Michigan Environmental Report
LANSING - Starting in 2019, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has proposed to no longer consider local zoning when determining the location of livestock operations under the Generally Accepted Agriculture Management Practices (GAAMPs). GAAMPs are voluntary farming guidelines established under the Right to Farm Act. If followed, GAAMPs afford farm operators protections from nuisance complaints and lawsuits from neighbors. Under current GAAMP standards, MDARD considers local zoning ordinances when evaluating locations for livestock operation placements. Under the proposed changes, however, MDARD would not consider such information. Michigan Environmental Council and the Michigan Townships Association released the following statement in regards to this proposal:
On July 3, DTE Energy filed a rate case with the Michigan Public Service Commission. If it is approved, it would increase electricity bills for DTE residential customers by $240 per year by 2022.
LANSING – A white paper released today by the Michigan Environmental Council details the ways in which coal-fired power plants have contaminated Michigan’s Great Lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and drinking water with toxins like mercury, arsenic and lead. The report comes at a time when communities across Michigan are struggling with drinking water contaminated with Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and other toxic chemicals.
Gov. Snyder today announced his plan for the 65-year-old pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, commonly known as Line 5. The state and Enbridge, the company that owns Line 5, made a deal that allows Enbridge to build a tunnel below the Straits. This tunnel would be owned and operated by the State of Michigan, but would be leased to Enbridge for a term of up to 99 years to house the pipeline.
“Line 5 remaining active in its current condition is a threat to the Great Lakes, plain and simple,” said MEC President and CEO Chris Kolb. “The tunnel will take years to build and during that time the risk of a spill from the existing 65-year-old pipeline poses a very serious threat. At any moment, Line 5 could leak 2.4 million gallons of crude oil into the Great Lakes and cause billions of dollars of damage to our waters, coastal communities, and recreational economy.”
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.
On Tuesday, August 14, Traverse City, Michigan committed to transition fully to renewable energy. The board of Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP), the city’s municipally owned utility, voted in favor of setting a 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2040, and an interim goal of achieving 40 percent renewables by 2025 as part of its strategic plan.
This is the first city in Michigan to commit to a community-wide 100 percent clean energy goal.
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.