environment

Beth Wallace
Linkedin / linkedin.com

The Enbridge-owned and operated “Line 5” runs through the Straits of Mackinac.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer is taking steps to have the nearly 70-year old pipeline decommissioned.  But Enbridge is fighting the effort.  For this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director discuss this matter with Beth Wallace, who is the Manager of Conservation Partnerships with the Ann Arbor-based Great Lakes Regional Center of the National Wildlife Federation.  


Rebecca Esselman
Huron River Watershed Council / hrwc.org

After study and gathering community feedback, Ypsilanti City Council voted in 2019 in favor of removing the Peninsular Paper Dam from the Huron River.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," Huron River Watershed Council executive director Rebecca Esselman joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss progress toward that end.  Phase II of the removal project is just getting underway. 


Slow Farm
Slow Farm Organic U-Pick / Facebook

The pandemic has impacted all parts of our economy, including the local agricultural community.  But, there are positives that have resulted and reasons for giving thanks, too!  Kim Bayer is owner of Slow Farm in Washtenaw County.  She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss COVID-19 impacts on local farming for this week's "Issues of the Environment." 


Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

THRIVE Colloborative founder Matt Grocoff imagined a community built around affordable housing and sustainable energy, and he called the project "Veridian at County Farm."  Ann Arbor City Council, in October, gave final approval to the project.  Grocoff joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss where the project is, when it will be ready for move-in, and the broader and more grand vision for the future of sustainable development. 


Natural Areas Preservation Program / storymaps.arcgis.com

A countywide ballot issue will be decided next Tuesday, and it deals with land preservation.  A 10-year, quarter-mill tax renewal would sustain the Natural Areas Preservation Program (NAPP) for another 10 years.  For this week's "Issues of the Environment,"WEMU's David Fair talks with Washtenaw County's park planning and NAPP supervisor, Ginny Trocchio, about what the preservation program has meant to the county in its first 20 years, and what lies ahead--pass or fail--on Tuesday. 

Jim Frey
Resource Recycling Systems / recycle.com

Several bills are pending in the Michigan Legislature, regarding the future of recycling.  The overall goal is to increase recycling fromt he current 18% up to 45%.  The Michigan initiative "NextCycle" is working to make sure the goal is achieved.  WEMU's David Fair discussed the work being done with Jim Frey, the  CEO of Recycling Resources Systems (RRS).  RRS is managing and facilitating the "NextCycle" initaitive. 


Jeff Gearhart
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

Do you like the occasional Big Mac or Whopper?  It turns out the packaging those fast food favorites come in contain the toxic, forever chemicals known as PFAs.  For this week's "Issues of the Environment," Jeff Gearhart from the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center speaks to WEMU's David Fair about all you need to know to protect yourself and the environment and the work underway to remove PFAS from food packaging and other consumer products permanently.


Liesl Clark
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has set a goal of making Michigan a carbon-neutral economy by the year 2050.  She has also announced a $500 million water infrastructure plan.  Liesl Clark is director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and this month's guest on "1st Friday Focus on the Environment."  She discussed the initiatives with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak.  


Evan Pratt
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Maintaining dams became part of the national conversation again when two collapsed in mid-Michigan this year and caused severe flooding.  The state of Michigan has now established a new commission on dam safety, and Washtenaw County's water resources commissioner has been appointed as an inaugural member.  Evan Pratt discussed his new role and the local and statewide implications with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


University of Michigan
University of Michigan College of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering / clasp.umich.edu

The wildfires along the United States West Coast continue to devastate homes and the surrounding environment.  Many environmental experts consider this more evidence of climate change, and yet some politicians constantly dispute those claims.  Dr. Richard Rood, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan, discusses his thoughts on this conflict, as well as the effects the fires have had on southeast Michigan, with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Benjamin Goldstein
Erb Institute / erb.umich.edu

A new University of Michigan report studies 93 million homes in America to explore where, and how, we live impacts climate change.  The results show greenhouse gasses are produced at much higher levels in areas of affluence.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses the report in greater detail with lead author of the report, Dr. Benjamin Goldstein. 


Mara Herman
Erica Bertram / The Ecology Center

Michigan passed new standards for PFAS back in July, and, in August, the most strict regulations in America went into effect.  On this week's "Issues of the Environment," Mara Herman, Health Policy Specialist for the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, will discuss the new standards and what it means to environmental and public health with WEMU's David Fair. 


Debbie Dingell
Office of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

School is resuming across the country, but financial concerns weigh heavily as the federal government has yet to vote on a new budget or coronavirus relief measure.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to express her concerns and weigh in on a number of local and national environmental issues.  


Mona Hanna-Attisha
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha responsible for discovering the Flint Water Crisis.  Her work is recognized throughout the world.  Still, more needs to be done.  While that work continues, the COVID-19 public health crisis is creating further challenges for the community.  Dr. Hanna-Attisha joined WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak to discuss how far we've come and the work that remains on this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment."


Brian Steglitz
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

For decades, a 1,4 dioxane plume has contaminated groundwater in Scio Township and Ann Arbor.  Legal battles have been ongoing with the original polluter, Gelman Sciences, and its subsequent owners.  Now, a new consent judgement has been reached and it is expected to improve the situation.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with the City of Ann Arbor's water treatment services manager, Brian Steglitz, about the agreement and what needs to happen next to get the settlement approved and implemented. 


Paul Mohai
University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability / seas.umich.edu

Michigan currently does not have a statewide approach to school siting that takes into account environmental quality.  More than 40 percent of schools in Michigan are located near major sources of air pollution.  What can be done about it now?  On this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Dr. Paul Mohai from the U of M's School for Environment and Sustainability on ways to address these questions.


Bryan Weinert
Linkedin / linkedin.com

Recycling operations will soon become more localized in the Ann Arbor area.  The Materials Recovery facility, or the MRF, has been closed for processing for about four years.  It will be overhauled, and processing functions are expected to be operational in summer of 2021.  Recycle Ann Arbor has a 10-year contract to run the MRF.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Recycle Ann Arbor’s director of strategy, Bryan Weinert, about localizing recycling once again. 


Joel Brammeier
Alliance for the Great Lakes / greatlakes.org

Climate change continues to impact the Great Lakes.  We’re at record high water levels, and the water temperatures are also on the rise.  It is changing shorelines, habitats, and the well-being of wildlife.  On WEMU’s "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak explore the ramifications, impacts, and work being done to address these issues with Joel Brammeier, President and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. 


Tuesday's primary election saw two countywide tax issues win voter approval.  One for road funding and  non-motorized paths, the other to help fund the Washtenaw County Soil Conservation District.  Both millages passed by about a 3-1 margin.  In a post-election edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discussed the benefits and outcomes with Washtenaw County Commissioner Andy LaBarre. 


Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will meet Wednesday night and discuss a resolution that, if approved, would impact the county’s carbon neutrality goal.  

Washtenaw County

The Environmental Health Division office in Washtenaw County has reopened to the public after closing in March because of COVID-19.

Jeff Roberts
Linkedin / linkedin.com

New state regulations will change the way some firefighting operations are conducted in Michigan.  Firefighting foams can contain high levels of PFAS.  Those forever chemicals are not only detrimental to the environment but also to human health.  Jeff Roberts is chief of the Wixom Fire Department and president of the Michigan Fire Chiefs Association.  He joined 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair to discuss the new regulations and their impacts on training, operations, and safety.


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Congress has had a particularly eventful week.  A new federal stimulus package continues to drag in the Senate.  There has been a victory for the environment with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.  Plus, America is feeling the loss of long-time representative and civil rights icon John Lewis.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell calls in from Washington, D.C. to discuss these developments with WEMU's David Fair.


Border-to-Border
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Throughout the pandemic, more people are utilizing the outdoors for a sense of balance and peace.  On "Issues of the Environment" this week, WEMU’s David Fair caught up with Park Planner and Landscape Architect Peter Sanderson for a look at how the Border-to-Border Trail in Washtenaw County is expanding, improving and, creating even more accessibility to hiking and biking. 


Marie O'Neill
University of Michigan School of Public Health / sph.umich.edu

On its surface, there may not appear to be many connections between the coronavirus pandemic and the climate change crisis.  You don’t, however, have to dig very deep to find the parallels and the impacts on people of color.  Dr. Marie O‘Neill is a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the University of Michigan, and her work has put her in the path of that intersection.  Dr. O’Neill joined WEMU’s David Fair this week to help connect the dots on this week’s "Issues of the Environment."


Christopher Taylor
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Despite this year's focus on the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest, climate change remains a great threat to the world.  This past June, Ann Arbor city officials took a major step in fighting this crisis by approving the "A2 Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan."  The overall goal is for the city of Ann Arbor to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.  Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor details the plan further in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Issues of 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." 


Yousef Rabhi
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In 2019, a pair of state lawmakers introduced companion bills that would create environmental accountability by making polluters responsible for paying for the hazards they create.  State Senator Jeff Irwin and State Representative Yousef Rabhi are both Ann Arbor Democrats and have yet to see those measures get consideration in the Republican-led legislature.  Now, as we address systemic racism, environmental justice has to be a part of the conversation.  Representative Rabhi joined WEMU’s David Fair to discuss environmental accountability at the intersection of race and socioeconomics. 


Sandra Turner-Handy
Michigan Environmental Council / environmentalcouncil.org

Systemic racism touches all aspects of life in America.  There is police brutality, economic oppression, lack of access to health care, less opportunity to advance, and not enough political clout to be heard.  It’s all connected.  Another component is environmental justice, and it contributes to all of the above.  In WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment," Michigan Environmental Council engagement director Sandra Turner-Handy explains why this is the time where real progress can be made. 


Air Pollution
PxFuel / pxfuel.com

The COVID-19 shutdown took most people off the road for a couple of months.  That did allow for some air quality improvement in Southeast Michigan.  However, it wasn't enough to offset the generations of pollution that have resulted in terrible health conditions and outcomes.  For this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about this situation with Mary Ann Dolehanty, the director of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy's Air Quality Division.


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