environment

Marco Verch / flickr.com

When COVID-19 hit, Michigan almost immediately halted can and bottle returns.  Not only has it had an impact on local grocers and big box chain stores, it has affected recycling waste management and the companies that make cans and bottles.  Returns are now allowed again, but the ripple effect may last a while.  WEMU's David Fair has a conversation with Scott Breen, vice president of sustainability for the Can Manfacturers Institute, about the potential impact this will have on our environment and economy for this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Sarah Anthony
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Protests continue across the nation following the death of George Floyd during an encounter with Minneapolis police officers.  Once again, police brutality and racism are at the fore of the national conversation.  Police brutality is only a part of equation.  Among other things, inequities exist in education, health, and the environment.  On the June edition of "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak talk with 68th District State Representative Sarah Anthony about what is necessary to make lasting change. 


University of Michigan
Taubman College / taubmancollege.umich.edu

Climate change has brought more frequent incidents of heavy rains and flooding.  Old and poorly maintained infrastructure is at risk as water levels rise, and we saw that play out in Midland where two dams broke and forced evacuation of 11,000 people.  On "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair catches up with U of M professor of urban and regional planning Dr. Richard Norton.  Together they explore what to consider about the aging dams in Michigan and how proper development planning in the future can serve as a measure of flood prevention.  


Dana Nessel
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Michigan joined 22 other states and the District of Columbia Wednesday in filing an environmental protection lawsuit.   As we hear from Rick Pluta, state Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to preserve fuel economy standards set during the Obama administration.


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

The coronavirus pandemic is ongoing and will be for some time to come.  But it is not the only zoonoses we are dealing with globally or locally.  Zoonoses are illnesses spread from animals to humans.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses these infectious diseases with Dr. Joseph Eisenberg, chair and professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.


Kenneth Rosenman
Michigan State University Department of Medicine / medicine.chm.msu.edu

Slowly, the economy is beginning to reopen.  All businesses will be required to conduct more stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols to protect works and the public from COVID-19.  And, we will continue to use more of these products in our homes.  That means far more chemical exposure for all.  That, too, is a threat to public health.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Dr. Kenneth Rosenman, chief of Michigan State University's Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, about the dangers, and measures we can take to mitigate health impacts.


Evan Pratt
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

It's been forecast that this spring will be quite wet.  That could bring flooding to portions of Washtenaw County.  Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss planning for such issues and the proactive nature of work already underway on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Garlin Gilchrist
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

About 14% of Michigan's population is African American.  Roughly 40% of COVID-19 fatalties are in the African American community.  It is an alarming statistic.  Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist heads the state's Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.  He joined WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak to discuss what is being done to address the immediate crisis.  He also highlights the longer term issues that will need to be addressed and what the role of the task force will be to that end. 


Joe Diglio
Michigan Milk Producers Association / mimilk.com

Food production has been seriously disrupted to the coronavirus pandemic.  It has forced producers, including dairy farmers, to dispose of more of their supplies, which has led to more food waste.  Joe Diglio, president/CEO of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, has a conversation with WEMU's David Fair about how the problems are being addressed in this week's "Issues of the Environment."


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

Today marks the 50th Earth Day in the United States, which traces its origins to Ann Arbor.  Normally, there would have been a huge celebration, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to that.  For Part 2 of a special, Earth Day edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair spoke with Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability.  They discuss an online celebration of Earth Day and look ahead to what the future may hold.  


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

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  A group of environmentally aware and concerned students at the University of Michigan formed the group ENACT during a rather heady time on campus in 1969.  Through activity and organization, it led to the first-ever Earth Day in 1970.  In Part 1 of a special, Earth Day edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair caught up with David Allan to look back at the five decades since that event.  Allan was a founding member and co-chair of ENACT and an organizer for the first Earth Day. 


Theo Eggermont
Linkedin / linkedin.com

The Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend wearing gloves and masks while in public.  More and more people are following recommended guidelines.  However, getting rid of those personal protective equipment (PPE) items is often being done improperly.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Washtenaw County Public Works manager Theo Eggermont about proper disposal to protect public health and the environment.  


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. 


Monica Lewis-Patrick
We the People of Detroit / wethepeopleofdetroit.com

Water shutoffs has been a major issue in Detroit, and the next round is expected to come in April.  Low-income residents are being dramatically impacted by the inability to meet the rising cost of water.  Is access to water a right?  Or, is it a privilege?  In this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters explore the answers to those questions.  Monica Lewis-Patrick is co-founder, president, and CEO of "We the People of Detroit."  She'll explain the organization's efforts to win water justice in the city and around the state and country.


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. 


Sara Ganim
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications / jou.ufl.edu/

Sara Ganim is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with strong ties to Michigan.  Her new independent film, “No Defense: The U.S. Government’s War on Water,” looks into the PFAs contamination emanating from the old Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda and how our government’s conflict of interest has lead to inaction.  WEMU’s David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak caught up with Sara in advance of the free screening of her film at the State Theatre in Ann Arbor on February 19th.


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."


University of Michigan
University of Michigan / umich.edu

Not long after enrolling her son in kindergarten, U-M medical anthropologist Abby Dumes took notice of the lead levels in the drinking water used in the Ann Arbor school district.  From there, Dumes started working with school officials to reduce lead contamination not only in the Ann Arbor district, but for school districts all over Michigan.  Dr. Dumes talks about her work with WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak in this month's "1st Friday Focus on 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."

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