Lansing Township Planning and Development Director Steven Hayward stands at the site of the former General Motors metal forge along West Saginaw. GM used the solvent 1,4 dioxane in its manufacturing process before the plant was shut down a decade ago. The contamination will be cleaned up by RACER Trust, the company charged with managing some 90 former General Motors properties across the country.
This week, Lansing area residents had an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening at the large vacant tracts of land along West Saginaw where General Motors factory buildings once stood. The three sites were torn down in 2005 and in the last 18 months, officials have found chemical contamination on the grounds including 1,4 Dioxane.
Fishing in Michigan is big business. The state DNR estimates that anglers spent $2.4 billion in trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011. Besides Michigan’s Great Lakes and rivers, our inland lakes attract considerable fishing as well. In fact, six Michigan lakes were recently included in a national fishing magazine’s “100 Best Bass Lakes of 2014” list.
Bill Schneider has operated Wildtype Native Plant Nursery in Mason for the past 17 years. As a true native Michigander, Schneider has degrees from both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. He moved to northern California in the 1980’s where he further developed in his growing interest in native plants.
At the end of each month, we check in with Great Lakes commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin. For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review we focus on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. The group includes 114 mayors of cities throughout the Great Lakes Basin.
Coal ash is the byproduct generated by coal-fired electric power plants. It's commonly mixed with concrete as a road construction filler, and it's also sometimes spread on farm fields. Some studied have linked coal ash exposure to lung cancer.
One of the bills that cleared the Michigan legislature this session was a provision that allows certain bio-waste materials to be re-used for beneficial purposes. These substances include things like cement kiln dust, wood pulp and coal ash. Coal ash is the leftover residue from coal burned by electric power plants.
Michigan is famous for being the Great Lake state, but is also permeated by hundreds of rivers and streams. According to the state Department of Transportation, there are 36,000 miles of streams in Michigan.
From now through early June, some volunteers will be standing guard over the Black River in Northern Michigan. They’ll be on the banks of the river making sure that the lake sturgeon, a rare and threatened species in the state, are able to leave their homes in Black Lake and successfully spawn in the Black River. Why do the fish need guarding?
Earlier this week, the Army Corps of Engineers released the results of its 18 month study designed to deal with Asian carp in the Chicago waterways system. The study was mandated by Congress as the threat of the invasive species to the Great Lakes ecosystem continues to increase.
About a month ago, U-S Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking about an Enbridge Company oil pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac. They asked for information on safety tests done on the pipeline, and for emergency response information from Enbridge.
Michigan is one of only two state that have the authority to regulate federal wetlands within their borders. However, the Environmental Protection Agency may revoke that power. Last week, the EPA held a hearing to determine if Michigan’s environmental standards for wetland management meet federal benchmarks.
It’s safe to say most of us take for granted that when we turn on our faucets, clean water comes out. But where does our drinking water come from? How clean is it? And how much responsibility do we, as individuals, have to ensure that our water stays clean?
Throughout the 20th century large investments of time and money were made to help restore big game populations across the U.S. Many of these efforts were successful, but those successes may be short lived.
The moose is one of the largest and most elusive land animals in North America. Moose were once found in both the Upper and Lower Peninsula, and now they’re concentrated in a few isolated areas of the state.
Today on Current State: Canada and Michigan seek to strengthen economic ties; the anniversary of the last execution in Michigan; our first Great Lakes Month in Review segment; our Detroit’s Water Renaissance series: The Rouge River part two; and a book about family secrets is the next "Great Michigan Read".
Water attracted early settlers to Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery.
So far we’ve looked at lucrative walleye fishing on the Detroit River, daylighting streams, rebuilding shorelines and the destruction of the Rouge River. Today we explore efforts to clean up the Rouge.
This week we start our segment Great Lakes Month in Review. We'll take time each month to recap environmental news from around the Great Lakes Basin with Chicago-based commentator and journalist Gary Wilson.
Water attracted early settlers to Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery. Today we continue to explore Detroit’s waterfront: Challenges and opportunities in our series Detroit’s Water Renaissance.
So far, we’ve looked at lucrative walleye fishing on the Detroit River, daylighting streams and rebuilding shorelines. Today we explore the Rouge River. The Rouge River in Detroit is one of Michigan's—and the Great Lakes—most polluted waterways. Generations of air and water pollution from heavy industry near the mouth of the river contaminated its sediments and made it unsafe for fishing. Upstream, dense urban populations have overwhelmed sewer and storm water systems, sometimes dumping raw sewage into the Rouge. The result is a river in trouble.
The Lansing Board of Water & Light announced last week, it will begin selling wind-generated electricity next year. James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council, says the plan is a great development.
Michigan's energy policy will become a hotter topic in the final months of 2013. Officials have held a series of energy public forums around the state this year. This Friday, Governor Rick Snyder will begin sharing the results with the public and the legislature. The legislature is expected to spend 2014 addressing state energy policy.
Today on Current State: new proposal to evaluate Michigan teachers effectiveness; book about living with Muscular Dystrophy; Detroit's Water Renaissance series; Detroit's current environmental initiatives; and MSU student on "Americas Got Talent."
Water attracted the early settlers of Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery.
Join us over these next five weeks, as our regular Tuesday Knight segment will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with Detroit’s waterfront through our series "Detroit's Water Renaissance."
Our first story goes back to the days before industrialization, when the city of Detroit was a maze of fresh waterways.
At 20 percent, Michigan's recycling rate is 10 percent lower than the regional average. Many people around the state are hoping to change that. In 2012, Governor Rick Snyder identified increasing Michigan's recycling rates as a priority for his administration. Michigan Recycling Coalition executive director Kerrin O'Brien discusses what a comprehensive recycling plan might include.
This past spring the Michigan Senate passed Bill 78, which prohibits state agencies from setting aside land to maintain biodiversity. The bill has drawn strong criticism from various environmental groups.