89.1 WEMU

Environmental Protection Agency

Rita Loch-Caruso
University of Michigan School of Public Health / umich.edu

Chemicals known as PFAs have found their way in Washtenaw County's drinking water, and that can lead to numerous health and environmental problems.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about this situation with Dr. Rita Loch-Caruso, toxicologist and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan.


Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers / foodgatherers.org

For the last three decades, Food Gatherers has recovered food that would otherwise be wasted. It has put it to good use by helping feed the hungry in Washtenaw County.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair chats with Food Gatherers president and CEO Eileen Spring. They look back at how the organization has grown, what it has  has accomplished and what the future may hold. 


Salt
Thomas Brueckner / flickr.com

Road crews have worked extra hard this month to keep roads clear of ice and snow, but the extensive salt use may be damaging Michigan's lakes and streams.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's Patrick Campion speaks to Ric Lawson, watershed planner for the Huron River Watershed Council, about how to remedy this situation.


Air Pollution
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The federal government plans to end the Clean Power Plan, and that may have negative consequences on the environment.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Kindra Weid, Coalition Coordinator for MI Air MI Health, about how Southeast Michigan's air quality could be impacted by this executive action.


Food Waste
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Noelle Bowman, Solid Waste Program Specialist for Washtenaw County, about the magnitude of food waste, especially during the holidays.  She addresses some of the causes and offers tips for prevention and local resources for wasting less. 


Pills
Pixabay / pixabay.com

Usually when medications expire, people pour them down the drain and flush them down the toilet.  But studies have shown that trace elements of those medications end up in our drinking water.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Environmental Program Supervisor Jeff Krcmarik about the safest and healthiest ways to dispose of prescription drugs.


Yousef Rabhi
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

A week after a public forum on the 1,4 dioxane plume contaminating groundwater in Scio Township and Ann Arbor, you’ll get the latest on what is being done to address the problem. The potential carcinogen continues to spread in groundwater from the old Gelman Sciences facility on Wagner Road in Scio Township, slowly moving towards the Huron River. In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair catches up with State Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) to see what is being done to move from plume containment to actual clean-up. 


Michigan Sea Grant
Courtesy Photo / miseagrant.umich.edu

Back in March, the Trump Administration issued its budget recommendations that included a more 30% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.  As part of the funding reductions, the Sea Grant program faced potential elimination.  As WEMU’s David Fair found out, the director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program has maintained faith the work will continue with financial support. For the latest, listen to this week’s “Issues of the Environment” conversation with Dr. James Diana


Air Quality
Tony Webster / flickr.com

It has been a rather warm 2017 summer.  So far, there have been four Air Quality Alert, or Ozone Action Days, recorded.  These are days that pose heightened environmental and public health risks.  In this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair learns more about the region's air quality in a conversation with the Senior Meteorologist for the Michigan Departmentt of Environmental Quality - Air Quality Division, Jim Haywood


Flint Water
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The state of Michigan is in federal court trying to force the city of Flint to accept a deal to get safe drinking water.  


Ticks
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Did you know the summer of 2016 was the first in which Lyme disease is thought to have originated in Washtenaw County?  It was.  Now, 2017 is predicted to be a particularly bad year for ticks.  In this week’s edition of WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment," David Fair explores why that is and what you can do about it with a medical entomologist from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


epa.gov

As the federal government looks into possibly cutting thirty-one percent of the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, a rally will be held on Monday at the EPA's office in Ann Arbor.  That's where the National Motor Vehicle and Fuels Emissions Laboratory is located.
 


Washtenaw County Public Health / www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/

Recent events in our community, like the Ann Arbor area’s 1,4-dioxane plume, have increased residents’ awareness of – and concern about – the chemicals companies use.  While many state and federal regulations may exist that govern chemical storage and manufacturing, these regulations generally do not involve an onsite inspection component.  As a result, the programs are enforced on a complaint basis or incident, after the fact.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Kristen Schweighoefer,  Environmental Health Director for Washtenaw County Public Health, about 25 years of effort to manage these issues in Washtenaw County.


Flint Water
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Federal money to upgrade water systems is on a fast track toward Flint.  The state House has agreed to spend $100 million dollars from the EPA and kick in another $20 million from the state. 


Water
US EPA / flickr.com

Some state lawmakers got an early peek at Governor Rick Snyder’s new lead rules that are supposed to be rolled out this week.  A top state environmental official shared some details in testimony before a state House budget subcommittee.

Leaves
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

It's that time of year where leaves fall to the ground. What is the best way to dispose of such yard waste?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Master Compost Class instructor Nancy Stone about the ecologically best ways to clean up your lawn debris. 


Donation Bins
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Community donation bins can be of service but, if left unchecked, they can cause blight and become an  environmental problem.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo about what her community is doing. 


Marathon Petroleum
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department say an agreement has been reached with Marathon Petroleum to reduce air pollution from a Detroit refinery.  

Flint Water
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Two state water quality experts and a Flint utility official face criminal charges related to the Flint water crisis.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

In the past two decades, Michigan’s dioxane standards have seen extremes, going from 3 to 85 parts per billion (ppb).  Now 7.2 ppb is being proposed by the MDEQ.  Other states' standards are all over the map.  The EPA’s current recommended levels for dioxane exposure vary greatly as well, depending on multiple factors.   In this installment of WEMU’s “The Green Room,” Barbara Lucas looks at some reasons why it is so hard to come up with uniform guidelines for safe levels of dioxane.


Congress
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The charge has been leveled that state and federal officials put salvaging their careers ahead of making sure kids in Flint had safe drinking water. 


U.S. Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A congressional panel will continue its look into the Flint water crisis with another round of hearings this week.


Jeff Irwin
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

The Flint water crisis has led many communities to reexamine water safety.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with  State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) about the push for more funding to fix the crisis and how to improving testing standards for water quality in Michigan.


Flint Water
Michigan Public Radio Network

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regional administrator is stepping down over the public health crisis in Flint. 

Bill Schuette
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced his office will investigate the Flint water crisis.