Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Health and environmental regulators across Michigan are playing catch-up with industrial chemicals that remain in the ground or water long after initially being discovered. The state has a list of more than 3,000 vapor intrusion sites.  The overwhelming number of locations means state regulators wait to be informed about problems by property owners, complaints from neighbors, environmental assessments required for construction projects or reviews mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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The head of Flint schools wants a comprehensive plan from the state that includes multiple rounds of testing of faucet and drinking fountain water for lead.

Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab says Wednesday during a news conference that students will not be allowed to drink from the tap until officials and health professionals are satisfied with the water's safety.

He says the district will continue to use bottled water. The district serves about 4,500 students.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has given a shoe manufacturer a deadline to handle the scope of a toxic chemical plume leaking through the groundwater from the company's landfill.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that the department sent a letter to Wolverine World Wide on Friday regarding the fluorochemicals coming from the Belmont landfill. The agency is giving Wolverine until the end of January to comprehensively model the plume amid a long list of work deadlines associated with both the Belmont plume and the former Rockford tannery.

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State regulators say they've detected elevated levels of a group of toxic chemicals in the Flint River and its tributaries that apparently came from an industrial facility in the eastern Michigan city of Lapeer. The Department of Environmental Quality said Monday it discovered the chemicals in samples taken from Lapeer's sewage collection system.

The director of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality is delaying a decision on whether a fish farming operation can substantially boost production of rainbow trout on the Au Sable River. Heidi Grether wants an administrative law judge to reconsider whether Harietta Hills Trout Farm should have to monitor fish for whirling disease under a permit that would let the company gradually raise output to 300,000 pounds annually at its facility in Grayling, up from 20,000 pounds a few years ago. 

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Five organizations have been awarded grants to monitor water quality in Michigan lakes and rivers. The state Department of Environmental Quality and the Great Lakes Commission divided $51,000 among the groups under the Michigan Clean Water Corps Program.

The Missaukee Conservation District will monitor macroinvertebrates and stream habitat conditions in the Upper Muskegon River and Manistee River watersheds. Jamestown Charter Township/Trinity Christian Reformed Church will monitor macroinvertebrate and habitat conditions in Rush Creek, a Grand River tributary.

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.

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