Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks
In each issue of the Michigan Environmental Report, we celebrate accomplishments by MEC and member groups.
Transportation package limps home
The transportation funding package Gov. Snyder signed into law in November 2015 brought a disappointing end to the years-long debate over how to raise much-needed funding for Michigan's transportation system. But we found a few bright spots worth highlighting (see article "Less than stellar state transportation funding outcome has three bright spots"). They provide a glimmer of hope that Michigan lawmakers are beginning to understand the importance of supporting transit, trails and the rest of our complete transportation system.
Community solar comes to Lansing area
MEC member group Michigan Energy Options, the Lansing Board of Water and Light, and the cities of East Lansing and Lansing announced a 1,000-panel community solar project in East Lansing and another planned for Lansing. A community solar park offers residents and businesses the opportunity to benefit from locally produced renewable energy without having to install solar panels on their property. Learn more at micommunitysolar.org.
CRACKED BELL: Air toxics deregulation moves forward
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality proposed a rule change requested by industry that would deregulate the emission of over 500 toxic air contaminants. Many of these chemicals are untested for health impacts. Michigan has been a national leader in regulating air emissions of all toxic chemicals, and over the last 50 years, the DEQ's Air Quality Division has made our air much safer to breathe. The proposed air toxics rule is a step backward and fuels growing concerns that the agency has lost sight of its mission to protect public health (see article "DEQ proposed toxic air chemicals deregulation fails to put public health first").