89.1 WEMU

environment

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.


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.


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.

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.


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."


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.


Straits of Mackinac
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A controversial pipeline that carries crude oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac is on its way toward being decommissioned.  Sort of.


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.  


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.


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.


  

The impacts of exposure to lead are costly to both public health and Michigan's bottom line.  While the Flint Water Crisis brought greater awareness of lead exposure hazards, lead-based paints continue to damage children throughout the state.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Rebecca Meuninck, Deputy Director of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, to discuss new EPA standards for the amount of lead permitted in household paint, dust, and soil.  


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.


Glen Lake
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

There are more than 11-thousand inland lakes in Michigan.  The greatest threat to the health of these water-bodies is a loss of nearshore habitat.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Julia Kirkwood, chair of the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership, about the ongoing efforts to increase protections. 


Agriculture
Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

Industrialized agriculture has resulted in the loss of numerous plant and animal species, but there is an organization looking to change that trend.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Lauren Moscoe, board member of Slow Food of Huron Valley and member of Midwest Ark of Taste Committee, about what has been done to increase diversity in agriculture.


Rick Snyder
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan has about 150 new laws.  Governor Rick Snyder finished going through a pile of bills that were sent to him before the Legislature went on its summer break.


Richard Rood
University of Michigan / umich.edu

The heat wave continues in Washtenaw County, Southeast Michigan, and a majority of the country.  While every summer brings its hot spells, you can expect greater periods of unpredictable and potentially more destructive weather events.  In this week’s edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair and University of Michigan professor Dr. Richard Rood explore the adaptive attitudes and actions necessary for our future. 


Algal Blooms
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Algal blooms are common in the Great Lakes in the summertime, but they may be more dangerous than originally believed.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Dr. Andrew Ault, assistant professor at the University of Michigan's departments of environmental health sciences and chemistry, about a study that determined that algal blooms can become airborne, and, therefore, become a public hazard.


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