A visit to a reflecting pond

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– Showcasing the DNR –

A dusky evening sky, silhouettes bare-limbed trees on a ridge as the sun sets over the western U.P.

A visit to a reflecting pond

“Well I was born in a small town, and I can breathe in a small town. Gonna die in this small town and that’s probably where they’ll bury me,” – John Mellencamp

By JOHN PEPIN
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Just inside the Ontonagon County side of the Ontonagon-Houghton county line, situated along Mill Pond Road, is a small dam across Trout Creek — a picturesque place to be.

The scene is pastoral, with small homes scattered sporadically about a lush and green countryside, split by a two-lane state highway.

This area was once home to white oak lumbering. The lumber town hummed during the 1920s, with passenger rail trains stopping along this stretch of the former Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway.

There’s a fish ladder here connecting the stilled waters of the pond pooled behind the dam with the swirling waters racing downstream. The railroad named a station for Trout Creek in the late 1800s, which the community later adopted.

Fish can jump the ascending steps in the ladder, one at a time, climbing to reach the pond; or they can freely move downstream from the impoundment, over each rung in the ladder, to a small plunge pool at the foot of the structure.

This quiet place attracts visitors looking for a place to find a few peaceful moments, casting their thoughts into the placid waters of the reflective pool, and maybe a line or two for trout.

There’s a blue, metal bench here at the top of the dam, perfect for sitting comfortably.

From this seat, you can watch the sun set down below the high-line wire and the trees on the western horizon, where the Duluth South Shore and Atlantic — later to become the Soo Line — used to run.

Waters on the pond are rippled tonight by a lone Canada goose, slowly gliding around like a tall sailing ship guarding the entrance to a harbor.

Dark, bent and blurred shadows of the trees, the utility poles along the highway and a few signs in the distance also appear in reflection on the water.

As the sky darkens, infrequent headlights on the highway approach, heading east, the sound of wheels on the blacktop can be heard rumbling from a good distance away.

Meanwhile, the colors in the sky — orange, yellow, pink, blue, purple and red — slowly blend and burn down into the embers and ashes of another day.

A long time ago, the railroad station picked up and dropped off passengers four times each day. Today, the passenger trains have disappeared. Less than 400 people live in this township now, much of which is located within the Ottawa National Forest.

A kid named Richard Henry Pole was born here, a right-hander who went on to pitch in Major League Baseball — talk about a small-town boy’s dream come true! Not just the majors, but the 1975 World Series, no less.

Earlier that year, Pole caught a line drive in the face that shattered his jaw and damaged his retina, but he still pitched for the Red Sox in the series.

In this remote lumbering community, that’s a tale as big as Paul Bunyan or Babe the Blue Ox. Nearly half a century later, it’s still remembered.

But there are other heroes who came from this small unincorporated community too.

These heroes got to pitch in bigger battles — World War II, Korea and Vietnam and the like. Towns little and big, scattered across the vastness of America, are home to war heroes like these.

Some still live in this town, others are buried here. Still others remain missing or lie under the earth in foreign lands — they died there, never making it back home.

After the close of the Civil War, Decoration Day was created. Graves were decorated with flowers, honoring the dead from the country’s horrific war that claimed more than 600,000 lives.

The first commemoration was held in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia with 20,000 graves decorated.

The Civil War’s northern states had all recognized the observance by 1890, but some southern states refused to participate, instead preferring a separate date to honor Confederate war dead.

After World War I, the focus of Decoration Day was changed to honor the dead from all wars. Some states still observe a Confederate Memorial Day in April. It’s called “State Holiday” in Georgia.

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been a federal holiday — celebrated on the last Monday of May — marked by solemn ceremonies at cemeteries, the continued decoration of graves and the sale of poppies to wear as additional acknowledgement of the sacrifices made by those who wore a military uniform and paid for America’s freedom with their lives.

At the pond on Trout Creek, the blue metal bench has a plaque attached honoring some of these local war heroes, men who at one point had no doubt watched the magnificent sunsets here, cast their thoughts into the reflective pool and watched the cars pass by on the two-lane blacktop.

The plaque reads: “In memory of these men killed in action while serving our country in WWII, Korea, Vietnam: Joe Cameron, Jerry Garrick, Tom Heikkala, Marvin Helsius, Jack Porter, Walt Pulkas, Ed Trombley; each loved to fish here.”

On another day, a sunny day, two young boys get off their bikes at the dam and take a seat on the bench. While they work wriggling worms onto their fishhooks, a swallow glides and bends over the waters of the pond, twisting like a fighter jet, higher into the clear blue skies.

Indeed, the little pond at the dam over Trout Creek is one place of thousands sprinkled like seeds across our nation. A place for reflection, a place for remembering.

Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at Michigan.gov/DNRStories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at Michigan.gov/DNR.


/Note to editors: Contact: John Pepin, Showcasing the DNR series editor, 906-226-1352. An accompanying photo and a text-only version of this story are available below for download. Caption information follows. Credit Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless otherwise noted.

Text-only Showcasing Column

Sunset: A beautiful sunset over the western Upper Peninsula is shown./

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
Whitmer announces school funding priorities

Whitmer announces school funding priorities

Header 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 27, 2021
Contact: Press@Michigan.gov

Kurt Weiss, Weissk1@michigan.gov

 

Gov. Whitmer announces school funding priorities to transform K-12 education 

Plan eliminates funding gap between schools

 

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today her funding priorities for K-12 education as the state readies for major investments in our schools and teachers. Due to the American Rescue Plan and the recently announced state revenue increases, a surplus in funding now exists to make unprecedented investments in our schools, with enough funding to eliminate the funding gap that has existed between schools for many years.

 

“Right now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to help each and every student recover academically, mentally, and physically,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As we emerge from the pandemic and begin our economic recovery, we must work together to provide equitable school funding, attract and retain top talent, facilitate post-secondary transitions, and build stronger, safer schools. With the resources we have available to us thanks to federal aid and a state surplus, we can making lasting, transformative investments in our kids and schools that will have positive impacts for generations.”

 

In just a year, Michigan has gone from a nearly $3 billion deficit to a $3.5 billion surplus, with a state budget that is primed for investment.

 

“There isn’t a governor in the country who could have predicted the challenges that lay ahead just over a year ago, but Governor Whitmer has helped lead Michigan through a difficult time and we are now emerging from the public health crisis in a very strong financial position,” said State Budget Director David Massaron. “We have a unique opportunity to make investments in education that are lasting and that can better support our teachers and improve outcomes for our students.”

 

“A once in a century pandemic calls for an unprecedented response,” said Student Recovery Advisory Council Chair Kevin Polston. “This historic investment into our education system will support a brighter future for Michigan’s children. The Student Recovery Advisory Council Blueprint for a Comprehensive Recovery lays out evidence-based plans for school leaders and policymakers to make the best use of funds.”

 

The framework announced today by Gov. Whitmer puts hundreds of millions of dollars toward student academic recovery and mental health, with funding to attract and retain talented teachers, school psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses. It also delivers on a decades-old goal of equitable funding so that every district receives the same per-pupil amount to ensure equality regardless of what school a student happens to attend.

 

“Governor Whitmer has had the backs of educators throughout the pandemic and now is the time for educators to have the Governor’s back with her efforts to release the necessary funding to help teachers educate our students next school year,” said Rick Meeth, president of the Bay City Education Association.

 

Major highlights of the framework include:

  • Closing the funding gap between schools in lower and higher-income communities with a $262 million investment. This goal was put forward as part of Proposal A in 1994.
  • Investing funds in students who need them the most through a weighted funding formula which distributes education dollars more equitably.
    • This model supports at-risk students ($20.4m), special education ($60m), and English language learners ($12.2m).
    • For special education specifically, we are allocating $6 million for pre-employment training, expanding a remote learning library, and hiring more qualified personnel for children with disabilities.
  • A combined $500 million for districts to hire and retain more educators, psychologists, social workers, counselors and nurses, and provide student loan debt relief for mental and physical health professionals who work in high-need districts.
  • Substantial investments to help students plan for life after high school by facilitating post-secondary transitions:
    • $50 million to double funding for CTE, vocational, and skilled trades programs.
    • $55 million to expand dual enrollment and early middle college programs.
    • And $100 million to hire more guidance and career counselors.
  • $500 million for school infrastructure.

 

Other notable pieces include:

  • $402 million to increase the foundation allowance by 4% ($163/$326 per pupil)
  • $350 million to stabilize enrollment over 2 years for districts after COVID related unpredictability and pupil losses.
  • $41.5 million for literacy coaches, an increase of $10 million from current law.
  • $50 million for ongoing student mental health programs.
  • A 2% operational funding increase for community colleges.

 

The plan utilizes the surplus to propose over $1.7 billion in one-time funding and allocates over $900 million for ongoing investments, representing Michigan’s most significant investment in public education to date.

 

“As a dad with young kids, I know how stretched thin working parents are especially as COVID has brought to light so many underlying economic, health, and social issues in Michigan,” added Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist. “And as I think about my own children’s future, I want them to have the best possible education with all of the resources and support they need. With the billions we have available to us we can make that goal—one shared by every parent—a reality here in Michigan. We can make the necessary investments in our kids and future generations.”

 

Michiganders should avoid foam on lakes and rivers

Michiganders should avoid foam on lakes and rivers

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2021

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112, SutfinL1@michigan.gov

MDHHS recommends Michiganders avoid foam on lakes and rivers

LANSING, Mich. – As the summer months approach, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is issuing its annual recommendation that Michiganders should avoid contact with foam they may see on Michigan waterbodies such as lakes, rivers and streams.

The foam may have unknown chemicals or bacteria in them, so it is recommended to avoid contact. Foam can form on any waterbody, but foam on some waterbodies may have high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS-containing foam tends to be bright white in color, is often lightweight and may pile up like shaving cream on shorelines or blow onto beaches.

Naturally occurring foam without PFAS tends to pile up in bays, eddies or at river barriers such as dams. Naturally occurring foam is typically off-white and/or brown in color and often has an earthy or fishy scent.

If contact with foam is made, care should be taken to rinse or wash it off as soon as possible, particularly if PFAS contamination is suspected in the waterbody. The longer that foam remains on the skin, the greater the chance of accidentally swallowing the foam or the foam residue left behind.

“Although current science shows that the risk of PFAS getting into your system from contact with skin is low, you can minimize exposure to PFAS by rinsing or showering after you are done with your recreational activities,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “In general, washing hands and rinsing off after recreating will help to protect people from chemicals and bacteria that may be in waterbodies.”

PFAS are emerging contaminants, and the state is working to identify all waterbodies that have been affected. Health advisories have been issued for specific waterbodies where PFAS-containing foam has been found in the past. These specific advisories can be found in the “PFAS Foam on Lakes and Streams” section of Michigan.gov/PFASResponse, under “Testing.” MDHHS continues to evaluate surface water and foam data as it is available and will issue future advisories as needed.

MDHHS’ recommendation to avoid foam on waterbodies is for people of all ages, including young children. An MDHHS evaluation suggests young children could have PFAS exposure that may increase their risk of negative health effects if they have repeated contact with foam containing high amounts of PFAS for a few hours a day throughout the recreational season. Contact with surface water, including swimming or other recreational activities in waterbodies containing PFAS is not a health concern. PFAS-containing foams typically have a much greater concentration of chemicals than what is found in the water itself.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also recommends that people do not allow their animals – especially dogs – to come into contact with or swallow the foam. Dogs and other animals are at risk of swallowing foam that has accumulated in their fur when grooming themselves. All animals should be thoroughly rinsed off and bathed with fresh water after coming into contact with PFAS-containing foam. Pet owners with questions related to their animals and foam ingestion should contact their veterinarian.

More information on PFAS-containing foam can be found under the “PFAS Foam” section at Michigan.gov/PFASResponse. If you have questions about exposures to PFAS and/or foam, call the MDHHS Environmental Health hotline at 800-648-6942.

DNR News Digest – Week of May 24, 2021

DNR News Digest – Week of May 24, 2021

 

Centennial banner

News Digest – Week of May 24, 2021

memorial day header

Memorial Day is this weekend! Enjoy the holiday safely with these tips.

Some of this week’s stories may reflect the impact of COVID-19 and how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customers’ needs and protect public health and safety. We will continue to share news and information about the best ways to enjoy our state’s natural and cultural resources.

Follow our COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on access to facilities and programs. For public health guidelines and news, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Here’s a look at some of this week’s stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and additional ones, are available in this folder.


Photo ambassador snapshot: A day at Duck Lake

duck lake state parkWant to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Karen Farrell at Duck Lake State Park in Muskegon County? Visit Instagram.com/MiStateParks to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.


Remember these ‘safety smarts’ for a great holiday weekend

skewer

Stop fires before they start

Grilling, campfires and outdoor fun? Yes, please! But before hitting state forest roads on your ORV, lighting a cozy campfire or using power equipment, do a quick safety check.

“About 12% of fires DNR firefighters responded to over the last 10 years were started by equipment,” said Paul Rogers, DNR fire prevention specialist. “Don’t let chains scrape on pavement where they can cause sparks and avoid driving or parking hot equipment over dry grasses.”

Keep these safety tips in mind while grilling:

  • Keep your grill on a hard, level surface so spills and sparks don’t stray.
  • On gas grills, check for leaks by brushing a little soapy water on connection points and watching for telltale bubbles.
  • For charcoal grills, start charcoal with tinder in a chimney or with just a bit of lighter fluid – never volatile fuels like gasoline or kerosene.
  • Spent coals should be emptied into a metal bucket or other non-flammable container; it’s best to wait until they’re cold.
  • Prevent a nasty grease fire with both types of grills by making sure the tray is clean before you start.

With any fire, keep a water source and a shovel nearby in case of emergency. Never leave a fire unattended, even for a moment. Before lighting yard waste, visit Michigan.gov/BurnPermit to see if open burning is permitted when and where you want to burn.

Get fire safety tips at Michigan.gov/PreventWildfires or contact Paul Rogers at 616-260-8406.

paddling

Respect the water

Swimming, paddling and boating Michigan waters are big summer pastimes, but too often end in preventable tragedy. Of the 181 boating accidents reported to the DNR in 2020, there were 33 fatalities. Of those, only seven people were wearing life jackets.

“Even experienced boaters and swimmers can run into trouble,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, DNR state boating law administrator and recreational safety, education and enforcement supervisor. “Having the proper equipment can make a huge difference on the water. High waters can create additional safety concerns. Always make sure you’re prepared.”

Before you leave shore or enter the water:

  • Complete a boater safety education course.
  • Check that your vessel is operating properly and equipped with emergency essentials including life jackets, a fire extinguisher, two-way communication device, tow lines and a first-aid kit.
  • Keep an eye out for high water, which can cause wakes that overflow onto land or docks, easily knocking someone over.
  • Take extra caution when swimming, boating or fishing. High water levels can cause stronger, faster currents (especially around river outlets and piers), deeper and colder water, unpredictable conditions and more debris floating under the water’s surface.
  • Pay attention to the beach flag warning system at state park swim areas and frequently check for updated warnings; conditions can quickly change. Red flags indicate the water is unsafe and no one should enter the water.

Read more about boating safety tips at Michigan.gov/Boating. For more tips on staying safe on the beach, visit Michigan.gov/BeachSafety.

Questions? Contact Katie Gervasi at GervasiK@Michigan.gov.

orv

“Ride Right” on off-road vehicles

Keeping off-road vehicles on designated trails and routes is important throughout the entire season. Going off designated trails can cause irreparable damage to these areas.

No matter where you are:

  • Always ride on the right side of the trail.
  • Have your ORV safety certificate, license and trail permit.
  • Wear proper safety gear.
  • Don’t ride under the influence or at excessive speeds, and don’t let minors operate an ORV unsupervised.

Learn more about the most frequent ORV violations conservation officers encounter, plus how to avoid them.

For more information on maps, safety and how to “Ride Right,” visit Michigan.gov/ORVInfo.

Questions? Contact the DNR Recreational Safety, Education and Enforcement Team.

trail sign

Treat the trails right

Enjoying the trails on foot or bike? Remember that using muddy trails can cause erosion and safety issues.

Avoid using trails that are muddy so you don’t leave uneven footprints or tire tracks.

If you must traverse a muddy trail, go right through the center of the trail, rather than the sides, to avoid unintentionally widening the trail.

Check out trail etiquette for hiking, ORV and more. Help keep the trails safe for everyone.

Questions? Contact Dakota Hewlett at 517-331-0280.


Plan a birding trip to Michigan’s GEMS

GEMSSpringtime in northern Michigan is bursting with colorful flora and fauna. To spot the vibrant plumage of an American redstart, golden-winged warbler or indigo bunting, plan a trip to one of Michigan’s 19 Grouse Enhanced Management Sites!

GEMS are areas of public land that are managed for wildlife habitat and recreation. While these areas are primarily used for upland game bird hunting in the fall, they provide excellent birding and wildlife viewing locations in the spring and summer. Equipped with accessible walking trails, parking lots and site maps, GEMS can be navigated by explorers of all types.

Spend a day exploring or plan a multiday road trip and book a campsite along your travel route. Visit the GEMS information kiosk and snap a picture of the map before your hike. Read about the versatile ways habitat is managed at the site and the wildlife species that thrive there. Once you’ve packed your binoculars, water and sunblock, you’re ready to go.

To prepare for your trip, visit Michigan.gov/Birding to refresh your bird identification skills, learn about respectful birding habits and see other nearby birding locations.

There are thousands of acres of GEMS waiting to be explored. Find locations and site descriptions at Michigan.gov/GEMS.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.


Go cicada hunting for Brood X!

brood x cicadaLooking for something a little different? If you want to spend time outdoors but aren’t sure about fighting the “Up North” traffic, consider heading the other direction in search of a once-in-a-generation spectacle from Mother Nature instead!

The warmer nights are enticing a group of 17-year cicadas – named Brood X – to come out of the ground and look for a mate. Some of these mysterious insects already have emerged in the Ann Arbor area (the state’s expected epicenter), and numbers statewide likely will peak around mid-June.

Cicadas are not dangerous, but they are big and loud. Go to our wildlife viewing: cicadas page for more information on where to find them and how you can play an important role in cicada science.


THINGS TO DO

The warmer weather is here! Start planning your fishing trip on the Great Lakes. Not sure where to go? Check out our roadmaps to fishing the Great Lakes.

BUY & APPLY

Whether it’s paddling, hiking or mountain biking, now is a great time to visit state parks. Your Recreation Passport gives you access to your new favorite memory.

GET INVOLVED

If you’re looking for a way to get outdoors and do some good, check out the volunteer stewardship calendar. You can help improve habitat, reduce invasive species and give back.


DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

MPSC’s Summer Energy Appraisal

MPSC’s Summer Energy Appraisal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  May 26, 2021

Media Contact: Matt Helms 517-284-8300
Customer Assistance: 800-292-9555

Michigan.gov/MPSC
Twitter

As restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are eased and economic activity rebounds, Michiganders can expect higher gas prices in summer 2021 than they were a year ago, but overall projections on energy supply and demand remain uncertain as the state continues to adjust to the impacts of the pandemic.

Higher expected gasoline prices are one of the key findings of the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Michigan Energy Appraisal Summer Outlook 2021, an annual report that in more normal times provides a short-term view of the MPSC Energy Security Section’s expectations for energy supply and demand. COVID-19 and its deep impact on lives and the economy has upended such projections, owing to lagging data and uncertainties about COVID’s future impacts on energy use and consumption patterns.

Here’s a look at the report’s main conclusions across energy sectors for summer 2021.

ELECTRICITY

  • COVID-19 led to a 5% reduction in electricity sales in 2020 compared to 2019, led by the industrial sector’s 16% decline, while residential electricity use increased 6.6% to 35.7 billion kilowatt hours, owing to Michigan residents working from home. Current weather projections call for a summer 2021 that’s 8% warmer than average, which could increase electricity use.
  • The summer 2021 projected peak electrical demand plus planning reserve margin requirements are expected to be 21,459 megawatts (MW) - down slightly from 21,945 in 2020. Electric demand for Consumers Energy peaked at 7,675 MW and for DTE Energy at 10,337 on July 9.
  • Generation capacity required to serve Michigan’s Lower Peninsula decreased by 178.1 MW in 2021-2022, while generation capacity requirements for the Upper Peninsula and eastern Wisconsin rose by 358.1 MW.

NATURAL GAS

  • Residential natural gas demand declined in 2020 by 6% because of COVID-19’s impact, and when annual consumption data for the industrial and commercial sectors are released by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), significant declines in industrial sector natural gas use are also expected owing to the pandemic’s slowing of economic activity.
  • The average monthly residential summer bill for Michigan’s four largest gas utilities – DTE Gas, SEMCO Energy, Consumers Energy, and Michigan Gas Utilities – is projected to be about $36.79 for the April-October 2021 period.
  • A residential customer’s annual gas bill from April 2021 to March 2022 is forecasted to be $824, about $63 higher than the previous year.

PETROLEUM

  • U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.3 million barrels per day in 2020 and is expected to decrease to 11.04 million for 2021 and rise to 11.86 million barrels per day in 2022.
  • Based on EIA protections, Michigan crude oil producers might expect to receive $50 a barrel for sweet blends and $45 a barrel for sour blends in 2021, which could encourage exploration and development of additional wells after a year of depressed prices in 2020.

GASOLINE

  • Demand for gasoline in 2020 was 3.9 billion gallons, a decline of 15.2% from 2019, and the second consecutive annual decline, largely attributed to COVID’s impact on state economic activity. With pandemic restrictions easing, demand is expected to rebound in 2021, although the extent of the rebound will depend on factors including future infection rates and consumer comfort with travel.
  • Owing to both the glut of motor gasoline in the early days of the pandemic and the impact of February 2021’s extreme cold weather on refinery output, national gasoline inventories were near the bottom of the five-year range for this time of year, at 234 million barrels as of May 14, 2021, about 21.5 million barrels lower than the previous year. Midwest inventories were at 45.6 million barrels, 9.2 million barrels fewer than in 2020.
  • As of May 19, a gallon of regular gas was $2.94, up from $1.85 a year ago, according to AAA Michigan. The EIA projects Midwest regular-grade gasoline prices will average $2.71 per gallon during this year’s April-September driving season, up from $1.92 per gallon in 2020.

DISTILLATE FUELS

  • Total distillate demand, primarily diesel fuel, declined only slightly, to 1.17 billion gallons in 2020 from 1.19 billion in 2019.
  • Midwest distillate stocks were at 26.7 million barrels as of May 14, 2021, lower than in 2020. U.S. distillate inventories were near the middle of the five-year range at 132 million barrels, down from 159 million barrels a year ago.
  • On-highway diesel prices as of mid-May 2021 were at $3.15 per gallon, up 70 cents per gallon from a year ago.

This year’s report also highlights two key issues that will continue to receive attention from the MPSC:

  • Enbridge Energy’s application for authority to replace and relocate the segment of the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac into a tunnel beneath the lakebed remains an active case before the Commission (Case No. U-20763). Significant developments in the case include the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Jan. 29, 2021, approval of Enbridge’s application for certain permits required to build the utility tunnel under the Straits. On April 21, 2021, the MPSC rejected intervenors’ arguments that the Commission must examine whether there is a public need for the 641 miles of Line 5 not at issue in Enbridge’s application, while also agreeing that the replacement pipe segment review must include an examination of the allegations of greenhouse gas pollution under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act.
  • While Michigan’s gasoline supplies were not interrupted, a ransomware cyberattack in early May 2021 on the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and heating oil, impacted supplies along the Gulf Coast through the East Coast. Michigan primarily relies on refined petroleum products from Marathon’s Detroit Refinery and refineries in the Chicago and Toledo. MPSC Staff closely monitored the situation and included in the report highlights of the MPSC’s work to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of energy products to consumers.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.Michigan.gov/MPSC, sign up for its monthly newsletter or other listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter or LinkedIn.