Environment

Radio Made in Michigan
11:23 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Tackling environmental issues crucial for Detroit's success

The report focuses on air and water quality issues, transportation, health and land use.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This summer a coalition of Detroit based organization released the Detroit Environmental Agenda. The two-year project addresses improving quality of life through improving the environment. Guy Williams, President of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice joins Current State to discuss the report his organization helped compile. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:56 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Just miles away from Lake Michigan, Wisconsin town is parched

Waukesha has long struggled with radium levels in water supply and looks to Lake Michigan for a safer water source.
Credit Wikimedia Commons



Waukesha, Wisconsin is on a quest for water; its groundwater supply is dwindling and contaminated.  Although the town is less than 20 miles away from Lake Michigan, it falls west of the Great Lakes basin line, which means no water without permission from the Great Lakes Compact.

Gary Wilson, journalist for Great Lakes Echo and former co-editor of the Great Lakes Town Hall, discuss what Waukesha’s quest for water means for the Great Lakes.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:32 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

How SCOTUS decision about a Texas water district could impact the Great Lakes

Attorney Saulius Mikalonis says the Supreme Court's decision would have a favorable impact on Michigan, in terms of Great Lakes water diversion.
Credit Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Texans and Oklahomans don’t just clash over football. They also have a long history of battling over water, with the most recent conflict playing out in the Supreme Court. Justices recently ruled that  the Tarrant  Regional Water District, located in North Texas, cannot divert water from Oklahoma river basins.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:55 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

New co-generation power plant set to recharge Lansing

The Lansing Board of Water and Light's REO Town co-generation plant will use natural gas to produce both steam and electric power.
Kevin Lavery

The massive co-generation power plant rising above Lansing's REO Town neighborhood is nearly complete. The Lansing Board of Water and Light 's (BWL) new 46,000 square-foot facility has been under construction for more than two years. The power plant officially comes online July 1, and will replace four coal-fired steam units at the nearby Moores Park plant built in 1950s. The BWL says the new plant is much more environmentally friendly. Residents and business owners believe it will also bring economic gain to their neighborhood. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:26 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

‘Wet Weather’ sewer project aims to save Lansing $230 million

Chad Gamble, Lansing's Director of Public Service, says that the city discharges up to 600 million gallons of sewage annually into the Grand River.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This Thursday, Lansing residents have a chance to weigh in on the latest suggestion for dealing with city sewage and stormwater.  City administrators say the so-called "Wet Weather" project would combine Lansing’s 20-year old CSO, or “combined sewage overflow” project, with two other similar ones involving sanitary sewer overflow and stormwater. 

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:35 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Former oil executive now advocate for alternative energy

Currently, Michigan's goal is to get 10 percent of its energy resources from renewable energy by 2015.
Credit Flickr

What should America’s energy future be, and how do we hammer out an environmentally conscious national energy security plan for the future?   

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:08 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Michigan DEQ limits environmental impacts of dredging

Dredging permits can take take 60 to 90 days to be granted.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This year record low water levels have spurred the Michigan government to spend over $20 million on dredging. Many hope dredging will enable recreational and commercial boating to continue, preventing revenue loss.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:24 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Two and a half years later, oil spill clean-up continues on Kalamazoo River

A ruptured pipeline contaminated 4o miles of the Kalamazoo River in 2010.
Flickr

It’s been two and a half years since an oil pipeline owned by the Canadian company Enbridge ruptured near Marshall, spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of heavy crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. The incident has been one of the costliest oil spills in U.S. history and the clean-up is still ongoing.

Steve Hamilton, an MSU scientist who has been monitoring the clean-up, updates Current State on the situation. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:17 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Red Cedar welcomes fish and anglers

Yanjie Wang

 In December, the MSU Board of Trustee's lifted a 1960's ordinance, which banned fishing on campus. Students are now allowed to fish the Red Cedar in designated areas. To promote fishing on the river, the Department of Natural Resources released 3,000 fish into the river on Monday. Some MSU students and staff hope welcoming anglers will help improve the river’s reputation. 

Radio Made in Michigan
12:59 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

MSU students launch fossil free campaign

Environmentalists trying to get Michigan State University to curtail coal-generated power are announcing a new tactic today. The MSU Sierra Student Coalition is launching the MSU Fossil Free campaign. The effort is an attempt to get the university to divest millions of endowment dollars the coalition says are invested in the fossil fuel industry. Callie Bruley, an MSU student and a coordinator of MSU Beyond Coal, and Brad Van Guilder, who represents the Michigan Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal effort, discuss the MSU Fossil Free campaign. 

Radio Made in Michigan
4:43 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Common insecticides a growing threat to bird populations

Researchers discovered that a single corn kernel covered in a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The American Bird Conservancy released a report last week calling for a ban on widely-used insecticides suspected of damage to bird and aquatic populations.

 

WKAR’s Peter Whorf speaks with MSU assistant professor of zoology Dr. Pamela Rasmussen about the class of insecticides containing neonicotinoids.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:50 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

As Great Lakes show, plastic pollution not just an oceanic problem

The microplasitcs the team found in the Great Lakes were small, measuring between 330 micrometers and 1 millimeter in size.
Credit Courtesy of Dr. Sherri Mason

Scientists have conducted extensive research on the plastic-filled gyres of the ocean. This past summer, however, researchers decided to look inland for the first time and measure plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. Some of the groups' water samples had concentrations of plastic greater than those found anywhere else. The study has resulted in several other projects. Chemistry professor Dr. Sherri Mason discusses the plastic pollution in the basin.

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Environment
2:36 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Michigan's fragile groundwater resources a growing concern

Michigan's groundwater and inner lake levels are falling, with the 2012 drought and high corn prices contributing to the shift.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Great Lakes’ record-low water levels are rightly receiving all of the attention now, but evidence is growing that Michigan’s fragile groundwater resources are quietly becoming a concern for the future.

Robert Glennon, professor of law and public policy at the University of Arizona and author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to do About It,” knows Michigan well and shares his insights.

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Environment
12:49 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

State seeks public input on Michigan's energy future

What should Michigan’s long-range priorities be regarding energy?  Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials want to know.

This Thursday afternoon in Lansing is the public’s first chance to make its voice heard at a forum being held at the State Library. Next December, the Governor plans to issue a comprehensive set of recommendations based in part on the forums.  

Today on Current State, three guests with different perspectives discuss the energy issue.

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Environment
12:39 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Michigan Farm Bureau outlines 2013 agenda

Keeping up transportation routes, like roads and bridges, enables the agricultural industry to thrive and gain access to needed resources.

More than 400 Michigan farmers had a chance to meet with state legislators this week to talk about their priorities for 2013.  The Michigan Farm Bureau has outlined three main focus areas for its agenda: access to markets, workforce development, and regulatory reform. 

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Environment
12:28 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Lakes Michigan and Huron reach record low water levels

This month Lake Michigan and Lake Huron hit record low water levels. The receding water is causing environmental and economic problems in the Great Lakes Basin.

To offset the water levels, Governor Rick Snyder has proposed a $21 million budget to dredge harbors. Patrick Doran, director of conservation for the Michigan Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and Jon Allan, director of the Office of the Great Lakes, discuss dredging and the future of the Great Lakes’ water levels.

NewsRoom
2:40 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Sen. Jones Urges Feds to End Coal Exemption for Lake MI's 'Badger'

State Senator Rick Jones
WKAR file photo

A Lansing-area state legislator is urging federal environmental officials to get tough with the coal-fired SS Badger.

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NewsRoom
7:17 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Lansing Lands Piece of MI Brownfield Grant

WKAR file photo

Several Michigan communities--one of them Lansing--are getting a share of $2.4 million in federal grants to help clean up brownfield sites.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Delhi Voters May Reject Solar ‘Waste-to-Fuel’ Facility

Mark Bashore WKAR

Next Tuesday, voters in Delhi Township will weigh the costs and benefits of getting greener.

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NewsRoom
6:16 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

New Law Limits What Can Go into Burn Barrels

WKAR file photo

A new law will soon limit the types of waste that can be thrown into pits and barrels to be burned.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

MSU Trustees Face Decision on Campus Clean Energy Plan

The T.B. Simon Power Plant at Michigan State University was built in 1965. It burns both coal and natural gas. The university is now considering a long-term clean energy transition plan.
Courtesy Michigan State University

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees faces a pivotal decision today.  The board will decide whether to approve a strategic clean energy plan that would eventually transition the campus to 100 percent renewable energy.  The plan calls for MSU to produce 15 percent of its energy from renewables in just three years. 

The plan has been staunchly opposed by student environmental groups at MSU, who claim it’s not strong enough to effect any real change.  They’re also critical of the fact that the vision does not include scrapping the university’s coal-fired power plant.

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