Michigan environment roundup: Flint water crisis legal tab tops $23M

flint water tower

Bridge Magazine is committed to sharing the best environmental journalism in and around Michigan, an effort called #EnviroReads.

In Bridge’s Michigan Environment Watch, we share a roundup of stories on the Great Lakes or other issues. If you see a story we should include next time, use the hashtag #EnviroReads on Twitter or email Environmental Reporter Jim Malewitz at jmalewitz@bridgemi.com.

State racks up $23 million and counting in Flint water crisis attorney bills

MLive

“Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is quickly learning the high price of picking up the tab on attorney bills related to Flint water crisis,” Ron Fonger reports. “Spending by the state to prosecute and defend current and former employees on matters related to water crisis cases has eclipsed $23 million with no billing slowdown on the horizon.”

Why Michigan Residents Say GM Polluted Their Water Supply

Jalopnik

“For more than a decade, (Diane) O’Nions herself has gone through countless cases and jugs of water, neatly stacked in her garage, wrapped in their blue labels. It’s what she relies on for just about everything — drinking, cooking, brushing her teeth — and it’s all because her household water supply has been contaminated by excess salt, and now, she says, arsenic,” Ryan Felton reports. “The source of the excess salt and arsenic, she alleges, is her neighbor, America’s No. 1 automaker, the one that has operated a famed testing facility nearby known as the Milford Proving Ground since the 1920s and has paid for bottled water deliveries to her family’s home and their neighbors since 2014: General Motors.”

Algal blooms harder to control because of climate change, other factors

Toledo Blade

“As toxin-producing algal blooms similar to those that foul western Lake Erie each summer continue to rise exponentially throughout the world, a growing body of scientific data is emerging that shows they are getting harder to control because of climate change, invasive species, and global trade,” Tom Henry reports. “Their potential long-term impact on humans also means more cancer risk — not just short-term stomach cramps and diarrhea — and there needs to be a greater research emphasis on the role of nitrogen in driving up their toxicity,”

Michigan nonprofit helps people with disabilities get out and hunt, wheelchairs and all

Battle Creek Enquirer

“Michigan has some unarguably gorgeous natural scenery — rolling hills of emerald green, plump wildlife and glittering blue waters — but it’s a lot harder to enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors when you use a wheelchair,” Natasha Blakely reports. “Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors was started to change that.”

Cool Spaces: Family spent decades reviving historic mill in Bellevue

Lansing State Journal

“Bill and Carole Jean Stockhausen don't get electric bills. Instead, Consumers Energy has cut them checks for more than 30 years,” Haley Hansen reports. “That's because their picturesque summer home along the Battle Creek River is more than a weekend getaway — it also doubles as a working hydroelectric plant.”

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