My nominations for top Michigan environmental stories for 2007:|
1, Michigan Supreme Court overturns 30 years of law and in the Nestle v. MCWC case guts citizen standing to sue under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act. By 7-2 margin, public supports restoring MEPA in constitution setting the stage for potential constitutional amendment in 2008.
2. Michigan DEQ buries its own consultants' report critical of controversial Kennecott UP nickel mine proposal and then after an internal review goes ahead and approves the mine permit setting the stage for wholesale mining in the UP. The action undermines public confidence in the department at a critical time when DEQ is under assault from Republican budget cutters.
3. Highest dioxin contamination ever recorded is discovered in the Saginaw River On Dec. 7, the Detroit Free Press reported that EPA officials charged in a confidential August internal report that Dow concealed the dangers of dioxin contamination in local waterways and insisted on negotiating cleanup details with Granholm's office instead of the state Department of Environmental Quality's staff.
4. Despite wider recognition of climate change and declining interest nationally in carbon-polluting coal plants, up to seven new dirty coal plants are proposed for Michigan without objection from Michigan's legislature. The new plants, if built, would negate any actions taken by the Legislature and the governor to reduce global warming impacts in Michigan, which is the 10th largest producer of carbon emissions in the nation.
Eartha Melzer wrote: