Michigan Environmental Report
Growing up in a community like Rockford, Michigan, it’s easy to take a lot of things for granted. It felt safe and welcoming, and the idea that my family or neighbors could be drinking toxic water never crossed my mind. Then, one weekend while I was home from college, my Mom told me that I couldn’t drink from the tap, explaining why we had an unusually large amount of bottled water in the house.
Over the past few weeks, we have shared with you parts one and two of our plan to combat nuisance and toxic algae blooms. Today, we have the final installment which focuses on better practices for both crop and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
We saved the best (or worst) for last because, simply put, runoff from agricultural operations is the main contributor to the algae blooms occurring in Lake Erie and all around the Great Lakes Basin. The runoff from both CAFOs and crop operations feed nuisance and toxic algae blooms, and despite the state spending millions of dollars trying to address this problem, we’ve seen only marginal improvements over the past decade.
So far in our three-part plan to combat toxic algae blooms we have shared with you how healthy soil leads to clean water. In this installment, we share part two of our plan: a statewide septic code.
Last week, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released reports that predicted yet another summer of toxic, cyanobacteria algae blooms in Lake Erie. Now, we would like to tell you part one of our three-part plan to stop these blooms from afflicting our Great Lakes and the other important waterways of Michigan. Our solution: Healthy soil.
This week, MEC is leading a summit sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) that will bring together top minds from around the country to better understand the connection between soil and watershed health. Tom Zimnicki, our Agriculture Policy Director, is on the steering committee of this summit, and is facilitating the discussions on how healthy soil begets clean water.
In response to a report released by Enbridge today on priority waters crossed by Line 5, the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) issued the following statement.
“These reports do not alleviate the ever-growing threat of a spill in the Straits of Mackinac as a result of Line 5, and therefore, reaffirm the fact that the State of Michigan should immediately begin legal proceedings against Enbridge to terminate the easement that allows for a pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.
MEC also has the following concerns or comments on the reports:
“Michigan Environmental Council applauds Governor Snyder’s decision to veto HB 5095 which would have weakened Michigan’s ballast water regulation and increased the risk of new invasive species being brought into Michigan’s waters,” said MEC Policy Director James Clift.
This year started out with a blizzard of policy initiatives swirling around Lansing. Personally, I am encouraged by some of the serious proposals being put forward. Unfortunately, spring of an election year also brings some perennially bad ideas out into the open, and this year is no different. Michigan Environmental Council staff members have been at the Capitol, poring through the fine print, advocating for the good and shining a light on the bad. Here are a few highlights--and lowlights.
Michigan Environmental Council commends Snyder administration for establishing strictest Lead and Copper Rule in the country
Michigan Environmental Council commends Gov. Snyder and his administration for today establishing the strictest Lead and Copper Rule in the United States.
"By strengthening our Lead and Copper Rule to be the strictest in the nation, Gov. Snyder has put Michigan in a leadership position for safeguarding human health," said MEC President Chris Kolb. "Michigan Environmental Council supports this important advance that will protect our children and families and future generations from lead exposure in drinking water."
The LCR is part of the Safe Drinking Water Act and was first published in 1991 to protect public health by minimizing our exposure to lead and copper in our drinking water. By 1997, all large water systems had to be in compliance with the LCR.