Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
Mikael Colville-Andersen /

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 /

  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 /

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.


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. 


  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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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.

The Allen Creek Greenway in Ann Arbor is coming. A budget allocation from Ann Arbor City Council earlier this year has the ball rolling. Where are we now? How quickly is the project moving?    In this week's 'Issues of the Environment," David Fair  seeks those answers in a conversation with the President of the Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy, Joe O'Neil. 

Volkswagen Clean Diesel
WikiMedia Commons

A Senior Fellow at the International Council on Clean Transportation in Ann Arbor knows exactly how Volkswagen got caught cheating emissions testing. John German, and his colleagues, commissioned the study that led to Volkswagen being caught. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment' Mr. German explains how it all happened, and what will happen next. 

Courtesy photo /

On football Saturday's in Ann Arbor, some 110,000 people make their way into Michigan Stadium. When the cheers have faded and the crowd gone home, the big job of cleaning up the 'Big House' begins. This week, we take a look at how U-M deals with the big mess. 

Solar Ypsi Logo
Courtesy Photo /

Proposals in Lansing would alter existing net-metering laws. Envireonmentalists and proponents of expanded use of renewable energies believe if the measures become law, it will set back gains being made in solar energy growth. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," David Fair talks with Solar Ypsi founder Dave Strenski about the local implications. 

Pollinating bee
Wikimedia Commons

The Homegrown Festival takes place in Ann Arbor on Saturday, September 12th. Homegrown Festival volunteer Tina Stephen tells us about the theme of this year's event- the importance of pollinators in sustainable food production.

Huron River Watershed Council /

An upcoming program in Washtenaw County  offers an opportunity for education and more productive engagement in environmental stewardship. In this week's edition of Issues of the Environment, we discuss the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program with Jason Frenzel of the Huron River Watershed Council. 

Washtenaw County /

Rain Gardens are often beautiful. While they may look similar to a typical residential garden, there are important difference. This week, we take a look at the Washtenaw County Rain Garden, and the coordinator, Susan Bryan to discuss those matters in this weeks Issues of the Environment.

City of Ann Arbor /

The city of Ann Arbor now has a plan in place to use sharpshooters to cull 100-deer this winter.  In this week's 'Issues of the Environment' WEMU's David Fair Fair talks to Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor about the emotional decision to use lethal methods. Additionally,  they discuss the  environmental impacts of deer overpopulation and the city's environmental agenda, moving forward. / Creative Commons

A cool wet spring  is having an impact on Michigan's Agricultural sector and in your home gardens. David Fair delves further into the impacts with MSU Extension Services Agriculture Educator ben Phillips in this week's 'Issues of the Environment.'


Big Trucks
Wikimedia Commons

It may seem counter-intuitive, but there is an argument to be made that bigger trucks are less harmful to our roads and better for the environment.  Michigan Agri-Business Association President Jim Byrum joins David Fair for that conversation in this week's Issues of the Environment.  Jim explains how Michigan's truck weights help our state remain competitive in the marketplace and reduce wear on roads.

West Nile Virus
The Ecology Center /

Wet weather in Michigan this year has meant more flooding and standing water. Now, we are at the height of mosquito season which brings the threat of West Nile Virus. As bad as the illness is, some of the methods of prevention are just as dangerous. Learn more in this week's 'Issues of the Environment.'


Ypsilanti Community Schools / Creative Exchange Educational Solutions

Staff and community leaders will help show off the work and achievements of students at Ypsilanti Community Schools Middle School . An inter-disciplinary educational program focused on sustainability culminates on Thursday, June 11 with a Sustainability Summit. Science and Humanities teacher Cheryl Plouffe guests on this week's 'Issues of the Environment.'

Washtenaw County Solid Waste Program Specialist Noelle Bowman discusses where we are succeeding with food waste, and where we can improve.   

State Farm/ Flickr

Wet basements are a problem this time of year. If you don't work to prevent water and moisture from getting in, the bills for remediation escalate quickly. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment',  Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt offers up some tips for you.