News about environmental studies resources or events provided by the MSU Libraries. For more information visit the Environmental Studies Resources web page or contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan to Ontario: No nuclear waste near Lake Huron, PLEASE
June 8, 2014
NRC chairwoman tours Michigan nuclear plants, downplays internal strife within agency
June 6, 2014
Tick boom continues in Michigan; here's what you need to know about Lyme disease
June 5, 2014
Report: The 2010 Enbridge oil spill has not left any long-term human health effects
June 5, 2014
Michigan gets ready for EPA's proposed carbon rules
June 3, 2014
DEQ chief wants flexibility to deal with EPA carbon standard
June 3, 2014
Workgroup starts crafting Michigan?s new energy policy this week
June 1, 2014
A Senate committee on Thursday called on the International Joint Commission to intervene in plans to put a Canadian nuclear waste storage facility near the shores of the Great Lakes.
The Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes voted unanimously to urge President Barack Obama and Congress to get the IJC to evaluate the proposed underground facility near Kincardine, Ontario, about 110 miles northeast of Port Huron and less than a mile from the Canadian shores of Lake Huron.
The committee also voted, 7-0, to urge the Great Lakes Commission to study and take a position on the proposal and its impact on the Great Lakes and those who live near the site.
And it sent on to the full Senate, along with the resolutions, a bill placing further restrictions on the storage of radioactive waste in Michigan.
For the full article, see Paul Egan, "Senate asks IJC to study proposed nuclear waste dump near Lake Huron", Detroit Free Press, June 5, 2014.
About 500 members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) stood united around the importance of keeping their waters clean from contamination associated with sulfide mining on June 3, 2014 at the Michigan Court of Appeals. Oral arguments were heard involving the Eagle Mine, Michigan’s first permitted sulfide mine in the Upper Peninsula.
“This is the first time in our generation that the community as a whole came together to fight for true sovereignty and engage in spontaneous government participation. The goal of the new moving-forward Tribal Council is to bring transparency and involvement to the Anishinaabeg (the people),” said Donald Shalifoe, Sr., KBIC’s Ogimaa (Chief).
Many tribal members carpooled and traveled about eight hours to line up for the 10:00 a.m. Lansing hearing. KBIC’s remarkable presence overwhelmed the Michigan Hall of Justice whose staff reported it was their largest turn out ever for a court hearing.
Tribal leaders and elders observed the hearing from within the court room, while hundreds watched and listened to the proceedings in an overflow video conferencing room. Traditional drumming and singing resounded outside the building following the hearing.
The Anishinaabeg band has opposed the Eagle Mine development, located on Treaty of 1842 ceded homeland, since it was first permitted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) in 2006.
Unsettled concerns involve the mining regulatory process, improper permitting and inadequate assessment of impacts to the area environment, cultural resources and water quality, including groundwater contamination and the potential for perpetual acid mine drainage upstream from Lake Superior.
Tribal member Jeffery Loman said “the hearing today is another testimony to the fact that inadequate regulation and collusion between industry and government results in endless litigation.”
One aspect of the evolving case questions what qualifies as a “place of worship” under Michigan’s sulfide mining statute. An initial ruling by Michigan Administrative Law Judge Richard Patterson recommended mitigation of impacts to an Anishinaabeg sacred place, Migi zii wa sin (Eagle Rock), but the MDEQ made a final permit decision asserting only built structures are places of worship.
Discriminatory enforcement of Michigan law has led to substantial degradation to KBIC’s sacred site. This includes obtrusive mine facilities and a decline access ramp into the base of Eagle Rock, non-stop noise and activity, and hindered traditional access and use. Spiritually significant high places like Eagle Rock are used in solitude by the Anishinaabeg for multi-day fasting, vision quest and ceremony.
Despite the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, Native people still struggle to protect their remaining sacred places in the face of extractive development agendas. “It is a shame that the United States of America, proudly founded upon values of religious freedom, has trouble guaranteeing this right to all of its nation’s first people,” said tribal member Jessica Koski.
KBIC anticipates a decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals within six months. The Eagle Mine’s timeframe for production start-up is the end of 2014. “While the court deliberates, it is important to remember that regardless of the outcome, we are in the right for standing up for the Yellow Dog Plains. We hope the court understands their decision will have long lasting implications for this place, as well as other areas that are slated for mining,” said Emily Whittaker of Big Bay, Michigan who gathered alongside KBIC and other locally affected residents.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruling will be an important precedent for additional sulfide mining proposals threatening Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and waters of the Great Lakes.
Source: Donald Shalifoe, Sr., Tribal President, "Keweenaw Bay Indian Community stands 500 strong at Eagle Mine Court of Appeals Hearing”, June 5, 2014. Spotted on Turtle Talk
Eric Sharp, "The fish that got away" : Have plankton-devouring Asian carp finally reached the Great Lakes? After years of trying to block the invasion, the answer is: Nobody knows. Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it needs another $18 billion to cut the carp’s march up the Mississippi.
Eric Sharp, "Asian carp, from mouth to tail" : Where they come from, what they do, and how they threaten the ecosystem of the Great Lakes.
Eric Sharp, "Hunting for Asian carp by what they left behind" : A new form of DNA allows scientists pick up the trail of the invasive species from the slime or waste detected in water samples.
A group of experts will gather at Saginaw Valley State University in June to discuss ways to restore the rivers, lakes and wetlands of the Saginaw Bay watershed, but it won't be reciting research papers, one official says.
"We've got a real challenge in trying to get people to understand what they do relative to the land and in the water flows out into the bay affects everyone who uses it," said Mark A. Wyckoff, Michigan State University Planning and Zoning Center director.
He's helping to organize the 2014 Saginaw Bay Watershed Conference on Thursday, June 12 at SVSU, 7400 Bay in Kochville Township. It features 31 speakers in a panel discussion and four breakout sessions.
The Saginaw Bay Watershed is the largest basin in Michigan. It includes parts of 22 counties, more than 175 inland lakes and 7,000 miles of rivers and streams. The landmass in the watershed makes up 15 percent of the state.
Wyckoff said the conference is an opportunity to learn firsthand about projects going on in the basin.
"I think anytime we can talk about the bay and ways to improve it is just excellent," said Terry Miller, Lone Tree Council environmental group chairman.
Conferences like this, he said, allow people to ask questions.
"If there are any kinds of concerns, it's an opportunity to educate yourself. Anytime you can educate yourself, that's a positive," he said.
The conference is 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $30, and registration is available online.
About 220 people attended the first watershed conference in 2012.
Topics include beach muck, pollution, Chesaning's fish passage, the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, storm water management, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and a new Michigan water strategy.
Jame Schardt from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Patrick Doran from the Nature Conservancy and Todd Ambs from the Great Lakes Coalition will participate in a discussion to kick off the day.
Craig Stow from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will talk about beach muck issues during one breakout session. Beaches along the Saginaw Bay face muck problems as a result of pollution in the watershed.
Dave Karpovich from SVSU will discuss management practices in the Kawkawlin River.
Steve Kahl, Aubry Scott and Dane Cramer will share information about tourism and restoration of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.
For the full article, see Lindsay Knake, "Muck, invasive species on tap for 2014 Saginaw Bay Watershed Conference", MLive, June 2, 2014.
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