Michigan Environment Watch
Michigan Environment Watch examines how public policy, industry, and other factors interact with the state’s trove of natural resources.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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company said Enbridge won’t comply with Whitmer’s order to shut down the pipeline and alleged state officials relied on outdated and faulty information to justify the shutdown order.
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?
From the failure of two Midland-area dams to continued damage from climate change, Michigan’s environment was often in the news this year.
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 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
Climate change was propelled “from the 15th most-mentioned in 2017 to today’s top concern,” the report said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.