Charles Morris writes, “Our faith teaches us to look out for one another to address the crises before us, and as our nation continues to recover, we must now turn our attention to the climate crisis and environmental justice. A bold investment in clean energy infrastructure currently being discussed in Washington would do just that. This is an opportunity to invest in a clean energy future while addressing the injustices of the past.”
Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), are expected to bring the measure to the House floor for passage later this week.
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “I’ve written about the future in a previous column, and the subject came up for me again, unsurprisingly, as I watched The Tomorrow War, an Amazon-exclusive film. If you haven’t seen it and you don’t want spoilers, stop reading now and come back after you’ve watched it.”
EPA Administrator Michael Regan, a former top environmental official in North Carolina, said the agency is currently in the process of regulating two of the most studied types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in drinking water. Two Michigan Democrats, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell of Dearborn and Dan Kildee of Flint, added that House Democratic leaders will bring the PFAS Action Act of 2021, which aims to reduce Americans’ exposure to the toxic chemicals in air, water and consumer products, to a floor vote next week.
Michigan Advance’s Susan J. Demas writes, “We’ve rethought a lot of our ideas about conservation since Yellowstone was established as the nation’s first national park in 1872. Roads were built everywhere to accommodate travelers, often with little regard for the lands that were supposed to be protected. Wildlife was fed for visitors’ amusement, but we’ve sadly learned the toll that’s taken on the parks’ first inhabitants. Stemming the flow of visitors in our busiest parks is a win-win for the environment and weary travelers who will have more space to revel in their majesty.”
For years, Michigan officials have fretted about the ever-growing list of overdue maintenance needs at their 103 state parks: roads and trails, water and sewer systems, restrooms and electrical infrastructure. All are in dire need of replacement or repair — with a price tag that exceeds a quarter-billion dollars.
Ever thought about installing rooftop solar on your home? Thanks to outdated laws and big utility influence, you might not be able to much longer.
Speaking from the Straits State Park in St. Ignace on Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her plan to put $250 million in federal COVID-19 relief dollars toward “critical investments” in Michigan’s state parks and trails to increase recreation and tourism.
Senior Policy Advisor at FLOW (For Love of Water) Dave Dempsey asks the State of Michigan to stop neglecting Michigan’s groundwater which according to Dempsey is “increasingly under threat.”
On Thursday, April 15, members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel agreed on the need to clean up and cap abandoned oil and gas wells, but disagreed along party lines about the extent of the federal government’s role in well regulation.
A proposed solar farm in Fabius Township is generating more controversy than energy at the moment. The project, which is in the “very preliminary” stages of development, has some township residents concerned about how it would affect property values, how it may look, and whether it will affect lifestyles of those who live nearby.
In his first week in office, President Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal lands as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy. Now that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has taken office, the administration is gearing up to begin that process. A forum comprising the energy industry, conservation groups, labor organizations and others will meet virtually March 25 in the first public event of the review.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), who has come out in favor of shutting down the Canadian Line 5 oil pipeline in the Mackinac Straits, has been selected to lead the Senate panel responsible for overseeing the pipeline’s federal regulators.
For decades, scientists have studied the effects that livestock farms with large animal concentrations in Iowa and other states have on regional water quality, as increasing amounts of waste flow into rivers and groundwater. Now activists and some lawmakers say emergency measures are needed to stop toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, and threats to drinking water in rural communities. In some states, lawmakers worry about the future of smaller family farms.
A proposed wastewater treatment plant under consideration by the Village of Mattawan is under fire from a range of critics. Recent village meetings have seen lengthy public comment periods, during which village residents and residents of nearby areas have largely voiced opposition to the plant. Currently, the Village pumps its wastewater to the Kalamazoo treatment system. However, village officials say a six-mile portion of the “forcemain” which connects the two systems requires considerable work to remain in operation.
The COVID-19 vaccine could be less effective in people with high levels of perfluorinated compounds — PFAS — in their blood, several scientists said.
Federal and state officials signed nearly 400 treaties with tribal nations in the 18th and 19th centuries. Threatened by genocidal violence, the tribes signed away much of their land. But they secured promises that they could continue to hunt, fish and gather wild food on the territory they were giving up. In 1836 a treaty was signed in which tribal nations ceded more than a third of the territory that would become Michigan in exchange for the right to hunt and fish on the land in perpetuity. An oil spill from the Line 5 pipeline would destroy the state’s ability to honor that right, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.
State officials at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) heard its first of two public hearings Tuesday afternoon on a permit request for Enbridge allowing the Canadian oil company to discharge a significant amount of wastewater into Lake Michigan as part of its Line 5 tunnel project.