The Stream, March 11, 2021: Flint Lawyers Ask For Nearly a Third of Settlement Money


  • Lawyers who negotiated a multi-million-dollar settlement for Flint water crisis victims are asking a judge for nearly a third of the $641 million settlement to cover their fees and expenses.
  • Hawaii officials order residents of a town north of Honolulu to evacuate after heavy rains cause flooding.
  • A major palladium and nickel mining company says it needs more time to assess water damages at two Siberian mines.
  • Drought in New Mexico is making farming an unsustainable way of life.

San Diego County congressional representatives introduce legislation to reduce pollution along the United States-Mexico border.

“The biggest challenge in addressing this environmental and public health crisis is that a majority of pollution results from transboundary flows. Addressing cross-border pollution in our region requires strong communication between agencies – from both sides of the border.” – Rep. Juan Vargas. NBC San Diego reports that several representatives of San Diego County introduced a bill in the House to coordinate efforts between federal, state and local agencies for infrastructure projects aimed at reducing pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border. The legislation is supported by several environmental groups in the state. Last week, similar legislation was introduced in the Senate by California’s Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla.


More Work Needed to Meet Global Water Goal, UN Report Says

National governments are not on track to meet ambitious, globally recognized goals to provide universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2030. Nor are they sufficiently shepherding their rivers, lakes, and aquifers through an era of climate change, water stress, and population growth.

Those are the conclusions in a United Nations water agency report that assesses progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 6, a global benchmark that aims to transform the way that water is managed and delivered. The goal encompasses eight targets for drinking water supply, sanitation, watershed management, pollution prevention, and water use.

In Case You Missed It:

Too Few Farmers are Curbing Pollution in Lake Erie. Should They be Forced? – Almost everyone acknowledges fixing the problem will require many more farmers to implement practices that reduce runoff, but will enough farmers change their ways without a government mandate to do so? 

The Story of Water in Texas – The story of water in Texas is the state’s devout allegiance to the principle that mankind has dominion over nature.

Torrential Rain Causes Evacuations In Hawaii

The Honolulu Department of Emergency Management directed people to evacuate their homes in Haleiwa town, north of Honolulu, after heavy rains flooded the area. The Associated Press reports that torrential rains have flooded parts of Hawaii over the past several days. More than 13 inches of rain fell on Monday on some parts of Maui, where officials initially thought a dam set for deconstruction later this year had been breached. Further inspection revealed no structural damage had occurred.



Dozens of lawyers who negotiated a $641 million settlement for victims of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis have asked a judge to set aside nearly a third of money for years of work on the case. The Associated Press reports that the lawyers are asking for up to $209 million to cover fees and expenses. The requested amount is typical for Michigan personal-injury cases, experts say.


The world’s largest palladium producer and leading nickel producer, Norilsk Nickel, said it could be another week before it has an idea of when it can reopen operations at two mines in Siberia. Operations at the Oktyabrsky and Taimyrsky mines were partly suspended in late February after Norilsk Nickel detected subterranean water flowing into one of them, Reuters reports. The company has faced opposition over environmental issues and production safety in the past year.


Drought in New Mexico due to climate change is changing life for the state’s farmers, according to the New Mexico Political Report. As water supply dwindles and farms resort to pumping more groundwater to irrigate, farming and ranching could become a financially unsustainable way of life in the state. Despite the fact that water scarcity is on the rise, there haven’t been any major legislative efforts to cap or reduce agriculture’s water demand.

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