Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition

Find Issues of the Environment each week on 89.1 WEMU.

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Podcasts

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:17am

    Michigan ranks dead last among Great Lakes states when it comes to the rate of recycling. Governor Snyder Snyder is taking the first step forward to try and change Michigan's standing. 

    In this week's installment of  Issues of  the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Michigan Recycling Coalition Executive Director Kerrin O'Brian about where that first step may lead. 

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014 4:29am

      

    Overview

    On May 6th, voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township will weigh in on a ballot proposal for new 0.7 mill property tax to pay for expanded public transportation services, primarily AAATA busing.

  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 11:41am

    A Ready-Mix concrete company, McCoig Materials, is looking to open up a mine on a site north of Chelsea, between the Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation areas. The area has numerous bodies of water and natural areas that could be impacted by the move. McCoig wants to operate the mine for 22 to 30 years and remove 11 million tons of sand and gravel. 

    This week on 89.1 WEMU's Issues of the Environment, Dr. Lynn Walter, Professor Emerita of Geology at the University of Michigan, will discuss the environmental impacts of sand mining and the controversial operation proposed for Lyndon and Scio Townships.

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 6:27am

        

    Overview

    • The Washtenaw County Road Commission reports laying down 50% more road salt this winter than last year and using twice as much as in 2012.
    • Although thus far no ill effects from salt in Huron River watershed have been detected, road salt has a number of environmentally destructive effects impacting water, soil, wildlife, and public health, and if extreme winter weather conditions become the norm the effects could escalate.
    • Ric Lawson, Watershed Planner for the Huron River Watershed Council, implements watershed plans in Washtenaw County and monitors water quality for salt and other sediments in our waterways.


  • Wednesday, March 12, 2014 2:57am

        

    As Concerns About the Pall/Gelman Plume Linger, Rep. Jeff Irwin Pushes House Bill to Require the MDEQ to Align Contaminate Clean-up Standards with EPA Standards

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Environment
6:17 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Michigan's Recycling Future

Credit Wikipedia

Michigan ranks dead last among Great Lakes states when it comes to the rate of recycling. Governor Snyder Snyder is taking the first step forward to try and change Michigan's standing. 

In this week's installment of  Issues of  the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Michigan Recycling Coalition Executive Director Kerrin O'Brian about where that first step may lead. 

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Issues of the Environment
4:29 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Environmental Benefits To Passage Of Proposed Ann Arbor Area Transportation Millage

Carbon Pollution levels would improve with passage of AAATA millage proposal on May 6th
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

  

Overview

On May 6th, voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township will weigh in on a ballot proposal for new 0.7 mill property tax to pay for expanded public transportation services, primarily AAATA busing.

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Issues of the Environment
11:41 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Potential Environmental Impact Of Proposed Sand Mine Near Chelsea

A Ready-Mix concrete company, McCoig Materials, is looking to open up a mine on a site north of Chelsea, between the Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation areas. The area has numerous bodies of water and natural areas that could be impacted by the move. McCoig wants to operate the mine for 22 to 30 years and remove 11 million tons of sand and gravel. 

This week on 89.1 WEMU's Issues of the Environment, Dr. Lynn Walter, Professor Emerita of Geology at the University of Michigan, will discuss the environmental impacts of sand mining and the controversial operation proposed for Lyndon and Scio Townships.

Read more
Environment
6:27 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Issues of the Environment: The Impact of Road Salt in the Huron River Watershed

Mounds of road salt for use in winter
Credit Sgt. Jorge Intriago / U.S. Air National Guard Photo

    

Overview

  • The Washtenaw County Road Commission reports laying down 50% more road salt this winter than last year and using twice as much as in 2012.
  • Although thus far no ill effects from salt in Huron River watershed have been detected, road salt has a number of environmentally destructive effects impacting water, soil, wildlife, and public health, and if extreme winter weather conditions become the norm the effects could escalate.
  • Ric Lawson, Watershed Planner for the Huron River Watershed Council, implements watershed plans in Washtenaw County and monitors water quality for salt and other sediments in our waterways.

Read more
Issues of the Environment
2:57 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Proposed Regulations To Help Remediate Pall-Gelman Dioxane Plume

State Representative Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor, (D)-53rd District
Credit http://053.housedems.com/

    

As Concerns About the Pall/Gelman Plume Linger, Rep. Jeff Irwin Pushes House Bill to Require the MDEQ to Align Contaminate Clean-up Standards with EPA Standards

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Issues of the Environment
12:33 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Issues of the Environment: The Snowy Owls in Washtenaw County

  

Snowy Owls don't make it to Washtenaw County every winter. They made it this winter in greater numbers than usual. Why? Where might you see one?  In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment, David Fair seeks out answers to those questions.

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Issues of the Environment
8:42 am
Wed February 26, 2014

What are the Benefits of a Harsh Winter?

Walls of ice encrust the lower cliffs where wave spray has frozen on the rock in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
U.S. National Park Service

There has to be some good that comes from all of the snow, ice and frigid temperatures, right?  In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair explores how the environment may benefit from these conditions, come the spring and summer.

Listen to David's conversation with LimnoTech Senior Scientist, Dr. John Lenters:

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Environment
10:12 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Issues Of The Environment: Pharmaceuticals in Ann Arbor Water

Drinking tap water in Ann Arbor is common practice. It rates rather highly in terms of quality and taste, and most find it difficult to tell the difference between city water and bottled water. Many may not know that research shows pharmaceutical drugs are making it into the water supply.

In this week's "Issues of the Environment"  89.1 WEMU's David Fair explores the issue and what it may mean for you. The guest this week is Larry Sanford, the city of Ann Arbors' Assistant Manager of Water Treatment Services. 

Issues of the Environment for 2/19/14

Issues of the Environment
10:17 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Ford and University of Michigan's car battery research seeks to be the future of battery technology

Susie Chung works in the U-M lab Thursday
Credit Joseph Xu / University of Michigan

 On this week's Issues of the Environment, Andy Drews, Technical Specialist at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, discusses Ford's partnership with the University of Michigan for car battery research and the future of car batteries and electric cars in Washtenaw County.

Listen to the extended interview here:

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Environment
2:35 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Expect More Snow And Frigid Temperatures To Come

A view of Michigan from space
Credit Space Science And Engineering Center- University of Wisconsin - Madison

Had enough of the cold and snow already? It has been the snowiest January in this area in history. Add in the polar vortex and frigid temperatures, and it's been a somewhat trying winter. Why is it happening, and will it continue to happen in winters to come? 

 This week on Issues of the Environment our guest is  Dr. Tom Kovacs, Associate Professor of Meteorology at Eastern Michigan University.  Kovaks teaches courses on the effects of climate change on weather and will discuss the consequences for our county.

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Environment
11:22 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Habitat For Humanity Stewards Energy Savings

Habitat for Humanity volunteers hard at work on a Habitat house on Hull in Ypsilanti.
Credit Courtesy / Facebook / Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley

This week the discussion centers around dispelling the myths of affordable housing. New affordable housing is often equated with being "cheaply built."  We didn't have a definitive answer on the subject, so we went looking. We found that quite opposite is true.  

Our guest this week builds affordable homes in the Metro Detroit Region; quality and efficiency is what makes them affordable. 

Rob Nissly, Housing Director for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley will discuss the connection between reigning in energy costs and homeownership for lower income residents of Washtenaw County.

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Environment
6:34 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Issues of the Environment: Taking Care of Holiday Electronic Waste

Credit blakespot / Foter.com / CC BY

We're halfway through the first month of 2014, and many of the those New Year resolutions have already fallen by the wayside....

With the New Year in mind, it's really never too late to consider new resolution and perhaps some that benefit the environment.  Sometimes it's the small things. Everyone pitching in can make a difference.  Melissa Sargent of Local Motion Green at the Ecology Center is our guest this week, helping identify some of those small personal actions we can take on as  new year resolutions to help create a healthier and more sustainable environment.

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Environment
8:41 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Downtown Development in Ann Arbor

In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Susan Pollay about development in downtown Ann Arbor and how it fits into a more sustainable future for the city. Susan Pollay is Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. 

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Environment
1:42 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Mayor Hieftje Talks Public Transit in SE Michigan

Issues of the Environment 12/10/13
Among the most debated issues in Ann Arbor and the Southeast Michigan region, is the matter of public transportation. What should we be working towards, what should public transit of the future look like, what elements should it contain….and of course: how do we pay for it all?  These are questions debated on a regular basis at Ann Arbor City Council, and our guest this morning is in the middle of all of it. John Hieftje is the Mayor of Ann Arbor.
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Environment
8:28 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Recycle Ann Arbor

Credit Recycle Ann Arbor

This week, the conversation centers on recycling in Washtenaw County. Our guest  is Christine Chessler-Stull, Recycle Ann Arbor’s Outreach & Zero Waste Coordinator. 

We will explore a variety of recycle-centric topics and discuss some new programs Recycle Ann Arbor rolled out this year to benefit all Washtenaw County residents, not just those in Ann Arbor.

Listen to the full report: 

Issues of the Environment for 12/04/2013

Issues of the Environment  is a regular feature, heard each Wednesday at 8:20am during Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU. Each week, David Fair invites an expert to join him in conversation about an environmental issue of local importance. 

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environment
6:42 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Ann Arbor's Climate Action Plan

The climate is changing. The evidence is clear. It's no longer a matter of whether we need to prepare, but instead, how we need to prepare. In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment, David Fair talks with Matt Naud. Matt is the City of Ann Arbor's Environmental  Coordinator, and has been right in the middle of the city's efforts to adopt a pro-active Climate Action Plan.

Issues of the Environment for November 27th, 2013

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Environment
9:00 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Ypsilanti's Water Street Property

WEMU's Issues of the Environment is a weekly feature and is heard each Wednesday at 8:20am, as part of Morning Edition.

In this week's installment,  WEMU's David Fair is joined by Ypsilanti City Planner Teresa Gillotti. The city has been looking to re-purpose the 38-acre water Street property since 199, and now there is it looks as though there will be development in 2014. 

The land has required some environmental remediation, and any new development will have to meet Ypsilanti's Master Plan goals. And, of course, it must ensure the health of the Huron River. Listen below as David and Teresa look at the environmental issues surrounding Ypsilanti's Water Street property. 

Issues of the Environment for 11/20/2013

Environment
10:34 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Global Helium Shortage

Helium tanks at the Large Hadron Collider, one of the places that relies upon the inert gas.
Credit Wikimedia Commons / Leo Koivulehto

In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair looks into the global helium shortage. 

To help us better understand helium gas, it's uses and the potential ramifications of running out of this non-renewable resource, David spoke with Eastern Michigan University Chemistry Professor Dr. Gregg Wilmes.

IOE 11/13/2013

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Environment
9:54 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Water and Sewer Issues in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County

The Barton Dam on the Huron River
Credit Credit James Marvin Phelps / Foter / CC BY-NC

In this week's edition of WEMU's "Issues of the Environment", David Fair talks with Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner, Evan Pratt. 

This interview is a follow-up to an earlier conversation with Jennifer Lawson, Water Quality Manager for Ann Arbor, that followed the large sewage spill into the Huron River in June or 2013. Evan will address the fact that several spills have occurred since then and talk about projects that Washtenaw County is working on to update the water treatment system.

Overview

  • There have been at least four breaches of the water treatment system in Ann Arbor since this summer.
  • These spill have prompted concerns that Washtenaw County’s aging water treatment network and sewage system may not be robust enough to handle the demands of today’s residents.

Listen to "Issues of the Environment" with David Fair and Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt below.

Issues of the Environment for 11/06/2013

Environment
1:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Solar Energy in Ypsilanti

A solar installation at The Corner Brewery
Credit Solar Ypsi

Ypsilanti continues to push forward with a goal of becoming a solar destination. 

What began as a grassroots effort in 2005, has progressed to the point where the Ypsilanti City Council has passed a resolution establishing a goal of having one-thousand solar roofs in the city by the year 2020. 
Our guest this week is Dave Strenski.

He launched Solar Ypsi back in 2005, and you can see the grassroots efforts successes at a variety of locations around the city.

Issues of the Environment: Solar Ypsi 10/30/13

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Environment
10:21 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Issues of the Environment: The Asian Stink Bug Heads For Washtenaw County

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Credit Michigan State University Integrated Pest Management

The "Brown Marmorated Stink Bug" is already in 36 states and in the District of Columbia. So far, it has made its way to 12-counties in the State of Michigan. 

In 2010, in the Mid-Atlantic Region the bugs caused some 40-million dollars worth of crop and economic damage. And, be rest assured, you don't want these bugs to invade your home. It's name should tell you all you need to know about that! What can be done?

Listen to WEMU's David Fair explore the issues with Dr. Jamin Eisenbach.  He is an Entomologist and Professor in Eastern Michigan University's Department of Biology.

IOE for 10/23/2013

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issues of the environment
2:45 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Issues of the Environment: March Against Monsanto

This Saturday, Ann Arbor will again be host to a "March Against Monsanto."  The local march is part of a global effort to bring awareness to the potential environmental and health problems genetically modified organisms create, and to some of the suspect practices of the company.

 

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Environment
10:11 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Issues of the Environment: LED Lighting in Ypsilanti

Credit meltedplastic / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The City of Ypsilanti is getting rid of it's old mercury-vapor streetlights in favor of new and more energy-efficient LED models. 

In this week's installment of Issues of the environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber about the financial and environmental impacts of the switch.

Issues of the Environment: 10/2/13

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Environment
7:24 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Legislative Agenda with State Senator Rebekah Warren

State Senator Rebekah Warren (D)-Ann Arbor
Credit Mike Andaloro / WEMU

As we move toward the end of the calendar year, we started to wonder what, if any, environmental bills would move through the legislature. In this week's installment of "Issues of the Environment", WEMU's David Fair talks with State Senator Rebekah Warren, (D)- Ann Arbor, about some of the pressing issues being considered in Lansing.

Issues of the Environment w/ State Senator Rebekah Warren. 9/25/13

Environment
8:33 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Right-to-Know Pesticide Legislation

Would you be surprised to know that pesticides are being sprayed around you and your neighborhood? Michigan residents could soon be notified when pesticides have been applied near their properties with new right-to-know legislation.  

In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Ann Arbor State Representative Jeff Irwin about House Bill 4841. 

The 53rd District Democrat seeks to pass into law a measure that would give all residents of Michigan the opportunity to register with the State of Michigan, and be notified when pesticides are being used near their property. Right-to-Know pesticide legislation is the focus on this installment of WEMU's weekly feature, Issues of the Environment.

Issues of the Environment for 9/11/13

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