Big Benefits from Experimental Watersheds

By Terri Cook, Eos

This story originally appeared in Eos and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

 

During the mid-1930s, in the wake of devastating Dust Bowl–era storms, the U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/big-benefits-from-experimental-watersheds/

Eos

University gives St. Marys River clean, green boost

This article was republished here with permission from Great Lakes Echo.

By Taylor Haelterman, Great Lakes Echo

High school students, community groups and Lake Superior State University will use landscaping this summer to reduce pollution flowing into the St. Marys River.

The project recently received $250,000 from the United States Forest Service as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program that protects Great Lakes drinking water and habitat.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/university-st-marys-river-clean-green-boost/

Great Lakes Echo

Road Salt: Researchers look at vegetables and juices for alternatives to salt

Salt-speckled sidewalks, driveways and highways are synonymous with winter in the Great Lakes region. But while road salt is highly effective at deicing surfaces, the safety that salt provides for humans places a heavy burden on freshwater ecosystems.

“We have an unhealthy addiction to road salt,” said Claire Oswald, a hydrologist and associate professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/road-salt-reducing-usage-great-lakes-freshwater-ecosystem/

Kathy Johnson

PFAS News Roundup: Minnesota sets new PFAS blueprint, Biden EPA dumps PFAS assessment over ‘political interference’

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/pfas-minnesota-biden-epa-regulations/

Natasha Blakely

High school and community groups will help implement a $250,000 project to prevent pollution from flowing into the river from a new water research center to be built on contaminated soils at Lake Superior State University.

The post University gives St. Marys River clean, green boost first appeared on Great Lakes Echo.

Original Article

Great Lakes Echo

Great Lakes Echo

http://greatlakesecho.org/2021/02/09/university-gives-st-marys-river-clean-green-boost/

Taylor Haelterman

Program to study Clinton River to improve water quality

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — The Clinton River, which runs through parts of Macomb County, is one of three southeastern Michigan rivers expected to be studied as part of an effort to improve water quality and wastewater treatment in the region.

The monitoring is part of the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Regional River Water Quality Monitoring Program, according to the Macomb County Public Works office.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/ap-program-study-clinton-river-water-quality/

The Associated Press

PFAS News Roundup: PFAS found in Indigenous household wells, Wisconsin experimental treatment fails, WDNR fish concerns

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/pfas-michigan-indigenous-wisconsin-fish-dnr-legislation/

Natasha Blakely

Mussel-Phosphorus Puzzle: Invasive mussels are reshaping the chemistry of the Great Lakes

Since the late 1980s, four of the five Great Lakes have played host to an increasing number of invasive mussels. First came zebra mussels, followed shortly thereafter by quagga mussels, both members of the Dreissenid family whose native range includes the waters around Ukraine.

Today, the filter-feeders comprise more than 90% of the total animal biomass of the Great Lakes (barring Lake Superior, whose depth and water chemistry make it a less suitable habitat for the two species of mussel).

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/invasive-mussels-phosphorus-chemistry-great-lakes/

Lorraine Boissoneault

Lack of Enforcement: Less compliance with environmental laws means more pollution in the lakes

The long-term impact of the Trump administration on the Great Lakes environment remains a big question – particularly when President Donald Trump was still rolling back environmental protections in the last few months of his term.

Over the length of his term, Trump rolled back a number of rules and regulations, and enforcement of the ones that remained dropped.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/lack-enforcement-compliance-environmental-laws-more-pollution/

Natasha Blakely

One-third of America’s rivers have changed color since 1984

America’s rivers are changing color — and people are behind many of the shifts, a new study said.

One-third of the tens of thousands of mile-long (two kilometer-long) river segments in the United States have noticeably shifted color in satellite images since 1984.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-one-third-of-americas-rivers-have-changed-color-since-1984/

The Associated Press

“I can sum it up in one word, and that is: nightmare.” 10 years after massive oil spill in Michigan

By Rebecca Williams, Michigan Radio

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/10-years-after-oil-spill-kalamazoo-river-michigan/

Michigan Radio

How does a $641 million Flint water settlement get to residents? Attorneys give answers

By Amy Diaz, Flint Beat, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Flint, MI– Attorneys involved in the Flint Water Litigation provided an overview of the $641.25 million water settlement Nov. 23 on the City of Flint Facebook page.

This information session followed the proposal of a $20 million contribution to the settlement by the city’s insurer.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/641-million-flint-water-settlement-residents-attorneys/

Flint Beat

Overlooked: Small streams can have a big impact on Great Lakes water quality

Even casual observers of Great Lakes issues are aware of the problems associated with algal blooms.

Perhaps they remember the headlines from August 2014 when Toledo went without drinking water for three days due to the threat of toxic blooms contaminating the city’s water supply. Or a day their favorite beach posted “No Swimming” signs because of toxic algal bloom threats.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/small-streams-impact-great-lakes-water-quality/

Gary Wilson

What Has the Trump Administration Meant for Water?

By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/11/trump-administration-water-policy/

Circle of Blue

Grand Rapids selected for lead pipe replacement grant

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan city has been selected to receive a $5.1 million federal water infrastructure improvement grant to help pay for lead service line replacement.

The funding also will support public engagement in Grand Rapids on the risks of lead in drinking water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-grand-rapids-lead-pipe-replacement-grant/

The Associated Press

PFAS News Roundup: Huron River contamination levels drop, New York PFAS cleanup could be delayed

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/pfas-huron-river-michigan-new-york/

Natasha Blakely

Drinking Water News Roundup: Illinois COVID-19 shutoff protections, Ontario First Nation evacuation

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

  • Illinois Activists Push for Stronger COVID-19 Utility Shut-Off Protections as Winter Nears – The Intercept

In March, the Illinois Commerce Commission announced an emergency moratorium on utility shut-offs to protect customers during the COVID-19 health crisis, but most major Illinois providers resumed service disconnections by late summer.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/drinking-water-illinois-covid-19-coronavirus-ontario/

Grace Dempsey

Another casualty of COVID: testing for lead poisoning in Michigan

By Robin Erb, Bridge Michigan, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/covid-testing-lead-poisoning-michigan/

Bridge Michigan

Best Practices for Integrated Water Infrastructure Asset Management (IWAM): Project Archive

This project has ended. Archived project materials are available below.

The Great Lakes Commission’s Joint Action Plan for Clean Water Infrastructure and Services in the Great Lakes Region (September 2017) profiles regional water infrastructure challenges and proposes a suite of actions to meet them. Among those challenges is a lack of adequate information about water infrastructure assets, which can hinder effective water infrastructure management and investments. Specifically, the Joint Action Plan called for the catalyzation of asset management (AM) activities among individual water utility service providers, and for service providers to consider opportunities to improve operational efficiencies by increasing coordination across traditionally-siloed sectors and regional geographies.

With funding from the Joyce Foundation, the GLC embarked on a year-long effort in 2019 to better understand the barriers, opportunities, and best practices for catalyzing Integrated Water Infrastructure Asset Management (IWAM) in the Great Lakes Basin. While states, provinces, and individual communities vary in their water infrastructure AM policies and practices, there are many examples of communities advancing innovative strategies. The IWAM project gathered information about these strategies and the main barriers to their wider adoption through a series of webinars and focus groups. Through these events, GLC staff engaged over 150 water infrastructure practitioners and AM professionals from across the Basin in guided discussions related to various aspects of IWAM.

The final deliverable of these efforts is the IWAM Phase I Report that summarizes information gleaned from the webinar series and focus groups regarding key barriers and recommended best practices for catalyzing IWAM and provides draft regional goals for protecting and improving the state of water infrastructure and services in the Great Lakes Basin.

IWAM Phase I Summary Report: Best Practices for Integrated Water Asset Management – January 2020
IWAM Webinar Series

This webinar series was recorded between February 28th and May 1st, 2019, and explored the best practices, opportunities, and barriers to catalyzing asset management and IWAM across the Great Lakes region. The four webinars collectively include presentations by 17 different expert panelists about diverse topics related to IWAM. Descriptions and links to recordings of each webinar are available below.

In addition, the Great Lakes Commission hosted three focus groups that brought together 30 professionals in the field of water infrastructure and asset management that took place in Mississauga Ontario (June 26, 2019), Dayton Ohio (June 22, 2019), and Erie, Pennsylvania (July 22, 2019). The ideas shared at these sessions are summarized in the IWAM Phase I Report (coming in November 2019).

Webinar 1: What is Integrated Water Asset Management?

The kick-off webinar of the IWAM series discussed the basic questions of what should be considered a water infrastructure “asset” and what it means to effectively manage them. It also explored primary drivers for asset management and desired outcomes for communities. While traditional (grey) infrastructure is often thought of as the pipes, pumps, and plants that treat and deliver water supplies, this narrow definition leaves out many essential elements of municipal systems. What about natural and engineered green infrastructure features? What about the knowledge, human capacity, and financing required to design and implement a long-term asset management plan? Why does this even matter? Download the recording of this webinar (link above) to learn more.

Webinar 1 Panelist of Presenters

  1. Tim Colling, Michigan Tech
  2. Christine Weigle, Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority
  3. Anna Wolf, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Webinar 2: Water Infrastructure Financing and IWAM

In this webinar a panel of experts shares their perspectives on current financing opportunities for asset management and discusses options for expanding financial support for IWAM. The webinar also explores how asset management can improve and support rate-setting and infrastructure financing.

Webinar 2 Panelist of Presenters

  1. Jay Kessen & Mark Hoskins, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  2. Robert Boos, Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST)
  3. Jeff Hughes, University of North Carolina Environmental Finance Center

Webinar 3: Technology and IWAM

This webinar explores how different types of software and technology can support asset management at different scales, from individual municipal supplies to regional systems, and how technology can be used to support data sharing agreements and coordinated decision-making by drinking, waste, and stormwater system managers. A panel of presenters will discuss how their organizations employ technology to conduct asset management and share ideas for systems looking to further integrate asset management into their work.

Webinar 3 Panelist of Presenters

  1. Bryon Wood & Jody Caldwell, Great Lakes Water Authority 
  2. Heather Himmelberger, Southwest Environmental Finance Center
  3. Steve Rozycki, Macomb County, MI Public Works 

Webinar 4: IWAM Policy and Program Implementation

The final webinar of the series explores how water infrastructure asset management programs are currently being designed and implemented in Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario. Panelists from these states and province give presentations on their asset management work and address the elements previously discussed throughout this webinar series, including (1) the scope of assets considered within their policies and programs, (2) short and long-term financing considerations, and (3) the technology they currently use or intend on using in the future.

Webinar 4 Panelist of Presenters

  1. Jessica Moy, Michigan Infrastructure Council
  2. Kelly Green, Michigan Water Asset Management Council 
  3. Kelly Karll & Ann Burns, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)
  4. Melissa Osborne, City of Windsor & Canadian Network of Asset Managers (CNAM) 
  5. Susan Schell, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency 

For More Information

Nicole Zacharda
Program Manager
Great Lakes Commission
nzacharda@glc.org

Original Article

Great Lakes Commission

Great Lakes Commission

https://www.glc.org/work/iwam-inprogress

Laura Andrews

REAP: Researching the Effectiveness of Agricultural Programs: Project Archive

This project has ended. Archived project materials are available below.

Approximately $96 million was invested between FY2010-2016 in agricultural incentives and other activities intended to influence on-farm decision-making and improve water quality in four priority watersheds (Maumee, Lower Fox, Saginaw, and Genesee) through Focus Area 3 of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). While many evaluations of agricultural conservation programs focus on environmental outcomes, REAP investigated whether investments result in long-term changes in voluntary on-farm decision-making that improve water quality outcomes. REAP began with the premise that implementing conservation practices yields water quality benefits and sought to better understand if and how investments can be tailored so that the resulting environmental benefits and conservation-oriented culture at the farm-scale will persist if/when incentive programs are no longer available.

From November 2017 to January 2020, through a cooperative agreement with the US EPA and GLRI, the REAP team completed empirical analyses of primary and secondary data sources to investigate physical, social, and economic outcomes of GLRI Focus Area 3 investments. In addition, a review of GLRI-supported models and decision-support tools was carried out. Stand-alone reports were completed for each of these sub-tasks and are included as appendices D-J. Key findings from each of those sub-task reports have been synthesized in the final report to better understand obstacles and opportunities for enhanced engagement with farmers that will lead to sustainable changes in on-farm decision-making and water quality improvements.

For More Information

Nicole Zacharda
Program Manager
Great Lakes Commission
nzacharda@glc.org

Original Article

Great Lakes Commission

Great Lakes Commission

https://www.glc.org/work/reap

Laura Andrews

Michigan Clean Water Corps: Project Archive

This project has ended. Archived project materials are available below.

The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) is a network of volunteer water quality monitoring programs in Michigan. MiCorps was administered by the Great Lakes Commission through 2020 under the direction of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and in partnership with the Huron River Watershed Council, Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, and Michigan State University. MiCorps consists of two main programs – the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program (VSMP) and the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP). The CLMP is the second oldest volunteer lake monitoring program in the country and has been an important component of Michigan’s inland lakes monitoring program for over 40 years.

MiCorps seeks to support and expand the number of volunteer water quality monitoring organizations statewide for the purpose of collecting, sharing, and using reliable data for surface water bodies (inland lakes and streams); educating and informing the public about water quality issues; and fostering stewardship to facilitate the preservation and protection of Michigan’s water resources. MiCorps offers training opportunities for both current and aspiring MiCorps volunteers and holds an annual conference each fall for volunteer monitoring program leaders, citizen volunteers, water resource professionals, and others interested in the health and protection of Michigan’s rivers, lakes, and streams. Programs such as MiCorps offer many benefits and also help to extend the reach of data collection around the state in a more cost-effective manner than could be accomplished through state agency staff, alone.

Learn More about the MiCorps
2019 MiCorps Fact Sheet

MiCorps was created by Michigan Executive Order to assist the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in collecting and sharing water quality data for use in water resources management and protection programs.

MiCorps is comprised of two core volunteer monitoring programs, the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program and the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program, and provides technical assistance and other support to local units of government, nonprofit entities, and other volunteers around the state in the management of these initiatives, including:

  • Training for stream and lake monitoring;
  • Disseminating methods for accurate data collection;
  • Implementing effective quality assurance practices;
  • Facilitating data reporting and information sharing online; and
  • Providing a forum for communication and support among volunteer monitoring groups in Michigan.

Additionally, the MiCorps Data Exchange (MDE) platform (available from the program website) provides online access to volunteer monitoring data through a searchable database. This system fulfills a critical role by allowing volunteers to gather and exchange reliable and meaningful water quality data for water resources management and protection programs at the state and local level.

For More Information

www.micorps.net

Original Article

Great Lakes Commission

Great Lakes Commission

https://www.glc.org/work/micorps

Laura Andrews

Michigan Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup: Project Archive

This project has ended. Archived project materials are available below.

The Michigan Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Grant Program (VRSCCP) provides small grants to local units of government to help implement volunteer cleanup efforts of rivers, streams, and creeks to improve the waters in Michigan. Funding for this program is provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) through fees collected from the sale of Michigan’s Water Quality Protection License Plates. The GLC assisted EGLE in publicizing and administering the program through 2019.

Since 2005, 205 grants totaling nearly $414,500 have been awarded to recipients around the state of Michigan under the VRSCCP. During the 2019 grant cycle, 14 cleanup projects were awarded grants totaling more than $29,000 in project funds.

Learn More about the Michigan VRSCCP

The Michigan Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Grant Program (VRSCCP) is a competitive grants program that provides small grants to local units of government to help implement volunteer cleanup efforts of rivers, streams, and creeks to improve the waters in Michigan. Grants typically range from $500 to $5,000, and may be used to support the cleanup and removal of human-made trash and debris from rivers and streams and along their banks. Grant funds awarded under the program can pay for such items as disposal costs, hand tools, supplies, refreshments, and other volunteer appreciation materials for volunteers. Local units of government are eligible to apply for and receive funding and may, in turn, work with nonprofit organizations and grassroots groups to conduct the actual cleanup efforts.

The VRSCCP is managed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and was administered under contract by the Great Lakes Commission (GLC). EGLE worked cooperatively with the GLC staff, providing overall direction for the program and the awarding of grant funds. Additionally, EGLE staff provides advice and assistance to volunteers on technical issues and considerations for the proposed projects.

2019 Fact Sheet
Video: River Raisin Clean-Up 2019

The City of Monroe (a 2019 VRSCCP grant recipient), with support from the City of Monroe Commission on the Environment & Water Quality, the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Great Lakes Commission, and the River Raisin Public Advisory Council, produced a video recap of their 2019 River Raisin Clean-Up. We thank them for sharing this video with us and hope that it may inspire others to take the steps to plan and host similar volunteer cleanup events in communities around our state. Video Credits: Milward J. Beaudry II, camera; Ashley Stotz, editing and graphics

Video: Friends of the Shiawassee River Cleanup Day

The Friends of the Shiawassee River, in partnership with the Shiawassee County Health Department (a 2014 VRSCCP grant recipient) and others, produced a video of their annual Shiawassee River cleanup in 2014.

For More Information

Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup Program grants are not currently awarded via the Great Lakes Commission. Please contact Marcy Knoll Wilmes for additional information.

Marcy Knoll Wilmes
Senior Aquatic Biologist, Michigan EGLE
517-342-4348
KnollM@michigan.gov

Original Article

Great Lakes Commission

Great Lakes Commission

https://www.glc.org/work/vrsccp

Laura Andrews

Wipes flushed in toilets cause big waste spill in Michigan small town

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) — Small town, big mess.

Baby wipes clogged the wastewater system in Beulah in northern Michigan, causing a backup of 10,000 gallons of human waste from a manhole, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

The spill was on the grounds of the village’s wastewater treatment plant.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-wipes-flushed-big-waste-spill-michigan-small-town/

The Associated Press

Legionella and other dangerous pathogens still lurk in U.S. drinking water

By Lynne Peeples, Ensia, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Before her 73-year-old mom contracted Legionnaires’ disease at a nursing home earlier this year, Monique Barlow knew little about the deadly pneumonia and the waterborne pathogen that causes it.

“Until then, I didn’t give it much thought,” says Barlow.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/legionella-dangerous-pathogens-drinking-water/

Ensia

Minnesota Supreme Court weighs fate of PolyMet mine permits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Lawyers for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine and state regulators urged the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday to defer to the judgment of the state Department of Natural Resources and reinstate three critical permits for the project.

Attorneys for the DNR and PolyMet argued that the agency acted within its authority when it decided, after years of public environmental review and permitting proceedings, that there was no need to hold an additional trial-like proceeding known as a contested case hearing.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-minnesota-supreme-court-polymet-mine-permits/

The Associated Press

PFAS News Roundup: Landfills, Wisconsin action plan, AGs urge congress to be tough on PFAS

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body and have been flagged as a major contaminant in sources of water across the country.

Keep up with PFAS-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/pfas-news-landfills-wisconsin-action-plan-congress/

Natasha Blakely

C+: Western Lake Erie receives mediocre score on new report card

Lake Erie’s Western Basin didn’t do well on its first big test: a report card produced by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

The report card gave it a mediocre score, an overall C+, based on a various factors regarding the lake’s condition. The watershed surrounding western Lake Erie scored a C.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/western-lake-erie-mediocre-score-report-card/

James Proffitt

Explainer: Who regulates U.S. drinking water, and how?

By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/explainer-regulates-drinking-water/

Circle of Blue

Great Lakes Moment: Detroit River and western Lake Erie get a checkup

Great Lakes Moment is a monthly column written by Great Lakes Now Contributor John Hartig. Publishing the author’s views and assertions does not represent endorsement by Great Lakes Now or Detroit Public Television.

If the Detroit River and western Lake Erie were patients undergoing their annual exam, a doctor would probably say, “I have good news and bad news about their health.”

The good news is that there are signs of improving ecosystem health including the return of creatures like bald eagles, peregrine falcons, osprey, lake sturgeon, lake whitefish and beaver.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/state-of-the-strait-2020-detroit-river-western-lake-erie/

John Hartig

Michigan governor releases $500 million water infrastructure plan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a $500 million plan Thursday to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in Michigan that includes actions such as replacing lead service lines and removing chemical pollutants.

The initiative, dubbed MI Clean Water, calls for creating a pot of money from which local governments could apply for grants or loans to improve their water treatment systems.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-whitmer-michigan-500-million-water-infrastructure-plan/

The Associated Press

Canada Water Agency: Government hopes to consolidate water data and management

Canada is home to the third largest renewable supply of fresh water in the world, spread across a vast swath of lakes, rivers, aquifers and glaciers. Fresh water is critical to the country’s economy and health, and a key part of the nation’s identity – paddling a canoe through northern waterways is a rite of passage, and more than 30% of Canadians live surrounded by water in the Great Lakes region.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/canada-water-agency-government-consolidate-water-data-management/

Sharon Oosthoek

Opposition team criticizes Enbridge plans for oil tunnel

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge’s plans for drilling an oil pipeline tunnel beneath a channel linking two of the Great Lakes do not meet industry standards and pose significant hazards to workers and the environment, experts who reviewed project documents on behalf of opposition groups told The Associated Press.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/ap-opposition-criticizes-enbridge-plans-line-5-tunnel/

The Associated Press

Citizen Excellence: Sandy Wynn-Stelt receives EPA award for efforts to combat PFAS

Sandy Wynn-Stelt, a resident of Belmont, Michigan, known for her fight against Wolverine World Wide and PFAS, earned the 2020 Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award from the U.S. EPA.

Wynn-Stelt is featured in Great Lakes Now’s documentary, “The Forever Chemicals,” which brought audiences the story of her journey as she discovered the extent of the PFAS contamination in her private well and in her community.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/citizen-excellence-sandy-wynn-stelt-receives-epa-award-for-efforts-to-combat-pfas/

Natasha Blakely

One Michigan county tells the story of a nation plagued by water pollution

By Jane Johnston, Circle of Blue

ALMA  Murray Borrello, wearing khakis and a loose-fitting brown button-up, walked down a backroad during the summer of 2019 listening to the sounds of the woods. Water from the Pine River flowed slowly beneath him as he looked out over a bridge.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/michigan-county-cafos-agriculture-water-pollution/

Circle of Blue

In Perpetuity: Toxic Great Lakes sites will require attention for generations to come

It’s convenient to think of fixing a problem and it’s done. But that doesn’t apply to the long-neglected legacy polluted sites in the Great Lakes region.

In simple terms we think of a cleanup as removal of something that, left unattended, will become a nuisance or a problem.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/toxic-great-lakes-sites-capping-dredging/

Gary Wilson

Across the U.S., millions of people are drinking unsafe water. How can we fix that?

By Lynne Peeples, Ensia, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

This story is the first in a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation.

Once a week, Florencia Ramos makes a special trip to the R–N Market in Lindsay, California.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/drinking-unsafe-water-contaminants-solutions/

Ensia

Blue Jeans Blues: Researchers find denim microfibers in Great Lakes

At any given moment about half the world’s population is wearing blue jeans or other denim clothing. And every time we launder our jeans, tiny string-like particles called microfibers come loose, flow out of our washing machines, down sewers and into lakes and oceans.

Now researchers at the University of Toronto say they have found denim microfibers in sediment taken from the Great Lakes.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/researchers-denim-microfibers-great-lakes/

Sharon Oosthoek

Judge OKs oil flow through second Great Lakes pipeline

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge said Wednesday it will fully resume operation of a Michigan Great Lakes oil pipeline after a partial shutdown this summer because of damage to a support structure.

Circuit Judge James Jamo signed an order allowing the Canadian company to restore the flow through one of its Line 5 pipes beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/ap-judge-line-5-great-lakes-pipeline/

The Associated Press

Enbridge just wants a permit. Michigan critics want to bring down Line 5

By Kelly House, Bridge, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Enbridge Energy had already won the blessing from Michigan’s Republican Legislature to build a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac to keep oil flowing through Line 5, and survived a legal challenge that sought to unravel that plan.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/enbridge-line-5-permit-michigan-critics/

Bridge

Message to 2020 Candidates: Focus on water quality in Great Lakes states

Detroit water rights advocate Monica Lewis-Patrick has a few questions for presidential candidates incumbent Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“What’s your water policy? What will you do to protect our drinking water,” Lewis-Patrick asked in a July Healing Our Waters Coalition press release that asked the candidates to support a Great Lakes water platform.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/2020-candidates-water-quality-great-lakes-states/

Gary Wilson

Turtle Recovery: Studying turtles on the Kalamazoo River 10 years after Enbridge oil spill

Josh Otten reached down and pulled two turtles from the bow compartment of his kayak. One was the size of a dinner plate; the other was barely the size of a silver dollar pancake. Both were northern map turtles, the most common species of turtle in the Kalamazoo River watershed, according to Otten who played a key role in the rescue and rehabilitation of more than 2,000 turtles in 2010 following the Kalamazoo River oil spill.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/turtle-recovery-kalamazoo-river-enbridge-oil-spill/

Kathy Johnson

Indiana universities receive grants to study PFAS impact on water quality

By Timberly Ferree, Indiana Environmental Reporter

Indiana University and Purdue University have each been awarded $1.6 million Environmental Protection Agency research grants to better understand the potential impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances on water quality and availability in rural communities and agricultural operations across the United States.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/indiana-universities-pfas-impact-water-quality/

Indiana Environmental Reporter

Trump administration finalizes coal plant pollution rollback

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration on Monday finalized its weakening of an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing polluted wastewater from coal-burning power plants that has contaminated streams, lakes and underground aquifers

The change will allow utilities to use cheaper technologies and take longer to comply with pollution reduction guidelines that are less stringent than what the agency originally adopted in 2015.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/ap-trump-administration-coal-plant-pollution-rollback/

The Associated Press

New global standards for mine waste won’t prevent dam failures, critics say

By Judith Lavoie, The Narwhal

This story originally appeared in The Narwhal and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

New global industry standards for dealing with mine waste are not enforceable, fail to set measurable standards and will not protect communities, workers or the environment from disasters such as the 2014 Mount Polley spill or the deadly 2019 Brumadinho dam failure in Brazil, says an international group of scientists, community organizations and non-profits.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/new-global-standards-mine-waste-dam-failures-critics/

The Narwhal

Thousands allowed to bypass environmental rules in pandemic

Thousands of oil and gas operations, government facilities and other sites won permission to stop monitoring for hazardous emissions or otherwise bypass rules intended to protect health and the environment because of the coronavirus outbreak, The Associated Press has found.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/ap-thousands-allowed-bypass-environmental-rules-pandemic/

The Associated Press

Michigan’s State of the Great Lakes: Drinking water quality garners spotlight

In her first regional appearance after taking office in January 2019, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made it clear that Michigan would take a leadership role on Great Lakes issues.

“Michigan has to lead on Great Lakes issues,” Whitmer told Great Lakes Now after speaking to fellow Great Lakes governors and Canadian premiers and the broader Great Lakes community in Milwaukee.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/michigan-state-great-lakes-drinking-water-quality/

Gary Wilson

Pipeline tunnel supporters, foes clash before Michigan panel

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Keeping a 64-year-old oil pipeline in operation by running one portion through a proposed Great Lakes tunnel would safeguard the economy and energy supplies, supporters said Monday, while opponents described the project as an unnecessary risk that would contribute to global warming.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/ap-pipeline-tunnel-supporters-foes-clash-michigan-panel/

The Associated Press

Turtles vs. Oil: Great Lakes Now producer talks ecosystems, life on the water and covering the lakes

After a stint as an intern for Great Lakes Now, Kathy Johnson is shining a light on the Kalamazoo River oil spill 10 years ago and the subsequent turtle recovery efforts with her first fully produced segment for Great Lakes Now.

Like many journalists working in the Great Lakes region covering stories about the Great Lakes, Kathy Johnson’s roots begin in the region.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/great-lakes-producer-ecosystems-life-water-covering-lakes/

Natasha Blakely

Dishwashing detergent killed hundreds of fish in Ohio river

HARTVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Dishwashing detergent created foam that killed hundreds of fish a couple weeks ago in a northeastern Ohio waterway, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The fish were found last Monday in the Tuscarawas River in northern Stark and southern Summit counties.

An investigation determined that someone dumped the detergent on the ground near a storm drain in Hartville, an EPA spokesperson said.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/ap-dishwashing-detergent-killed-hundreds-fish-ohio-river/

The Associated Press

Offshore Decline: Great Lakes fish populations at risk from low nutrient levels

As algal blooms flourish on the edges of the Great Lakes, lake management bodies look to cut down the flow of nutrients into the water that feeds the algae. But, as a recent report by the International Joint Commission explains, not all parts of the lakes suffer from too many nutrients — in fact, the deeper offshore waters aren’t getting enough.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/offshore-great-lakes-fish-populations-nutrient-levels/

Emily Simroth