The Stream, December 15: Michigan State Legislature Agrees to Spend $23.2M to Combat PFAS Contamination

The Global Rundown

Plans to combat harmful algae in Lake Erie could cause a hike in water rates for Ohio residents. Flood victims in northern Italy are evacuated by helicopter after the Enza River flooded its banks. Erratic weather, including lengthy droughts and severe rains, prompts countries in Africa to modernize their forecasting. The Michigan state legislature agrees to spend $23.2 million on combating PFAS contamination in drinking water. A group of weather researchers attributes several of last year’s extreme weather events to human-caused global warming.

“Africa’s development, climate and resilience agendas are inextricably linked. An estimated 90 percent of all disasters on the continent are weather and climate driven.” –Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s vice-president for Africa, in reference to the lack of preparedness for extreme weather events across much of the continent. Too much or too little rainfall has ruined the livelihoods of many Africans, prompting national governments to step up their investment in accurate weather forecasting. Reuters

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By The Numbers

1,000 Number of people evacuated from the northern region of Emilia Romagna, Italy, including some by helicopter, after heavy rains caused the Enza River to overrun its banks. Heavy rain and snow fall are hampering travel throughout northern Italy. ABC News  

$23.2 million Amount that the Michigan state legislature allotted for expenses to response to the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in household drinking water. The chemicals were recently discovered among homes in Kent Country, near an old dumpsite of shoe manufacturer Wolverine World Wide. MLive  

In context: Congress passes defense bill that includes perfluorinated chemicals health study.

Science, Studies, And Reports

On Wednesday, the American Meteorological Society published a report linking several recent weather events directly to human-caused global warming. For the first time, the organization concluded that increasing ocean temperatures, the severity of El Niño, extreme worldwide heat, and other major changes were influenced by human activity. Bloomberg

On The Radar

In the latest attempt to minimize harmful algae on Lake Erie, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency hopes to upgrade wastewater treatment plants, which would lower the amount of algae-feeding phosphorus dumped into the state’s waterways. If the plan moves forward, Ohio residents can expect to see slight increases in their water rates. U.S. News and World Report