Kelly House

Kelly House covers Michigan environmental issues for Bridge. She joined the Bridge staff in March 2020. Previously, Kelly reported for the Oregonian, where her coverage of the environment and other topics garnered national honors and sparked state efforts to better protect Oregon’s natural resources. She has a master’s degree in environmental law from Lewis & Clark Law School and a bachelor’s in journalism from Michigan State University. She is from Harrison and lives in Lansing. You can reach her at khouse@bridgemi.com or on Twitter at @Kelly_M_House.

Articles

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

June 16, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

The owner of the failed Edenville dam claimed it lacked money to make needed safety upgrades. Instead of demanding flood repairs, state lawyers played hardball on the cost of dead mussels.

Judge: Edenville Dam still poses ‘grave risk,’ needs immediate inspection

Judge: Edenville Dam still poses ‘grave risk,’ needs immediate inspection

June 16, 2020 | Kelly House

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered the Edenville Dam’s owner to report back by Friday with a plan to take “immediate action” if lingering damage to the dam’s Tobacco River side poses an ongoing risk to the public.

Appeals court sides with Enbridge over Dana Nessel in Line 5 tunnel dispute

Appeals court sides with Enbridge over Dana Nessel in Line 5 tunnel dispute

June 11, 2020 | Kelly House

In a unanimous opinion issued Thursday, a three-judge panel rejected the Michigan Attorney General’s constitutional challenge to the Republican-passed 2018 law that made way for the Line 5 tunnel project.

After Edenville Dam fail, five other Michigan dams may pose lethal danger

After Edenville Dam fail, five other Michigan dams may pose lethal danger

June 5, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

Five state-regulated dams listed as high-hazard and in poor condition could kill people and cause widespread damage if they fail, according to the state. They are located throughout the state.

After Midland floods, a question: Where did waters carry toxic chemicals?

After Midland floods, a question: Where did waters carry toxic chemicals?

June 3, 2020 | Kelly House

Scientists and environmental activists say they’re hopeful recent floodwaters didn’t undo years of work to clean up dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River, but they’re awaiting sampling results to know for sure.

Insomnia, flashbacks hitting Michigan hospital workers as coronavirus ebbs

Insomnia, flashbacks hitting Michigan hospital workers as coronavirus ebbs

June 3, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio, Kelly House

Burnout and suicide rates were already high among health care workers. Now, hospital systems and mental health providers are responding to trauma caused by the intensity of responding to COVID-19.

Line 5 tunnel’s future could hinge on a few words in 2018 law, court learns

Line 5 tunnel’s future could hinge on a few words in 2018 law, court learns

June 3, 2020 | Kelly House

The Michigan Court of Appeals to decide whether a law that paved the way for a planned tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac is constitutional, since words in its title didn’t match the text of the law.

How weak regulations failed to prevent catastrophe at notorious Midland dam

How weak regulations failed to prevent catastrophe at notorious Midland dam

May 31, 2020 | Kelly House, Riley Beggin

Regulators warned for 25 years that mid-Michigan dams were dangerous, yet their problems persisted. Dam safety experts say the failure to fix the dams is emblematic of the country’s broken regulatory system.

Two heirs bought Midland dams as a tax shelter. Tragedy followed.

Two heirs bought Midland dams as a tax shelter. Tragedy followed.

May 27, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, Riley Beggin

Heirs to the fortune of the Boy Scouts founder — an architect and a bagpiper — purchased the Edenville Dam as an investment to avoid taxes, records show. For 14 years, the family trust clashed with government officials on taxes, regulations, fishing and other issues. Then came the rains.

See Dow Chemical ponds, dioxin cleanup site after Michigan flooding

See Dow Chemical ponds, dioxin cleanup site after Michigan flooding

May 23, 2020 | Kelly House

Aerial views of flood waters in and around Midland underscore the environmental challenges facing the region following dam breaks and historic flooding this week. 

Dana Nessel and Enbridge argue Line 5 pipeline shutdown to Michigan judge

Dana Nessel and Enbridge argue Line 5 pipeline shutdown to Michigan judge

May 22, 2020 | Kelly House

In arguments to an Ingham County judge, lawyers for the attorney general say the pipeline easement below the Straits of Mackinac should never have been granted. Enbridge says the question was settled decades ago by the Legislature.  

Michigan regulators moved fast on dangerous dam. To protect mussels.

Michigan regulators moved fast on dangerous dam. To protect mussels.

May 21, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, Robin Erb, Riley Beggin

In court papers, the owners of a dam that failed this week near Midland acknowledged it was considered unsafe for decades. But Michigan’s only action against the dam was a suit contending it lowered water and killed freshwater mussels.

As floodwaters bear down on Dow Chemical, worries about water toxins

As floodwaters bear down on Dow Chemical, worries about water toxins

May 20, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kelly House

Dow Chemical evacuates its Midland headquarters as dam breaches bring flooding to the complex’s containment ponds.

Feds revoked dam’s license over safety issues. Then Michigan deemed it safe.

Feds revoked dam’s license over safety issues. Then Michigan deemed it safe.

May 20, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

For a decade, safety regulators demanded improvements to a 95-year-old dam that failed this week. The repairs never came, and Michigan regulators deemed the dam in “fair condition.” One critic calls it a “catastrophic failure both of the dam and of our government at all levels.”

Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations

Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations

May 19, 2020 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

The Edenville dam that catastrophically failed and prompted thousands of evacuations was cited repeatedly by federal authorities, who allege its owners had a “long history of noncompliance.”

What to know about partial reopening of northern Michigan bars, restaurants

What to know about partial reopening of northern Michigan bars, restaurants

May 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Kelly House

Restaurants in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula can reopen Friday under a new order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, but hotels are still closed to non-essential workers. And restaurants and bars will operate much differently than before the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

May 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Kelly House

Gretchen Whitmer announces bars, restaurants and other retail establishments in 32 northern Michigan counties can reopen with some restrictions on Friday. And she hints that she could announce this week that more areas can reopen.

As Great Lakes rise, less sand for Michigan beachgoers during coronavirus

As Great Lakes rise, less sand for Michigan beachgoers during coronavirus

May 14, 2020 | Kelly House

Record-breaking Great Lakes water levels already wreak havoc on Michigan’s coastline. Now, they’re creating a new problem: How to maintain social distance at beaches reduced to a sliver of sand?

Poop sleuths: MSU studies Detroit wastewater for next coronavirus outbreak

Poop sleuths: MSU studies Detroit wastewater for next coronavirus outbreak

May 11, 2020 | Kelly House

By analyzing the prevalence of COVID-19 in Detroit’s sewage, researchers hope to create an early warning system capable of detecting new outbreaks before patients start showing up at area hospitals.

Michigan launches coronavirus contact tracing. Here’s what you need to know.

Michigan launches coronavirus contact tracing. Here’s what you need to know.

May 9, 2020 | Kelly House, Riley Beggin

Contact tracers are a key to reopening Michigan safely. With some setbacks, the state is on track to meet the need. On Saturday, state officials announced a contract with a company affiliated with billionaire Dan Gilbert to help the effort.

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