Michigan Environmental Report

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

Water shutoff moratorium helps families across Michigan communities

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency order March 28 requiring water be turned on and kept on in all Michigan homes, she did so to protect everyone’s health.

Clean, easily accessible water is essential for basic sanitation and is especially vital during a health pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control recommend frequent and thorough hand washing to keep people from contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others.

But in October, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Gov. Whitmer needed the Legislature’s approval for orders declared under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act. Many past orders crumbled, including water shutoff protections.


This hunting season, check for lead ammo

This article is part of a continuing series on lead threats and lead safety by the Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Homes. Tina Reynolds, MEC’s environmental health program director, heads the coalition. MEC health policy intern Hailey Dunn wrote the article. Learn more at mileadsafehomes.blogspot.com.

Deer Hunting season is upon us! In a time of being told to stay indoors and out of the public due to COVID-19, some of us are finding comfort in our favorite hunting spots.


Where Line 5 stands now and in the future

“In the darkness of despair we saw a vision, / We lit the light of hope and it was not extinguished.” ~ Liam Mac Uistin, “We Saw A Vision”

Sean McBrearty recited these opening lines hours after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took bold, decisive action to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline that cuts through our Great Lakes.


Statement: Gov. Whitmer's bold action on Line 5 protects the Great Lakes

Line 5 will be shut down. That was the move Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made Friday against the oil pipeline that cuts through the Straits of Mackinac in the Great Lakes.

Gov. Whitmer sent a notice of violation, termination and revocation of the 1953 easement that made Line 5’s existence possible to Enbridge, its owner. She then submitted a court filing to force the termination.


Proposal 1 passes overwhelmingly, a commitment to conservation

Michiganders made history by overwhelmingly voting 'yes' on Proposal 1 to protect Michigan’s water, wildlife and parks for generations to come.

More than 84% of voters approved of Proposal 1, which commits oil and gas royalties to protection of our land, water sources and parks in perpetuity by lifting the cap on Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. This victory sends a clear message to lawmakers that voters across the state prioritize the protection of our natural resources and access to outdoor recreation for all Michiganders to enjoy.


Governor's appointments extend commitment to environment, health

Seven pro-environment Michigander leaders were appointed or reappointed across three government groups by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Thursday. Michigan Environmental Council gave a thumbs-up to each.

The advocates, educators and researchers will serve either on the Environmental Rules Review Commission, the Environmental Rules Review Commission or the Great Lakes Protection Fund.


Key groups left out of Council of Future Mobility and Electrification

Weeks after kicking off her carbon neutrality plan for Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created a critical mobility council Thursday that included no environmental, transit or non-motorized leaders.

Michigan Environmental Council, Transportation Riders United and Environmental Law & Policy Center are calling on Gov. Whitmer to add at least one seat to the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification designated for the aforementioned leadership.


Water shutoff moratorium bill must pass to protect public health, say 16 orgs

A 16-member assembly of water rights, social justice and environmental organizations and impacted Michigan residents urged Michigan’s Senators to take up and pass, as soon as possible, a bill that would protect public health by ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all during a global pandemic.

A substitute version of Senate Bill 241, introduced by Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) would require water utilities to turn water service back on to all customers and place a moratorium on residential drinking and sanitary water shutoffs until Jan. 1, 2021.