These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Drinking water

Drinking water, courtesy of darwin Bell, CC BY 2.0.

  • Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed the $30 million Flint Water Relief Bill to assist Flint residents with water bill debt for water they couldn’t safely use. City officials have had to suspend water bills for Flint residents until credits and adjusted balances can be finalized.
  • Activist Erin Brockovich and the Weitz & Luxenberg law firm have filed a federal class action lawsuit against two companies on behalf of residents in Hoosick Falls, NY, after discovering that the community’s drinking water was contaminated. The team is also investigating other cities in Vermont and New Hampshire that could be affected by water contamination.
  • As many communities struggle with housing affordability, inclusionary zoning laws are becoming a popular means for cities trying to increase the number of affordable housing units.
  • A bankruptcy judge’s ruling that Sabine Oil & Gas can reject midstream contracts with two gas-gathering pipeline companies has only created more uncertainty in the oil and gas industry and among investors. Still at issue is whether the gas reserve “acreage dedications” typically included in such contracts were actually real property transactions that run with the land.
  • Residents of Portland, Oregon, have filed a class action lawsuit against a glass company, claiming that the company’s practice of burning heavy metals in furnaces lacking pollution controls was negligent and reckless.