89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
Michigan Natural Features Inventory / mnfi.anr.msu.edu

A recent survey determined that there are approximately 150 species in Washtenaw County listed as threatened or endangered.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Brian Klatt, director of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, about why these plants and animals are in danger and what needs to be done to protect them.


Border-to-Border Trail
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Washtenaw County senior parks planner Peter Sanderson joins WEMU's David Fair to talk about how far the Border-to-Border Trail has come to this point and how much further along it will be at the end of 2019. 


Matt Doss
Great Lakes Commission / glc.org

President Donald Trump said he wanted to cut 90% from a proposed $300-million dollar budget proposal to continue funding the Great Lakes Resoration Initiative (GLRI).  He then reversed the decision.   Why is that important?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets the answers from Matt Doss, policy director of the Great Lakes Commission. 


NRDC
Natural Resources Defense Council / nrdc.org

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new report regarding how climate change may affect the health of Michiganders.  Juanita Constible, Senior Advocate for the NRDC's Climate and Health, Climate & Clean Energy Program, presents details on this report with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Do Not Eat Fish
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Spring recreation season is upon us and one of the most popular destinations is the Huron River.  But, you'll see an increasing number of signs along the waterway warning you not to eat the fish.  That's because of PFAS contamination.  In WEMU's 'Issues of the Environment,' get the latest on the health of the river, and how it affects you for the spring and summer ahead from Huron River Watershed Council executive director, Laura Rubin.   


Jeff Irwin
Michigan Senate Democrats / senatedems.com

In 1987, State Senator Lana Pollack (D-Ann Arbor) pushed through “Polluter Pay” legislation in Lansing, but during the ensuing Engler Administration, the laws were dismantled.  Now, 53rd District State Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) and 18th District State Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) have introduced companion bills seeking to, once again, hold those who pollute accountable for their actions.  Senator Irwin joined WEMU's David Fair to offer insight on the bills in this week's "Issues of the Environment."

Anne Bannister
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

The Fermi 2 nuclear power plant is about 30 miles from Ann Arbor.  A radiation leak could have dramatic impacts on public health.  Ann Arbor City Council has passed a resolution to begin the process of arming residents with tablets that can protect the human thyroid system.  Ann Arbor City Councilwoman Anne Bannister discussses the plan with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."

Cindy Klement
Cindy Klement / cindyklement.com

Due to a lack of government oversight, toxic chemicals have become much more prevalent in our daily lives.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to EMU professor and Ann Arbor nutritionist Cindy Klement about ways to manage these toxins before any serious damage can be done.


Richard Rood
University of Michigan / umich.edu

There's been some severe winter weather over the past few weeks, thanks to the polar vortex.  Is this just a typical weather pattern, or another sign of climate change.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair looks into this phemonenon with Dr. Richard Rood, professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan. 


Climate Assessment
Ron Mader / flickr.com

The federal government released its National Climate Assessment in November of 2018, and it has revealed some very troubling facts about the state of climate change.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Kris Olsson from the Ann Arbor chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby shares her thoughts on the report and some possible solutions with WEMU's Patrick Campion.


Kristen Schweighoefer
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Salmonella, E. Coli, and other pathogens have been more prevalent in food lately, thus leading to an unusually high number of food recalls.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Kristen Schweighoefer, environmental health director for the Washtenaw County Health Department, about why such recalls have increased and what we can do to avoid food-borne illnesses.


Charles Griffith
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

This year's North American International Auto Show is underway in Detroit.  Once again, the world's top automakers believe the future lies in electric and automated vehicles.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair explores what impacts these vehicles may have with Charles Griffith, who directs the Climate and Energy Program at the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor.


Bonnifer Ballard
Courtesy Photo / MI-AWWA

Protecting Michigan's drinking water has becoming even more of a priority in the past year.  However, during the Michigan Legislature's lame-duck session, former Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a measure making protection more difficult. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about this legislation, and its impacts, with Bonnifer Ballard, executive director of the American Water Works Association's Michigan section.


Detectable levels of PFAS and PFOS chemicals are in the Ann Arbor municipal drinking water.  Progress was made in 2018, and more is expected in the new year.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses next steps with Brian Steglitz, manager of the City of Ann Arbor's Water Treatment Services unit.


Gillian Miller
Healthy Stuff / healthystuff.org

2019 has officially begun, and it's time to make some resolutions on how to handle dangerous chemicals, like PFAS.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Gillian Miller, senior scientist at healthystuff.org, about some tips to make 2019 a more ecologically friendly year.


Another holiday season has come and gone, which means vacations, New Year's resolutions, and holiday waste.  So, as the waste piles up, what are the most environmentally friendly means of disposal?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets some trash-removing tips from Angela Porta, who is the outreach and zero waste coordinator for Recycle Ann Arbor.


Bert Cregg
Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources / msu.edu

Finding the right Christmas tree for your home is always a big part of the holiday season.  But which type of tree is better for the environment--real or artificial?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair tries to settle this debate with Michigan State University horticulture professor Dr. Bert Cregg.

Evan Pratt
Washtenaw County

Amid PFAS contamination, controversial oil and gas pipelines, and lead contamination, another water safety issue in Washtenaw County sometimes drops out of the public discourse.  The expanding 1,4 dioxane plume in the Ann Arbor area has again reared its head.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt about the steps being taken after recent testing revealed much higher levels of the chemical in the waters in Ann Arbor's West Park. 

Wildfire
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The recent wildfires in California captured the world's attention, including those researching climate change.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to one such researcher. Dr. Jonathon Overpeck is the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. They discuss the connection between wildfires and climate change and why there is increased risk in Michigan. 


Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Central Park Ballot Committee / a2centralpark.org

Earlier this month, Ann Arbor voters approved Proposal A, which would convert the old "Library Lot" in a new park and civic center.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Will Hathaway, one of the leaders of the Ann Arbor Central Park Ballot Committee, about the potential, environmental impacts the new park grounds may have on the city.


Food Waste
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

When Thanksgiving dinner is done and eaten, family and friends go home with leftovers.  Still, it's likely you'll end up with food you have to throw away.  It's food waste, and it's a problem.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County solid waste specialist Noelle Bowman about the best ways to reduce food waste.


Nancy Love
University of Michigan / umich.edu

Searching for new sources of natural fertilizer is an ongoing process, and a University of Michigan research project is exploring use of an unending source.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with U-M professor of civil and environmental engineering Dr. Nancy Love about the Urine Diversion Research Project. 


Chris Kolb
Chris Kolb / Twitter

Post-election, there are changes in the make-up of the state legislature annd top-elected offices in Michigan. In Part 1 of Issues of the Environment, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters called the election outcomes "a win."  Are the sentiments of the Michigan Environmental Council the same? In Part 2, 89.1 WEMU's David Fair looks for the answer in a conversation with MEC President, Chris Kolb. 


Lisa Wozniak
Michigan League of Conservation Voters / michiganlcv.org

The midterm election will prove to be  "a win" for the environment. That according to the executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. In Part 1 of this week's "Issues of the Environment," Lisa Wozniak joined WEMU's David Fair to offer her thoughts on election results. 

 


Water
US Environmental Protection Agency / flickr.com

Ann Arbor is investing nearly one million dollars in technology aimed at removing toxic chemicals found from its source of drinking water.  PFAS contamnation of the Huron River has led to "Do Not Eat Fish" advisories.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about Ann Arbor's plan to improve its drinking water Brian Steglitz, the manager of the Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant.  


Matt Grocoff
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Imagine a future in which no home or business had gas furnaces, heaters or stoves.  Everything is electric.  Neighborhoods and communities running on connected micro-grids.  Everything is electric.  Net-Zero Energy expert and founding principal of Thrive Collaborative in Ann Arbor, Matt Grocoff is a strong proponent of the concept of “Beneficial Electrification.”  It is a concept that will be used in Thrive’s new “Veridian @ County Farm” housing development in Ann Arbor.  It is the subject of conversation in this week’s edition of “Issues of the Environment."


Courtesy image / Washtenaw Audubon Society

An old chimney on a city-owned property in Ann Arbor serves as a a roosting news for Chimney Swift.  The migratory birds don't relocate easily so losing the chimney at 415 W. Washington could be damaging to the local population. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Cathy Theisen from the Washtenaw Audubon Society about working with the City of Ann Arbor to advance protections.  


Courtesy Image / YouTube

Gypsy moth caterpillars have completely stripped the leaves of trees in portions of Chelsea and caused significant defoliation in portions of Ann Arbor.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about the infestation with Bob Bricault,  horticulture educator for Michigan State University Extension in Washtenaw County.  


Do Not Eat Fish
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Last month, due to high levels of PFAS in fish, the state of Michigan issued a "Do Not Eat Fish" advisory for parts of the Huron River.  After further testing, that advisory has been expanded to the entire river.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair revisits this situation with Huron River Watershed Council executive director Laura Rubin.


Do Not Eat Fish
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The state of Michigan this month issued, then expanded, a “Do Not Eat Fish” advisory for portions of the Huron River.  It cited unusually high levels of PFAS in the fish it tested.  PFAS are a compound of chemicals known to cause cancer and other medical issues.  In this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” Huron River Watershed Council executive director Laura Rubin dispels some misconceptions about the advisory and discusses the concerns the contamination raises for the present and future health of the river.


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