Environmental Protection Agency

Yousef Rabhi
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Whether you frequent fast food restaurants or only stop by occasionally, the wrappers your food comes in may be doing harm to your health. Recent studies have found PFAs and other harmful chemicals in food packaging. State Representative Yousef Rabhi of Ann Arbor has introduced legislation to ban the use of such chemicals in food packaging. He joined WEMU's David Fair to further discuss the legislation on "Issues of the Environment."


Roger Rayle
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The 1,4 dioxane plume in Scio Township, Ann Arbor, and Ann Arbor Township has plagued the area for decades. The state of Michigan has now formally requested the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate the contamination a Superfund clean-up site. WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak  discuss where we are and what comes next with Roger Rayle from the Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) and Scio Citizens for Safe Water. 


Howard Russell
Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources / canr.msu.edu

It's a great time of year to get outdoors! But, there are some potentially harmful critters waiting for you. Ticks have expanded their habitat in Michigan, and there is a major increase in the populations in Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Michigan State University entomologist Howard Russell to find out why that is and what we can do to keep ourselves and our pets safe. 


Paul Mohai
University of Michigan / umich.edu

The concept of environmental justice can traced back to the 1970's.  But, it wasn't until the 1990's when the movement really began to take shape, thanks to the works of such scholars as Dr. Bunyan Bryant and Dr. Paul Mohai.  Dr. Mohai looks back at the work he and his colleagues have done over the last three decades in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair.


Washtenaw County

It’s official.  Washtenaw County is moving forward with plans to try to get the 1,4 dioxane plume in our area designated as a Superfund site.  


Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has rejected a consent agreement regarding the 1,4 Dioxane plume in our area.  

Washtenaw County

A virtual public question-and-answer Zoom meeting will be held Thursday, September 24th at 6:30 pm to discuss a proposed consent judgement between Gelman Sciences and other parties involved, regarding the 1,4 dioxane plume clean-up in our area.  

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.  


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.


Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will hold a special closed session Wednesday night to discuss ongoing litigation regarding the 1,4 dioxane plume.  

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.


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."


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.  


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. 


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

After more than 30 years of dealing with a 1,4 dioxane plume emanating from the old Gelman Sciences facility on Wagner Road in Scio Township, a superfund site designation option is being highly considered.  Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency attended a community meeting Thursday night in Ann Arbor to answer questions about a possible designation.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan was there and has the story.


Roger Rayle
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The 1,4 dioxane plume emanating from the old Gelman Sciences Facility on Wagner Road in Scio Township has caused environmental damage and remains a threat to public health.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation with Roger Rayle, who is both chair of the Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) and Scio Residents for Safe Water (SRSW), about the ongoing efforts to remediate the dioxane plume.


Roads
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Washtenaw County Road Commission has terminated its use of herbicides in dealing with weeds and overgrowth along area roads.  In this week’s "Issues of the Environment," WEMU’s David Fair talks with county commissioner Sue Shink about controlling roadside vegetation and what is being done to better address the myriad of chemicals that are a part of our daily lives.


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

The appearance of the chemicals known as PFAs in local waterways has become a serious problem.  Yet, a recent study determined that certain foods contain such contaminants, as well.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses the research with Dr. John Meeker, professor of environmental health sciences at the U-M's School of Public Health.


Melissa Cooper Sargent
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

For those living near a trash incinerator in Detroit, the smell was awful, and the air quality just as bad.  Asthma rates far exceed state averages, and many living in the area felt powerless. Melissa Cooper-Sargent is Green Living Resource Director for the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center and lives with her children in the vicinity of the incinerator.  From the Ecology Center, the 'Breathe Free Detroit' campaign was launched, and, as of the end of May, the incinerator shut down.  Sargent joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the details on 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.   


Water
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan will move on its own to establish state drinking water standards for PFAS chemicals.  That order came yesterday from Governor Gretchen Whitmer.


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.


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. 

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.  


  

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.  


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