News Briefs: Protesters Block Route of Biosolids Delivery Trucks

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, the city of Berkeley, California, is planning to call manholes "maintenance holes" to remove gendered language from its city code

Protesters in Chase, British Columbia, are blocking the routes of trucks transporting biosolids to a bison ranch.

The protesters represent the Secwepmc Nation and are calling their organization the Secwepmc Elders Sacred Fire and Women’s Sacred Fire Council.

Group spokesperson Miranda Dick says public communication around the biosolids application was lacking, and that they want biosolids tests conducted with results made public. “How do they know it is safe to be near our water,” she asks the Salmon Arm Observer.

Berkeley to Rename Manholes 'Maintenance Holes' to Remove Gendered Language

If you’re going to dismantle the patriarchy from the bottom up, that means starting with the sewers. The city council in Berkeley, California, plans to refer to manholes as “maintenance holes” as part of an ordinance that would formally remove all gendered language from its city code.

The proposal would replace all instances of “he” or “she” in the city code with “they” in an effort to be gender neutral.

“A male-centric municipal code doesn’t reflect the reality of the city of Berkeley,” a city council member tells NBC News.

California Passes $1.4 Billion in Funding for Safe Drinking Water Projects

This week, the California state legislature made history with the passage of SB 200 and the establishment of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The fund provides more than $1.4 billion over the next decade to assist 1 million Californians who lack safe drinking water. 

The fund will support safe drinking water projects, help consolidate unsustainable small-water systems, and provide subsidies for high operation and maintenance costs for systems in low-income communities throughout the state.  

 SB 200 is the culmination of over a decade of work by Clean Water Action, community members and partner organizations. It is the result of 12 years of studies, legislative efforts and advocacy by impacted community members.


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