Your Hub for Environmental News from Southwest Michigan and around the State

Stay up to date on environmental issues.

environmental news from SW Michigan and around the State

Here’s an idea!

You could bookmark this page and make it your information center, the place you visit regularly to stay caught up on environmental issues.

In the column on the right you’ll find links to lots of sources for information on environmental matters. These sites offer reporting and opinions about victories and setbacks in the battle to move Beyond Coal, Beyond Oil, and Beyond Natural Gas.

News on Enbridge Line 5 and other Michigan pipeline issues, and our news about the Palisades nuclear plant have their own pages:

To stay up to date on the water crisis in Flint, follow Sierra Club Michigan Chapter’s reporting and news feed on their Flint Water Debacle page.

At the bottom of this page are news feeds from Sierra Club Michigan Chapter and the national Sierra Club.

Environmental news we’ve come across lately

Judge says fish farm on Au Sable River’s East Branch is illegal. (October 16)

In a case brought by Anglers of the Au Sable River against Harrietta Hills Fish Farm alleging downstream pollution, MLive quotes Crawford County Circuit Judge George Mertz: “There is no question of fact that the operation of a private commercial fish farm clearly violates the statute and the deed restrictions.” Harrietta Hills has asked Michigan DEQ for a permit to greatly expand its hatchery.

KVCC’s eight-year-old wind turbine program remains a national leader. (September 22)

The wind turbine technician training program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College was the first in the U.S. to offer international certification in turbine technology. An MLive report says, “A total of 190 students have graduated from the program, getting jobs in locations throughout the United States.” KVCC’s program boasts a 96% job placement rate for its graduates, with an average salary between $55,000 and $65,000.

Osceola Township nixes Nestlé plan to increase its pumping capacity. (April 18, updates May 4, June 20, July 28, August 17, September 21)

The Osceola Township Planning Commission has denied Nestlé a permit to build a pipeline booster station that would increase its pumping capacity from 250 gallons per minute to 450 at its Ice Mountain bottled water plant. Nestlé can appeal, says WOOD-TV 8, “so it’s possible the project may still move forward. However, the plan would still need approval by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.”

Update May 4: Detroit Free Press says Nestlé has appealed to the Osceola Township Zoning Board of Appeals, asking the board to reverse the Planning Commission’s denial.

Update June 20: Osceola Township Zoning Board of Appeals upheld the Township Planning Commission’s permit denial. MLive says Nestle can appeal the decision to Osceola County Circuit Court, but MDEQ still hasn’t decided whether it would be okay for Nestlé to pump that much water.

Update July 28: MLive reports say that Nestlé has appealed to the 49th Circuit Court. Meanwhile, DEQ still hasn’t ruled on Nestlé’s permit request. It wants Nestlé to re-do it’s study, which experts disputed last April. DEQ also “has sought input from the state Department of Natural Resources, the Attorney General’s office and Michigan Native American tribes.”

Update August 17: After two judges in Mecosta County and two in Osceola County recused themselves from Nestlé’s appeal, the case has been assigned to 51st Circuit Court Judge Susan Sniegowski in Luddington.

Update September 21: Bloomberg Business Week published a comprehensive investigative report that looks at Nestlé’s history of cheap water extraction and local bullying tactics, focusing on Mecosta County: “Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For.”

Fort Custer chosen as site for new microgrid project. (September 13)

A U.S. Department of Defense project at Fort Custer near Battle Creek will “show how microgrids can maintain power resources during extended outages. It will also demonstrate the potential to share resources with nearby federal facilities,” says an MLive report. Indiana-based Go Electric will head up the project.

Cook nuclear plant had an “unusual event” but it’s “not a serious safety concern” says NRC spokesperson. (September 13)

A 12-gallon-per-minute coolant leak occurred at D.C. Cook nuclear plant when an automatic valve actuated unexpectedly, according to a report from MLive. Although the “unusual event” triggered “an emergency notification,” NRC’s Victoria Mytling said it was “not a serious safety concern to the plant or the public.”

The Great Lakes need automotive fuel efficiency standards and anti-pollution regulations, says Sierra Club Michigan Chapter to US EPA. (September 6)

“By reconsidering these critical clean air protections, President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have once again clearly demonstrated they don’t care about the future of Michigan’s air, land and Great Lakes,” said Mike Berkowitz, political director at Sierra Club Michigan. See the full news release here.

Tesla wins a round in its court battle for the right to sell cars in Michigan. (August 29)

Legislation passed in 2014 says auto makers can’t have their own company-owned stores selling their new cars. Only franchised dealers can sell new cars in Michigan. Tesla’s business model wants to eliminate the middle man. In its court fight against the law’s constitutionality, Tesla recently won the right to see email correspondence between lobbyists and lawmakers.


News from Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

Sierra Club - Michigan Chapter News Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bruce Brown, Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group,

Sierra Club condemns decision by Entergy to reject Palisades Nuclear Power Plant buyout
Entergy plans to keep failing nuclear power plant open additional four years with no sign seve...
Author: Mike Berkowitz
Posted: 09-29-2017
We are hiring!

Job Title: Political Organizer
Chapter: Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
Location: Sierra Club Michigan Chapter office in Lansing (some flexibility on locat...
Author: Mike Berkowitz
Posted: 09-24-2017
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter 
Announces 2017 Award Winners
Lansing, MI – An East Lansing state official who strengthened and guided Michigan energy policy, the Michigan author of a groundbreaking report examining diversity within the ...
Author: Mike Berkowitz
Posted: 09-20-2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 6, 2017
CONTACT: Mike Berkowitz, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, (248) 345-9808
Sierra Club Michigan highlights benefits of fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for air, land and Great Lakes
EPA urged to maintain current standards ah...
Author: Mike Berkowitz
Posted: 09-06-2017

Sierra ClubNews from National Sierra Club

Press Releases

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Author: presseditor
Posted: September 13, 2017, 1:40 pm
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Author: presseditor
Posted: September 12, 2017, 8:34 pm
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
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Posted: September 12, 2017, 6:27 pm
Monday, September 11, 2017
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Posted: September 12, 2017, 1:09 pm
Monday, September 11, 2017
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Posted: September 11, 2017, 9:03 pm
Friday, September 8, 2017
Author: presseditor
Posted: September 8, 2017, 8:08 pm
Friday, September 8, 2017
Author: presseditor
Posted: September 8, 2017, 6:45 pm
Friday, September 8, 2017
Author: presseditor
Posted: September 8, 2017, 6:43 pm
Friday, September 8, 2017
Author: presseditor
Posted: September 8, 2017, 6:29 pm