Monday, June 27, 2016

Email shows top doc got early warning on Legionnaires'

, Detroit News Lansing Bureau 9:12 a.m. EDT June 27, 2016


(Photo: fordschool.umich.edu)

Lansing — The state’s top doctor was among high-level Michigan health officials briefed about a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Genesee County nearly one year before it was publicly disclosed, state records show.
Dr. Matthew Davis, who served on Gov. Rick Snyder’s Flint water task force, has previously denied having any knowledge of the Legionnaires’ outbreak prior to his April 2015 departure from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as the state’s chief medical executive.
But Davis was a recipient of a Jan. 28, 2015, email sent to top DHHS officials sounding alarms about the respiratory disease infection outbreak in the Flint area — an outbreak that ended up killing 12 people in a span of 18 months in 2014 and 2015. The email was part of more than 303,000 pages of records about Flint’s water crisis the Snyder administration released publicly last week.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Nestlé Pumps Millions of Gallons for Free While Flint Pays for Poisoned Water



As Flint residents are forced to drink, cook with and even bathe in bottled water, while still paying some of the highest water bills in the country for their poisoned water, we turn to a little-known story about the bottled water industry in Michigan. 

In 2001 and 2002, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued permits to Nestlé, the largest water bottling company in the world, to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from aquifers that feed Lake Michigan. This sparked a decade-long legal battle between Nestlé and the residents of Mecosta County, Michigan, where Nestlé’s wells are located. One of the most surprising things about this story is that, in Mecosta County, Nestlé is not required to pay anything to extract the water, besides a small permitting fee to the state and the cost of leases to a private landowner. In fact, the company received $13 million in tax breaks from the state to locate the plant in Michigan. 

The spokesperson for Nestlé in Michigan is Deborah Muchmore. She’s the wife of Dennis Muchmore—Governor Rick Snyder’s chief of staff, who just retired and registered to be a lobbyist.  More ...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

BWL’s View of Lansing’s Energy Future Is Not Very Bright

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2016

Media Contacts:

BWL’s View of Lansing’s Energy Future Is Not Very Bright
“Could cost customers millions of dollars, while over committing the BWL to fossil fuels.”

Lansing, MI -- Tonight, the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) held its Committee of the Whole meeting. There are several serious problems with the BWL’s IRP analysis presented to the Board tonight by the Citizens Advisory Committee. If approved by the BWL Board of Commissioners, the recommended plan would put BWL ratepayers on the path to incurring millions of dollars of unneeded capital investment, and would burden BWL customers with paying unnecessarily high utility bills.
In response Brad van Guilder, Organizing Representative of the Michigan Beyond Coal Campaign for the Sierra Club, released the following statement:

“Our experts have identified several serious problems with the BWL’s IRP analysis. These flaws lead to misleading results. If approved by the BWL Board of Commissioners, the recommended plan would put BWL ratepayers on the path of incurring many millions of dollars of unneeded capital investment, and would burden BWL customers with paying unnecessarily high utility bills.

“It is imperative that the Board instruct BWL staff to fix these problems in their planning process before approving any plan so it can avoid going down a path that could be wasteful, expensive, and unnecessarily risky. I would suggest the board look to complete a third party review of any plan before implementation.

“While the IRP does rightly include commitments to invest in clean wind and solar energy, it neglects to set a retirement plan for the Erickson coal plant, and may create more than $100 million in debt for the City of Lansing as early as 2020 in unnecessary new natural gas plants. It also misses the opportunity to include more of the cleanest and cheapest resource: energy efficiency. We could be a community on the cutting edge of renewable energy production, growing clean energy jobs right here in Lansing, but right now look more like a community continuing to depend on fossil fuels for our future. That future does not look bright to me.”
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About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.