EGLE offers scrap tire cleanup

EGLE offers scrap tire cleanup

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 22, 2021
Kirstin Clemens, EGLE scrap tire coordinator, ClemensK@Michigan.gov, 517-614-7431
Jill A. Greenberg, EGLE spokesperson, GreenbergJ@Michigan.gov, 517-897-4965

EGLE offers scrap tire cleanup, market development grants for 2021 

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has announced availability of grants that promote and support the cleanup and reuse of scrap tires in Michigan. Grants also are accessible through EGLE for the development of markets that reuse scrap tires in Michigan.

Scrap tires pose a fire risk and a human health risk as mosquito breeding grounds. Through grants, scrap tires can be processed and used in paving products for roads, manufactured products and energy production.

The Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant is available for property owners to clean up old or abandoned scrap tire piles. EGLE will give priority to collection sites where tires were accumulated prior to Jan. 1, 1991, as well as collection sites that pose an imminent threat to public health, safety, welfare or the environment. Local units of government and non-profit organizations are also eligible for funding for cleanup days and roadside cleanup grants.

Scrap Tire Market Development Grants are available to fund up to 50 percent of total eligible costs for projects that demonstrate new or increased uses of scrap tires in manufactured products or paving projects. EGLE will prioritize proposals based on the amount of scrap tire material being used in developing the project or product, demonstration of a new use of scrap tire material and demonstration of a viable market for a proposed product.

To receive an application package for a grant, visit the Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant website or the Scrap Tire Market Development Grant website, and select the appropriate link or contact us at EGLE-ScrapTire@Michigan.gov.

EGLE will accept Cleanup and Market Development Grant Applications with all supporting documentation received on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Friday, April 2, 2021.

Climate justice leaders to guide MI Healthy Climate Plan

Climate justice leaders to guide MI Healthy Climate Plan

 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 1, 2021
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135
Brandy Brown, Climate and Energy Advisor, BrownB3@Michigan.gov, 517-284-6710

Climate justice leaders will develop equity-based framework to guide MI Healthy Climate Plan

A panel of climate and environmental justice experts was named today to develop a justice and equity-based framework for the development and implementation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, which calls for a transition to a carbon-neutral Michigan by 2050 that includes communities disproportionately affected by climate change.

The five-member Climate Justice Brain Trust will help guide the Office of Climate and Energy’s work in identifying barriers that impede environmental justice communities from realizing the benefits of the energy sector’s transition to cleaner energy sources. It will provide guidance on appropriate climate adaptation, mitigation and clean energy investments from a climate justice perspective.

“The impacts of climate change are being felt all across Michigan and we need to be aggressive in planning for a future that will look a lot different than today,” said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, which includes the Office of Climate and Energy. “That’s why the work of the Climate Justice Brain Trust is so important. By developing guidance that centers on equity, the Brain Trust will help incorporate all Michiganders, including communities in transition, in the path forward.”

The volunteer members of the panel are:

  • Theresa Landrum of Detroit is a community activist with the 48217 Community Monitoring Group.
  • Bryan Lewis of Detroit is the executive director of EcoWorks.
  • Justin Onwenu of Detroit is the health communities and environmental justice organizer at the Sierra Club.
  • John Petosky of Northport is an associate attorney at Environmental Law & Policy Center and a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
  • Tony Reames of Farmington Hills is an assistant professor of Environmental Justice at the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan.

“The concepts of equity and justice are critical to how we as a state move forward to address climate change,” said Regina Strong, the state’s Environmental Justice Public Advocate. “By setting a framework for what an equitable carbon neutral future should look like in Michigan, the experts on the Brain Trust ensure a diversity of voices and experiences as we develop the MI Healthy Climate Plan.”

The Climate Justice Brain Trust will identify:

  • Challenges, barriers and needs of climate justice communities.
  • Vision and guidance to achieve an equitable and just carbon-neutral Michigan.
  • Key policy areas to address climate justice issues.

“We look forward to incorporating the expertise of the Climate Justice Brain Trust into the MI Healthy Climate Plan to ensure that climate solutions are equitable for all Michiganders,” said Dr. Brandy Brown, Climate and Energy Advisor.

The Climate Justice Brain Trust and the Office of Climate and Energy will work jointly with the Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate to identify ways to integrate environmental justice efforts into ongoing climate work.

The Climate Justice Brain Trust will serve as an advisory resource on issues of climate justice for the members of the Michigan Council on Climate Solutions. The Council will advise EGLE in identifying and recommending opportunities for the development and effective implementation of emissions-reduction strategies as part of the MI Healthy Climate Plan.

Climate justice leaders to guide MI Healthy Climate Plan

EGLE approves permits for proposed Mackinac Straits tunnel

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 29, 2021
EGLE Media Office, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov, 517-284-9278

EGLE approves permits for proposed Mackinac Straits tunnel

Tunnel plans meet regulatory, statutory requirements; review affirms DNR conclusion that existing pipeline poses unacceptable risk to Great Lakes

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced today that it has approved Enbridge Energy’s application for certain permits required to build a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac.

If constructed, the tunnel would house a proposed replacement for the 68-year-old Line 5 dual petroleum products pipelines currently lying on lakebed. EGLE’s review of the permit applications concluded that the proposed construction of a tunnel beneath the lakebed can be done in compliance with the state environmental laws that EGLE administers.

EGLE acknowledged public concerns about the existing oil pipeline and affirmed the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ conclusion that the current pipeline violates the Public Trust Doctrine and poses an unacceptable risk to the Great Lakes.

The permit approvals follow a nine-month review period and cover Enbridge’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Wastewater Permit (NPDES), bottomlands, and wetlands permit applications. EGLE’s permit review confirmed that the proposed tunneling project would have minimal impact on water quality in the Great Lakes and would not affect protected public uses of Michigan’s water resources.

“EGLE is obligated to review permit applications with the goal of protecting the environment and public health, but within the confines of Michigan law,” said Teresa Seidel, director of EGLE’s Water Resources Division. “During our review of this proposed project, our top priority has been protecting the Straits of Mackinac and the surrounding wetlands, aquatic life, and other natural and cultural resources from adverse environmental impacts.”

EGLE’s review determined that the proposed project would result in minimal impact to wetlands, estimating wetlands affected to be 0.13 acres – an area roughly one-tenth the size of a football field. Enbridge will be required to protect 1.3 acres of existing Great Lakes coastal wetlands and purchase wetlands credits from a state wetlands mitigation bank to address this impact.

Prior to making its permitting decision, EGLE held four public information sessions, four public hearings and four tribal consultations. EGLE’s decision making also included input from the State Historic Preservation Office and a report from an independent civil engineering firm specializing in complex tunneling projects. EGLE also reviewed more than 2,600 comments from the public on the permit applications and devoted more than 2,000 staff-hours to its consideration.

“Although this proposed tunnel project has illuminated numerous related policy issues, the basis for our decision is required to be limited to compliance with the relevant environmental statutes created by our legislature,” said EGLE director Liesl Clark. “Our review showed construction of the proposed tunnel could comply with state environmental laws. We have issued permits designed to ensure that if a tunnel is constructed, it will be in strict compliance with relevant statutes and adhere to stringent protections against impacts to the Great Lakes.”

To keep the public informed, EGLE has partnered with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority on the state’s Line 5 in Michigan website. Information on this project, permit documents and other supporting materials are available there.

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