environmental policy http://michiganradio.org en 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 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 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 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 Michigan gets ready for EPA's proposed carbon rules http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-gets-ready-epas-proposed-carbon-rules <p>On Monday morning, the Environmental Protection Agency released the <a href="http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-05/documents/20140602proposal-cleanpowerplan.pdf">federal government’s plan </a>to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The agency's calling it the "Clean Power Plan."</p><p>The EPA says carbon dioxide emissions are the main driver of climate change. The agency is&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">proposing a 30% reduction in CO2 from power plants by 2030. Here's what EPA says about the proposed regulations:</span></p><blockquote><p>Climate change is not just a problem for the future. We are facing its impacts today:</p><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="238.70319430887218" data-font-name="g_font_5_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 180.033px; top: 905.717px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.907962, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">Average temperatures have risen in most states since 1901, with seven of the top 10 warmest years on record occurring since 1998.</div><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="238.70319430887218" data-font-name="g_font_5_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 180.033px; top: 905.717px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.907962, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">&nbsp;</div><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="679.1071838088227" data-font-name="g_font_5_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 180.033px; top: 936.517px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.915733, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">&nbsp;</div><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="679.1071838088227" data-font-name="g_font_5_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 180.033px; top: 936.517px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.915733, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">Climate and weather disasters in 2012 cost the American economy more than $100 billion.</div><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="8.463999798202513" data-font-name="g_font_21_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 90px; top: 963.675px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.651077, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">&nbsp;</div><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="191.32319543849948" data-font-name="g_font_5_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 476.083px; top: 1077.17px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.935108, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">Nationwide, by 2030, the Clean Power Plan will help cut carbon pollution</div><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="23.75439943365097" data-font-name="g_font_5_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 440.283px; top: 1102.97px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.928511, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">&nbsp;from the power sector by approximately 30 per cent from 2005 levels. It</div><div data-angle="0" data-canvas-width="240.48799426631928" data-font-name="g_font_5_0" dir="ltr" style="font-size: 18.4px; font-family: sans-serif; left: 231.033px; top: 1128.57px; transform: rotate(0deg) scale(0.907673, 1); transform-origin: 0% 0% 0px;">&nbsp;will also reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 percent.</div></blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Policymakers at the state level and the state’s major power companies don’t seem surprised by the news.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 16:50:32 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17836 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan gets ready for EPA's proposed carbon rules What will the country's farm bill mean for Michigan? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-will-countrys-farm-bill-mean-michigan <p>It’s official. The country will have a farm bill. On Friday, President Obama plans to sign the nearly $1 trillion bill into law on his trip in East Lansing. On today’s show we take a closer look at the farm bill and explore what all this means to Michigan farmers.</p><p>Listen to the audio above.</p><p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 22:25:59 +0000 Stateside Staff 16320 at http://michiganradio.org What will the country's farm bill mean for Michigan? How one city in Wisconsin may change how we protect the Great Lakes http://michiganradio.org/post/how-one-city-wisconsin-may-change-how-we-protect-great-lakes <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A water dilemma is brewing in Wisconsin.</span></p><p>The city of Waukesha (near Milwaukee) is asking for permission to tap into Lake Michigan for drinking water — to the tune of 10.1 million gallons per day.</p><p>Waukesha is in a real bind. The aquifer that has provided most of its drinking water for the last century has dropped so far, that the water left behind has unhealthy levels of radium and salt.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So the city of 70,000 is under a federal order to find a new source, a</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">nd Lake Michigan is just 15 miles away.</span></p><p>But Waukesha has the bad luck to be a mile and a half outside the watershed boundary that encircles the five Great Lakes.</p><p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 19:57:12 +0000 Stateside Staff 14942 at http://michiganradio.org How one city in Wisconsin may change how we protect the Great Lakes Citizen groups flex some muscle in fight against Detroit's petroleum coke piles http://michiganradio.org/post/citizen-groups-flex-some-muscle-fight-against-detroits-petroleum-coke-piles <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-size: 14pt; line-height: 1.5;">By now, you’ve probably heard of Detroit’s pet coke piles.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14.0pt; color:#222222">They’re a byproduct of refining Canadian tar sands oil at Detroit’s Marathon refinery, and the ashen piles are definitely an eyesore on the city’s riverfront. But how much of a danger does pet coke really pose?<o:p></o:p></span></p> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 03:30:58 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13267 at http://michiganradio.org Citizen groups flex some muscle in fight against Detroit's petroleum coke piles Sierra Club report: Pollution hits southeast Michigan's poor hardest http://michiganradio.org/post/sierra-club-report-pollution-hits-southeast-michigans-poor-hardest <p>Detroit and its downriver suburbs have some serious pollution problems.</p><p>And according to a new Sierra Club report, <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130404/NEWS05/130404027/Sierra-Club-pollution-environment-Detroit">the greatest effects fall</a> on poor, largely non-white communities.</p><p>The report deals with environmental justice in southeast Michigan—the idea that poor, minority communities tend to shoulder the burdens of pollution.</p><p>It details toxic emissions from six major sources in and around Detroit—five of which are clustered in the downriver area.</p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 21:47:30 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 12030 at http://michiganradio.org Sierra Club report: Pollution hits southeast Michigan's poor hardest 4 things from Gov. Snyder's "special address" on energy and the environment http://michiganradio.org/post/4-things-gov-snyders-special-address-energy-and-environment <p>Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder gave his <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/EE_Message_FINAL_pdf_404563_7.pdf">“special address” on energy and the environment</a>.</p><p>In it, he said it is impossible to ignore the connections between economics, energy, and the environment while talking about subjects like land management, invasive species, and urban farming.</p><p>Here are the highlights for those who missed it:</p><p><strong>1) Pushing for more natural gas, says Michigan has safe "fracking"</strong></p><p>In a section of his speech on Michigan’s energy future, the governor said he was bullish on natural gas.</p><p>With regard to the extraction and production of the gas, Governor Snyder suggested that Michigan has been safely hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for a long time.</p><p>In his address, Gov. Snyder said "hydraulic fracturing" and "horizontal drilling" have been around for decades.</p><blockquote><p>...some have expressed concerns about what these technologies mean for Michigan’s environment. Neither fracking nor horizontal drilling is a new technology—they have been used in Michigan for many decades. None of the fracking that has been done in Michigan has resulted in a single water quality problem.</p></blockquote><p>What might have been missed in the Governor’s statement is the distinction between hydraulic fracturing and <em>horizontal</em> hydraulic fracturing. Thu, 29 Nov 2012 21:45:32 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10139 at http://michiganradio.org 4 things from Gov. Snyder's "special address" on energy and the environment How green is your governor? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-green-your-governor <p>Rick Snyder was the first Republican running for governor to be endorsed by the <a href="http://www.michiganlcv.org/">Michigan League of Conservation Voters (MLCV),</a> a lobbying group that advocates for conservational and environmental laws and protection.</p> Thu, 29 Dec 2011 13:03:02 +0000 Zoe Clark 5516 at http://michiganradio.org