Michigan Environment Watch

Articles

On Mackinac Island, Lake Huron’s waves are destroying an iconic highway

On Mackinac Island, Lake Huron’s waves are destroying an iconic highway

July 9, 2020 | Kelly House

State officials are scrambling to save the carless road that encircles the island, beloved as one of Michigan most scenic bike rides. High waters and relentless winter storms are chewing up state coastal roads.

Lawyers for Michigan argue to keep Enbridge Line 5 closed for safety

Lawyers for Michigan argue to keep Enbridge Line 5 closed for safety

June 30, 2020 | Kelly House

Line 5 will remain closed until further notice, after a judge declined to rule from the bench Tuesday on state attorney’s request for a preliminary injunction to keep the petroleum pipeline closed until Enbridge convinces the state it’s safe to reopen.

Michigan regulator: Enbridge needs permission to move Line 5 into tunnel

Michigan regulator: Enbridge needs permission to move Line 5 into tunnel

June 30, 2020 | Kelly House

The Michigan Public Service Commission ruled that Enbridge must get its approval to move Line 5 into a tunnel it already had permission to build below the Straits of Mackinac, teeing up a lengthy public debate.

Michigan DNR missed chance to test worker diagnosed with TB a year later

Michigan DNR missed chance to test worker diagnosed with TB a year later

June 29, 2020 | John Barnes

Michigan’s failure to test a wildlife lab technician for tuberculosis in 2018 means it may have missed an opportunity to identify the outbreak before four additional workers tested positive last summer.

Enbridge Line 5 shutdown prompts Michigan debate over risks vs. economic harm

Enbridge Line 5 shutdown prompts Michigan debate over risks vs. economic harm

June 25, 2020 | Kelly House

After a judge ordered the pipeline temporarily shuttered following damage last week, an Upper Peninsula lawmaker said he feared economic repercussions. But energy analysts say a short-term stoppage won’t cause much pain. 

Michigan judge orders temporary Enbridge Line 5 shutdown

Michigan judge orders temporary Enbridge Line 5 shutdown

June 25, 2020 | Kelly House

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo orders Canadian oil company Enbridge to cease operations “as immediately as possible,” following reports last week of damage to the lake-bottom petroleum pipeline.

Michigan Democratic congressional members seek Enbridge Line 5 shutdown

Michigan Democratic congressional members seek Enbridge Line 5 shutdown

June 24, 2020 | Kelly House

In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Democratic members also called for a federal investigation into what caused damage to an anchor support on the lakebottom pipeline.

DTE Energy vows ‘net zero’ natural gas by 2050

DTE Energy vows ‘net zero’ natural gas by 2050

June 24, 2020 | Kelly House

The energy company’s natural gas business has joined its electricity business in vowing to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050. Here are four takeaways from Bridge’s interview with the company’s CEO.

Whitmer takes a second crack at naming Michigan natural resources members

Whitmer takes a second crack at naming Michigan natural resources members

June 23, 2020 | Kelly House

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appoints three members to the  Natural Resources Commission, filling the seats after the Republican-led Senate rejected two previous appointments in February.

Michigan lawmakers to fed regulators: You blew it on Edenville Dam

Michigan lawmakers to fed regulators: You blew it on Edenville Dam

June 23, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members are hauled before a Senate panel to answer why it took so long to act against a dam with decades of safety issues.  Levying fines would have been like “getting blood from a turnip,” one regulator says.

Dana Nessel asks for temporary shutdown of Enbridge Line 5 after damage

Dana Nessel asks for temporary shutdown of Enbridge Line 5 after damage

June 22, 2020 | Kelly House

The Michigan attorney general on Monday asked an Ingham County Circuit Court judge to order the closure until more is known about how it sustained “significant damage” to an anchor support.

Feds skipped check of whether Edenville Dam owner could afford repairs

Feds skipped check of whether Edenville Dam owner could afford repairs

June 22, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Federal regulators tell Congress it never performed a check on Boyce Hydro’s finances before it bought a dam in need of repairs. They blame a loophole that says such checks aren’t necessary for dams bought out of foreclosure. The dam failed in May.

What’s happening to Michigan’s insects? A farmer’s tale.

What’s happening to Michigan’s insects? A farmer’s tale.

June 22, 2020 | Brian Allnutt

Whether or not we’ve reached the insect apocalypse, a rapid decline in some bees, butterflies and other invertebrates poses a threat to Michigan crops and, down the line, perhaps much more.

Enbridge rebuffs Whitmer, won’t close Line 5 after damage to anchor support

Enbridge rebuffs Whitmer, won’t close Line 5 after damage to anchor support

June 21, 2020 | Riley Beggin

An anchor support to one leg of the pipeline was recently damaged. The company says it will continue to operate the other leg under the Straits of Mackinac. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says more needs to be known about the damage before resuming oil flow.

Enbridge Line 5 shut down after anchor support incurs ‘significant damage’

Enbridge Line 5 shut down after anchor support incurs ‘significant damage’

June 19, 2020 | Kelly House

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday announced the damage and called on Enbridge Energy’s CEO to release “all information available” about the incident in the Straits of Mackinac.

Michigan farm industry pushes back against state limits on manure spread

Michigan farm industry pushes back against state limits on manure spread

June 19, 2020 | Kelly House

A coalition of farmers and industry groups challenges the state’s attempt to rein in water pollution by limiting when and how manure from large animal farms can be spread as fertilizer on farmland.

Whitmer administration names outside team to probe Edenville dam failure

Whitmer administration names outside team to probe Edenville dam failure

June 18, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

After criticism from experts and others who argued the state should not lead an investigation into what caused the dam failure that flooded mid-Michigan last month, the state announced an independent six-person team

As coasts flood, Michigan towns must choose what to save and what can wait

As coasts flood, Michigan towns must choose what to save and what can wait

June 17, 2020 | Kelly House

As Great Lakes waters threaten roads, beaches and treatment facilities, COVID-19 has created giant budget shortfalls. Local officials must make tough decisions about which problems to fix, and which to let fester. 

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

June 16, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

The owner of the failed Edenville dam claimed it lacked money to make needed safety upgrades. Instead of demanding flood repairs, state lawyers played hardball on the cost of dead mussels.

Judge: Edenville Dam still poses ‘grave risk,’ needs immediate inspection

Judge: Edenville Dam still poses ‘grave risk,’ needs immediate inspection

June 16, 2020 | Kelly House

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered the Edenville Dam’s owner to report back by Friday with a plan to take “immediate action” if lingering damage to the dam’s Tobacco River side poses an ongoing risk to the public.

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