Michigan Environmental Report

News from Michigan Environmental Council on public policies affecting the health of Michigan's people and environment

Judge's recommendations could mean Michigan misses climate goal

As the state prepares to release its plan to make Michigan carbon neutral by 2050, a judicial recommendation, if taken up, would get us just shy of a crucial step being reached.

Administrative Law Judge Sally Wallace recommended Consumers Energy close two of the three units of its JH Campbell coal plant in Ottawa County by 2025. She also recommended the Campbell Unit 3 undergo further study and modeling to determine when it should close.


Budget investments show averting climate, water crises a priority

On Wednesday morning, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer rolled out a proposal for the largest state budget in history, with billions of dollars being dedicated toward natural resource protection, clean energy, clean water and climate resiliency.

Among the largest environmental investments are $1.22 billion for clean water; $593 million for climate, clean energy and mobility; and $403 million in natural resource protections.

Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer of the Michigan Environmental Council, issued the following statement in response.


PFAS has been discovered in Michigan beef

A discovery of potentially dangerous chemicals in Michigan beef renewed calls for better pollution prevention and cleanup standards to be set.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) announced Friday per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (commonly known as PFAS) were found in beef produced by Grostic Cattle Company near Hartland and sold to consumers. PFAS, used in a variety of products, have been linked to a number of illnesses, like cancers, thyroid disorders, diabetes and elevated cholesterol. 

Efforts are underway by the State of Michigan to ensure contaminated beef is no longer sold and consumers who may have bought it are alerted.


Draft climate plan sets stage for bolder action

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On Jan. 14, Michigan released a draft of its latest plan to make Michigan carbon neutral by 2050 and protect the state's people and places from climate change.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) presented the draft plan to the Council on Climate Solutions, which included all the recommendations put forth by the Council’s workgroups. EGLE will take public comment starting Friday before finalizing the plan.

Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer for the Michigan Environmental Council, co-chaired the Council on Climate Solutions' buildings and housing workgroup. Jameson offered praise for the state administration developing a plan and noted the need for bolder action.


Another Lackluster Plan Won’t Fix Lake Erie

In early December, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and leaders from departments of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Nature Resources (DNR), and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced an adaptive management plan to tackle harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.


Group to EGLE: Adopt equitable climate policies

This year, Michiganders across the state suffered through flood after flood, power outage after power outage, and ozone action day after ozone action day. Now, 28 organizations and municipalities are urging the state to boldly and equitably take on the cause of each crisis: climate change.

Environmental, public health, education, science and humanitarian experts came together to write letter of policy recommendations to the Michigan Council on Climate Solutions and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE). Both the citizen-led Council and EGLE are tasked with shaping a climate plan that will make Michigan carbon neutral by 2050.

The letter urges the Council and EGLE to adopt its policies, which will lessen energy use, power Michigan's grid with renewable energy, and electrify buildings, transportation and industry. It also urged both entities to ensure those most disproportionally impacted by climate change receive the most protection from it.


Major lead prevention legislation passes key committee

Nearly 1.5 million Michigan children are one step closer to drinking lead-safe water in their schools and daycare centers thanks to two votes in the Michigan Legislature.

Senate Bills 184 and 185 both passed out of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality with 5-0-1 votes on Nov. 30. They head to the Senate floor.


Public health win: State will continuing fighting smog in West Michigan

Michigan's environmental department will continue reducing air pollution levels in three West Michigan counties, a great move for the hearts and lungs of their residents.

The decision was made by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) on Nov. 3 for Allegan and Berrien counties and part of Muskegon County. Each area registers high levels of ozone, a dangerous pollutant also known as smog that is often created by fossil fuel pollution and wildfires.