Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Governor Rick Snyder plans to take executive action on tougher standards for lead in drinking water in the face of foot-dragging by the Legislature.

The Legislature’s Republican leaders have been cool to Governor Snyder’s proposed new lead-in-water rules, which would be tougher than federal standards.

Hundreds of people turned out for a public hearing on a company's proposal to boost the volume of groundwater it pumps for bottling in western Michigan.

Nestle Waters North America wants to withdraw up to 400 gallons per minute from a well in Osceola County - up from 150 gallons per minute.

The request is pending with state regulators.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it has a large amount of information to consider.

Michigan officials are giving the public more time to comment on Nestle Ice Mountain's request to boost the volume of groundwater it pumps for bottling at its plant in Stanwood.

The comment period was to expire Friday. MLive.com reports, however, that the state Department of Environmental Quality wants more information from Nestle to develop a draft permit.

The DEQ plans a public hearing on the draft but hasn't scheduled one.

Michigan denies EPA allegations about minority involvement

Jan 24, 2017

Michigan is denying allegations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that officials aren't doing enough to include minorities in the public participation process over permits. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Michael Shore says in a statement that public participation processes have been expanded over the past 20 years to address the EPA's concerns.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official says improvement is being seen in Flint's water system amid efforts to address the city's crisis with lead-tainted water. 

Robert Kaplan, the EPA's acting regional administrator, told The Flint Journal after a closed-door meeting Tuesday in Chicago of environmental regulators, researchers and Flint officials that the "consensus on the system was it was improving overall." Kaplan says: "What was a crisis is now looking much like other cities."

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has updated its regulations of toxic chemicals in industrial air emissions.

The agency says the changes will make the rules clearer and less burdensome for companies with emissions that don't endanger the public.

They'll also make the DEQ's assessments of chemical toxicity levels more open.

The update completes a review of Michigan's air permitting rules that began when Gov. Rick Snyder appointed an advisory committee in 2011.

A global bottled water company is asking the state for permission to more than double how much water it’s withdrawing from the ground in west Michigan.

Nestle Waters is asking the state to set aside a seven-year-old agreement with environmental groups so it can add two production lines. That could boost its water withdrawal rate to 400 gallons a minute.

“What does this mean for the state of Michigan?,” wondered Jim Olson, a water rights attorney in Traverse City. “That’s a substantial amount of water.”

Wetland Health

Nov 15, 2016

If you enjoy long walks through the mud, scaling fences, and doing paperwork under the hot sun - you’d love working for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s first ever wetland monitoring program. It’s a dirty job, but t’s the only way to find out if the state’s wetlands are healthy.

fresh food, fruits and vegetables
USDA via Wikimedia | Public domain image / wikimedia.org

A Lansing pilot program is offering restaurants an easier way to turn food scraps into compost.

Mayor Virg Bernero on Thursday announced the Scraps to Soil program, which is part of the city's Live Green Lansing initiative.

The Lansing State Journal reports the program will convert food scraps and other organic waste for donations to local community gardens.

Blue Owl Coffee, Juice Nation, Sparrow Hospital, Midtown Brewing Co. and Lansing Brewing Co. have already signed up for the program, which starts Saturday.

Michigan capitol building
Smpage09 via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Governor Rick Snyder’s new environmental protection chief goes before a state Senate committee for a confirmation hearing.

But Department of Environmental Quality Director Heidi Grether faces little possibility that her new job is in jeopardy.

Heidi Grether’s predecessor, Dan Wyant, resigned over the Flint water crisis, and the DEQ was run on an interim basis by Keith Creigh, who has returned to his job running the state Department of Natural Resources.

Grether will likely face questions on how she’ll restore confidence in the Department of Environmental Quality.