89.1 WEMU

Drinking water

Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

As the recent disaster in Massachusetts shows, pipeline problems can cause fatal explosions.  But in Michigan, it’s the impact pipelines might have to our increasingly threatened water supplies that is drawing most of the attention.  This is the third of our “Green Room” series on pipelines.


Water
Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

Michigan’s Democratic lawmakers are demanding the state Legislature take action on contaminated groundwater found across the state.  The Legislature is back from its summer break this week with its first day of voting today.


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.


Water
Steve Johnson / flickr.com

A new state rule requires local water systems to get rid of all their lead service lines over the next 20 years.  These are the types of pipes that contributed to the Flint water crisis.


City of Saline

The City of Saline has issued a city-wide boil water advisory.
 


Water
Environmental Protection Agency / epa.gov

Money might be on the way to help fight perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in Michigan. 


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.


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. 


Huron River Watershed Council

You may drive by it, kayak or fish in it, but have you ever thought about how much the Huron River is worth to the local economy?  A new report has been released that puts a price tag on that and 89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with Elizabeth Riggs, deputy director of the Huron River Watershed Council about the new findings.


Rick Snyder
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder will create a commission this week that has the mission of tackling the problem of lead exposure.  A top administration official says the governor will also ask the Legislature to pass a law to make the commission permanent until the problem is solved.


There are roughly 48,000 on-site septic systems in Washtenaw County, according to the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division.  State statistics show that at any given time 10% of those systems are leaking and in need of repair.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s David Cotton about the growing number of these systems and how to protect our land and waterways.


Jorge Avellan / 89.1 WEMU

For decades, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has been working with Gelman Sciences to clean-up the 1,4 Dioxane chemical the company released in certain parts of Ann Arbor.  To this day, the DEQ continues to say the levels are below their precautionary standards and are not harmful. To give voice to concerned residents, city, county and state officials put together Thursday night's town hall forum. 


Water Faucet
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Legislature is going to work on toughening standards for lead in drinking water, although finishing the job may have to wait until next year.


Vote Here
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Three Washtenaw County townships will be voting on three separate millage issues next week.  


Ann Arbor Wiki / localwiki.org

Candidates for Ann Arbor’s Ward 1 debated at the city’s Community Television Network studios last night. 


Bill Schuette
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

The state has filed a lawsuit seeking to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in damages from two water engineering firms that did work in Flint.  


Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant
Courtesy Photo / a2gov.org

The city of Ann Arbor is letting residents get a first hand look at where their water comes from.

Wikipedia Media Commons

The next phase of Governor Rick Snyder’s plans for Flint include enforcing drinking water standards that are stricter than federal requirements. 


Mike Nystrom
Courtesy photo

The water crisis in Flint has reverberated throughout the state of Michigan.  Mike Nystrom of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) joins Lisa Wozniak to discuss Michigan's drinking water situation. 

contaminated water
Wikimedia

There are a myriad of concerns over the health of the Great Lakes. From toxic algae blooms to urban chemical run-off, the quality of the world's largest fresh-water system is under constant scrutiny. A University of Michigan professor confirms the concern is warranted, and is urging action throughout the basin.