Michigan environment roundup: PFAS found in 119 Michigan water systems

Michigan regulators have finished testing more than 1,000 water systems, and found that the harmful chemical PFAS is in 119 of them, Michigan Radio reports.

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 jmalewitz@bridgemi.com.

Michigan left out of federal study of PFAS exposures near military bases

Detroit Free Press

“Michigan has at least six current or former military facilities contaminated with potentially harmful ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS, which have leached beyond base borders and now affect the surrounding communities,” Keith Matheny reports. “But that wasn't enough for Michigan to make the cut in a new federal study looking at human exposure impacts for those living near PFAS-contaminated military sites.”

Municipal water treatment plants figuring out PFAS contamination

Michigan Radio

“The state has finished testing all the public water systems in Michigan for PFAS chemicals. Of more than a thousand municipal systems, 119 are contaminated by PFAS,” Lester Graham reports in a story that describes how treatment plants are working to remove the harmful industrial chemicals from their water.

Lake Erie Bill of Rights gets approval from Toledo voters

Toledo Blade

"Toledo voters have reached a consensus: Lake Erie — the world’s 11th largest lake and one that provides drinking water to 12 million U.S. and Canadian citizens — deserves to have its own bill of rights," Tom Henry reports. “...Now, it’s up to lawyers to sort out what the citizenry’s impassioned plea for the lake really means in practice — that is, if it will be more of a symbolic gesture or, as its supporters claim, a new approach to planning and enforcement that will hold more polluters accountable.”

A company tore down homes in Detroit. Then it hid and buried the debris in the holes.

Detroit Free Press

“A Detroit Land Bank Authority contractor is under investigation and could lose more than $15 million in scheduled demolition work because of allegations it tore down several homes and buried the debris under layers of backfill dirt instead of properly disposing of the materials,” Kat Stafford reports. “The demolitions, which were performed by Chicago-based McDonagh Demolition Inc., have sparked an internal review of every demolition — 90 in total — that the company has performed in Detroit. The company could also face suspension or expulsion from the program.”

Consumers Energy: Settlement won't stop political spending by parent company

Detroit News

“The parent company of Consumers Energy could continue contributing to political nonprofits despite a temporary ban for the utility itself, a utility official said Wednesday to the dismay of lawmakers critical of the spending,” Jonathan Oosting reports. “Consumers has donated tens of millions of dollars to political nonprofits in recent years but agreed to freeze the spending as part of a settlement brokered with various parties and approved in January by the Michigan Public Service Commission.”

AG Nessel asked for input on if the new Line 5 tunnel authority is constitutional. Here’s what she got


“The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and environmental groups are on opposite sides of a new law that paved the way for a tunnel around Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, but agree on one thing: part of the law is likely unconstitutional,” Emily Lawler reports.  What they disagree on is what that means for the law overall and the future of the Line 5 tunnel, according to legal briefs submitted to the Attorney General’s office.”

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