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 recent 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“While the state’s worst child lead poisoning problem deepened in Detroit, the city’s rental inspectors focused ticketing of landlords for lead paint violations primarily in just two neighborhoods, virtually ignoring other areas where children were getting sick at much higher rates,” Christine MacDonald reports. “That disparity means rental homes in Detroit’s lead hot spots — ZIP codes where kids are most frequently testing positive for high levels of the dangerous metal — received scant attention from inspectors that experts say are best positioned to combat the problem.”
“Michigan regulators have found a way to pass along increasingly detailed information about a plume of toxic chemicals in the groundwater near Rockford that doesn't involve public meetings, announcements or media coverage,” Garret Ellison reports. “It's called "neighborhood meetings. Few people have heard about these gatherings because they aren't publicly noticed or announced beyond hand-delivered invitations.”
“The abundance of lake trout in Lake Erie might lead you to believe the native fish thrive around here. A state Department of Environmental Conservation survey showed a 30 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. There’s a catch. Lake trout haven’t reproduced in Lake Erie in decades. So, where are they all coming from?” T.J. Pignataro explains.
Detroit Free Press
“Detroit Renewable Power, the large, long-standing solid waste incinerator just off I-94 and I-75, has exceeded pollution emissions standards more than 750 times over the last five years,” Keith Matheny reports, citing Michigan Department of Environmental Quality records. “Most of the incidents were not considered violations by the DEQ, however. They were dismissed because the pollution event was a minimal percentage of the incinerator’s overall emissions or occurred during startup or shutdown, when environmental regulations provide more leeway for emitters.”
“Beaver Township has drafted and passed an ordinance that officials with DTE Energy say ultimately prevents the utility from planting a wind farm project in the rural Bay County community,” Isis Simpson-Mersha reports. “The decision comes after the community voiced their concerns about property value, wildlife, proximity to neighboring property lines and physical safety.”
“Three communities in Michigan are taking a much closer look for lead in their drinking water this year,” Lindsey Smith reports. “In Romulus, city officials wouldn’t talk about their lead results. In notices it's sent to people and posted online, Romulus is blaming its results on one vacant home. So when I drove by to see if anyone was home I was surprised to find it was not vacant. Nicole Hrosch and Jeff Crowe were living there.”