Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Michigan officials have rejected proposed changes to air-pollution permit rules that could have limited the number of toxic chemicals regulated by the state.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on Monday announced it would "retain strong protection of public health" with the decision.

The agency says "significant public concerns" were expressed during the comment period on the proposed changes.

The state says the proposed changes would have restricted DEQ authority to about 600 chemicals.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A new proposed state rule would require U.S. Steel to cut sulfur dioxide emissions at two of its Detroit facilities.

The state Legislature would still have to approve the new rule announced Thursday from the state Department of Environmental Quality after a 2010 federal review found sulfur dioxide levels to be above federal standards and spurred state action to scale back emissions.

NASA2 / NASA

Michigan agencies have awarded grants totaling $3.6 million for 19 projects designed to prevent and manage invasive species.

The grants were approved by the departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Some will support outreach and education efforts to ward off new invasive species introductions through pathways such as firewood, pet aquariums and ship ballast water.

Other projects will focus on controlling or trying to eliminate invaders that have already arrived.

upnorthlive.com

Environmental groups are challenging a state agency's decision to allow commercial aquaculture in a branch of the Au Sable River in northern Michigan.

Opponents and supporters of a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality to Harrietta Hills Trout Farm will begin presenting evidence to an administrative law judge Monday in Lansing.

The hearing is scheduled to conclude March 3.

The farm raises about 20,000 pounds of rainbow trout a year in a century-old hatchery leased from Crawford County.

Flint mayor submits plan to deal with water problems

Dec 30, 2015
City of Flint / cityofflint.com

Flint's mayor has submitted a plan following her state of emergency declaration over problems with the city's water system.

Karen Weaver's administration announced Tuesday it sent the plan to Genesee County emergency officials.

The issue is on the agenda for the county Board of Commissioners' Jan. 4 meeting.

The plan outlines steps required to deal with causes and effects of lead contamination in the water. It's also part of the process for requesting federal assistance.

Authorities probing, containing possible oil spill

Nov 27, 2015

Shiawassee County authorities say they working to contain a potential oil spill from spreading toward the Shiawassee River.

The Flint Journal reports Thursday that multiple oil-soaking booms have been used in the county drainage system west of the river in Owosso Township.

Assistant Fire Chief Michael Thornburg says the source hasn't been discovered but investigators are looking in a wooded area.

The size and extent of the spill wasn't immediately clear.

An oil and gas exploration company is seeking permit to drill an exploratory well on the grounds of a suburban Detroit church.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac reports Jordan Development of Traverse City has applied for a permit with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to put in an oil well at the Word of Faith International Christian Center in Southfield.

The company and the church have entered into an oil and gas lease agreement and filed papers with the Oakland County Clerk's Office.

Flint lawmaker calls for investigation of DEQ

Oct 20, 2015
Jim Ananich | Facebook

A Democratic state lawmaker from Flint is asking the Legislature’s Auditor General to look into how the state Department of Environmental Quality handled the city’s water crisis.

State Senator Jim Ananich says there’s evidence that DEQ ignored warnings about elevated lead levels in the city’s drinking water, and then tried to cover it up.

“I think we have to get to the bottom of how folks in the drinking water division could do everything in their power to hide the truth from the public,” said Ananich, “and that’s pretty much what they did.”

EPA logo
Environmental Protection Agency / epa.gov

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established a task force to help Flint switch its drinking water source after lead problems prompted officials to declare a public health emergency.

The Flint Safe Drinking Water Task Force announced Friday will provide technical advice.

Task force members will be available to consult with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Flint on site.

The task force will also coordinate as necessary with federal, state and local public health agencies to assist with protection of public health.

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