89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
TheRide
Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority / theride.org

Many aspects of daily life have been dramatically changed due to COVID-19, and public transportation is certainly no exception.  Although services like the Ann Arbor Area Transportion Authority (AAATA) promote a cleaner environment, they still have financial obligations and public health matters to consider.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," AAATA CEO Matt Carpenter explains how his organization and other forms of public transit in Michigan are adapting to the pandemic in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair.


Brian Steglitz
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

Maintaining water service and safety remains an essential service during Governor Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with the manager of Ann Arbor's water treatment services, Brian Steglitz, about managing the system to filter out virus and chemical contamination. 


John Meeker
University of Michigan School of Public Health / sph.umich.edu

The coronavirus pandemic has lead to major changes for homes and businesses, including more frequent use of chemicals and disinfectants.  While they do help, some can be dangerous to human health and the environment.  Professor John Meeker, senior associate dean for research at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, spoke with WEMU's David Fair about how best to safely use these products on "Issues of the Environment."


Argus
Argus Farm Stop / argusfarmstop.com

Many services have felt the sting of the coronavirus outbreak.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Kathy Sample, founder/owner of Argus Farm Stop, joins WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about the importance of local food during this unprecendented time.


Ed Rivet
Michigan Conservative Energy Forum / micef.org

A series of "energy freedom" bills, which would allow customers to diversify energy generation and usage is before the Michigan Legislature.  For this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Ed Rivet, executive director of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, about a new strategy to move the measures forward. 


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Since President Donald Trump took office, 58 environmental protection policies have been rolled back or rescinded.  37 more are in the process of being taken off the books.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair checks in with 12th District Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell about efforts to thwart federal policies that threaten environmental health and sustainability.  


Noah Weaverdyck
Noah Weaverdyck / Facebook

In an attempt to reduce its carbon footprint, the University of Michigan has pledged to freeze its investments in fossil fuel companies.  This move has drawn praise from such activist groups as the U-M's Climate Action Movement (CAM).  But it also says the school needs to go much further.  CAM member and U-M doctoral student Noah Weaverdyck discusses it all with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Jeff Irwin
Michigan Senate Democrats / senatedems.com

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently released the latest Michigan state budget, and it includes funding for a number of environmental programs.  And, it builds on the initiatives launched in her first budget cycle as governor.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks over environmental priorities, progress, and challenges with State Senator Jeff Irwin. 


Electric Car
Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine / flickr.com

By all accounts, electric vehicles are the future.  Right now, EV’s comprise a small percentage of the automotive marketplace.  A new study from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor shows the electric vehicles owners are paying far more in taxes and fees and that can serve as a disincentive to purchase.  The center’s Charles Griffith joined WEMU’s David Fair for this week’s "Issues of the Environment" to share the study’s findings and discuss the need to create policy that will create tax parity for EV vehicles. 


Huron River Watershed Council
D. Brown / Huron River Watershed Council

PFAS contamination continues to threaten Michigan's environment, as well as the health of its citizens.  Over the past month, action at the state level has been taken to fight this problem.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Rebecca Esselman, executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council, discusses progress and challenges with WEMU's David Fair.


Jason Morgan
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

The 1,4 dioxane plume emanating from the old Gelman Sciences facility on Wagner Road in Scio Township continues to expand through groundwater in the greater Ann Arbor area.  At a recent public forum, the federal Environmental Protection Agency said it would take decades to get the contamination designated as a Superfund site and clean-up could take decades beyond that.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners chair Jason Morgan about what is happening now to better address the environmental threat. 


Tina Reynolds
Michigan Environmental Council / environmentalcouncil.org

Pollution found in our air and water can lead to serious health issues.  A new report from the Children’s Environmental Health Network explored such risks, especially for children.  Michigan Environmental Council program director Tina Reynolds discusses the report with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Tony Reames
University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability / seas.umich.edu

A number of Americans have difficulty paying their energy bills, which can be very dangerous to a person's health during the winter months.  Dr. Tony Reames, an assistant professor at the U-M's School for Environment and Sustainability, is now researching ways to better understand the correlation between environmental health and income.  Dr. Reames discusses his work with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Missy Stults
Planet Blue-University of Michigan / sustainability.umich.edu

Last year, the City of Ann Arbor declared a "climate emergency."  Now, the city aims to be carbon neutral by the year 2030.  Missy Stults, City of Ann Arbor's Sustainability and Innovations Manager, provides further details on the plan with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Freepik / freepik.com

Every week, for a quarter of a century now, WEMU's David Fair has delivered "Issues of the Environment," which has brought information involving our community's environmental health.  He has welcomed numerous guests to discuss matters, such as managing food waste, monitoring climate change, and fighting hazardous chemicals like PFAS.  This week, David welcomes Washtenaw County water resources commissioner Evan Pratt for a look back at 25 years of "Issues of the Environment."

Deer
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan's deer population has exploded in recent years, mostly to due to fewer hunters.  Yet, this population surge can lead to other problems for our ecosystem.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Randy Baker, who owns the nature tour program Naturalist Endeavors, about the best ways to manage the state's growing number of deer.


Car Seat
Ciukes / flickr.com

Car seats are designed to keep children safe inside moving vehicles, but toxic chemicals are used to keep them flame-retardant in the manufacturing process.  That is a danger in and of itself.  The Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center has been working with car seat companies to have the chemicals removed and is noting some progress as we head into 2020.  WEMU's David Fair gets the details in a conversation with the Ecology Center's green living resources director, Melissa Cooper Sargent.


Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers / foodgatherers.org

The holiday season is here, which leads to big get-togethers with lots of food.  Sadly, those less fortunate don't have that luxury, but there are ways to help them out.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Eileen Spring, president and CEO of Food Gatherers, about donating uneaten food to help the needy, which has some postive environmental impacts as well.


Trish Koman
University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Design Program / umich.edu

Many cities and residents in Michigan have already begun to feel the effects of climate change.  Such changes can damage the environment and public health.  Dr. Trish Koman, a research investigator for the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, and her colleagues have developed the Michigan Environmental Project, an online mapping tool designed to track climate change impacts in Michigan.  She talks about how the project works with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Veridian
THRIVE Collaborative / thrive-collaborative.com

THRIVE Collaborative says site plans have been submitted to the City of Ann Arbor for the self-sustaining, eco-sensitive development.  THRIVE Collaborative founder Matt Grocoff discusses the future of the development with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Roger Rayle
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The 1,4 dioxane plume emanating from the old Gelman Sciences Facility on Wagner Road in Scio Township has caused environmental damage and remains a threat to public health.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation with Roger Rayle, who is both chair of the Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) and Scio Residents for Safe Water (SRSW), about the ongoing efforts to remediate the dioxane plume.


Julie Grand
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

Back in 2003, the City of Ann Arbor initiated its "greenbelt program," which was designed to preserve and expand local farmland and nature areas.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about the program's current status and future plans with Ann Arbor city council member Julie Grand.


Balloons are typically associated with any celebration, whether it's birthdays, weddings, and so forth.  Yet, releasing balloons into the air can have serious consequences for the environment and wildlife.  University of Michigan graduate student Lara O'Brien is collecting data and researching the impacts and shares her findings with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Andrew Brisbo
Linkedin / linkedin.com

Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 last year, which legalized the sale and adult use of recreational marijuana.  But, actions still need to be taken to protect the public health in the products it consumes and the environment as a new cash crop takes hold in Michigan.  What's being done?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets answers from Andrew Brisbo, executive director of Michigan's Bureau of Marijuana Regulation.


Birds
David Lenker / flickr.com

It's very common for birds to accidentally hit the windows of someone's home or workplace, which leaves the birds seriously injured or dead.  It is part of a serious extinction threat to our winged friends.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Heidi Trudell from Washtenaw Safe Passage, an organization designed to prevent such accidents from happening.


Mosquito
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is a particularly dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes.  Infections have been reported in southeast Michigan, but actions are being taken to contain the virus from spreading.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Juan Marquez, Medical Director for the Washtenaw County Health Department, about what's being done to fight EEE in Washtenaw County.


Impossible Burger
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Across the country, rapid expansion of plant-based foods is being seen in restaurants and stores.  Would a continuing shift away from meat-based foods help the environment?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair looks for the answer to that question in a conversation with Dr. Martin Heller, a research specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan.


Maia C. / flickr.com

The Detroit Zoo says it will running 100% on renewable energy in 2020.  The effort adds to other sustainability efforts that have made the zoo a leader in environmental stewardship.  In this 'Issues of the Environment' conversation with 89.1 WEMU's David Fair, Detroit Zoological Society CEO Ronald Kagen covers what environmentally-friendly features exist, what is to come, and how the zoo is spreading its message to all who will listen. 


Recycling
Needpix.com

Glass is one of many materials that can and should be recycled.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Ypsilanti Department of Public Services director Ronald Akers about why glass is no longer allowed as part of the city's curbside recycling program and how residents can make sure the glass still gets recycled. 


Farming
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The weather this year has been unfavorable for the corn and soybean harvest in Michigan.  Farmers have faced colder and wetter-than-normal conditions in the spring, and that delayed planting.  Now, an early freeze could devastate the harvest this fall.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses problems and solutions with Roger Betz, farm business management educator with Michigan State University Extension.


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