The Environment Report http://michiganradio.org en Green goo growing in Lake Erie is not what you think it is http://michiganradio.org/post/green-goo-growing-lake-erie-not-what-you-think-it <div>&nbsp;</div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lately, that green slime in the lake has been all over the news after it shut down Toledo’s water supply.</span></p><p>Journalists, city and government officials have been calling that green slime&nbsp; “blue-green algae”, “toxic algae” or “toxic algal blooms.”</p><p>Well, turns out that’s not exactly right.</p><p>“That’s just maddening,” said James Bull, a professor of biology and environmental science. He works at Wayne County Community College and Macomb Community College.</p><p>He says it’s not accurate to call the green slime that shut down Toledo’s water system “a toxic algal bloom.”&nbsp;</p><p>He wrote to Michigan Radio because we were some of the people using the wrong term.</p><p>“It’s wrong because even though these organisms superficially look like algae, <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/guy-gets-all-offended-when-you-call-him-algae">I think we ought to understand that these really are a kind of bacteria</a>,” Bull said.</p><p>He says scientists used to call this stuff “blue-green algae.” Now they call it “cyanobacteria”. He says calling cyanobacteria&nbsp;"algae" is like calling a dolphin a fish.</p><p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:39:36 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18895 at http://michiganradio.org Green goo growing in Lake Erie is not what you think it is Debate ongoing over fish farming in the Great Lakes http://michiganradio.org/post/debate-ongoing-over-fish-farming-great-lakes <p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Michigan took a big step forward this summer in the business of fish&nbsp;farming.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The state issued a permit to expand the Grayling Fish Hatchery more&nbsp;than tenfold</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">.</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The hatchery raises trout for restaurants and grocery stores.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The expansion comes as interest in fish farming is growing nationwide&nbsp;and there is now talk of going offshore into the open waters of the Great&nbsp;Lakes.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The Grayling Fish Hatchery could soon be the largest aquaculture operation in Michigan by far.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Dan </span>Vogler<span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"> is one of the owners of&nbsp;</span>Harrietta<span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"> Hills Trout Farm based near Cadillac. He hopes the expansion is a sign of a growing fish-producing industry in Michigan.</span></p><p> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:59:28 +0000 Peter Payette 18857 at http://michiganradio.org Debate ongoing over fish farming in the Great Lakes Critics say new Ohio law isn't enough to protect Lake Erie from fertilizer runoff http://michiganradio.org/post/critics-say-new-ohio-law-isnt-enough-protect-lake-erie-fertilizer-runoff <div><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The recent Toledo water crisis has farmers in Michigan and Ohio on the defensive. They’re pointing to a number of voluntary efforts they’re making to reduce phosphorus runoff&nbsp;to Lake Erie. That runoff</span><b style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">&nbsp;</b><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">is the main food source for the blooms of a kind of </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">cyanobacteria</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"> that release a toxin that led to the water shutdown. But farm groups and environmentalists say a new state law in Ohio that will certify the use of fertilizers doesn't go far enough or happen fast enough.&nbsp;</span></p></div><div><div style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"><p>"Basically, the new law will require that all farmers and certified crop advisors who spread chemical fertilizer on fields go through a certification process where they will learn how to spread the fertilizer in the right place, at the right rate, at the right time of year," says Karen Schaefer, an Ohio reporter who is covering this issue. "And the problem with it is: right now it does not include manure and the law does not go into effect until 2017."</p> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:20:34 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18807 at http://michiganradio.org Critics say new Ohio law isn't enough to protect Lake Erie from fertilizer runoff Dioxin cleanup downstream from Dow Chemical to enter next stage http://michiganradio.org/post/dioxin-cleanup-downstream-dow-chemical-enter-next-stage <p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The Environmental Protection Agency has a <a href="http://www.epa.gov/region5/cleanup/dowchemical/pdfs/dowchemical-floodplain-proposed-cleanup-plan-fs-201408.pdf">plan </a>for cleaning up soil contaminated by dioxins along the </span>Tittabawasee<span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"> River floodplain. The floodplain extends along 21 miles of the river below the Dow Chemical plant in Midland.</span></p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The EPA says the dioxins, which can cause cancer and other serious health effects, <a href="http://www.epa.gov/region05/cleanup/dowchemical/background.htm">came from waste disposal, emissions and incineration from the plant</a>.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The EPA has been directing Dow to do temporary cleanups around people’s homes whenever the river floods.</p><p> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:46:46 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18771 at http://michiganradio.org Dioxin cleanup downstream from Dow Chemical to enter next stage Flying unmanned helicopters for science in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/flying-unmanned-helicopters-science-michigan <p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">You might’ve heard that Amazon is hoping to one day deliver packages to your door by little unmanned helicopters.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Now, scientists are getting into the act, too.</p> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:23:30 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18723 at http://michiganradio.org Flying unmanned helicopters for science in Michigan MSU study finds partisan politics influence public views on environmental policy http://michiganradio.org/post/msu-study-finds-partisan-politics-influence-public-views-environmental-policy <p></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">These days, getting pretty much any kind of environmental policy made into law involves a lot of fighting and delay.</span></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">New research from Michigan State University finds Americans are becoming more divided over environmental protection and they seem to be getting their cue mainly from Congress.</span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-ff51b480-ca65-acc4-a025-c00eaed3f426" style="line-height: 1.365000057220459;"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Aaron McCright is a sociologist at MSU and the lead author of <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X1400132X">the study</a>. He writes that </span></span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">things weren’t always so partisan. In fact, many landmark environmental laws<strong> </strong>were born during the Nixon Administration. </span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><strong><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">From 'Red Scare' to 'Green Menace'</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">But then the Soviet Union fell and, according to </span>McCright's<span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;"> research, the American conservative movement (consisting of major conservative think tanks, wealthy families, and conservative foundations) moved its focus away from former communists toward what they saw as the 'green menace'. </span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">"This really came through in the late 80s and early 90s, so this anti-environmentalism of the conservative movement was driving the changing policy stance of the Republican party and it's mostly because of a significant drop off in pro-environmental voting among Republicans in both the House and the Senate,"said McCright. "Whereas the Democrats just sort of continued on a light, upward trend in pro-environmental voting."</span></span><strong style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">​</strong></p><p> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:25:30 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18692 at http://michiganradio.org MSU study finds partisan politics influence public views on environmental policy Michigan township seeks "franchise agreements" with oil and gas drillers http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-township-seeks-franchise-agreements-oil-and-gas-drillers <p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">One Michigan township wants to make special deals with oil and gas drillers.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">State law does not allow townships to regulate oil and gas drilling. But with all the controversy around fracking, some wish they could.&nbsp;&nbsp;One township in northern lower Michigan is trying to work around that rule and have a voice. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:35:48 +0000 Peter Payette 18656 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan township seeks "franchise agreements" with oil and gas drillers Report details ways to prevent, reduce cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Erie http://michiganradio.org/post/report-details-ways-prevent-reduce-cyanobacteria-blooms-lake-erie <p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">A toxin produced by a kind of </span>cyanobacteria<span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"> contaminated Toledo's water supply over the weekend. It left 400,000 people without drinking water.</span></p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Blooms of cyanobacteria (<span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5;">s</span><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5;">ometimes referred to as blue-green algae)&nbsp;</span>like these happen when excess nutrients — mostly phosphorus — run off into Lake Erie from farms and sewage treatment plants.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The <a href="http://www.ijc.org">International Joint Commission</a> is an independent organization that gives advice to the U.S. and Canada on Great Lakes issues. Earlier this year, the IJC put out a <a href="http://www.ijc.org/files/publications/2014%20IJC%20LEEP%20REPORT.pdf">report </a>on how to prevent these blooms.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Raj Bejankiwar, of the Commission's Great Lakes Regional Office in Windsor, Ontario, is the lead scientist on that report.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Cyanobacteria blooms were a problem in the '60s and '70s, but then they went away and in the 2000s they started coming back. Bejankiwar says it's because of runoff, mainly from farms.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">"We have to stop feeding algae their food, which is phosphorus. We use that extensively in the agriculture land and Toledo is right in the ground zero zone for algae, especially the Maumee River watershed." Bejankiwar adds that in the past few years, heavy storms have washed phosphorus-filled fertilizer from farms. "It ends up in the Maumee River and then finally in Lake Erie."</p><p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:19:59 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18615 at http://michiganradio.org Report details ways to prevent, reduce cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Erie Making the Great Lakes safer for swimming, fishing and drinking the water http://michiganradio.org/post/making-great-lakes-safer-swimming-fishing-and-drinking-water <p></p><p><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; line-height: 1; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Just in case the <a href="http://www.ijc.org/en_/Great_Lakes_Water_Quality">Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement</a> isn’t on your summer reading list, here’s the gist of it:</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;">It’s an agreement between the U.S. and Canada. One of the goals of that agreement is to make the Great Lakes more </span>swimmable<span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;">, </span>fishable<span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"> and drinkable.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-2cb5efdc-8caf-0692-3f70-f587a08ad6eb" style="line-height: 1;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Cambria; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">The International Joint Commission is an independent bi-national organization. It gives advice to the U.S. and Canada on meeting those goals, among other things. </span></span><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;">The</span><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"> </span>IJC<span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"> has a Health Professionals Advisory Board, and the board’s come out with a <a href="http://ijc.org/files/tinymce/uploaded/HPAB/Recommended-Human-Health_Indicators-June2014.pdf">report</a> proposing five ways to measure risks to our health from contaminants and other hazards in the Great Lakes. </span></p><p>The advisory board is proposing these indicators:</p><p></p><ul dir="ltr"><li style="line-height: 1; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:10pt">The chemical integrity of source water</span></span></li><li style="line-height: 1; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:10pt">Biological hazards of source water</span></span></li><li style="line-height: 1; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:10pt">Illness risk at Great Lakes beaches</span></span></li><li style="line-height: 1; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:10pt">Identified risks at Great Lakes beaches</span></span></li><li style="line-height: 1; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><span style="font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1; background-color: transparent;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:10pt">Contaminant levels in fish</span></span></li></ul><p> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:11:09 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18572 at http://michiganradio.org Making the Great Lakes safer for swimming, fishing and drinking the water Birding from the sky above southeast Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/birding-sky-above-southeast-michigan <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb184e41-8258-9e1f-3582-3454e22ebf25"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Like most of us, Dea Armstrong has only seen birds from the ground. Today, she’s going to fly with them. </span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.15; background-color: transparent;">Armstrong is Ann Arbor’s city ornithologist, and watching birds from a hot air balloon is on her bucket list. I got a chance to tag along to find out what we’d see from the air.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-bb184e41-8258-9e1f-3582-3454e22ebf25"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“I’m so excited to see what it’ll be like to look from above and down. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to recognize the birds, of course, but it’ll be just so different,” she says.</span></span></p><p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:41:26 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18540 at http://michiganradio.org Birding from the sky above southeast Michigan EPA holding public hearings on Clean Power Plan http://michiganradio.org/post/epa-holding-public-hearings-clean-power-plan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to require power plants to cut their carbon pollution. This week, the EPA is <a href="http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/forms/public-hearings-clean-power-plan-proposed-rule">holding public hearings</a> about <a href="http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule">the plan </a>all around the country.</span></p><p>EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency has already gotten more than 300,000 comments.</p> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:50:39 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18539 at http://michiganradio.org EPA holding public hearings on Clean Power Plan After 4 years, major cleanup on the Kalamazoo River coming to a close http://michiganradio.org/post/after-4-years-major-cleanup-kalamazoo-river-coming-close <div><p>It's been four years since the Enbridge pipeline Line 6B broke, creating the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.</p></div><div>More than a million gallons of tar sands oil have been cleaned up from Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. This summer, crews are dredging areas of Morrow Lake.</div><div><p></p><p>Steve Hamilton is a professor of ecosystem ecology at the Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University. He’s served as an independent scientific advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency throughout the cleanup. I talked with him for today's Environment Report.</p><p>A few years ago, right in the heart of the cleanup, an EPA official said the agency was "writing the book" on how to remove tar sands oil from the bottom of a river.</p></div><div><p>Hamilton agrees: "First, before it even got to the bottom, we learned that in the first year, it stuck to surfaces of plants and debris that made a tarry mess that largely had to be manually removed."&nbsp;</p><p>He says it was the removal of the submerged oil that made the cleanup last as long as it has.</p><p>"It is so incredibly difficult to remove submerged oil from a complex river, extending over nearly 40 miles."</p><p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:17:48 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18497 at http://michiganradio.org After 4 years, major cleanup on the Kalamazoo River coming to a close Carbon tax finds bipartisan support when funds are delegated to a specific cause http://michiganradio.org/post/carbon-tax-finds-bipartisan-support-when-funds-are-delegated-specific-cause <p></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:44:13 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18462 at http://michiganradio.org Carbon tax finds bipartisan support when funds are delegated to a specific cause Climate change fueling increase in pollen, allergies http://michiganradio.org/post/climate-change-fueling-increase-pollen-allergies <p></p><p><span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.15; background-color: transparent;">If even hearing the word “ragweed” makes your eyes water, you might be one of the nearly 45 million Americans with seasonal allergies. Researchers say climate change is fueling the rise in allergies and asthma.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f3e036ce-44ab-0742-a91e-73e0093707be"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Jenny Fischer has been taking over-the-counter medication for allergies for a long time. Without it, she suffers cold-like symptoms: a runny nose, sneezing and congestion. An allergy pill usually made it better. But a couple of years ago, things started to get worse.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f3e036ce-44ab-0742-a91e-73e0093707be"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“I’d be out at 5:30 in the morning walking my dog, and it would just be huffing and puffing. And, you know, I couldn’t catch my breath. It's scary," she said.</span></span></p><p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 15:38:51 +0000 Julie Grant 18409 at http://michiganradio.org Climate change fueling increase in pollen, allergies Researchers predict smaller cyanobacteria problem in Lake Erie this year http://michiganradio.org/post/researchers-predict-smaller-cyanobacteria-problem-lake-erie-year <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">The forecast is in: the green goo will be back on Lake Erie this year, but it won’t be as bad as last year. </span></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">The big, ugly blooms of cyanobacteria (sometimes referred to as blue-green algae) happen when excess nutrients — mostly phosphorus — run off into the lake from farms and sewage treatment plants. </span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">Some of these kinds of </span><a href="http://www2.epa.gov/nutrient-policy-data/cyanobacterial-harmful-algal-blooms-cyanohabs" style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">cyanobacteria produce toxins</a><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;"> can harm pets and make the water unsafe to drink.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-68747343-3a61-b6d4-3f75-b7528245c33b"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Rick Stumpf is an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He says they’re predicting this year’s bloom in Lake Erie will be significant, but not as bad as it has been in recent years. The blooms reached a record level in 2011.</span></span><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;"></span></p><p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:02:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18377 at http://michiganradio.org Researchers predict smaller cyanobacteria problem in Lake Erie this year DEQ holding public hearings on fracking rules tonight and Wednesday http://michiganradio.org/post/deq-holding-public-hearings-fracking-rules-tonight-and-wednesday <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-60815f06-39fe-fe7a-e87f-7c0eae242181"><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">State officials want to hear what you think about fracking.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 19px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.1500000000000001; background-color: transparent;">The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality wants to update the state’s rules on hydraulic fracturing. The DEQ is</span><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 19px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.1500000000000001; background-color: transparent;"> holding two public hearings this week on the proposed changes.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-60815f06-39fe-fe7a-e87f-7c0eae242181"><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Hal Fitch is the chief of the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3306_57064---,00.html">DEQ’s Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals</a>. </span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.1500000000000001;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:10pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-60815f06-39fe-fe7a-e87f-7c0eae242181"><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">“Starting about 2008, we started hearing increased public concerns. So we met with the environmental community, we met with the public in over 200 different forums and heard those concerns and formulated these rules based on what we were hearing,” he says.</span></span></p><p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:46:11 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18375 at http://michiganradio.org DEQ holding public hearings on fracking rules tonight and Wednesday Is the hybrid hype dying down? http://michiganradio.org/post/hybrid-hype-dying-down <p></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">People may talk about wanting to be environmentally friendly but, when it comes to buying new cars, </span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.365000057220459; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">the data show they aren't spending their green on being green.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.365000057220459; background-color: transparent;">Car buyers don’t actually end up buying hybrids and electrics even though they say it’s important to them.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-0646ff47-1660-add1-ef19-861989012400" style="line-height: 1.365000057220459;"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">"Hybrids and plugins tend to be more expensive," says </span></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sonari</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17.7450008392334px; white-space: pre-wrap;"> </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Glinton,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; font-size: 13px; line-height: 17.7450008392334px; white-space: pre-wrap;">NPR’s auto reporter.</span><span style="line-height: 1.365000057220459;"><span style="font-size: 13px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS'; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;"> The advance drive market [hybrids, electric vehicles, plugin hybrids] has accounted for 3.6% of the market in the first half of 2014, a decline when compared to 3.8 % in the first half of 2013. Glinton says this market plateau is partially because shoppers are acclimating to higher gas prices. He thinks the other reason is "the novelty of these [hybrid] cars has worn off, so it's not like there's a big new electric car that people are like 'oh I gotta go out and buy that car.' "</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.365000057220459;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:55:26 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18285 at http://michiganradio.org Is the hybrid hype dying down? Bass getting fat on invasive fish http://michiganradio.org/post/bass-getting-fat-invasive-fish <p><span style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">The bass are getting fat.</span></p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">Lake Michigan was recently recognized as one of the best places in America to fish for bass. The booming fishery is one sign of what might be a major shift of the lake’s food web.</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;">But that change is being driven by an increase in goby, an invasive species. And it could spell trouble for salmon— the most popular sport fish in Lake Michigan. &nbsp;</p><p style="font-family: 'Trebuchet MS', Verdana, Arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 18.200000762939453px;"> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:18:49 +0000 Peter Payette 18323 at http://michiganradio.org Bass getting fat on invasive fish One congressman has kept us in the dark about the health risks of arsenic http://michiganradio.org/post/one-congressman-has-kept-us-dark-about-health-risks-arsenic <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Arsenic occurs naturally, and Michigan is one of a handful of states with unusually high arsenic concentrations in groundwater.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Arsenic was also used in insecticides for many years and it's still being used in some weed killers.</span></p><p>David Heath is a senior reporter at the Center for Public Integrity, and <a href="http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/28/15000/how-politics-derailed-epa-science-arsenic-endangering-public-health">he investigated</a> why a health assessment on arsenic from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been delayed.</p><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Why does this health assessment matter?</strong></p><p>Heath said when the EPA first wants to determine how dangerous a toxic chemical is, they first do the science. These assessments can take a long time and the arsenic assessment has been going on for more than a decade.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"It's not until they have done the science to figure out exactly how dangerous a chemical is that they can really take action on it," Heath said. "So it really does come down to 'this is how they protect your health.'"</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A single member of Congress, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, was able to intentionally delay the EPA's health assessment for years.</span></p><p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 12:30:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 18159 at http://michiganradio.org One congressman has kept us in the dark about the health risks of arsenic What should we do about the arsenic in our food? Experts say vary your diet, research ongoing http://michiganradio.org/post/what-should-we-do-about-arsenic-our-food-experts-say-vary-your-diet-research-ongoing <p>All this week, we’ve been talking about the potential for elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater in Michigan.</p><p>The upshot of our <a href="http://michiganradio.org/topic/michigans-silent-poison">reports</a>:</p><ol><li>Arsenic levels in Michigan’s groundwater can be high.</li><li>Arsenic is bad for you.</li><li>Scientists are finding health effects at lower exposure levels.</li><li>If you’re on a well, test it for arsenic.</li><li>If the levels are high, you should consider doing something about it.</li></ol><p>This one chart published by the<a href="http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/06/28/14994/lifetime-cancer-risk"> Center for Public Integrity</a> shows you why (the blue bar is arsenic):</p><p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:45:00 +0000 Mark Brush 18250 at http://michiganradio.org What should we do about the arsenic in our food? Experts say vary your diet, research ongoing