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"But all this is changing. People have burned so much coal, oil, and gas over the past two hundred years, we’ve changed the composition of our atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide levels are now much higher than in all of human history.

This is trapping heat that is changing - everything."


Bill Latka

Bill Latka

Freelance Line Producer & DGA 1st Assistant Director / Executive Producer-Director at Rivet Entertainment

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  • published Board in ABOUT 2019-11-08 14:27:18 -0500

    Board of Directors

    Bob Allison


    Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

    Tony Ambroza



    Alisha Bell


    Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

    Mary Brady-Enerson


    Clean Water Action

    Lisa Brush


    Stewardship Network

    Rick Bunch



    Bryan Burroughs


    Michigan Trout Unlimited

    Michael Dorsey


    At Large

    Paul Glendon


    At Large

    Christine Green

    Vice Chair

    At Large

    Jennifer McKay

    Vice Chair

    Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

    Nathan Murphy


    Environment Michigan

    Jeremy Orr


    Michigan State Conference NAACP

    Alicia Ping


    At Large

    Mozhgon Rajaee


    At Large

    Conan Smith

    President and CEO

    Michigan Environmental Council

    Bill Wood

    Vice Chair

    West Michigan Environmental Action Council

  • published Vote for Water Pledge 2018-08-17 09:46:35 -0400

    Vote for Water Pledge

    Add your name to the list of those taking action to protect Michigan's water at the upcoming election.

    What makes the Great Lakes Michigan's most valuable natural resource? You could list facts about this all day long, such as how the lakes provide 40 million people with drinking water and 1.5 million jobs. But to a Michigander, you can’t sum up what the Great Lakes are worth with statistics. We know these lakes are priceless. So when you cast your vote in the upcoming August 7 primary, remember to Vote for Water.

    Who we choose to elect has a direct impact on the waters of Michigan. Our Great Lakes and inland waterways are currently facing a multitude of serious threats that need to be addressed. We urge you to keep these in mind during this election cycle:

    1. Algae Blooms - At their best, algae blooms foul our waters and make them a sickly green color, but at their worst, algae blooms can contain toxic cyanobacteria which contaminates our drinking water and closes beaches.
    2. Drinking Water Contamination - Michigan’s drinking water is threatened by pollution. In 2017, 71 water systems had higher lead levels than Flint and there are 35 sites and counting that have been identified with PFAS contamination.
    3. Aging Septic Systems - There are over 100,000 septic systems leaking over 30 million gallons of raw sewage into our groundwater every day. This waste pollutes our rivers, streams, and lakes and is loaded with pathogens like E. coli that threaten the health of Michigan residents.
    4. Line 5 - Every day, 23 million gallons of oil flow through a 65-year-old pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. A recent study found that a spill from this pipeline could pollute up to 400 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and would cost the state nearly $1.9 billion to clean up.
    5. Plastics - 22 million pounds of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year, and once it’s in our water, it never goes away. Instead, it breaks down into “microplastics” that get into our drinking water supply.
    6. Invasive Species – More than 180 invasive and non-native species have entered the Great Lakes, wreaking havoc on their ecosystem. These intruders, like the parasitic sea lamprey, outcompete native species, degrade habitats and disrupt food-webs which ultimately affects Michigan’s fishing, agriculture and tourism industries.

    This list could go on, but you get the point. The waters of Michigan are being attacked on multiple fronts. One of the greatest ways you can help protect them is by voting in the August 7 primary with these issues in mind. Pledge to Vote for Water now - and share this page with your friends and family with #VoteForWater.


  • published Line 5 in Clean Water 2018-01-26 14:01:38 -0500

    Line 5

    “The worst possible place for an oil spill.” That’s what University of Michigan researchers call the Mackinac Straits where strong, erratic currents and thick winter ice make the consequences of an oil spill disastrous. Despite these warnings, deep beneath the Straits lies Line 5 -- an aging set of twin pipelines that transports 23 million gallons of oil every day.

    Built in 1953, the pipeline is showing its age. There are gaps in its protective coating, and it's missing critical supports that anchor the pipeline against the lake’s floor. This level of deterioration is predictable -- the pipeline only had a fifty-year lifespan. But even before Line 5 passed its life expectancy, it posed an unnecessary risk to our Great Lakes. There have been 15 documented leaks along other portions of the pipeline since 1988.

    Compounding our concerns, Line 5 is owned by Enbridge, the Canadian company responsible for the 2010 Kalamazoo River disaster -- the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history.

    Now the company has made plans to build a tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac to house the pipeline.

    The risk our Great Lakes and coastal communities is simply too high. It’s time to retire Line 5.

    Our Work

    • Opposing the Line 5 Tunnel. Enbridge has filed an application before the Michigan Public Service Commission to site a tunnel to house their pipeline. We are intervening to oppose Enbridge’s MPSC application, along with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and NWF. Our goal is to ensure the interests of the Great Lakes and Michigan residents are represented. In short, the pipeline is no longer needed, and Line 5's continued operation violates the Michigan Environmental Protection Act.

    • Working with Oil and Water Don’t Mix and other partners to oppose other Enbridge permits including the Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act permits.


  • published Thanks for Taking Our Survey in Take Our Survey 2018-01-17 12:25:31 -0500

    Thanks for Taking Our Survey!

    We look forward to serving your needs and keeping you in touch with news and information on legislation and actions that help make Michigan a thriving and wonderful place to live, work, and play.

    Why not take a moment and explore our program priorities below!

  • published Promoting Clean Energy in Energy & Climate Change 2017-10-15 22:01:10 -0400

    Promoting Clean Energy

    Scientists agree that we need to shift to 100% clean, renewable energy before mid-century to ensure a stable climate. With solar jobs growing 17 times faster than the overall economy and the wind industry bringing millions to rural landowners and boosting local tax bases, it’s clear that renewable energy is the best way to power Michigan’s future.

    Michigan's utilities are committed to producing 15% of their collective energy from renewable sources by 2021, -- but it doesn’t mean our work is slowing down. Moving forward, we are focused on making sure the law is effectively implemented and will continue to support renewable energy projects at the local level.

  • published Lead Poisoning in Human Health 2017-10-15 21:57:35 -0400

    Lead Poisoning

    When the Flint Water Crisis made national news, it put a spotlight on lead poisoning.  Lead is toxic to everyone, but the impact on children can be devastating.  It undermines brain development and causes learning and behavioral problems, including aggressiveness, hyperactivity, and lethargy.  It is also linked to organ damage, hearing deterioration, slow growth, appetite and weight loss, digestive problems and headaches.

    Lead exposure has been a problem for decades.  Over 70% of Michigan’s housing stock predates the 1978 ban on lead paint, putting millions of residents at risk of lead exposure.  In fact, thousands of children under six years old have tested positive for lead poisoning, and often those most at-risk aren’t even tested.

    The damage is irreversible, and the costs to families and society are astronomical.

    Our Work

    MEC’s goal on lead poisoning is simple, but ambitious: ending childhood lead poisoning in Michigan.  When foolproof testing, mitigation and abatement programs are in place, childhood lead poisoning is 100% preventable.  It is just a matter of political will and funding.

    MEC Health Policy Director Tina Reynolds leads the Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Homes (MIALSH), a coalition of health, housing, business owners, medical and environmental professionals committed to that goal.

    Before the coalition formed in 2010, decades passed with no significant state funding for lead cleanup programs.  Thanks to MIALSH’s advocacy, the state legislature has brought total funding to more than $6.5 million.

    Through their annual Lead Education Day, the coalition shows the human face of lead poisoning by bringing impacted families to the State Capitol to tell their stories.  This outreach has been critical in building the bipartisan support necessary to eradicate childhood lead poisoning.

    Our Goals

    1. Require universal lead TESTING for ALL Michigan children aged 1 and 2.
    2. Require a lead-based paint inspection before the sale or transfer of property built before 1978 intended for occupancy.
    3. Have the state of Michigan assume responsibility for the federal RRP enforcement program which requires contractors to have a lead safe certification to do work on pre-1978 homes.
    4. Identify and secure a dedicated funding source to end lead poisoning in Michigan.
    5. Shift the burden of proof to landlords to submit documentation that lead hazards have been abated and indexed to CDC guidelines during enforcement proceedings and as per the Landlord Penalty Law.
    6. Encourage local rental certification programs to require identification of hazards upon rental of units prior to occupancy.
    7. Alert prospective buyers or renters to homes that have repeatedly lead poisoned children and remain a hazard.
    8. Support and align with the Michigan Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission (CLEEC) in their policy development, education and advocacy.
    9. Support efforts to train, recruit and identify lead abatement professionals and contractors to help fill our state’s acute shortage.
    10. Ensure Michigan’s federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) match amount of 10% to support our state’s lead programs is met.

    Resources & Analysis

  • published Energy & Climate Change in PRIORITIES 2017-10-15 19:44:58 -0400

    Energy & Climate Change

    The need for unified action on climate change is clear.  Michigan is already seeing greater climate-related health impacts along with weather extremes that hurt our food growers and more severe rain events that pollute our Great Lakes with sewage overflows.

    MEC is working to tackle climate change at its source -- our reliance on fossil fuels.  By passing forward-thinking policy at the state-level that reduces our dependence on dirty energy and promotes renewable energy at the local level, we’re laying the framework for a clean energy economy that will reduce energy costs for families and protect public health and the environment for future generations to enjoy.

  • published Human Health in PRIORITIES 2017-10-15 19:41:47 -0400

    Human Health

    From the Upper Peninsula to Detroit, too many Michigan residents struggle with preventable illnesses that are directly linked to industrial pollution and environmental degradation.

    Behind Michigan’s high rates of asthma, lead poisoning, and childhood obesity lies an environmental trigger -- air pollution, poor drinking water quality, and the millions of residents who lack access to fresh, nutritious food.

    We believe it’s time we treat the root causes of Michigan’s public health crises, not simply the symptoms.  MEC’s work focuses on connecting the dots between diseases and their environmental causes.  Our objective is to secure meaningful policy victories that improve the health of all Michiganders, especially those most vulnerable -- children, low-income populations and the communities of color who disproportionately bear the brunt of industrial pollution.


  • MEC submits comments on state's 30-year water strategy

    MEC and several of our partners and members submitted formal comments on the draft document, Sustaining Michigan's Water Heritage: A Strategy for the Next Generation, created by the Office of the Great Lakes (OGL) at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

    Read more

  • 18th Annual Environmental Awards Celebration Sponsors

    Michigan Environmental Council gratefully acknowledges the financial support of our 18th Annual Awards Celebration Sponsors.

    Read more

  • commented on Report: Energy efficiency, renewable power would give economy a shot of adrenaline 2017-09-30 17:25:48 -0400
    This is a comment. What an article!

  • published Become A Member in MEMBERS 2017-09-23 12:46:57 -0400

    Become A Member


    Our core service remains the same as it was since our inception in 1980: We are the collective voice in State Capitol policy debates for our members.  Here's what your organization can expect when they become members of the Michigan Environmental Council:

    in the areas of:

    • Legislative and governmental affairs
    • Public policy development
    • Environmental law
    • Environmental campaign management and messaging
    • Media relationships and communications, including new media tools
    • Fundraising and development

    on current environmental issues such as energy and climate change, water use and protection, transportation, public health and food policy, natural resources and conservation, environmental justice and agriculture

    of environmental and conservation concerns at meetings, hearings and workgroup discussions with:

    • The Governor’s Office
    • The State Legislature
    • State agencies like the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, Agriculture, Housing, Health and Human Services, and more
    • Various governmental commissions, forums, and business associations
    • The press and media outlets


    • Annual Member Meeting, including election of MEC board members
    • Biennial Legislative Breakfast, to meet with new and returning lawmakers
    • Various in-district legislative meetings
    • Facilitated meetings with state agencies and representatives
    • Opportunities to network with other members of the environmental community

    that includes the Michigan Environmental Report printed newsletter, bi-weekly Michigan Environmental Report e-newsletter, Capitol Update email notifications, and the inclusion of information about your organization on our website

    and capacity-building that increase your organization’s depth of influence and policy development

    in our sustainably operated and maintained, LEED Platinum building


    The recommended dues payment structure is as follows:

    Member Group Operating Budget * Annual Dues
    Less than $25,000 $100
    $20,000 - $100,000 $250
    $100,000 - $250,000 $500
    Greater than $250,000 $1,000

    * Environmental Groups: Suggested dues are based upon your group's annual budget

    * Non-Environmental Groups: Suggested dues are based on the portion of your group's annual budget dedicated to environmental programs


    Membership Application

    Thank you for considering membership with the Michigan Environmental Council. Applications are submitted at our quarterly board meeting for consideration.