89.1 WEMU

1st Friday Focus on the Environment

Gary Peters
Gary Peters / peters.senate.gov

The back and forth over the state’s desire to shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac continues in the courts and in the court of public opinion.  Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters joins WEMU’s David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters to discuss that and other environmental issues on "1st Friday Focus on the Environment." 


Sarah Anthony
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Protests continue across the nation following the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police officers.  Once again, police brutality and racism are at the fore of the national conversation.  Police brutality is only a part of equation.  Among other things, inequities exist in education, health, and the environment.  On the June edition of "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak talk with 68th District State Representative Sarah Anthony about what is necessary to make lasting change. 


Garlin Gilchrist
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

About 14% of Michigan's population is African American.  Roughly 40% of COVID-19 fatalties are in the African American community.  It is an alarming statistic.  Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist heads the state's Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.  He joined WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak to discuss what is being done to address the immediate crisis.  He also highlights the longer term issues that will need to be addressed and what the role of the task force will be to that end. 


Elin Betanzo
Safe Water Engineering / safewaterengineering.com

The COVID-19 outbreak has yet to reach its peak, and one of the challenges all too many people face is  access to clean water.  In this month's edition of "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," Elin Betanzo, founder of Safe Water Engineering joins WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak about the ethics and policy of ensuring water access.  

Monica Lewis-Patrick
We the People of Detroit / wethepeopleofdetroit.com

Water shutoffs has been a major issue in Detroit, and the next round is expected to come in April.  Low-income residents are being dramatically impacted by the inability to meet the rising cost of water.  Is access to water a right?  Or, is it a privilege?  In this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters explore the answers to those questions.  Monica Lewis-Patrick is co-founder, president, and CEO of "We the People of Detroit."  She'll explain the organization's efforts to win water justice in the city and around the state and country.


Sara Ganim
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications / jou.ufl.edu/

Sara Ganim is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with strong ties to Michigan.  Her new independent film, “No Defense: The U.S. Government’s War on Water,” looks into the PFAs contamination emanating from the old Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda and how our government’s conflict of interest has lead to inaction.  WEMU’s David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak caught up with Sara in advance of the free screening of her film at the State Theatre in Ann Arbor on February 19th.


University of Michigan
University of Michigan / umich.edu

Not long after enrolling her son in kindergarten, U-M medical anthropologist Abby Dumes took notice of the lead levels in the drinking water used in the Ann Arbor school district.  From there, Dumes started working with school officials to reduce lead contamination not only in the Ann Arbor district, but for school districts all over Michigan.  Dr. Dumes talks about her work with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak in this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment."


CAFO
Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan / nocafos.org

Concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, are areas where livestock are kept and fed indoors.  One cow will produce 20 times the waste as a human and large-scale operations have thousands of these animals.  The liquified waste is kept in pools, sprayed on the land, and ultimately runs off into the waters.  That contributes to phospherous overload and the development of algal blooms.  Pam Taylor is a Research Coordinator for the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South-Central Michigan (ECCSCM) and discusses the issues and work toward better practices with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak in this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment."


Tony Spaniola
89.1 WEMU

Through the contentious and controversial process of passing a new state budget, there was a point when the Republican-led Legislature removed much of the money earmarked to address water issues in Michigan.  Most of the money made its way back in by the time Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the spending bills and rearranged departmental spending.  In this month’s "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," you’ll get reaction to the spending plans and a look at increasing bi-partisanship when it comes to protecting our waters.  89.1 WEMU’s David Fair talks it through with Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak and Tony Spaniola from the organization Need Our Water, Oscoda. 


International Association for Great Lakes Research / http://iaglr.org/

The 2019 algal bloom on Lake Erie now measures over 650-square miles and continues to expand.  At the root of the issue is agricultural runoff and, in particular, phosphorous. Ed Verhamme is a project engineer with the private water solutions firm, LimnoTech.  The company conducts research, analysis, and consults with governmental agencies and other stakeholders to advance the cause of safe and clean waters.  In this month's '1st Friday Focus on the Environment' conversation with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak, you'll get the latest on progress and the work towards solutions that lay ahead. 


Laura Rubin
Huron River Watershed Council / hrwc.org

After two decades as executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council, Laura Rubin is expanding her environmental mission.  Back in April, Rubin was named director of the Healing Our Waters, Great Lakes Coalition.  On the August edition of  “1st Friday Focus on the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters talk with Rubin about the first few months on the job and where the coalition is headed. 


University of Michigan
Graham Sustainability Institute / energy.umich.edu

On February 4th of this year, U-M President Mark Schlissel revealed the chosen members of his new Commission on Carbon Neutrality.  On WEMU’s "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," you’ll hear from the commission co-chair, Jennifer Haverkamp, and from commission member Lisa Wozniak about the mission, the work, and anticipated outcomes in the effort to achieve total carbon neutrality.


Laura Sherman
Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council / mieibc.org

Michigan continues to be a leader in "Green Energy" jobs, and the business community and marketplace are helping drive towards a cleaner energy future.  In this month's "First Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak cover those issues with Laura Sherman, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. 


michigan.gov

In her first few months in office, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has made infrastructure and clean water among her top priorities.  Whitmer outlines her environmental strategy and budget with 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director, Lisa Wozniak. 


Jeff Irwin
Jeff Irwin

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is set to release her first budget proposal next week.  Through her campaign and into the first months of her administration, improving the environment has been at the fore.  In this month’s edition of "1st Friday," State Senator Jeff Irwin joins WEMU’s David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak to see what has been done, what is being proposed, and where we can go from here.


Joe Schwarz
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

After the November election, there was fast and furious action in Lansing, as lawmakers made a harried run through the lame duck session.  Some of that action could impact the environment in 2019.  In this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak discuss these New Year's challenges  Joe Schwarz, a former state lawmaker and current board member with both Voters Not Politicians and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.


Jennifer McKay
Detroit Public Television / youtube.com

Environmentalists contend the ongoing, lame-duck session of the state Legislature is proving detrimental to health of “Pure Michigan.”  In the December edition of WEMU’s "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," David Fair explores measures that could strip away wetlands protections and measures that could keep the nearly 70-year old Line 5 pipeline operational in the Straits of Mackinac for another decade.  Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak and Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council policy director Jennifer McKay join in with their perspectives.


Desmond Berry / facebook.com

Elections are right around the corner and the future of the controversial Enbridge Line 5  may be put in the hands of those elected.  Then again, the State of Michigan has reached agreement with Enbridge to bury the 65-year old pipeline in a concrete tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac.  That binding agreement could be enacted in a lame duck session of the legislature, post-election.  As it turns out, that agreement may be in violation of a treaty with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.  Desmond Berry is the Natural Resources Department Manager for the Band and is this week’s guest on 89.1 WEMU’s “1st Friday Focus on the Environment.”


Kary Moss
ACLU of Michigan / aclumich.org

There are three statewide ballot proposals to be decided on November 6th.  Two of them have to do with voting.  Proposal 2 is being called “Voters Not Politicians” and aims to end gerrymandering.  If approved, it would create an independent commission to redraw legislative and congressional district lines after each census.  Proposal 3 is being called “Promote the Vote.”  It would create greater access to voter registration and aims to increase voter participation.  Both could have impacts on the overall health of Michigan’s environment.  

In this month’s “1st Friday” conversation, “Promote the Vote” leader and former Michigan ACLU executive director Kary Moss discusses the implications with WEMU’s David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director, Lisa Wozniak.


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

PFAS contamination of Michigan waters is growing.  It has forced a “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory for the Huron River and has been discovered in the Ann Arbor Municipal Drinking water supply.  More new contamination sites are being discovered throughout Michigan and the rest of the country.  WEMU has been exploring what is being done at the local and state levels over the past few weeks.  In this month’s “1st Friday Focus on the Environment,” David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters explore what is being done at the federal level with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.


NASA/National Weather Service / MODIS/NASA, processed by NOAA/NOS/NCCOS)

The annual, summer algae bloom has hit Lake Erie.  That’s not all.  Agricultural run-off, in some way, affects many of Michigan’s rivers streams and more than 11, 000 inland lakes.  Explore the causes, impacts and search for solutions in this month’s edition of “1st Friday Focus on the Environment.”  Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Tom Zimnicki of the Michigan Environmental Council share their perspectives with WEMU’s David Fair. 


Wikipedia Commons / wikipedia.org

Environmentalists are exceedingly unhappy about Enbridge Energy's safety measure proposals for oil pipelines running through the Straits of Mackinac.  WEMU's David Fair talks with two such leaders about those concerns.  Lisa Wozniak is executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Liz Kirkwood serves as executive director of FLOW, an acronym for "For Love Of Water." 


FLOW

From spills in the Straits of Mackinac, to large-scale water diversions to tainted drinking water, Michigan has plenty of issues to address and remediate.  There are questions as to whether the political landscape will allow for the development of policies to adequetly do so.  Dave Dempsey has authored 10 environmental books and served on the Michigan Environmental Council.  Now, he is Senior Advisor for FLOW.  His perspective is on tap in this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment." 


Some call it "Fox Guarding the Hen-House" legislation.  Bills under consideration in Lansing would create an oversight panel for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  It would have the authority to grant and deny permits and overrule decisions made by the MDEQ.  It would also be comprised of people who may represent businesses and industries that have a financial stake in the decisions being made. 


PFA's are being found in more and more Michigan waterways and the threat to the environment and public health is real.  In this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," you'll hear from attorney, activist and advocate Tony Spaniola about the the existing problems and growing likelihood of worse repercussions without quick and decisive action from the state. 


The State of Michigan is in the process of revising its Lead and Copper rule.  The decisions made could impact whether we see another situation like the Flint Water Crisis occur in Michigan.  What should, and could, happen as the public comment period winds down, is the topic of conversation on this month's edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment. 


James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council / environmentalcouncil.org

Through the course of this week, Governor Rick Snyder has released some ambitious plans for environmental policy for his final year in office.  WEMU’s David Fair caught up with James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council, to discuss the plans and whether any of it will actually make it into policy. 


Public Sector Consultants / http://www.publicsectorconsultants.com/

The new year brings a number of environmental challenges in Michigan.  Governor Rick Snyder is in his lame duck year, and mid-term elections could impact legislative priorities.  In this month's edition of "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," you'll get a sense of where we're headed. 


For Love Of Water (FLOW) / http://flowforwater.org/programs/enbridge-line-5-pipelines-in-the-straits-of-mackinac/

On Monday of this week, the state of Michigan made an agreement with Enbridge Inc. to allow the energy company to conduct its own safety study of the pipelines running through the Straits of Mackinac, albeit with some supervision. WEMU talks with Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation voter sand Liz Kirkwood of For Love Of Water (FLOW) about why they believe, that's not good enough. 


Lisa Wozniak
Michigan League of Conservation Voters / michiganlcv.org

Oakland County was recently forced to issue a boil water advisory for nearly a dozen communities after a major pipeline ruptured in Farmington Hills.  It  brought to light some important issues related to water and infrastructure.  In this month's "First Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak about what comes next. 


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