Michigan Environment Watch

Articles

Proposal 1 ballot measure would change rules on Michigan parks fund

Proposal 1 ballot measure would change rules on Michigan parks fund

October 15, 2020 | Kelly House

Supporters say the proposed changes will help Michigan’s public land managers update and expand recreational amenities on public lands. But opponents argue the changes improperly divert money away from land preservation to plug holes in state and local budgets.

Michigan lawmakers want to make Enbridge Line 5 anchor strikes a felony

Michigan lawmakers want to make Enbridge Line 5 anchor strikes a felony

October 15, 2020 | Kelly House

Following a series of recent strikes to the Line 5 pipeline, the legislation would ban large boats from dropping anchor in the Straits of Mackinac and force operators to pay for any resulting damage.

After possible Ice Age discovery, group urges halt to Line 5 tunnel

After possible Ice Age discovery, group urges halt to Line 5 tunnel

October 15, 2020 | Kelly House

A group composed mostly of Native American women say they’ve discovered evidence of an Ice Age cultural site in the Straits of Mackinac, and they want state officials to investigate before making decisions about Enbridge’s plan to drill a tunnel under the Straits.

Gov. Whitmer unveils $500M spending strategy for Michigan water

Gov. Whitmer unveils $500M spending strategy for Michigan water

October 1, 2020 | Kelly House

Experts said the strategy, which largely draws upon existing funding sources to tackle PFAS contamination, lead pipe replacement, sewer overflows and other water challenges, is a good step but fixing Michigan’s water infrastructure will require more investment.

Michigan dam safety program underfunded, understaffed, slow to enforce

Michigan dam safety program underfunded, understaffed, slow to enforce

October 1, 2020 | Kelly House

The state’s dam program suffers from a “culture of minimal enforcement” and lacks the time, staff, and budget to properly do its job, an outside review team has found.

One Michigan county tells the story of a nation plagued by water pollution

One Michigan county tells the story of a nation plagued by water pollution

September 28, 2020 | Jane Johnston, Circle of Blue

Farms housing thousands of animals are one of several sources contaminating the Pine River and dividing a mid-Michigan community.

Smoke over Michigan skies as western wildfires burn

Smoke over Michigan skies as western wildfires burn

September 15, 2020 | Kelly House

So far, the wildfire smoke hovering over Michigan has not impacted regional air quality. But climate experts say it should serve as a sobering reminder that the Great Lakes State is not immune to worsening natural disasters caused by climate change.

Michigan may get through COVID-induced bottle backlog sooner than expected

Michigan may get through COVID-induced bottle backlog sooner than expected

September 13, 2020 | Kelly House

Michigan’s soft drink and recycling industries say they are ahead of projections for absorbing all those bottles and cans back into the system. Long lines, closures and bottle limits at groceries may ease this fall. 

In Michigan, rising lake levels disturb sacred ground

In Michigan, rising lake levels disturb sacred ground

September 13, 2020 | Elena Bruess, Circle of Blue

Along Lake Michigan’s shores, rising waters are eroding Indigenous Odawa burial sites. 

 Judge: Enbridge can resume full operations on Michigan Line 5 pipeline

Judge: Enbridge can resume full operations on Michigan Line 5 pipeline

September 9, 2020 | Kelly House

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo on Wednesday said Enbridge can resume normal operations on Line 5, which had been partially shut down for months after damage was discovered to an anchor support on the lakebottom petroleum pipeline.

The deadly disease that wiped out 90% of the Upper Peninsula’s bats, and a new hope for one species

The deadly disease that wiped out 90% of the Upper Peninsula’s bats, and a new hope for one species

September 8, 2020 | Cassidy Hough, Great Lakes Echo

A new study shows a glimmer of hope for bats affected by white-nose syndrome.

Enbridge just wants a permit. Michigan critics want to bring down Line 5

Enbridge just wants a permit. Michigan critics want to bring down Line 5

September 8, 2020 | Kelly House

As the Public Service Commission considers whether to allow Enbridge to move pipelines into a tunnel, opponents hope to elevate the case into a broader discussion over whether Line 5 is good for Michigan.

Safety woes linger at Edenville Dam after huge flood, Michigan report finds

Safety woes linger at Edenville Dam after huge flood, Michigan report finds

September 1, 2020 | Kelly House

A report into a massive dam failure in mid-Michigan didn’t assess blame, but recommends breaching part of the Edenville Dam to minimize damage and other safety concerns.

Amid racial reckoning, activists press Whitmer for environmental justice

Amid racial reckoning, activists press Whitmer for environmental justice

August 31, 2020 | Kelly House, Olivia Lewis

A deepening debate in the nation on systemic racial inequities has inspired Michigan activities to seize this societal moment to achieve reforms for communities of color that too often bare the burden of pollution in their communities.

Pandemic brings record crowds to Michigan parks. (And trash and trouble)

Pandemic brings record crowds to Michigan parks. (And trash and trouble)

August 17, 2020 | Kelly House

Parks, harbors, campgrounds and beaches are seeing big upticks in visitors this summer, as COVID-19 restricts summer travel options and vacationers embrace outdoor recreation for its built-in social distancing.

As Michigan makes PFAS strides, Oscoda residents say Air Force is stalling

As Michigan makes PFAS strides, Oscoda residents say Air Force is stalling

August 17, 2020 | Kelly House

Residents of Michigan’s first known PFAS site say 10 years after the toxic “forever chemicals” were discovered at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, the Air Force is deliberately delaying cleanup and balking at the state’s new PFAS standards.

Michigan’s new PFAS rules: 5 things to know

Michigan’s new PFAS rules: 5 things to know

August 17, 2020 | Kelly House

With new standards in place, state regulators will now set about identifying new violators and initiating treatment or cleanups. Here’s what you need to know.

Michigan businesses want cut of millions from uncollected pop returnables

Michigan businesses want cut of millions from uncollected pop returnables

August 12, 2020 | Kelly House

The beverage industry is pushing for legislation that would give it a piece of the $40 million-plus from Michigan’s unclaimed bottle deposit money, diverting it away from state environmental cleanups.

Edenville Dam owners file for bankruptcy, blaming regulators for floods

Edenville Dam owners file for bankruptcy, blaming regulators for floods

August 4, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Facing a host of lawsuits, companies that operated the dams that failed during historic flooding seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, using the filing to list a litany of grievances against federal regulators and neighbors.

Edenville Dam inspector: ‘People want to point fingers,’ but I did my best

Edenville Dam inspector: ‘People want to point fingers,’ but I did my best

August 3, 2020 | Kelly House

Michigan is adding a third dam inspector as part of reforms following the failure of the Edenville Dam that caused $200 million in damages. One inspector who oversaw the dam defends the state’s actions, saying “There’s no ‘Easy’ button, or we would have pushed it.” 

Pages