afternoon, a short walk from the turbulent Mackinac Straits waters, tribal citizens from Michigan to Siberia marched miles down the streets of Mackinaw City in protest against fossil fuel projects on tribal lands. The date was May 14, 2022: One year and a day since Canadian pipeline company Enbridge became an […]

‘It’s a disaster for kids’

BY: - June 7, 2022

The children in Benton Harbor are changing. They are “more moody, more short-tempered, they’re not doing as well in school,” said Corey Stern, an attorney with the New York City-based law firm Levy Konigsberg, who at the end of May filed a lawsuit on behalf of about 400 Benton Harbor children who the suit alleges […]

Michigan officials say over half of Benton Harbor lead lines have been replaced

BY: - May 26, 2022

State officials announced this week that a major milestone had been reached in the city of Benton Harbor, as more than 50% of the lead lines had been replaced with new copper lines or verified as lead-free.   On Tuesday, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark gathered in Benton Harbor […]

Lawmakers pass massive $4.8B plan for water, infrastructure and more

BY: - March 24, 2022

A deal reached between Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan’s GOP-led Legislature culminated in almost $5 billion in spending being passed Thursday to shore up infrastructure, drinking water quality, transportation, housing and more. The main supplemental spending bill, Senate Bill 565, was introduced by state Rep. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) and largely uses leftover state and […]

Bills would protect Michigan’s freshwater supply, close bottled water loophole

BY: - March 17, 2022

House Democrats reintroduced legislation Thursday to expand protections for Michigan’s water supply and close a loophole in state law allowing corporations to bottle Michigan’s water and ship it elsewhere. The bill package, introduced by state Reps. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) and Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), clarifies that groundwater and surface water are […]

New: Whitmer budget plan hikes higher ed by 5%, also boosts nursing home worker pay

BY: - February 8, 2022

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new budget plan will include a 5% funding hike for Michigan’s 15 public universities and 28 community colleges — the highest increase in decades. Universities would have to cap tuition increases. She also will propose that all nursing home workers stretched thin during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a $2.35 per hour […]

Benton Harbor water crisis is the ‘ultimate inexcusable repeat of history,’ 3rd lawsuit says

BY: - January 11, 2022

State officials’ decisions around the water crisis in Benton Harbor, including allegedly pushing off a corrosion control study, left “thousands of people to drink and use knowingly unsafe lead-contaminated water,” according to a new class-action lawsuit.  “It has been less than six years since the declaration of emergency that made the Flint water crisis worldwide […]

‘A history of overcoming’ in Benton Harbor

BY: - December 26, 2021

Sitting in Benton Harbor’s oldest home, a space built in 1849 that’s filled with the echoes of history, Morton House Museum Board President Denise Reeves and Board Trustee Kate Ulrey scanned the rooms in front of them: expansive, tall-ceilinged places filled with concrete reminders of the people who once called the Southwest Michigan city home.  […]