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From spills in the Straits of Mackinac, to large-scale water diversions to tainted drinking water, Michigan has plenty of issues to address and remediate.  There are questions as to whether the political landscape will allow for the development of policies to adequetly do so.  Dave Dempsey has authored 10 environmental books and served on the Michigan Environmental Council.  Now, he is Senior Advisor for FLOW.  His perspective is on tap in this month's "1st Friday Focus on the Environment." 


Some call it "Fox Guarding the Hen-House" legislation.  Bills under consideration in Lansing would create an oversight panel for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  It would have the authority to grant and deny permits and overrule decisions made by the MDEQ.  It would also be comprised of people who may represent businesses and industries that have a financial stake in the decisions being made. 


David Fair / 89.1WEMU

The Michigan Department of Quality's decision to grant Nestle a permit to increase large-scale water withdrawals continues to generate controversy. The MDEQ will now allow Nestle to withdraw 400-gallons of groundwater per minute for its 'Ice Mountain' bottled water brand.  That's up from the 250-gallons per minute previously allowed.  Democrat Rebekah Warren says it's the wrong decision and conversations on remedies need to continue.


The State of Michigan is in the process of revising its Lead and Copper rule.  The decisions made could impact whether we see another situation like the Flint Water Crisis occur in Michigan.  What should, and could, happen as the public comment period winds down, is the topic of conversation on this month's edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment. 


www.michiganlcv.org

Proposals in both Lansing and Washington would make available publicly held lands for private enterprise. environmentalists are fighting regulatory rollbacks and cuts to funding health and sustainability programs. Those are among the topics David Fair addresses with Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director, Lisa Wozniak, in this month's edition of WEMU's  "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," 


MLCV / http://michiganlcv.org/

As the federal and state government continuing ironing out their budget priorities, environmentalists are expressing concern over proposed funding and regulatory rollbacks. In this month's edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment, David Fair discusses some of those concerns with Charlotte Jameson, Government Affairs Director at the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. 


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

For two decades the State of Michigan’s “containment” policy has allowed polluters to leave contamination in place rather than clean it up.  4,000 such “prohibition zones” exist in the state.  In our ongoing look in the Ann Arbor area's 1,4 dioxane plume, we look at the ramifications of that kind of policy.  


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

As concern rises and detection methods improve, 1,4-Dioxane is being discovered in water sources across the country. Central to formulating remediation plans is determination of the safe level of exposure to this probable human carcinogen. What constitutes a true hazard as opposed to an “acceptable risk?”  Barbara Lucas goes in search of the answer in this 24th installment in our series on the Ann Arbor area’s 1.4 Dioxane Plume in “The Green Room.” 


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

While the federal advisory level is 3.5 parts per billion, the amount of dioxane the State of Michigan allows in drinking water is 85 ppb, one of the highest standards in the country.  High levels mean less extensive remediation plans, a boon to industries responsible for the cleanups.  But, could the resulting water pollution negatively impact other businesses, and the local economy in general?  In this installment of  WEMU’s “The Green Room,” Barbara Lucas looks at various perspectives on this question.

Courtesy Image / https://www.epa.gov/

On June 14th a resolution was passed by the Scio Township Board of Trustees aimed at addressing the 1, 4 dioxane plume that has spread from the old Gelman Sciences facility on Wagner Road. It seeks Superfund designation from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and City of Ann Arbor are considering similar resolutions.  A meeting is being arranged between all government entities involved, at the local, state and federal levels. Until that meeting takes place, there are many unknowns and much speculation.  In this week’s 'The Green Room' segment, we look at one perspective.


Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

For almost thirty years, a “responsible party” (Gelman Sciences, Inc.) has been legally and financially responsible for the 1, 4 dioxane contamination of  groundwater inthe Ann Arbor area.  This is in contrast to many contamination sites where cleanup falls totally on taxpayers. But the plume remains, and some question if enough resources are being devoted to its remediation.  In this installment of WEMU’s “The Green Room,” Barbara Lucas looks at money, and how it impacts Ann Arbor’s contamination problem. 


Roger Rayle / Scio Citizens for Safe Water

Local citizens and scientists have amassed large amounts of information on Ann Arbor’s 1,4-Dioxane plume. Locally sourced information has been invaluable since University of Michigan student Dan Bicknell first discovered the plume.  It has continued with 23 years of data collection by Roger Rayle of Scio Residents for Safe Water.  Has the information been put to good use?  Has it informed decision-makers?  In this installment of WEMU’s “The Green Room,” Barbara Lucas continues her exploration of this ongoing issue. 


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Drinking water samples from more than three dozen homes in Ann Arbor and Scio Township will be tested for 1,4 dioxane. 


Roger Rayle / Scio Residents For Safe Water

In the United States, approximately 10 million pounds of 1,4-dioxane are produced each year.  It is being detected in groundwater at dozens of sites across the country.  Once thought to be relatively benign, new science says otherwise.  Costs to clean it up are high, and communities are grappling with how to deal with it.  In this installment of  “The Green Room,” WEMU  explores the experiences of two cities:  Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Tucson, Arizona.