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The National Wildlife Federation announced Thursday that it was suing the U.S. Department of Transportation for failure to prevent oil pipeline ruptures and resultant spills.
The group is arguing that all pipelines nationwide that touch a water body are being operated illegally because there are not sufficient safeguards in place to prevent spills.
"We hope today's action will be a catalyst for long-overdue protections that benefit people, communities, and wildlife," Mike Shriberg, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center, said in a statement. "The federal government needs to enforce the law to prevent oil pipeline disasters from fouling our water and threatening our communities and iconic places."
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
National Wildlife Federation Sues Dept. of Transportation over Oil Pipeline Oversight Failures; Lawsuit carries ramifications for people, communities, wildlife, waters, from Great Lakes to the Yellowstone River, National Wildlife Federation News Release, October 8, 2015.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #54, Report 1200, October 8, 2015. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library. For assistance in accessing the database, stop by the MSU Library Reference Desk.
Garret Ellison, "Judge spikes pipeline lawsuit against U.S. Forest Service, Enbridge", MLive, October 9, 2015.
Tiny plastic beads used in skin cleaners to scrub off grime took up more than 90 minutes of a House committee's time this morning as lawmakers debate how to keep the beads out of fish stomachs.
The topic of the day in the House Natural Resources Committee was "microbeads," an abrasive skin product the personal care products industry is phasing out of using due, in part, to new laws in California, Illinois and other states that ban them entirely.
Rep. Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes) is pushing legislation, HB 4345, backed by the Michigan Chemistry Council and business groups that phase out the use of "non-biodegradable" plastic beads from products.
The concern is the beads wash down the sink, slip through the water treatment plants, get shot out with the treated water into lakes and streams, and are gobbled up by fish who mistake them for fish eggs.
All the while, the plastic soaks up various toxins that make it into the fish's dinner. So when that fish becomes a bigger fish's dinner, which then gets caught and becomes our dinner, we, too, are putting toxin-laden microbeads into our systems.
Democrats and environmentalists pushed back today because they see companies working around the word "biodegradable" to mean something that naturally breaks down in hundreds of years, which doesn't really help solve the problem.
For the full article, see "More Than A Little Issue Made Over Microbead Ban", Inside MIRS Today, October 6, 2015.
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
The flow of tiny plastic pieces known as microbeads into the Great Lakes would be stymied by a House bill, some say, but others think the state should take more meaningful action.
HB 4345 would prohibit the manufacture and sale of products that contain non-biodegradable microbeads, tiny plastic items about the size of a ballpoint pen tip sometimes used as an exfoliant in beauty and personal care products. The beads are gathering in the Great Lakes, where Department of Environmental Quality officials say they are accumulating with other debris and being ingested by fish.
States including California and Illinois have already passed legislation banning microbeads and federal lawmakers are considering bans as well.
For the full article, see Emily Lawler, "Microbeads in the Great Lakes: Legislators butt heads over whether current legislation would help", MLive, October 6, 2015.
The 62-year-old segment of Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline underwater, at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, has been generating the most buzz and concern lately over how a spill from it would harm the Great Lakes.
But it's another segment of that same pipeline, out of the water and running through the Upper Peninsula along U.S.-2 highway for nearly 90 miles between Manistique and St. Ignace, that poses a more immediate — and just as dire — threat to the lakes, according to a U.S. Coast Guard oil spill contingency specialist. The 30-inch-diameter transmission line runs under at least 20 rivers and creeks that feed into northern Lake Michigan, and at points is within a half-mile of the lake.
For the full article, see Keith Matheny, "Great Lakes face threat from another Enbridge line", Detroit Free Press, October 4, 2015.
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Oct 1, 2015
Lawmaker wants to ban Great Lakes fish farms
Rick Pluta, Jake Neher & Peter Payette
Oct 1, 2015
Flint mayor to state: Approve plan “as fast as humanly possible” to help keep lead out of water
Sep 29, 2015
Lab tests ways to kill creatures lurking in the bottom of ships
Sep 29, 2015
Flint Community Schools want kids to bring bottled water to school
Sep 26, 2015
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