air pollution http://michiganradio.org en 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 Groups sue MDEQ over air permit granted to large steel plant http://michiganradio.org/post/groups-sue-mdeq-over-air-permit-granted-large-steel-plant <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Citizen groups are suing the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality over an air permit it granted to a Dearborn steel plant.</span></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:22:15 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18463 at http://michiganradio.org Groups sue MDEQ over air permit granted to large steel plant Lawmakers ask for EPA oversight at Dearborn steel mill, call state permitting process "tainted" http://michiganradio.org/post/lawmakers-ask-epa-oversight-dearborn-steel-mill-call-state-permitting-process-tainted <p>Two state lawmakers are calling on the US Environmental Protection Agency to step in and help regulate a Dearborn steel mill.</p><p>State Representatives Rashida Tlaib and George Darany say the state can no longer be trusted to oversee and enforce environmental laws against the Severstal steel facility.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17504 at http://michiganradio.org Lawmakers ask for EPA oversight at Dearborn steel mill, call state permitting process "tainted" Michigan cities graded on air pollution http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-cities-graded-air-pollution <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The American Lung Association just released its annual report card on air quality, </span><a href="http://www.lung.org/about-us/our-impact/top-stories/state-of-the-air-2014-top-story.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">State of the Air</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>Detroit and Grand Rapids made the list of most polluted cities for their ozone levels (Detroit ranks 34th worst out of 220 cities; Grand Rapids ranks 30th).</p><p>But others made the cleanest cities list: Kalamazoo and East Lansing scored well for particle pollution. Those are very tiny specks found in smoke and exhaust.</p><p> Thu, 01 May 2014 12:50:00 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17438 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan cities graded on air pollution U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/us-supreme-court-ruling-may-help-clear-air-michigan <p>Clean air advocates in Michigan are cheering a U.S. Supreme Court decision that will allow stricter regulation of coal-fired power plants.</p><p></p><p>The high court decided this week to overturn a lower court ruling and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to slap new limits on pollution from power plants.</p><p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 21:41:49 +0000 Steve Carmody 17411 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan Dearborn steel mill wants state to loosen emission limits, neighbors worry http://michiganradio.org/post/dearborn-steel-mill-wants-state-loosen-emission-limits-neighbors-worry <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfHT97w_awY</p><p>A Dearborn steel plant wants the state to let it <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140311/NEWS02/303110023/Severstal-Dearborn-toxin-levels">legally emit more air pollution</a>, a prospect that doesn’t sit well with many of the people who live nearby.</p><p>The massive,<a href="http://www.severstalna.com/eng/about/locations_capabilities/index.phtml"> 350-acre&nbsp;Severstal steel complex </a>sits in a heavily industrial area along the Dearborn-Detroit border. It’s been cited 37 times for violating its current state air quality permit.</p><p>But Severstal thinks that permit was too strict. In its new permit application, the company wants the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to raise the emissions cap for a number of pollutants, including lead and carbon monoxide.</p><p>That angers many south Dearborn residents, like Norieah Ahmed. Speaking at a packed public hearing on the proposed new rules this week, Ahmed said her community already suffers from too much pollution.</p><p>“We cannot allow for an increase in permitted levels simply because Severstal once again can’t meet those standards,” Ahmed said. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 16928 at http://michiganradio.org Poor air quality in Michigan is not limited to areas of industry http://michiganradio.org/post/poor-air-quality-michigan-not-limited-areas-industry <p>If we asked you to name the areas in Michigan most likely to have poor air quality, chances are pretty good you'd start with the Detroit area, or southeast Michigan. Certainly with all of the vehicles, the industry, and the dense population, it's not too surprising that the Detroit area most often has the most polluted air.</p><p>But some of the most beautiful, most scenic areas of Michigan also suffer from poor air quality.</p><p>MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa joined us today to help is find out where and why this is happening.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 21:07:08 +0000 Stateside Staff 14266 at http://michiganradio.org Poor air quality in Michigan is not limited to areas of industry Air pollution linked to increased heart attack risk http://michiganradio.org/post/air-pollution-linked-increased-heart-attack-risk <p>Air pollution is a serious problem in Michigan. It's already linked to health risks like asthma and autism, but now there's evidence it may also be behind the rise in heart attacks.</p><p>Sara Adar&nbsp;is one of the researchers at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health releasing this new study. She says, "<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Every increase in air pollution, it increases the likelihood that your arteries are </span>gonna<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> thicken. We see the same for risks of heart attack and strokes."</span></p><p>Adar&nbsp;says no air is completely clean, but that the Clean Air Act has led to fewer fatalities due to air pollution.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"So when we breathe these particles into our lungs, our bodies respond to those. And it triggers an inflammation response, because you know, it's not enjoying those particles in our lungs."</span></p><p>These new findings suggest even if you eat healthy food and get regular exercise, you still have a slightly greater risk of early heart attack if you live near lots of pollution.</p><p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:52:30 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12321 at http://michiganradio.org Air pollution linked to increased heart attack risk Report: Michigan's air quality improving http://michiganradio.org/post/report-michigans-air-quality-improving <p>Air quality is improving in some Michigan cities, according to a new report. The American Lung Association’s annual ‘State of the Air’ report is out today.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Jim Harrington is a field organizer for the American Lung Association. He says particulate pollution, like smog, is down in the region - including the cities of Flint and Detroit.</p><p>“In prior years they’d been ranked the worst in the country. They were one of the most polluted regions in the country,” says Harrington, “And over the last five years, they’ve gradually moved down the list. So they’ve been improving at a faster rate than other areas.” Wed, 24 Apr 2013 04:58:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 12242 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Michigan's air quality improving U.S. court sides with EPA in Michigan pollution case http://michiganradio.org/post/us-court-sides-epa-michigan-pollution-case <p>TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A federal appeals court says government regulators can take action when they fear a power company construction project might significantly increase air pollution, without waiting to see if they were right.</p><p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sued DTE Energy in 2010 because the company replaced key boiler parts at its Monroe Unit 2 without installing pollution controls that are required whenever a utility performs a major overhaul. DTE said the project was only routine maintenance.</p><p>U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman threw out the suit, saying EPA went to court too soon.</p><p>But the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his decision Thursday. In a 2-1 ruling, the court says the law doesn't block EPA from challenging suspected violations of its regulations until long after power plants are modified. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 17:46:52 +0000 The Associated Press 11910 at http://michiganradio.org U.S. court sides with EPA in Michigan pollution case EPA proposes new standard to cut soot emissions http://michiganradio.org/post/epa-proposes-new-standard-cut-soot-emissions <p>The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new proposal today to cap soot emissions at between 12 and 13 micrograms per cubic meter (&micro;g/m<sup>3</sup>) annually. The current standard is 15 &micro;g/m<sup>3</sup> annually. The agency is required to update the standard every five years.</p><p>In a <a href="http://www.lung.org/press-room/press-releases/more-protective-soot-standard-will-save-lives.html">press release</a> from the American Lung Association, Albert Rizzo, M.D., chair of the board of the ALA, emphasized the dangers of soot.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Particle pollution kills &mdash; the science is clear, and overwhelming evidence shows that particle pollution at levels currently labeled as officially &#39;safe&#39; causes heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks,&quot; Rizzo said.</p><p>&quot;The Clean Air Act gives the American public the truth about pollution that is threatening their lives and health&mdash;just as they would expect the truth from their doctor,&quot; he added.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>Last year the ALA, the Clean Air Task Force and Earthjustice, a non-profit public interest law firm, released a <a href="http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/SickOfSoot_2011.pdf">report </a>warning of the dangers of soot and urging the EPA to set stricter emissions standards.</p><p>Their analysis estimated that capping emissions at 11 &micro;g/m<sup>3</sup> annually and 25 &micro;g/m<sup>3</sup> daily would prevent:</p><ul><li>35,700 premature deaths</li><li>2,350 heart attacks</li><li>23,290 hospital and emergency room visits</li><li>29,800 cases of acute bronchitis</li><li>1.4 million cases of aggravated asthma</li></ul><p>According to the report, these standards would save about $281 billion in medical costs annually.</p><p> Fri, 15 Jun 2012 17:08:13 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7908 at http://michiganradio.org EPA proposes new standard to cut soot emissions New outdoor burning law limits what can be torched http://michiganradio.org/post/new-outdoor-burning-law-limits-what-can-be-torched <p>A new law will soon limit the types of waste that can be thrown into pits and barrels to be burned. Plastics, chemically treated wood, and electronics are among the types of trash that cannot be burned.</p><p>The new rules don&rsquo;t go as far as some people wanted, which was to ban outdoor burning altogether.</p><p>There were fights between neighbors about drifting smoke&nbsp; -- in some cases, causing or aggravating asthma attacks.</p><p>But burning waste is so common in parts of rural Michigan that a compromise was struck. Some of the most toxic materials are banned, but grass, leaves and other yard waste can still be burned.</p><p>The director of the state Department of Environmental Quality Dan Wyant said he hopes this is the beginning of a culture change in rural Michigan.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ll go out, and we&rsquo;re trying to educate,&rdquo; said Wyant. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re not trying to be heavy-handed in our enforcement, but we will communicate about the law, and we do want to move away from outdoor burning.&rdquo;</p><p>The new rules become enforceable in six months. Thu, 19 Apr 2012 18:14:37 +0000 Rick Pluta 7116 at http://michiganradio.org New outdoor burning law limits what can be torched Environmental groups take state to court for allowing Holland coal plant expansion http://michiganradio.org/post/environmental-groups-take-state-court-allowing-holland-coal-plant-expansion <p>The legal battle over a proposed expansion of a coal-fired power plant in Holland is not over yet. The State of Michigan granted the city the necessary air quality permit in February, following years of delays. But now a number of environmental groups are teaming up and bringing the issue back to court. Thu, 12 May 2011 20:22:12 +0000 Lindsey Smith 2472 at http://michiganradio.org Environmental groups take state to court for allowing Holland coal plant expansion A majority of Michigan's schools are in areas with high air pollution levels http://michiganradio.org/post/majority-michigans-schools-are-areas-high-air-pollution-levels <p>A new University of Michigan <a href="http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/30/5/852.abstract">study</a> in the journal <em>Health Affairs</em> finds 62% of public schools in the state are located in places with high levels of air pollution from industries.</p><p>Paul Mohai is one of the study&rsquo;s authors.</p><blockquote><p><br />&ldquo;Often schools are located in more polluted parts of their respective school districts.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>He says schools need a lot of land... and land is expensive but money is tight.</p><blockquote><p><br />&ldquo;There&rsquo;s probably quite an economic pressure to put schools where land values are low, and those may be near highways or industrial facilities or that otherwise are polluted.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Mohai says Michigan has no formal policy that requires school boards to consider the environmental quality of an area for a new school.</p><p>William Mayes is the executive director of the <a href="http://www.gomasa.org/">Michigan Association of School Administrators</a>. He says school boards do consider pollution when they&rsquo;re finding new sites for schools.</p><blockquote><p><br />&ldquo;You know, intelligent people are thinking about this. The bottom line is you look at where your community is expanding, where your community is growing, and you seek the most economical and safe property you can to build a school.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Mayes says people are drawn to where the jobs are, and that&rsquo;s often near industries, and industries pollute.</p><p><br /> Thu, 12 May 2011 14:53:02 +0000 Rebecca Williams 2464 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's air is getting cleaner (very slowly) http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-air-getting-cleaner-very-slowly <p>Air quality is getting better in Michigan, according&nbsp;to a new report from the American Lung Association.&nbsp; The association&rsquo;s annual<a href="http://stateoftheair.newslinevine.com/"> &lsquo;State of the Air&rsquo; </a>report says ozone and particle pollution rates have eased in Michigan during the past decade.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.stateoftheair.org/2010/states/michigan/">Lansing and Saginaw</a>&nbsp;have some of the cleanest air&nbsp;among U.S. cities. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 27 Apr 2011 09:01:01 +0000 Steve Carmody 2230 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's air is getting cleaner (very slowly) Michigan species affected by power plant emissions http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-species-affected-power-plant-emissions <p>The National Wildlife Foundation has released a report on Michigan wildlife hurt by power plant emissions.</p><p>The report says&nbsp;nine species in the state are affected by power plant&nbsp;toxins.&nbsp;&nbsp;Mercury&nbsp; is the most dangerous toxin for some species, including the large-mouth bass and the common loon.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Lee Sprague is on the Tribal Council of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;What we do know with mercury it really affects all life systems, from the very base of the food chain all the way up.&quot;</p> Wed, 16 Mar 2011 18:46:04 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 1679 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan species affected by power plant emissions