Michigan Environment Watch

Michigan Environment Watch examines how public policy, industry, and other factors interact with the state’s trove of natural resources.

Articles

Nestlé extends Flint bottled water donations through August

April 10, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Since Michigan halted its free bottled water program, Nestlé has provided 100,000 bottles water per week to help centers that continue to face high demands from residents who refuse to drink from their taps.

Michigan’s UP is full of closed mines. Technology may give them new life

April 3, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Upper Peninsula communities struggled when mines shuttered. Now, researchers are studying whether closed mines could be used to store energy, lowering cripplingly high energy costs.

Tired of bird poop at Great Lakes beaches? Send in the dogs, study says

April 3, 2019 | Gina Navaroli

A Central Michigan University study finds that dogs, particularly border collies, can greatly reduce bird poop at beaches that spread  E. coli.

Michigan environment roundup: DTE closing coal plants early

April 3, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

With Line 5 tunnel plan halted, next steps may belong to Enbridge Energy

April 1, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The chairman of the board that approved Michigan’s plans to pursue a tunnel around Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 oil pipeline doubts his board could defend its actions in court — because it no longer exists.

Halting Line 5 tunnel is ‘shameful.’ Prepare for a lawsuit, GOP leader says

March 31, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey defends process to build tunnel around oil pipeline and says Attorney General Dana Nessel ‘consistently tries … to upset what has been passed into law.’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer halts action on Line 5 tunnel

March 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Gretchen Whitmer’s move follows a legal opinion from fellow Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel, who issued a legal opinion claiming the creation state authority to oversee the tunnel is unconstitutional.  

Surging costs cause some Michigan cities to rethink recycling programs

March 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Westland now sends recyclables to landfills, and other communities face hard choices as the market crashes. Tossing any old thing into the recycling bin is partially to blame.

Traverse City’s climate may resemble Philadelphia’s in 60 years, study says

March 27, 2019 | Kaley Fech

The climates of Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Traverse City and Montreal in 60 years could be similar to the current climate of Chester, Pennsylvania, a new study says.

Michigan environment roundup: Cherry farmers brace for killer bacteria

March 27, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Whitmer orders Michigan to set PFAS standards, setting up clash with GOP

March 26, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Gretchen Whitmer directs state regulators to set limits on how much of the chemical is unsafe for waterways. Doing so could help enforce cleanups, but some Republican leaders say feds should take the lead.

How a typo revived a Michigan fish feud over hungry Yoopers and science

March 17, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A brouhaha over brook trout has bubbled up in Michigan, pitting older anglers against downstate ones and prompting questions about whether science or special interests sets policy.

Michigan landfills are a small source for PFAS in waterways, study says

March 17, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The Michigan Waste and Recycling Association found high levels of PFAS in landfills, illustrating the prevalence of the hazardous chemicals in what Michiganders throw away. But the authority suggests landfills are a small contributor to PFAS in wastewater releases.

Michigan environment roundup: Glacier that formed Great Lakes is disappearing

March 17, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Judge upholds Line 5 tunnel authority as Dana Nessel’s review continues

March 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The Michigan Court of Claims ruling won’t end of legal battles surrounding the legality of the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority, created to oversee a tunnel surrounding Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. 

Less skiing, thinner ice, canceled fests. Michigan adapts to climate change

February 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The last few weeks notwithstanding, winters are warming, changing Pure Michigan and forcing those who rely on snow and cold to get creative.

Warming temps mean many Michigan lakes won’t freeze in coming years

February 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Mike Wilkinson

Climate change means that inland lakes in much of the Lower Peninsula may not regularly freeze during winter, endangering the ecosystem and a way of life.

Michigan environment roundup: PFAS found in 119 Michigan water systems

February 28, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The latest can’t-miss journalism about Michigan’s natural resources.

Gretchen Whitmer remakes Michigan DEQ again, but leaves oversight panels intact

February 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Fresh off an override by Republicans, the Democratic governor issued an executive order Wednesday to reshuffle the DEQ. Oversight panels will remain, pending a legal review.

Consumers Energy chief: We’re making changes after natural gas crisis

February 20, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Consumers Energy will be less reliant on a single facility that can pump up to 64 percent of its gas, its CEO tells lawmakers Wednesday. A fire at the facility last month sparked a crisis that almost led to shutoffs.

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