Michigan Environment Watch

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

Articles

Gretchen Whitmer vows action on climate. Here’s how warming hurts Michigan.

January 9, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Rising temperatures are impacting Michigan’s roads, sewers, forests and farms, a landmark federal report warns. Gretchen Whitmer promises to create an office dedicated to solutions.

New Midwest governors spur hope for regional fight against climate change

January 9, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Several states elected governors who vow action against warming temperatures, prompting some to wonder whether the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord could see a revival.

These Michigan nuns are fighting climate change, one light bulb at a time

January 9, 2019 | Andy Balaskovitz

Concluding that climate change is violence upon the Earth, the Adrian Dominican Sisters have poured efficiency savings into renewable energy.

Whitmer: State workers must report health threats, and bosses must listen

January 2, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Gov. Snyder signs Michigan lame-duck bills opposed by environmentalists

December 28, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder gets bill to lift protections on small wetlands

December 21, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.  

Michigan DEQ staffers to Gov. Snyder: Veto bill to weaken cleanup standards

December 20, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Michigan House moves to overhaul standards for toxic cleanups

December 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Michigan House panel votes to gut ‘radical’ wetlands protections

December 18, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

‘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.  

Michigan GOP in no hurry to fulfill Rick Snyder’s environmental wish list

December 13, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The outgoing governor wants to raise taxes and fees for environmental cleanups. His Republican colleagues aren’t biting.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs Line 5 tunnel bill; appoints authority members

December 12, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The Republican signed legislation to create a Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority to oversee a proposed tunnel surrounding the controversial pipeline.

Bill to make it tougher to pass regulations in Michigan heads to Snyder

December 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Republicans say legislation provides uniformity for businesses; Democrats say it would make it harder to respond to threats such as PFAS.

Michigan, Great Lakes at risk for oil spills beyond Line 5, report says

December 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Michigan lawmakers send Line 5 tunnel plan to Gov. Snyder’s desk

December 11, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Republicans: Michigan shouldn’t regulate more strictly than Washington

December 10, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Michigan Republican Senator: I’m no anti-environmental villain

December 5, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Michigan Senate approves plan to preserve Line 5 before foes take office

December 5, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Michigan lawmakers: ‘Every little thing’ doesn’t need environmental protection

December 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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. 

As he exits, Michigan lawmaker wants to gut wetland protection, boost waste

December 4, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

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.

Mackinac Bridge Authority shouldn't oversee Line 5 tunnel, Michigan Republicans say

December 3, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

Facing pushback and scrambling to complete his tunnel plan before leaving office, Michigan’s governor scraps plan to have bridge authority oversee project.  

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