Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
DTE Energy / www.dteenergy.com

What role will renewable resources play in Michigan's energy future? In this week's 'Issues of the Environment,'  We get the perspective from DTE Energy. Listen below as WEMU's David Fair talks with DTE Energy President and Chief Operating Officer, Steve Kurmas. 


The City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County have invested in a unique study along Swift Creek. With the aid of grants from the DEQ and United States' E.P.A. "green infrastructure" will be installed and studied in a target residential neighborhood.

Screenshot: youtube.com

More than half of available housing in Ann Arbor is comprised of rentals. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment' David Fair talks with Ann Arbor Sustainability Associate Jamie Kidwell-Brix about the importance of making these properties more efficient, and what the city and Washtenaw County are doing to help. 


Simple and easy resolutions for 2015 to make your home, community and yourself a better environmental steward. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment', David Fair talks with Ecology center Environmental Coordinator MacKenzie Maxwell about simple simple and inexpensive steps for better sustainability. 


Some 10-acres of property at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport may soon be home to a massive solar array. In this weeks edition of 'Issues of the Environment'  our guest is City of Ann Arbor Environmental Coordinator Matt Naud. Listen below to the conversation on the genesis of the project, what it will mean to the Ann Arbor area and what other projects it may inspire. 


Driveway sealant
Wikimedia Commons

Awareness of a serious environmental and health threat is beginning to come to the fore. Serious damage is possible when we use Coal Tar Sealants on our driveways and parking lots. That's the focus of this week's edition of Issues of the Environment.


Coyote
Courtesy Photo / projectcoyote.org

Humans and Coyotes are more frequently inhabiting the same space. Studies are underway to explore the lives of near-urban coyotes and our ability to co-habitate.  

In this week's 'Issues of the Environment' you'll hear from Wayne State University Researcher Bill Dodge. 


Courtesy Image / http://www.pittsfield-mi.gov/

In the not-so-distant future, Pittsfield Township Hall may be entirely powered by solar energy, with a center that also serves as a community gathering place and educational opportunity. In this week's installment of 'Issues of the Environment', David Fair talks with Pittsfield Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal.  

  

Wikipedia

The amount of crude oil coursing through Washtenaw County has doubled* in the last two years. Two new natural Gas pipeline projects  are also expected to impact Washtenaw County property owners. 

Environmentalists, needless to say, are concerned about the increased flow of crude oil in Washtenaw County. That's the topic in this week's edition of Issues of the Environment. Nancy Shiffler, Chair of the Huron Valley Group of the Sierra Club, joins me to discuss oil and gas pipelines in Washtenaw County.

Overview

In the past two years residents of Washtenaw County have seen the amount of crude oil running through their yards nearly doubled with Enbridge’s Line 6B expansion and Enbridge/Wolverine Line 79 spur, and now two major natural gas lines through the county are in the works: The ET Rover Pipeline and the Nexus Pipeline.

Sabra Briere

Some of the Burr Oak Trees in the last remaining mature grove in Ann Arbor are dying. Find out why, and what can be done about it in this week's edition of "Issues of the Environment."  

    

Ann Arbor Northeast Alliance / www.facebook.com/A2Alliance?ref=stream

Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers proposes a 109-acre, 491 unit housing development on Ann Arbor's Northeast side. The scope of the planned development has area residents concerned about traffic congestion and harm to area wetlands. In this week's "Issues of the Environment" we explore those concerns with Lisa Dusseau. Ms. Dusseau is spokesperson for the group, "Ann Arbor Northeast Alliance".  


Wikimedia Commons

There is no record of anyone becoming infected with Lyme Disease while in Washtenaw County. Still, the number of county residents diagnosed with the ailment is on the rise.

battery recycling
Wikimedia Commons

Recycling batteries aren't always as easy as you might think. All too many end up in our landfills, and have the potential to cause serious environmental damage. In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, you'll learn the environmental issues, the barriers to better recycling and what you can do about it.  


Sharing and exchanging skills is not a new concept, but the A2 TimeBank hopes to corral locals into organizing into a true community resource, building for the future.  

  

WikiMedia Commons

Last week, stores in Washtenaw County sold out of bottled water due to an influx of residents from the Toledo, Ohio area where local tap water was declared unfit to consume after toxic algae blooms infected Lake Erie.

Courtesy Image / Mitchell and Mouat Architects

Two  affordable housing projects are planned in Ann Arbor that aim to create  sustainable and healthier lives for low-income residents. If it works as planned, it will also add economic and community benefit to the neighborhoods in which they reside. 

Overview

Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards
oilfreebackyards.org

A Grassroots Organization Vows To Fight On To Prevent Oil Drilling Despite Court Loss 

 Residents of Scio Township are somewhat divided about drilling for oil in their neighborhoods.

In this week's installment of 'Issues of the Environment', we explore the growing benefits of salvage wood and the difference it's making right here at home.  


Jason and Julia Gold / www.ourhandmadelife.com

Meet the Gold family from Superior Township. They've turned their land into an innovative,  self-sustaining property. 

  Overview   

The Gold family owns and operates a farming “homestead” in Washtenaw County known as “Our Handmade Life”, where they live a self-sustaining, green life and they offer courses to the public on how they do it.

The farm, on Vreeland Road, features a bio-intensive passive greenhouse (no fossil fuels!), the Michigan Folk School, dozens of varieties of organic produce, mushrooms, goats, and chickens.

Jason and Julia Gold have operated “Our Handmade Life” since 2011, and both the farm and the school have expanded every year since. They are currently offering classes on chicken butchering, earth ovens, soap making, fermentation, ale brewing, and much more.

Flickr

Boaters Can Take Responsibility for Mitigation of Environmental Harm

Overview

  • The I-75 Green Corridor Project began with the goal of allowing  drivers to traverse any portion of I-75--which runs from Sault Ste. Marie to Miami, Florida--making the entire trip on biofuel, either E85 and B20.

  • While ethanol fuels do significantly reduce air pollution and GHG emissions, their environmental benefit may be less impactful than originally hoped..

Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance

Deer overpopulation in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County is responsible for increasing home and vehicle property damage and is threatening the area's ecological balance.

This week, David Fair talks with Maurita Holland about the issues creating the problem and the potential solutions.

Wikipedia

Thousands have taken to the City of Ann Arbor's expanded composting program. It now allows residents to add all food scraps to their composting carts, and keeps the material out of landfills, benefiting the environment and, ultimately, the budget. WEMU's David Fair discusses the early successes of the program with Ann Arbor Solid Waste Coordinator, Tom McMurtrie 

Courtesy Photo / sciotownship.org

   Overview

Scio Twp residents living near the intersection of Zeeb and Dexter-Ann Arbor roads have received inquiries about leasing the mineral rights on their property from Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Company.

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