Michigan Environment Watch

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Deal reached between state, townships and Wolverine World Wide over PFAS

Deal reached between state, townships and Wolverine World Wide over PFAS

December 10, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Wolverine will pay $69.5 million to extend municipal water to PFAS-affected residents in northern Kent County under the tentative agreement.

Enbridge lost rods in the Straits. It didn’t tell Michigan for two months.

Enbridge lost rods in the Straits. It didn’t tell Michigan for two months.

December 5, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Enbridge says the accident involving lost rods at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac doesn’t pose an environmental risk. But some environmental groups are worried it indicates problems to come. 

Michigan DNR said it killed wolves to protect humans. Then we got its emails.

Michigan DNR said it killed wolves to protect humans. Then we got its emails.

November 22, 2019 | John Barnes

State wildlife leaders violated the state Freedom of Information Act, concealing details surrounding calf deaths and the 2016 shootings of protected gray wolves. Records suggest a different motive for the kills.

Poisoned Michigan: How weak laws and ignored history enabled PFAS crisis

Poisoned Michigan: How weak laws and ignored history enabled PFAS crisis

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jim Malewitz

Michigan lawmakers said ‘never again’ after an agricultural mishap sparked one of the worst poisonings in history in 1973. But serious reform never came and some mistakes of that crisis are being repeated with the PFAS threat befouling state waterways.

 In a Michigan town with a toxic legacy, residents fought for decades to heal

In a Michigan town with a toxic legacy, residents fought for decades to heal

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jim Malewitz

In the town of St. Louis, a  group of rabble-rousers ensured state and federal authorities didn’t forget their toxic legacy. The work is only half done, but could be a lesson for communities now battling PFAS contamination.

Michigan’s PFAS cleanup costs are mounting. Taxpayers may get stuck with the tab.

Michigan’s PFAS cleanup costs are mounting. Taxpayers may get stuck with the tab.

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

When a chemical disaster strikes – as it did in the tiny town of St. Louis – bills mount far faster than polluters’ willingness to pay. It’s a lesson survivors of the crisis fear will repeat with PFAS, which Michigan already has spent tens of millions to address.

Michigan found PFAS in Oscoda in 2010. There’s still no plan to clean it up.

Michigan found PFAS in Oscoda in 2010. There’s still no plan to clean it up.

November 18, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

An ignored 2010 report about PFAS is just one of several bureaucratic hurdles that has slowed Michigan’s response to the chemical that is now befouling waters. The delays are reminiscent of those that prolonged the PBB contamination of livestock in the 1970s.

Letter suggests Bill Schuette shrugged off request to sue 3M over PFAS

Letter suggests Bill Schuette shrugged off request to sue 3M over PFAS

November 18, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin

As he left office, the former attorney general told Rick Snyder he couldn’t sue because the governor’s staff never greenlighted a lawsuit — even though Snyder himself requested the suit.

Graphic photos vivid reminders of horror of Michigan PBB chemical crisis

Graphic photos vivid reminders of horror of Michigan PBB chemical crisis

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

This slideshow shows how a 1973 mixup at a chemical company in St. Louis sparked an agricultural and health disaster statewide that still affects residents. Warning: Some photos may be upsetting.

Marquette girds for climate change in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Marquette girds for climate change in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

November 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Marquette may become a destination as high heat and drought drive folks from southern communities more vulnerable to a shifting climate. But it still faces challenges — from intensifying rains to disease-carrying pests.

Old mines, perilous drains in Michigan’s Copper Country, which now eyes a fix

Old mines, perilous drains in Michigan’s Copper Country, which now eyes a fix

November 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Epic floods devastated Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. Foundations are now stepping in to fix a unique vulnerability: century-old drainage systems — built by mining companies — that sat neglected after mines shuttered and towns shrank.

As climate change threatens Midwest cultural identity, cities explore how to adapt

As climate change threatens Midwest cultural identity, cities explore how to adapt

November 11, 2019 | Dan Gearino

The spring floods were just the latest wake-up call as global warming raises the risks for everything from ice fishing to growing seasons.

 Enbridge vows to cover costs in ‘unlikely’ case of Michigan Line 5 rupture

Enbridge vows to cover costs in ‘unlikely’ case of Michigan Line 5 rupture

November 6, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The promise came days after Nessel released a 120-page report raising questions about Enbridge’s financial obligations under a series of agreements that its U.S.-based companies signed with Michigan.

Michigan judge rules Enbridge Line 5 construction is constitutional

Michigan judge rules Enbridge Line 5 construction is constitutional

October 31, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The victory, which could pave the way for the tunnel plan to proceed, is a setback for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who halted work on the project in March. Attorney General Dana Nessel released a 120-page report and vowed to appeal.

When residents say ‘no’ to aerial mosquito spraying

When residents say ‘no’ to aerial mosquito spraying

October 29, 2019 | Michael Schulson / Undark

When states use pesticides to slow the spread of insect-borne diseases, should households be allowed to opt out?

Michigan environment roundup: Judge bars public from Wolverine World Wide PFAS hearing

Michigan environment roundup: Judge bars public from Wolverine World Wide PFAS hearing

October 29, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Here’s what Gretchen Whitmer’s new PFAS water rules mean for Michigan

Here’s what Gretchen Whitmer’s new PFAS water rules mean for Michigan

October 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week proposed limits for seven types of the harmful “forever chemicals” that have been found in drinking water supplies. Just four other states have adopted similar regulations.

Michigan environment roundup: Great Lakes water levels may surge higher

Michigan environment roundup: Great Lakes water levels may surge higher

October 16, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about natural resources in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Michigan fish fight: Bills would squeeze commercial fishers, help anglers

Michigan fish fight: Bills would squeeze commercial fishers, help anglers

October 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A key point of contention: Should lawmakers give commercial fishing companies access to lake trout, walleye and yellow perch? Advancing legislation would keep those fish off limits, reserving them exclusively for sportfishing.

A U-M researcher gets public’s help tracking deadly balloons in the Great Lakes

A U-M researcher gets public’s help tracking deadly balloons in the Great Lakes

October 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

What goes up must come down, and balloon debris is killing wildlife, says Lara O'Brien. She launched a survey in June that’s already found more than 1,000 pieces of balloons along Michigan’s Great Lakes — as far away as Isle Royale.

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