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You might have them on the shelf in your bathroom and not even know it.
Personal care products containing microbeads — plastic particles less than 1.24 millimeters, or about the size of fine-grained salt — are becoming an increasing concern in states that border the Great Lakes.
The worry is they could concentrate harmful chemicals in the fish that people eat.
"From a chemistry standpoint, it has me very concerned that what we're doing as a society is conducting a long-term chemistry experiment on ourselves without anyone's consent," said Sherri Mason, a professor of chemistry at The State University of New York-Fredonia who was one of the first researchers to find microbeads and other plastics in the Great Lakes.
Michigan lawmakers are considering a measure introduced in February by senators Steve Bieda, D-Warren, and Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, that would ban the sale of products containing microbeads.
"There are alternatives the industry can go to," Bieda said. "Why are they putting potentially toxic materials into our shampoo?"
For the full article, see Bob Gross, "Plastic microbead pollution a concern in Great Lakes", Port Huron Times Herald, March 16, 2015.
A legal battle is brewing across Michigan and the nation that pits the public against utilities over trimming trees to assure reliable access to power.
Utilities say they need to cut back brush and trees — some nearly a century old — to make sure limbs don't snap nearby power lines. But local officials and property owners say a ground-to-sky policy leaves unsightly gashes in local tree stands and allows trimmers unfettered access to private land.
The vegetation management dispute has prompted lawsuits in communities including Oakland County, where a letter-writing campaign seeks a review of state law.
For the full article, see Mike Martindale, "Utility tree trimming sparks legal battle in Michigan", Detroit News, March 15, 2015.
Snyder to deliver second energy message
March 12, 2015
Could drones detect leaks at oil and gas sites?
March 12, 2015
Do you know where your biobank donations are going?
March 11, 2015
As St. Louis moves toward a new drinking water source, questions raised about the Pine River
March 10, 2015
Listen as we ride along with this dog sled team
March 10, 2015
State officials are now saying they're on board with a mining company's request to access more than 10,000 acres of state-owned land in the Upper Peninsula.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said in a press release today its top officials are recommending DNR Director Keith CREAGH approve the fifth revised application submitted by Graymont at the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting next week in Roscommon.
Graymont is seeking access to more than 10,000 acres of U.P. land near Rexton in Mackinac County to build a limestone mine. The company has gone back and forth with the DNR the past year, resubmitting several applications in response to concerns held by the public and the DNR.
For the full article, see "DNR Officials Give Director Green Light On Updated Graymont Proposal", Inside MIRS Today, March 10, 2015.
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
The EPA is seeking is a stringent update of 1988 standards for new stoves and inserts that would reduce particulate emissions by 70 percent.
Meeting the proposed mandates will drive up the cost of the stoves, and drive many small producers, many of whom are based in Michigan, out of business.
About 10 percent of U.S. households burn wood, and the number relying on it as their primary heating source rose by one-third during the harsh economic years between 2005 and 2012.
Development of more efficient furnaces and outdoor boilers that use wood pellets have helped drive the surge in wood-burning heaters.
Michigan is the No. 1 state in terms of emissions from wood burners, according to the EPA.
But the state isn’t rolling over for the federal regulators. Last year, lawmakers passed legislation barring the state from enforcing the EPA rules. At least four other states have joined the defiance effort.
State Sen. Tom Casperson, the Upper Peninsula Republican who sponsored the bill, say costs of the EPA mandates will fall heaviest on those least able to afford them.
“The people using these things ... a lot of them don’t make a whole lot of money,” Casperson says. “They use it to help survive in this kind of region.”
For the full article, see "Keep EPA out of our fireplaces", Detroit News, March 10, 2015.
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