environment

Clean Energy Action

An environmental group lists Michigan among a dozen states in which the cost of delivering coal for use in energy production has grown at two to three times faster than inflation over the past decade.

Clean Energy Action Director of Research and Policy Leslie Glustrom says the government is also over-estimating the amount of affordable coal reserves. 


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.

Wasthenaw County / ewashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County has launched a new website to educate motorists on the environmental and financial costs of unnecessary idling. The website is part of a larger educational campaign being run by Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County officials. 

Jeff Kruchmerrick is the Environmental Program Supervisor for Washtenaw County. He explains that there is some simple advice people can follow if they want to help cut down on unnecessary idling.

Kruchmerrick adds that unnecessary idling costs Americans millions of dollars each year and is responsible for about 5 percent of the gas used in the US each year.

More information is available at www.motor-smart.com

Michigan's Renewable Energy Efforts Paying Off

Oct 24, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan's investment in renewable energy is paying off, according to a new energy efficiency report from Governor Rick Snyder's office

WEMU's Bob Eccles has more.

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.

 

flyzipper / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Senator Debbie Stabenow joins David Fair and Lisa Wozniak as our guest on the 1st Friday Focus on the Environment on WEMU 89.1 FM. Our topic? The Farm Bill, stalled in the House even before the government shut down.

Listen to the full discussion here:


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.


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.


umtri.umich.edu

Would you be willing to pay more for a car that comes with a carbon capture system?  As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, drivers responding to a University of Michigan survey said yes, they would.


cleanenergy4america.org

A group called "Clean Energy America" is touring college campuses across Michigan this week, speaking with students about the role nuclear power will play in the country's energy future.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Desirée ' Wolfgramm, an engineer with Energy Northwest who's traveling with the group.

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.


Associated Press

 The massive pile of black refinery waste that has sat alongside the banks of the Detoit River is gone. The 'Pet Coke' , as it's called, is the waste that's left after heave tar-sands oil is refine. It is not considered hazardous, but it does violate portions of the Clean Air act when it becomes airborne. 

Throughout Detroit and Windsor, the airborne residue can be found throughout nearby neighborhoods.  

Listen in as we focus on the effects of exposure of Pet Coke and the regulations to protect the health of the environment:

http://homegrownfestival.org/

The local foods movement continues to grow throughout the country, and it is becoming particularly prevalent in Washtenaw County. This weekend, Ann Arbor's 6th annual Homegrown Festival will take place at the site of the Farmers market in Kerrytown.

Our guest this week is Jason Frenzel. Jason is Co-Chair of the Planning Committee of the Homegrown Festival, and also serves as  stewardship coordinator at the Huron River Watershed Council. 

Washtenaw County Department of Public Health

Ann Arbor City Council has unanimously passed a resolution asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to update clean-up standards for 1,4 Dioxane Plumes.  

The issue is important to the city because of the dioxane plume that started at the Pall Gelman facility west of town.  City Council member Sabra Briere says the resolution is important just because it gets people thinking about the issue again.
 

Lead in text: 

The city has applied a surface application of lime to kill any remaining bacteria. This lime product appears as a white, powdery substance. Because the sewage reached the Huron River, the City of Arbor took the immediate precaution of closing canoe livery trips in the vicinity, from Argo to Gallup, on Thursday and through Friday. Any body contact is not recommended for at least 24 hours after a known release of raw sewage to waterways. The City of Ann Arbor has completed testing and will evaluate water quality samples over the next 24 hours for presence of harmful bacteria in the Huron River. The determination whether to resume canoe livery operations between Argo and Geddes Dam will be made at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, based upon water sampling results.

Barbara Lucas

Open natural areas such as meadows, prairies, and "oak openings" are declining habitats, which spells trouble for the species that depend on them.

Barbara Lucas reports:

Today, we'll  focuses on butterfly species in Washtenaw County. There are more than you might think, and these delicate creatures can be a good indicator as to the health of the local environment.

This week's guest is John Swales,  the North American Butterfly Association  population survey coordinator for Washtenaw County and U-M Professor Emeritus of Linguistics. We'll be discussing his long-standing participation with the NABA butterfly counts, and what the surveys tell us about the status of different butterfly species in Washtenaw County. 

pigliapost / Foter / CC BY-SA

To many, Ann Arbor is Tree Town.  In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, we will explore the current health status of Ann Arbor's tree population and the city policies aimed at maintaining its lush canopy. 

David's guest this week is Lynn Borset. Lynn is a founding member of the citizens group, The Ann Arbor Tree Conservancy.  The group is pushing Ann Arbor officials to make a stronger budgetary and policy commitment to the city's trees.


www.michelinemaynard.com

A local author is writing a book that focuses on the changing automotive culture.  

Micki Maynard of Ann Arbor is a Forbes Magazine contributor and former New York Times Detroit bureau chief.  Her book is titled Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with her about the book, and her Kickstarter campaign to get it funded.

 

Growing Hope/Facebok

The City of Ypsilanti continues to explore how best to incorporate urban farming into it's vision for the future. 

In this week's installment of  WEMU's  Issues of the Environment David Fair talks with Amanda Edmonds. Amanda is the executive Director of Ypsilanti-based, Growing Hope.


James Marvin Phelps / Foter / CC BY-NC

In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment,  we explore the June 27th incident in which 10-thousand gallons of untreated waste water were discharged into the Huron River. 

WEMU's David Fair talks with Earl Kenzie and Jennifer Lawson. Earl is Plant Manager for the Ann Arbor Waste Water Treatment Services Unit and Jennifer is  the city's Water Quality Manager.


Jason W Lacey / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

This week marks three-years since an Enbridge pipe-line burst and spilled roughly a million gallons of oil in the Kalamazoo River. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, all of this time later, and the expensive clean-up is still underway. 


Barbara Lucas

Washtenaw County continues to be a leader in environmental stewardship. Among the ideas and initiatives underway is an increased commitment to wind energy.

In this month's installment of WEMU's The Green Room, reporter Barbara Lucas explores the myriad of issues surrounding wind energy. Barbara travels to communities where wind energy is more prevalent, and then returns to Ann Arbor to see where we are, and where we are going.


Damian Gadal / Foter / CC BY

What would be the benefit of electronically tracking our beef supply from the birth of a calf to its arrival on our dinner plate? 

Potentially, the benefits are numerous. In this week's installment of  WEMU's Issues of the Environment,  Morning Edition host David Fair talks with Dr. Dan Buskirk.

Dr. Buskirk is Associate Professor and Beef Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Sciences at Michigan State University. 

He contends that the electronic tracking can help facilitate creation of regional food systems, better connect consumers to farmers and increase revenues for local, small and mid-sized farmers.


Huron River Watershed Council Executive Director Laura Rubin has been named a 2013 River Hero by the River Network. 

Rubin says she's thrilled by the honor, and proud of the work the Huron River Watershed Council has done over her 15-year tenure as Executive Director. 

She points to programs like Adopt-A-Stream, the Bioreserve Project and the council's stormwater and pollution management work as highlights. 

Pages