Michigan Environment Watch

Articles

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.

Q & A: The Great Lakes are stressed. Climate change is making it worse.

Q & A: The Great Lakes are stressed. Climate change is making it worse.

November 11, 2020 | Kelly House

The lead author of a new report sheds light on how climate change, invasive species, nutrient pollution and other Great Lakes problems are interacting in ways that make the lakes’ health even worse...or in some cases, not quite as bad.

Loved to death: Iconic Michigan lakeshores battered by crowds, waste

Loved to death: Iconic Michigan lakeshores battered by crowds, waste

November 11, 2020 | Kelly House

National parklands at Pictured Rocks and Sleeping Bear Dunes are overrun by traffic, hikers, trash and failing septic systems. Record crowds outpace stagnant federal funding, leaving park rangers feeling helpless.

Gray wolves, now off endangered list, may be targeted by Michigan farmers

Gray wolves, now off endangered list, may be targeted by Michigan farmers

November 3, 2020 | Kelly House

If the federal change is upheld, farmers will have more leeway to kill wolves preying on livestock. But legal wolf hunts won’t be sanctioned, for now. Here is what to expect if the state takes control of the gray wolf population.

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. 

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