Michigan Environment Watch
Michigan Environment Watch examines how public policy, industry, and other factors interact with the state’s trove of natural resources.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed her first executive directive aiming to improve reporting of threats to public safety and speed agencies’ response. She also took steps to disrupt the newly approved Line 5 tunnel.
Snyder approved one bill that limits the ability of his Democratic successor to enact tougher regulations. But he approved $69 million to help clean up toxic sites.
The House made major changes to lessen the impact of a bill that would have previously lifted environmental protections on at least 550,000 acres of wetlands and 4,200 lakes.
The legislation would “threaten the health and safety of the people of Michigan” and put the agency in an “untenable position” 82 employees told Snyder in a rare public plea.
Industry groups cheer move to require state regulators to use federal standards to determine if sites are safe. Critics say those are looser and the measure would make cleanups less protective.
‘If we don’t do something, we can kiss personal property rights goodbye,’ says sponsor of measure that would remove protections on at least 550,000 acres of wetlands. Critics disagree.
The outgoing governor wants to raise taxes and fees for environmental cleanups. His Republican colleagues aren’t biting.
The Republican signed legislation to create a Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority to oversee a proposed tunnel surrounding the controversial pipeline.
Republicans say legislation provides uniformity for businesses; Democrats say it would make it harder to respond to threats such as PFAS.
As Michigan lawmakers race to create a deal to protect Line 5, a new report flags 15 areas across the Great Lakes where habitats are vulnerable to oil spills.
The House and Senate quickly approved a bill Tuesday to help Gov. Snyder lock-in a plan to swap out twin pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac and protect them in a bedrock tunnel. Critics decry a rush before a Democrat becomes governor.
Supporters call House Bill 4205 a transparency measure that’s good for business. Critics worry it would remove tools to tackle problems such as PFAS contamination.
Sen. Tom Casperson, the powerful Michigan Republican behind a slew of bills to deregulate the environment, calls himself a champion of private property rights and disagrees with his portrayal in news media.
Gov. Rick Snyder cleared a hurdle in his race to lock-in a plan to swap out twin pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac and protect them in a bedrock tunnel.
With little debate, legislation is sailing through the Legislature to deregulate wetlands, loosen rules for cleaning toxic sites and secure Line 5. The changes are ‘unprecedented," a critic says.
Term-limited Republican Sen. Tom Casperson’s lame-duck bills would cut wetland protections in half in most counties, raise allowable levels of radioactive landfill waste 10-fold and limit local zoning of mining activity.
Facing pushback and scrambling to complete his tunnel plan before leaving office, Michigan’s governor scraps plan to have bridge authority oversee project.
Momentum has stalled, costs are rising dramatically, and state officials are threatening to halt funding for efforts to replace all of Flint’s water lead pipes.
The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.
A DEQ veteran sounded alarms about threats to waters in 2010. Seven years later, Michigan took action. ‘I was at the edge of the abyss looking into hell,” scientist testifies.