Environment Picture
Topic: Environmental Cleanup

Statement: Michigan Environmental Council applauds environmental priorities in Gov. Snyder’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget

Press Releases
Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) praised Governor Snyder's focus on new programs to protect human health and the environment in his Fiscal Year 2019 budget announced today.
Read MoreFeb 7, 2018

MEC & WMEAC call out DEQ’s attempt to repeal its rulemaking authority

Press Releases
On Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued new limits on allowable levels of PFAS -- a class of manufactured chemicals -- in drinking water and set standards for the clean up of contaminated sites. However, in a separate action, the DEQ attempts to surrender its authority to issue similar environmental protections in the future. While Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) and West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) applaud the new scientifically backed standard on PFAS, they urge the DEQ to drop its proposal to repeal the rule allowing them to set similar standards that protect public health.
Read MoreJan 10, 2018

Toxic taps: Hazardous chemical plumes are growing at a former Air Force base in northern Michigan

Michigan Environmental Report
Last fall, Kathy Abernathy and Doug Trittin plunked down $720 to replace the pump that delivers groundwater to the taps in their Oscoda Township home, just a few blocks from Lake Huron. A couple of weeks later, they learned their well water was contaminated and were advised not to drink it or cook with it.
View ArticleAug 8, 2017  •  Spring / Summer 2017 - Michigan Environmental Report

2017 Environmental Programs Budget Analysis

Michigan Environmental Report
In June the Michigan legislature passed the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. MEC and our partners at Michigan League of Conservation Voters commissioned a budget analysis of the combined impacts of proposed federal budget cuts outlined in President Trump’s budget and the state budget cuts being considered for environment protection programs and activities. We released our report during legislative budget negotiations, providing the first-ever analysis to review the impact of both state and federal budget decisions and how they will affect Michigan’s ability to protect our residents and environment. The combined impact of these cuts is enormous and, quite frankly, puts at risk our state’s ability to protect the Great Lakes, our water resources including drinking water, and the cleanup of contaminated sites across the state.
View ArticleJul 6, 2017  •  Spring / Summer 2017 - Michigan Environmental Report

MEC statement: State should immediately release Line 5 report draft

Press Releases
The Michigan Environmental Council on Wednesday called for the immediate release of a draft report on the risk of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac -- set to be made public in just days -- that was scuttled when state officials terminated a contract with the firm preparing the report due to a conflict of interest.
Read MoreJun 21, 2017

Michigan House says bare minimum is good enough for Great Lakes

Press Releases
Legislation passed by the House of Representatives would cede Michigan's environmental authority to the federal government and prohibit state leaders from doing anything more than the bare minimum to protect public health or natural treasures like the Great Lakes, the Michigan Environmental Council said.
Read MoreMay 18, 2017

As Michigan prepares for Earth Day, Senate panel votes to slash bedrock environmental safeguards

Press Releases
Budget cuts approved Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee would slash essential programs that protect Michigan residents from tainted drinking water and toxic groundwater contamination, the Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan League of Conservation Voters said. The proposed cuts to Department of Environmental Quality programs include a $14.9 million reduction in funds to address contaminated sites around the state and a $2.6 million cut to enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act as it pertains to lead in drinking water.
Read MoreApr 19, 2017

Groups blast proposed cuts to state air, water protection programs

Press Releases
State lawmakers on Tuesday proposed plans to dramatically weaken essential programs that protect Michigan residents from tainted drinking water, toxic groundwater contamination and harmful air pollution, leading environmental groups said. House and Senate subcommittees approved budget proposals that include significant cuts to Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed funding for the Department of Environmental Quality. Cuts approved by both subcommittees include a $14.9 million reduction in funds to address contaminated sites around the state, and a $2.6 million cut to enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act as it pertains to lead in drinking water.
Read MoreMar 28, 2017

Dogs know it when they smell it— Michigan business uses innovative team to track sewage contamination

Michigan Environmental Report
Dogs have had jobs ever since they started hanging out with humans: Protect the sheep. Haul the sled. Keep rats out of the grain. These days pooches are punching the clock in some pretty sophisticated careers. They help people with disabilities navigate daily challenges. They track down missing persons. Their sharp noses can sniff out drugs, bombs—even cancer. Then there’s Kenna, a two-year-old golden retriever from East Lansing. Kenna’s job is…well. Here’s a quote from the website of Environmental Canine Services, the company that employs Kenna: “Our scent trained canines provide a rapid means for detecting and source tracking human sewage contamination in stormwater systems, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans.”
View ArticleFeb 20, 2016  •  Winter 2016 - Michigan Environmental Report

MEC and Tip of the Mitt highlight key policy options in new U-M fracking report

Michigan Environmental Report
The University of Michigan last fall released a report three years in the making that offers a comprehensive review of Michigan’s policy options regarding fracking for natural gas and oil. While fracking has been used for decades in Michigan, new techniques use far greater quantities of water and chemicals and pose greater risks to the environment and human health.
View ArticleFeb 19, 2016  •  Winter 2016 - Michigan Environmental Report

Cleaning Up White Lake

Michigan Environmental Report
I don’t think most people would imagine the picturesque White Lake area, situated in the northern portion of Muskegon County, as a polluted toxic hot spot. But that’s what it was at one time. It isn’t anymore, and that’s truly a good story.
View ArticleJun 28, 2015  •  Spring/Summer 2015 - Michigan Environmental Report

Milliken Award recipient Andy Buchsbaum: Accomplished Great Lakes guardian

Michigan Environmental Report
Early in Andy Buchsbaum’s college internship, Ralph Nader dropped by to say hello. The position was with Congress Watch, part of Nader’s consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. The political activist’s remarks to the interns were brief, but they marked a turning point in Buchsbaum’s life. “He said, ‘How can you see something that’s wrong and not do anything about it?’” Buchsbaum remembers. “That’s always stayed with me. After that moment, that was it for me. That’s what I was going to do.”
View ArticleJun 18, 2015  •  Spring/Summer 2015 - Michigan Environmental Report

Petoskey Prize recipient Bill Craig: ‘Long and difficult doesn’t matter’

Michigan Environmental Report
“This was all woods,” says Bill Craig, sweeping his arm across a scene of suburban sprawl in Westland, Michigan. Craig grew up not far from here, in Garden City. When he was a boy his parents would drop him and his two younger brothers off at the forest’s edge with peanut butter sandwiches and apples. “I had some great adventures that way,” he says. “That was the Huckleberry Finn part of my life.” Only a ribbon of those woods remains—the 500-plus-acre William P. Holliday Forest and Wildlife Preserve—but Craig still roams there whenever he can. For 25 years he has served as volunteer president of the Holliday Nature Preserve Association (HNPA).
View ArticleJun 17, 2015  •  Spring/Summer 2015 - Michigan Environmental Report

Steve Hamilton: Spearheading a river’s recovery with sound science

Michigan Environmental Report
Steve Hamilton was on his way to a meeting in East Lansing in 2010 when he heard about the oil spill. A pipeline owned by Canadian energy giant Enbridge had gushed more than a million gallons of heavy crude into a Kalamazoo River tributary. As details emerged, the startling reality became clear: The river Hamilton loves had just suffered the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history.
View ArticleJul 2, 2014  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

Detroit’s Denby High School seniors examine city and their role in reviving it

Michigan Environmental Report
Springtime in a high school student’s senior year is full of exciting rituals: the last day of school, the graduation ceremony, the open house. Students at Denby High School on Detroit’s northeast side started a new tradition this year: the Pathway to Transformation.
View ArticleJul 1, 2014  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing succeeds in gaining additional state budget funds to save children from lead poisoning

Michigan Environmental Report
The state legislature passed a budget in June that included $500,000 more for lead abatement, raising the total for lead remediation in the 2015 budget to $1.75 million. The Safe Homes/Safe Kids: Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing (MIALSH) coalition brought people to the Capitol in advance of the budget hearings for a day of outreach to state policymakers. Coalition members also testified before both the House and Senate during the budget process.
View ArticleJul 1, 2014  •  Spring 2014 - Michigan Environmental Report

Bills would allow use of hazardous materials without landowner's consent

Press Releases
Property owners could have hazardous industrial byproducts placed on their land without their consent under legislation being considered this week in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Read MoreApr 30, 2014

Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing holds May 7 Legislative Education Day

News Updates
The Safe Homes/Safe Kids: Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing (MIALSH) coalition—made up of health departments, lead contractors, small business owners, homeowners, landlords, and other service providers—will bring people to the Capitol on May 7 for a day of outreach to state policymakers on the impacts of lead poisoning and the need for consistent funding for prevention and abatement.
View ArticleApr 25, 2014

Earth Day 2014 activities in Michigan celebrate spring, encourage stewardship

News Updates
Every day is Earth Day for environmental groups, right? But this annual focus on doing right by the planet provides Michiganders of all ages and interests hands-on opportunities to get outside and care for this beautiful peninsula. From the State of Michigan offering a day of programs for school groups, to local watershed groups hosting spring river cleanups, there is sure to be an event in your area.
View ArticleApr 10, 2014

Lead poisoning prevention advocates come to the Capitol; Rep. Olumba gets personal about his daughters’ lead exposure

News Updates
Advocates who helped secure $1.25 million for lead poisoning prevention funding in this year’s state budget blanketed the Capitol this month, showing lawmakers that the money is being effectively spent and advocating for continued funding in this year’s budget.
View ArticleFeb 28, 2014

Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

Michigan Environmental Report
In each issue of the Michigan Environmental Report, we celebrate accomplishments by MEC and member groups.
View ArticleJun 20, 2013  •  Spring 2013 - Michigan Environmental Report

Editorial: Kalamazoo River a casualty of our dependence on dirty fuels, but change is on the way

Michigan Environmental Report
One of the ugly costs of depending so exclusively on fossil fuels to power the nation’s economy was vividly illustrated in July when a 30-inch oil pipeline failed in Marshall, spewing nearly one million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River system
View ArticleAug 25, 2010  •  Summer 2010 - Michigan Environmental Report

MEC: Michigan oil disaster should be a wake-up call to voters, candidates as primary election nears

Press Releases
Oil spill highlights need for strong legislative support to establish, fund strong protections for Michigan's natural resources
Read MoreJul 28, 2010

Editorial: EPA ouster a sad chapter in Dow/dioxin mess

Michigan Environmental Report
When Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region IV Administrator Mary Gade was forced from office in early May, it ignited a firestorm of controversy. Gade had aggressively tried to force Dow Chemical Co. to clean up waterways that have for decades been laced with toxic dioxin from the company’s Midland, MI plant.
View ArticleMay 29, 2008  •  Spring 2008 - Michigan Environmental Report

The Au Sable gets a scouring

Michigan Environmental Report
Volunteers galore hit the water the weekend after Labor Day for the Anglers of the Au Sable’s 13th annual River Cleanup, scouring more than 90 miles of stream.
View ArticleOct 22, 2007  •  Fall 2007 - Michigan Environmental Report
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