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Michigan to Pay $600 Million to Victims of Flint Water Crisis

The state of Michigan is expected to pay about $600 million to victims of the Flint water crisis, according to two people with knowledge of a major settlement that is set to be announced this week.

The money would largely be designated for children in Flint who were poisoned by lead-tainted tap water after officials changed the city’s water supply six years ago, setting off a crisis that drew national attention and remains a worry for many residents. Read more.

Photo by Brittany Greeson for The New York Times

Backyard Talk

Systemic Racism In Urban Environments & Our Future

By: Sharon Franklin

Children play near an oil refinery in Los Angeles, California. Photo Credit: Etienne Laurent / EPA

Dr. Jake M. Robinson PhD Researcher, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffiel, South Yorkshire, England recently published an article in The Conversation entitledHow Racism and Classism Affect Natural Ecosystems”.
In the article, Dr. Robinson cited a recent publication in Science Magazine by Christopher J. Schell of the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, “The Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Systemic Racism In Urban Environments” , which reports the conscious and unconscious systemic biases and stereotypes contribute to shaping institutional policies that drive and exacerbate racist and classist structures in urban systems (e.g., law enforcement, residential segregation, and gentrification).
Dr. Schell explained the urban ecosystems are made up of lots of complex interactions that is evident in many cities around the world, where environmental injustice has been dictated by structural racism such as racial segregation in US cities.  He further states that urban social inequality stems from historical and contemporary power imbalances, producing effects that are often intersectional, involving race, economic class, gender, language, sexuality, nationality, ability, religion, and age.  These types of social inequalities risk the cultivation of future stewards of our planet, or the next generation of biodiversity protectors.  Dr. Schell concludes that because of these kinds of factors “The decisions we make now will dictate our environmental reality for centuries to come.” “Two timely examples include the Green New Deal proposal and Paris climate agreement.”

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Toledo’s water-plant waste can’t be put in Benton Township quarry

GRAYTOWN, Ohio — A trial judge’s 2019 decision to block Rocky Ridge Development LLC from using an abandoned Ottawa County quarry to bury spent lime and chemical residue from Toledo’s Collins Park Water Treatment Plant has been upheld by the 6th District Court of Appeals. Read more.
Photo from The Blade