Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
Plastic Bags
Arbel Egger-Nadan / flickr.com

Washtenaw County's "eco-fee" for using plastic or paper bags from retail grocery stores is scheduled to go into effect on Earth Day in 2017. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County solid waste specialist Noelle Bowman about the new ordinance and whether state lawmakers will actually allow for its implementation. 


Produce
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Food safety became a huge concern when a man introduced hazardous chemicals to grocery stores in Washtenaw County in May.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Washtenaw County Environmental Health Director Kristen Schweighoefer about what to do if contaminated food becomes a serious problem.


Mayor's Green Fair
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

The City of Ann Arbor will host the 16th annual Mayor's Green Fair on Main Street Friday, June 10, 6–9 p.m. to celebrate the community's environmental leadership as exhibited by citizens, nonprofits, government, and businesses.  In this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair talks with Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor.


Yousef Rabhi
Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw County is planning to regulate the use of single use, plastic bags.  However, the Michigan State Legislature has slowed the process of passing this measure.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's Patrick Campion speaks with Washtenaw County Commissioner Yousef Rabhi about the controversy surrounding the proposed ordinance.

  Editor's note: Wednesday evening, the Washtenaw County commissioners  voted 6-2 to approve a new carryout bag ordinance that would put a 10-cent "tax" on customers for every single use (paper or plastic) bag they receive at stores in Washtenaw county. Stay tuned for follow-up discussion on the issue.

Lona Mody
Courtesy Photo / University of Michigan

One out of every four senior citizens contract multi-drug resistant infections, or superbugs, after a hospital stay.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Dr. Lona Mody, Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, on ways to resist these powerful bugs.


Speed Limit 75 Sign
WikiMedia Commons

Legislation to increase the speed limits on Michigan's highway has been working its way through the state Legislature.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Timothy Gates, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University, about how higher speed limits may impact the environment.


Dr. David Schwab, Research Scientist for the UM Graham Sustainability Institute Water Center, discusses his latest findings about the extensive spills that will happen if Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac ruptures and how that oil would spread through the Great Lakes.


Gillian Ream Gainsley
Doug Coombe / Concentrate

Public transportation in Washtenaw County is growing. The AAATA is expanding service beginning in May, and increased rail service may be on the horizon.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Gillian Ream Gainsley, Ypsilanti representative for the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, about how these transportation methods may impact the local environment.


Solar Panels
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

DTE Energy will soon start construction on a solar panel array in Ypsilanti.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Barry LaRue, a trustee with the Highland Cemetery Association, about the solar array project and why the cemetery is the right place to house a renewable energy system. 


Air Pollution
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The air you breathe may actually being making you sick.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Kindra Weid, Health Fellow for MI Air, MI Health, to discuss air quality and health in Michigan. 


Rebecca Meuninck
Courtesy Photo / The Ecology Center

The Flint water crisis  is only one of many water quality issues that need to be addressed.  There are numerous threats to the Great Lakes and Michigan's  inland waters.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Ecology Center Deputy Director Rebecca Meuninck about updating the federal Toxic Substances Control Act to better protect these natural resources. 

Rebecca Martusewicz
Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

The Flint water crisis continues and Michigan residents are still feeling the effects, both physically and politically.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Eastern Michigan University teacher education professor Rebecca Martusewicz about her "EcoJustice" program.


Stephen Raiman
Stephen Raiman / twitter.com/StephenRaiman

Ann Arbor city council will soon be asked to pass a resolution offering support to a specific plan to reduce carbon emissions. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Ann Arbor Energy Commission member Stephen Raiman about what the 'carbon fee and dividend' plan. 


Jeff Irwin
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

The Flint water crisis has led many communities to reexamine water safety.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with  State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) about the push for more funding to fix the crisis and how to improving testing standards for water quality in Michigan.


Mikael Colville-Andersen / Flickr.com

As more residents in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County take up winter cycling, safety is becoming an even greater issue.  In this week's 'Issues of the Environment,' WEMU's David Fair and Ann Arbor Transportation Program Manager Eli Cooper discuss winter and year-round road safety and where the city is headed with its programs. 


Marketing Resource Group / mrgmi.com

  A new pipeline will be constructed through several Washtenaw County townships this year. In fact, initial work is to begin in a few weeks time. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," we talk with the President of Marketing Resource Group, Tom Shields, who serves as spokesperson for Wolverine Pipeline Company.  


MaryCarol Hunter
University of Michigan School of Natural Resources

In these cold, winter months, many of us want to stay indoors.  In this week's. 'Issues of the Environment,' MaryCarol Hunter, Associate Professor of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan, tells WEMU's David Fair why an "outdoor pill" has demonstrable benefits.


Happy 2016
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

2016 is just around the corner, and many of us have made New Year's resolutions.  So, why not make a few changes that could benefit the environment?  WEMU's David Fair speaks to Mackenzie Maxwell, Environmental Educator for the Ecology Center, who offers some ecologically sound New Year's resolutions.


wikipedia

The holidays are here, and that means unwrapping gifts, cooking and eating a lot of food and dealing with holiday decorations. The result? Good times, and a lot of trash.  for a more sustainable Christmas, give a listen to this week's 'Issues of the Environment.' David Fair talks with Recycle Ann Arbor's Outreach and Zero Waste Coordinator Christine Chessler-Stull about having a 'greener' holiday. 


HealthyStuff

  It's certainly fun to put up holiday decorations and buy those trinkets and gifts for loved ones. Unfortunately, depending on where you shop, you may be putting at risk the health of all of them. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment,' David Fair talks with Ecology Center Staff Scientist Gillian Miller about those dangers and what we can do to continue improving our product choices.


Michigan Climate Action Network / www.miclimateaction.org

The Paris Climate Conference is winding down. What happens next will depend on how the decisions agreed upon there are applied here at home.  In this week's 'Issues of the Environment,' David Fair talks with Environmental Organizer Ethan Wampler about moving Michigan, and the nation, to 100-percent renewable energy by 2050.


City of Ypsilanti

The Water Street redevelopment project in Ypsilanti remains a work in progress. Now, a state agency has raised some red flags over unsafe levels of environmental contamination  on the property. In this week's edition of 'Issues of the Environment' those concerns are addressed by the city's Director of Community and Economic and Development, Beth Ernat. 


Gretchen Driskell
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Removing barriers to citizen science in the name of more and better data about Michigan waterways and watersheds. That's the aim of a bill introduced by Representative Gretchen Driskell. The Saline Democrat says the measure will remove bureaucratic red tape and expensive permitting fees from data collection in our watersheds.


Jeff Irwin / www.statehousedems.com

Ann Arbor state Representative Jeff Irwin is pushing measures at the State Capitol to protect the Great Lakes. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment,'  Irwin tells David Fair about his efforts to move an oil pipeline from under the Straits of Mackinac and to better legislate the production, and unintentional disposal, of microbeads into our water system. 


Courtesy Image / frenviro.com

Could it happen here? The City of Flint's water supply has caused elevated lead levels in children in that area. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment' David Fair talks with Washtenaw County Public Health's Medical Director, Alice Penrose, about the safety of the water in this area, and the dangers of lead from other sources. 

    

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