Michigan Environment Watch

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Michigan cities must begin replacing lead pipes. But who has the cash?

Michigan cities must begin replacing lead pipes. But who has the cash?

January 15, 2021 | Kelly House

Under a Snyder-era reform following the Flint water crisis, Michigan utilities must begin switching out lead service lines this month, part of a 20-year project. But some already are seeking extensions and some cash-strapped cities are reluctant to have vulnerable ratepayers shoulder the burden.

Q&A: How to protect against lead as Michigan waits for new water pipes

Q&A: How to protect against lead as Michigan waits for new water pipes

January 15, 2021 | Kelly House

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who helped uncover the Flint water crisis, said Michigan’s lead service line replacement program is a major stride toward reducing lead exposure. But Michigan residents need not wait to start protecting themselves from lead-tainted water.

Years after Flint water crisis, lead lingers in school buildings

Years after Flint water crisis, lead lingers in school buildings

January 15, 2021 | Jane Johnston, Circle of Blue

The federal appropriations bill for the 2021 fiscal year, signed into law this week, included $26.5 million to test for lead in schools and child care centers, a nod to the legacy of the Flint water crisis, which lifted the issue of lead in drinking water into the national spotlight.

Flint residents unimpressed by Snyder charges linked to lead poisoning

Flint residents unimpressed by Snyder charges linked to lead poisoning

January 14, 2021 | Kelly House

Years after a cost-cutting move resulted in lead-poisoned drinking water in Flint, residents said they are furious that the governor who placed their city under emergency control won’t face more serious charges.

Snyder, top aides charged in Flint water crisis. Is that justice?

Snyder, top aides charged in Flint water crisis. Is that justice?

January 14, 2021 | Jonathan Oosting

Seven years after a fateful water switch, the former governor faces two misdemeanors, while others including former health director Nick Lyon were charged with several felonies.

Enbridge to Michigan: We won’t shut down Line 5

Enbridge to Michigan: We won’t shut down Line 5

January 12, 2021 | Kelly House

In a letter Tuesday to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a senior executive for the Canadian oil company said Enbridge won’t comply with Whitmer’s order to shut down the pipeline and alleged state officials relied on outdated and faulty information to justify the shutdown order.

Michigan gravel industry to again try to limit local control on mining

Michigan gravel industry to again try to limit local control on mining

January 6, 2021 | Kelly House

But this year, groups opposed to gravel mining in their communities say they will fight back with legislation of their own. After years of litigation, is 2021 the year the two sides find common ground?

Best of Bridge Michigan: Top environment stories from 2020

Best of Bridge Michigan: Top environment stories from 2020

December 30, 2020 | Bridge Staff

From the failure of two Midland-area dams to continued damage from climate change, Michigan’s environment was often in the news this year.

With Line 5 closure, a ‘game of chicken’ over how to heat Upper Peninsula

With Line 5 closure, a ‘game of chicken’ over how to heat Upper Peninsula

December 16, 2020 | Kelly House

Weaning the U.P. of its dependence on Enbridge Line 5 will likely require investments in rail or truck-based propane transport. But one month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Enbridge to shutter Line 5 by May, a Plan B for propane has yet to emerge.

Michigan utilities may soon limit payouts to homes with rooftop solar

Michigan utilities may soon limit payouts to homes with rooftop solar

December 16, 2020 | Kelly House

Michigan utilities are reaching caps on private renewable energy which means that, without new laws, they may no longer have to reimburse some homeowners for solar energy returned to the grid.

Public Concern: Climate change, runoff and chemicals at the forefront of people’s worries about the Great Lakes

Public Concern: Climate change, runoff and chemicals at the forefront of people’s worries about the Great Lakes

December 16, 2020 | Natasha Blakely, Great Lakes Now

Climate change was propelled “from the 15th most-mentioned in 2017 to today’s top concern,” the report said.

Enbridge sues Michigan over Line 5 shutdown order

Enbridge sues Michigan over Line 5 shutdown order

November 24, 2020 | Kelly House

The energy company announced Tuesday it has filed a complaint in federal court seeking to block Gov. Gretchen Whitmer from moving forward with plans to shut down Line 5 by May.

Michigan upholds Nestlé permit to withdraw 576K gallons of groundwater daily

Michigan upholds Nestlé permit to withdraw 576K gallons of groundwater daily

November 20, 2020 | Kelly House

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has dismissed a complaint challenging the 2018 permit that allows the company to increase its withdrawals form the Osceola County well, concluding Nestlé’s opponents should have taken their case to court.

Experts: Whitmer has upper hand in Line 5 case, but May shutdown is uncertain

Experts: Whitmer has upper hand in Line 5 case, but May shutdown is uncertain

November 18, 2020 | Kelly House

Legal experts say the state has broad discretion to take action to protect the Great Lakes from environmental harm. Enbridge’s willingness to fight Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown order may depend on its ability to keep the oil flowing during litigation.

Michigan politicians ran on water problems. Activists want money for fixes.

Michigan politicians ran on water problems. Activists want money for fixes.

November 18, 2020 | Kelly House

Water advocates say they plan to push state and federal lawmakers for more funding to address PFAS, lead line replacement, and other water issues. But the COVID-19 crisis could make budget dollars scarce.

City of Flint, McLaren join water crisis settlement, bringing pot to $641M

City of Flint, McLaren join water crisis settlement, bringing pot to $641M

November 18, 2020 | Kelly House

Three new defendants have signed onto a preliminary settlement tied to the Flint water crisis and a judge is reviewing the agreement, bringing residents one step closer to financial compensation for the manmade catastrophe.

As Great Lakes pummel Michigan, beach towns rush to set development rules

As Great Lakes pummel Michigan, beach towns rush to set development rules

November 18, 2020 | Kelly House

Facing widespread coastal damage amid record high water levels, some lakeshore communities are rethinking policies that allowed people to build too close to the water.

Five themes to watch as Michigan reconsiders its use of public lands

Five themes to watch as Michigan reconsiders its use of public lands

November 18, 2020 | Kelly House

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is working on an update to the plan that guides management decisions over 4.6 million acres of public lands. Here’s what to expect.

Q&A: What Michigan’s move to shut down Enbridge Line 5 means

Q&A: What Michigan’s move to shut down Enbridge Line 5 means

November 16, 2020 | Kelly House

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered the Line 5 pipeline shut down by May, but those involved in Michigan’s pipeline debate said they’re expecting a lengthy legal battle before the pipeline’s fate is settled. Here’s what we know now.

Whitmer orders Enbridge Line 5 shutdown, citing easement violations

Whitmer orders Enbridge Line 5 shutdown, citing easement violations

November 13, 2020 | Kelly House, Jonathan Oosting

Citing violations of a 1953 easement that gives Enbridge permission to operate its petroleum pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday announced that Enbridge must shut the pipeline down by May.

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