Michigan Environmental Report

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

Smoking ban becomes law May 1; here’s what you’ll need to know

A new Michigan law banning smoking at bars, restaurants, and all other worksites, with the exception of the gaming floors of the three Detroit casinos and existing cigar bars and tobacco specialty stores, will become effective on May 1 of this year.

Lake Michigan wind farm plan generates angst, highlights work of Wind Council

Norwegian developers are proposing the state’s first offshore wind farm in Lake Michigan near Pentwater. The plan, for up to 200 turbines within two miles of Silver Lake sand dunes, has generated controversy statewide. Developer Scandia Wind Offshore LLC recently announced it was cutting the project size in half and moving it farther offshore in response to criticism.

Pact reached: Nestlé agrees to reduced water taking in Mecosta County

Citizen group MCWC declares victory in case that changed state law

A grassroots Michigan group declared victory on behalf of the state’s water resources in July after a protracted nine-year battle with an international corporation’s water bottling operation in West Michigan.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation continues fight for water rights; Nestlé asks for court do-over

The legal battle of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) v Nestlé has taken another turn. Nestlé has filed legal arguments to retry a water law case it lost in the trial court and Court of Appeals based on fact and judgment against Nestlé for violation of groundwater law. A three-month trial in 2003 determined that proposed Nestlé withdrawals near Big Rapids would unreasonably drop stream and wetland water levels.

Changing of the guard: Chris Kolb hired to lead MEC into new era

Former State Representative Chris Kolb—an environmental champion in the legislature and a veteran of the environmental management field, has been hired as the new president of the Michigan Environmental Council.

Michigan’s offshore winds harbor vast potential for energy, economic development

MEC committed to helping lay the groundwork for new era of renewable power

Our beloved Great Lakes are our nation’s most valuable fresh water haven. But in the age of peak oil, renewable energy standards and grandiose ‘Pickens like’ energy plans, our lakes’ second most plentiful resource lies hundreds of feet above the waters. That resource is offshore wind energy. 

Report: Energy efficiency, renewable power would give economy a shot of adrenaline

MEC assists energy partner ACEEE in release of important study

The Michigan Environmental Council teamed with a Washington, DC nonprofit in December to release a report documenting the economic benefits of investing in energy efficiency and renewable power. The release was part of MEC's sustained effort to convince Michigan legislators to establish a renewable energy standard and aggressive energy efficiency programming for the state's ratepayers. At press time, MEC and its allies were continuing to press for those programs. Below is a summary of the report, which concludes that renewable power and efficiency is a win-win for the economy and environment.

Beware: Toxic dangers may lurk in holiday decorations

Artificial Christmas trees are not the only holiday decoration containing lead—a potent neurotoxin that is especially dangerous to the developing brains and bodies of young children. Here are other common decorations that may be a hazard.