Environment

Meet the volunteers who have been passing out bottled water in Benton Harbor since 2018

BY: - October 27, 2021

By the time Carolina Gray began directing traffic at the bottled water distribution in Benton Harbor earlier this month, the line of cars stretched before her was long. Wearing a blue shirt emblazoned with the words “Clean water is a human right,” Gray ushered those waiting into the parking lot outside God’s Household of Faith […]

‘Filter first’ school water bills get warm bipartisan reception at Senate hearing 

BY: - October 26, 2021

A set of bipartisan bills to ensure clean drinking water in schools and child care centers heard favorable testimony Tuesday before a Michigan Senate committee, where the legislation is expected to undergo further changes before being voted on. Senate Bills 184 and 185 were first introduced in late February by state Sens. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) […]

COMMENTARY

Column: Why do Canadians seem to care so little about protecting the Great Lakes from Line 5?

BY: - October 26, 2021

As a Canadian living in Michigan, I’ve never seen a state or province that identifies with the Great Lakes the way Michigan does: their silhouette adorns T-shirts, water bottles, and bumper stickers everywhere.  At the same time, I would say that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system is woven into the nationalisms and founding mythologies of […]

In Benton Harbor’s water crisis, a long history of systemic racism — and a chance for justice

BY: - October 26, 2021

Every day, Elnora Gavin wakes up terrified that her young son will use the tap water in their Benton Harbor home to brush his teeth when she’s not looking.  She thinks of the horror stories emanating from children drinking lead infused water in Flint — which, like Benton Harbor, is a predominantly Black city that […]

States, tribes grapple with drought

BY: - October 21, 2021

States in the Colorado River Basin are adjusting to the reality that their rights outstrip the available water by nearly one-third, state and tribal leaders told a congressional panel Friday. The situation is likely only to worsen as the climate changes, leaving states and tribes in competition for their most vital resource. Representatives from the […]

Activists temporarily turn off Line 5 valve in Vassar

BY: - October 20, 2021

Updated and corrected, 3:38 p.m., 10/20/21 with comment from Whitmer’s office and Detroit Will Breathe A Michigan water protector dressed up as a pipeline worker traveled to a Tuscola County Enbridge station in Vassar and physically turned the valve to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline for several hours on Tuesday. According to a […]

COMMENTARY

Dave Dempsey: Protecting Michigan wilderness is one of Dale Kildee’s enduring legacies

BY: - October 20, 2021

When former U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee died last week at the age of 92, admirers celebrated his work on behalf of the community of Flint, his support for education and labor and his personal decency. Each of these merited praise, but one aspect of his career escaped mention in most quarters – his environmental values. […]

National parks nominee pledges to ramp up workforce, improve staff morale

BY: - October 19, 2021

President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the National Park Service told a U.S. Senate panel Tuesday he would work to rebuild the agency’s workforce, which has shrunk even as park attendance hits new records. Charles F. Sams III, of Oregon, would be the first enrolled tribal member to lead the National Park Service. He is […]

Enviro, social justice activists rally in metro Detroit for Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan

BY: - October 19, 2021

Environmental advocates and community justice groups held rallies in Detroit and Warren on Monday to urge passage of the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, a measure that addresses climate change, immigration reform, education funding, rising health care costs and other measures. “Government is about people,” said U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) during […]

Feds launch long-awaited plan to combat PFAS

BY: - October 18, 2021

The President Joe Biden Administration announced Monday newly accelerated efforts to prevent and mediate pollution from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of “forever chemicals” known to cause harm to human health. PFAS can be found in drinking water, soil and air across the country, and are a growing concern. As part of the […]

‘There’s no safe level of lead exposure’

BY: - October 14, 2021

When TaNiccia Henry’s grandson, Lloyd, was 4 years old, his “feet turned dark and his hair stopped growing.” Henry, who lives in Detroit and is Lloyd’s primary caregiver, brought her grandson to be tested for lead. When the test came back, the numbers were staggering: Lloyd had a blood level of 28 micrograms per deciliter […]

Whitmer: Goal is to replace all Benton Harbor lead service lines in 18 mos.

BY: - October 14, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed an executive directive aimed at coordinating her administration’s efforts on safe drinking water for Benton Harbor. Whitmer said the state is committed to expediting lead service line replacements using additional federal, state and local resources, with the goal of replacing 100% of lead service lines in Benton Harbor in 18 months. That comes after Benton Harbor received […]