Monday, January 29, 2007

Who's got Green Power, And Which Companies Should You Support?

For the first time, a corporation leads EPA's national Top 25 list of green power purchasers. Wells Fargo & Company claimed the top spot, purchasing 550 million kilowatt hours annually. Organizations that purchase electricity generated from clean, renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro make up the quarterly list.

After Wells Fargo & Company, Whole Foods Market ranks second and the U.S. Air Force ranks third. The U.S. EPA ranks fourth, with Johnson & Johnson rounding out the top five. Newcomers to the list include Cisco Systems Inc., New York University,, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Kohl's Department Stores.

EPA's Top 25 green power purchasers are buying more than 4 billion kilowatt-hours of green power on an annual basis. This is equivalent to the energy needed to power more than 350,000 average American homes each year.

The EPA Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the use of electricity from fossil fuels and to diversify America's fuel supply. The partnership is comprised of a diverse set of organizations including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses, government institutions as well as colleges and universities.

EPA's Top 25 Green Power Partners is as follows, listed in order of purchase size:

1. Wells Fargo & Company
2. Whole Foods Market
3. U.S. Air Force
4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
5. Johnson & Johnson
6. Starbucks
7. DuPont Company
8. U.S. Department of Energy
9. Vail Resorts Inc.
10. HSBC North America
11. Cisco Systems Inc.
12. Staples
13. New York University
14. The World Bank Group
15. University of Pennsylvania
16. IBM Corporation
18. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
19. NatureWorks LLC
20. Sprint Nextel
21. Safeway Inc.
22. Pennsylvania State University
23. Kohl's Department Stores
24. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
25. The Tower Companies

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Don't Strip ESA Protections From Wolves in WY and ID

We must maintain strong federal protections for wolves in Idaho and Wyoming. Sign the Petition Now!

Like many wildlife supporters, I want to see a future where Western wolves can be removed from the list of endangered species. However, removing federal protections for wolves is extremely premature. Neither Idaho nor Wyoming's state wolf management plans have adequately addressed the issues that once brought these animals to the brink of extinction.

Wyoming's proposed plan exposes wolves to unregulated killing outside National Park and wilderness area boundaries. Such policies nearly led to the extinction of wolves in the last century, and a return to "shoot-on-sight" policies throughout much of the state would jeopardize continued wolf recovery in Wyoming and the rest of the Northern Rockies.

Idaho's management plan is also troubling. That state's "management" plan would allow the killing of as many as 54 of the state's 65 packs. The plan lacks solid conservation objectives, focusing on controlling wolves at minimal levels and jeopardizing the strong recovery wolves have made under federal protection.

Wolves play a crucial role in maintaining balanced ecosystems, helping to ensure that increasing elk and other game populations do not overwhelm available habitat in Wyoming.

Wolves also play an increasingly important role in the region's economy. According to a recent study, the roughly 151,000 people who visit Yellowstone National Park each year to see wolves bring in $35 million to Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. And nearly four percent of Yellowstone National Park's 2.8 million annual visitors say they would not have visited the nation's oldest national park if wolves weren't there.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Granholm Administration Mines the Upper Pennisula

Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s environmental regulators brushed aside glaring shortcomings in a Kennecott Minerals Co. plan to drill in an Upper Peninsula sulfide rock formation when they gave preliminary approval to the plan today. The nickel mine, which would generate hundreds of thousands of tons of acid-leaching waste rock from underneath the Yellow Dog Plains near Marquette, would be the only mine of its type in Michigan. Several other potential U.P mine sites are pending, as companies wait to see how stringently state officials apply environmental safeguards to Kennecott.

“This sets the bar for what may well be a rush to extract minerals from across the Upper Peninsula, so it’s not just another permit application,” said Andy Buchsbaum of the National Wildlife Federation. “We’re appalled that Governor Granholm’s people appear – at least preliminarily – unwilling to set that bar at a level which protects water resources and the tourism-related jobs in the U.P.”

Read the rest of this story: Michigan Environmental Council

Michigan Signs Onto Midwest Greenhouse Gas Registry

The state of Michigan has signed a Resolution in Support of a Voluntary Midwest Greenhouse Gas Registry, joining seven other Midwest states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The states have been working with the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium, LADCO, to develop a framework for a voluntary Midwest registry of greenhouse gas emissions.

The registry will provide the mechanism for greenhouse gas-emitting companies to track their emissions and reductions and will provide a validated list of greenhouse gas emission reduction credits available for possible trading. This program will give participating companies the ability to register reductions now should the federal government require emission reductions in the future. The registry will work in conjunction with registries already in place from the Northeast to California to become a multi-state registry involving more than 30 states.

All of the funding for the development of the registry framework has come from private foundation monies, and efforts for the registry were initiated by LADCO after receiving a grant from the Joyce Foundation in August 2005, at the request of Michigan and Wisconsin. An additional grant from the Energy Foundation was awarded to LADCO for further development of the registry.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Midwestern National Wildlife Refuges Lose Funding

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making drastic reductions and redeployments of staff in the National Wildlife Refuge System throughout the Midwest region. Reductions in services will be felt in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri. The consequence of these reductions will be the elimination of environmental education programs for school children, endangered species recovery programs, reduced habitat management and law enforcement. These cuts come on the heels of a crippling budget backlog of over $2.5 billion.

FWS released its "Midwest Region Workforce Management Plan" to cope with what it calls a "nationwide budget decline in the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the ever rising cost to conduct business." Instead of allowing budget-forced attrition of staff and resources to occur haphazardly across the region, FWS has proposed a management restructuring so that appropriate resources can be targeted to the highest priority needs.

Wildlife refuges provide unique educational opportunities for tens of thousands of school children annually, many of whom will now be turned away. These refuges provide some of the last vestiges of open space for people to enjoy, whether for birding, photography, hunting, fishing or just taking a peaceful walk in nature. It's a tragedy to see them being abandoned.

The Midwest region is home to 54 national wildlife refuges, 12 wetland management districts and more than one million acres of public land and water. According to FWS officials, refuges in each of the eight states will lose staff positions. Two refuges in Minnesota, Hamden Slough and Crane Meadows, and one refuge in Iowa, Driftless Area, will lose all their staff. This is on top of the 19 others that have never been staffed.

The announcement means that the Fish and Wildlife Service will not allow refuge managers to fill 35 already vacant positions. An additional 36 positions will be cut over the next three years. Combined, these reductions represent 20 percent of the Service's workforce in the region. The plan notes that if there are further declines in the budget or if budgets do not keep pace with increased fixed costs, FWS will be forced to close more refuges to the public.

Impacts of staffing reductions include:

  • Iowa will lose 15 percent of the workforce on its six national wildlife refuges and one wetland management district, which total over 100,000 acres and host over 600,000 visitors a year. De-staffing of the Driftless Area Wildlife Refuge will force recovery programs for endangered species to grind to a halt.

  • Illinois will lose 17 percent of the workforce on its 10 national wildlife refuges, which total over 110,000 acres and host one million visitors a year. Cypress Creek Wildlife Refuge has already eliminated the refuge's entire environmental education and interpretive programs attended by more than 5,000 school children and other visitors.

  • Indiana will lose 38 percent of the workforce on its three national wildlife refuges, which total 63,000 acres and host 94,000 visitors a year. Staff losses on Indiana refuges will eliminate all of the cooperative wildlife conservation programs the refuges had been able to accomplish with surrounding landowners, and cripple partnership programs with conservation groups used to leverage additional resources for wildlife.

  • Missouri will lose 18 percent of the workforce on its 10 national wildlife refuges, which total 70,000 acres and host almost 240,000 visitors a year. Staff losses at Mingo Wildlife Refuge will curtail habitat management activities important for migratory birds and other species.

  • Minnesota will lose 20 percent of its workforce on its 13 national wildlife refuges and eight wetland management districts, which contain over 539,000 acres and host 4.4 million visitors annually. Staff losses at Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge near Minneapolis will force day closures of its visitor center and reduced maintenance of public facilities.

  • Wisconsin will lose 25 percent of the workforce on its eight national wildlife refuges and two wetland management districts, which total over 177,000 acres and host 800,000 annual visitors. Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge expects that with additional staff cuts, invasive plants "will expand unchecked across Refuge prairies and wetlands" and that education programs for 10,000 students and visitors will be completely eliminated.

  • Ohio will lose 10 percent of the workforce on its three national wildlife refuges, which encompass 9,000 acres and host 268,000 annual visitors. At the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, which is a nationally recognized Important Bird Area, reduced staff means that invasive plants will continue to ravage habitat for migrating waterfowl and songbirds, while the lack of dike and road maintenance will result in a reduction in public access to refuge facilities.

  • Michigan will lose 20 percent of the workforce on its seven national wildlife refuges and one wetland management district, which contain over 113,000 acres and host over 143,000 visitors annually. Seney National Wildlife Refuge will be forced to "discontinue its environmental education programs and teacher workshops."
  • Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    Auto Dealers to Get Energy Smart

    In a first-of-its-kind partnership between automobile dealers and EPA, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) today announced at the kick-off of the Washington Auto Show that they are joining the Energy Star Challenge. NADA is challenging its 20,000 member dealerships to reduce energy use at more than 43,000 facilities nationwide by 10 percent or more.

    Automobile dealerships are obviously energy intensive operations that have always used an obscene amount of bright lighting, both indoors and outdoors, and first-rate climate control. EPA estimates if auto dealers cut their energy use by 10 percent they would save nearly $193 million and prevent more than 1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Today's announcement by NADA and EPA expands the Energy Star program's ongoing work with motor vehicle manufacturers in the United States to include automobile dealers. NADA members will assess and track the energy performance of their facilities using EPA's rating tool, Portfolio Manager. The information entered into Portfolio Manager by NADA members will allow not only individual dealerships but the industry as a whole to monitor changes in energy use.

    Book Recommendation: Great Lakes Water Wars

    New from Peter Annin

    A former Newsweek correspondent and current associate director of the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources in Madison, Annin delves into the long history of political maneuvers and diversion schemes to send Great Lakes water to destinations from Arizona to Asia. Annin logged thousands of miles during three years of research for the book, described as the first authoritative examination of more than 100 years of Great Lakes water diversion controversies and the proposed Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Basin Water Resources Compact that seeks to end them.

    Annin visited every major remaining inter-Basin Great Lakes diversion - from the massive Ogoki diversion in the bush country of Northwestern Ontario to the reversed waters of the Chicago River. He also traveled to Central Asia's Aral Sea, which has lost 90 percent of its volume and 75 percent of its surface area and is often used as a poster child in arguments against diverting water from the Great Lakes.


    State awards funds to clean up Scrap Tires

    The Department of Environmental Quality announced today that grants totaling just over $3.2 million have been awarded to 41 applicants for use toward the complete cleanup of scrap tire sites in order to reduce the potential public health and environmental concerns associated with them. This funding will protect the health of communities across the state by cleaning up more than 3.1 million passenger tire equivalents (PTE), a measure used to account for different weights and sizes of tires that may be present at a cleanup site.

    The largest recipients - also probably the biggest piles of tires - are in Oceola and Allegan.

    The grantees will have until August 31, 2007, to complete contract requirements for having their tires removed and processed.

    Scrap Tire Walkway, photo from

    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Retiring in Canada: Will the walruses tolerate my beach house?

    Land is cheap up there, right now it's frozen solid and thawing gently in the Great Warming. In a couple decades it will be a festering, stinky swamp filled with mosquitos and starving, half-dead polar bears. I think I can handle the emaciated bears, but the giant bloodsucking bugs will... suck. In a couple more decades after that, Hudson Bay will be a paradise. Warm as bath water, brimming with critters to shoot at.

    So does this mean I'm moving north for good? Haven't decided. Maybe I should migrate in the winter, head south back to the tropics of Chicago-land for the nightlife, where I will sun myself on the hot sand in January 2050. Hmmm, in 2050 I will be in my 80's. I'll be too old to pick up the hotties at the clubs anymore, but still young enough to vote for what will be remmants of the current political parties. "I remember when Bill Clinton got a blowjob, kiddie! Oh, those were the days! That was back when we had restaurants and giant stores where you could actually buy meat! Oh, those were the days!"

    Check out this map from Scientific American. The map shows that the center of America, the great farm lands, will be incapable of growing wheat in 2050. How 'bout that America, you best get used to feeling hungry. Can you say Famine. Yum. Yeah, baby.

    I just finished reading a book about investing in real estate in the age of global warming. Yeah, dig that. There's actually people cashing in on the coming boom of investment property in the wilds of the Canadian tundra. Get in line. By 2070, you'll be able to drive your boat from northern Canada to Siberia without any problem. That's so cool. There's some really good vodka in Siberia.

    They said in this neat little real estate guidebook that computer climate models are showing northern Michigan as a safe place to be. The Lake Effect storms in the winter will be severe, but they will provide plenty of moisture that will be needed for the rest of the year.. The summers are going to be hot and dry, basically it's going to suck ass in the summer. Most of the forests will be dead or dying, but places like Petoskey and Harbor Springs are going to be really, really comfortable. That's all I'm going to tell you for now, I don't want to start a rush to the north. Yup Grand Traverse Bay, get there first.

    Me? Oh, I'm going to go study my French so that I can pick up hookers in Montreal. Never say 'I love you' to a Montreal hooker.

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Your Dog is a Fat Slob Too!

    Well America, you're officially pathetic. Your Dog is just as obese as you are. Turn off the snow blower and pick up that shovel. I know, shoveling hurts your back, but that's only because your belly is hanging over your belt buckle. Get out there and work up a sweat. Make sure the dog is outside with you frolicking in the snow. Throw snow balls at him to get his fat butt running.

    From the New York Times via Green Fertility

    New Diet Drug Is Approved for Pudgy Dogs - New York Times
    Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration announced one possible way to address the problem: the first prescription drug to treat obesity in dogs.

    “This is a welcome addition to animal therapies, because dog obesity appears to be increasing,” said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the food and drug agency, announcing the approval of the drug.

    Veterinarians define obese dogs as those that are 20 percent overweight. About 5 percent of dogs in the United States are obese, and another 20 precent to 30 percent are overweight, according to the drug agency. In all, Pfizer, the maker of the dog drug, called Slentrol, estimates that four million American dogs are obese and potential candidates for its therapy, which will cost $1 to $2 a day.

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Flint to Vote on Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure

    Flint voters will decide next month on a municipal initiative that seeks to exempt qualified patients from local prosecution if they possess and use cannabis under a physician's recommendation.

    Sponsored by the Flint Coalition for Compassionate Care, Proposal 1 amends city law so that the possession of cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia by authorized patients would no longer be a criminal offense. Proponents submitted approximately 2,000 signatures from local voters last August to qualify the measure on the 2007 ballot.

    "A win in Flint would send a powerful message to Michigan citizens," said Flint Coalition for Compassionate Care co-director Charles Snyder III. Snyder, who uses cannabis medicinally to treat symptoms of Nail Patella Syndrome (NPS), a rare bone disease, added, "Having already won in four major Michigan cities, a win in Flint would help create the momentum and support necessary to put forward a statewide ballot initiative before Michigan voters in 2008."

    Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale, and Traverse City have approved similar citizen voter initiatives since 2004.

    Flint citizens will vote on the measure on Tuesday, February 27, 2007. THIS IS THE ONLY ITEM ON THE BALLOT, SO MAKE SURE YOU GET TO THE POLLS YOU LAZY POTHEADs!

    Arm Yourself With Statistics:
    In Michigan in 2005, 29,902 cultivated plants were seized and eradicated at 1,903 separate outdoor plots and 44 indoor growing operations. This included 153 pounds of processed cannabis and 796 pounds of ditchweed. 138 individuals were arrested for growing, and 236 guns were seized. $1.3 million in assets - houses, cars, etc - were also seized . (Source: DEA)
    Cannabis is currently ranked as the 5th largest agricultural crop in Michigan, behind corn, soybeans, hay and apples. It earns tens of millions more than wheat, potatoes, sugarbeets or berries.

    For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit Michigan NORML online at: Additional information about the initiative is available on the January 8, 2007 edition of NORML's Daily AudioStash. An MP3 of the show may be downloaded at:

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    More Thoughts on Nestle's Water Bottling Operation, Not Mine.

    The following was written by a passionate small business and land owner in Newaygo County. I'm republishing it here in the hope that you will use it in your correspondence with your state representative.

    We must protect the Great Lakes, it’s watershed and the aquifers that provide the water from profiteers. We must do it now! Please give the people of Michigan our right to comment on Nestle's proposed withdrawal of our waters. Please extend the public comment time since this opportunity came at such a busy time and we all need to be informed and heard.

    We understand that, since the time of the Magna Carta, a clear set of public trust principles and standards have been developed: Water is a commons which cannot be owned, diverted, nor sold for profit. Water is an essential need, a public trust, not a commodity. It belongs to everyone and to no one.

    If Michigan does not act to assert public ownership of the Great Lakes, it is writing a death warrant for the future of this water resource. Only the public has the right and the interest to assure water remains for future generations.

    There have been commercial water bottling operations in Michigan before, but something new came on the scene in 2001 with the Nestle Mecosta County water lowering and bottling project. For the first time in Michigan history, a large international corporation was taking, claiming ownership of, and selling for a huge profit water that feeds the Great Lakes.

    The Mecosta County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals both determined that Nestle's pumping at 150 to 170 gpm caused substantial harm in the headwaters of the West Branch of the Little Muskegon River in Mecosta County. The bore hole drilling Nestle uses here (illegal in Europe) takes water faster than it naturally surfaces so obviously the wet lands are harmed. Private water exports that diminish our lakes and streams, whether in ships, trucks, or bottles, should not permitted. If we, the citizens of Michigan do not keep strict control on who, when, where and for what purpose someone is allowed to export our water for private gain, we will ourselves in dire straits when the global demand for water comes crashing on our shores.

    Nestle has made the argument that the few jobs and taxes it provides are sufficient compensation for this affront. Yet any company can provide jobs and taxes: Such a rule would simply allow the wealthy to pay for the right to export and divert water, even if harm to the watershed is substantial.

    Nestle Waters, in 2003, led the American bottled water market with a one-third share of total sales or almost $2.7 billion (US). All profits are directed to shareholders of Swiss parent Nestle, who cumulatively enjoyed profits in 2005 of $10.26 billion (US).

    Nestle Waters, is immersed in controversy in over half a dozen states. In 2000/01 when a drought hit Pasco County, Florida, Nestle continued to push for a permit to increase its water takings from the area, from 301,000 to 1.8 million gallons per day. It’s priority is profit not the public interest. This is also apparent in it’s baby formula scandals

    Nestle's intention is to add to the sources of Spring Water that it relies upon. Ice Mountain may be considering a location in your area for installation of a well to support Ice Mountain’s growing business. They say they do not want to put a strain on any one source, but we do not know enough about the source, is it one aquifer under the whole region? What ever the source, it feeds our Great Lakes.

    In 1998 the Nova Group wanted to take 156 million gallons of water from Lake Superior every year & ship it in tankers to Asia. The response was an emphatic 'NO.' When does the number of bottles of water from one source (Nestle) add up to as much or more than that of the tanker. As author, blogger and Clean Water Action policy advisor Dave Dempsey has noted, Michigan is opposing as an unlawful diversion a proposal by New Berlin, WI to remove from the Great Lakes basin 340 million gallons a year. Yet if all of Nestle's proposed or studied water mining and packaging operations are approved in Michigan, they would total well over 500 million gallons per year.

    We must demand that water exported out of the Great Lakes watershed in bottles be treated with the same tough restrictions as water proposed for export in freighters or pipelines.

    The amount of energy used to make, transport and recycle the plastic bottles is enormous. And 10 billion bottles are discarded every year in the United States alone, most of them ending up in landfills.

    There is also the issue of whether, under the terms of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), water is a 'vital resource' like the air we breathe, or a 'commodity' to be sold and traded. We must stand together to protect our water. It is a right of every citizen of Michigan & the other Great Lake States. If it is indeed a product, why wouldn’t the state of Michigan receive compensation as it does for gas & oil?

    We support values based upon the public trust and common law of riparian property rights, where water is retained in healthy watersheds, abundant fisheries, and vibrant human communities, who respect and carefully protect the priceless source which brings life and prosperity, including jobs, to everyone. The abundant water in our state supports one of the biggest sectors of Michigan's economy -- tourism, which generates $15 billion, 188,000 jobs and $868 million in state revenue. Changing water levels and flows will have unpredictable and harmful consequences to basin habitat, biodiversity, shorelines, jobs and culture. Lower water levels will mean greater disturbance of highly contaminated sediments in shallow harbors and connecting channels and less dilution of polluted waters. Without healthy lakes, streams and wetlands to attract tourists, every citizen will suffer the economic consequences.

    We believe that Great Lakes water, in all forms throughout the whole hydrologic cycle, must be vigilantly protected from any diversion or export, and any harmful withdrawal. Great Lakes water must not be commodified, priced or sold. With 20 percent of the world's fresh water supply within our reach, the state has a moral and legal obligation to ensure that we are the best possible stewards of the extraordinary resource.

    If we ruin the great Lakes, that's it. For them, and probably for us. If you think that impossible, read Peter Annin’s terrifying new book the Great Lakes Water Wars, and learn how the Soviet Union destroyed the Aral Sea.

    It has been said that water will be the oil of the 21st century, or liquid gold, and that it will cause wars between nations. Whatever happens with regard to global water, and the environmental, economic and political fallout, Michigan will be a major player.

    Please protect Michigan’s water NOW!

    If this doesn't inspire you to action, I don't know what will. The fight is just beginning. We are not at war with any other group or nation over water yet, but that time is coming. The decisions we make now will affect generations to come, and the lessons we learn today must be taught to them as well. The fight for the Great Lakes is in it's infancy. The true battles are on the horizon.

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Nestle Protest Fills Township Hall

    So many people showed up in opposition to Nestle's proposed water operation that they were being turned away from the meeting in Monroe Twp. on Wed., Jan. 10 because the room was over capacity.

    You can read a detailed account of what occurred here:

    Bottler called 'foreign invader' by area residents
    Muskegon Chronicle, By Jeff Alexander

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Tittabawassee River Sampling Identifies Areas for Interim Clean-up Action

    Recently available results from sampling along and in the upper Tittabawassee River have identified several areas with elevated levels of dioxin and furan that require short term response activities. The sampling results identified certain eroding river banks with concentrations up to 84,000 parts per trillion (ppt) TEQ, the combined toxicity of dioxins and furans, and certain in-channel deposits with concentrations up to 87,000 ppt TEQ. The elevated sampling results are located within areas along and in the first six and one-half miles of the Tittabawassee River.

    The sampling was taken as part of the ongoing study and investigation being conducted by the Department of Environmental Quality and The Dow Chemical Company. In general, the chemical profile of the in-channel and eroded bank samples are largely consistent with earlier sampling results from the same general area showing a mixture consisting mainly of furans with a small percentage of dioxins.

    Dow has proposed a conceptual approach and schedule for a focused pilot corrective action plan (PCAP) to address these areas. The details of the PCAP will be developed jointly by DEQ and Dow with measures that will ensure a timely approach that will achieve the greatest protections for human health and minimizes harm to the environment and natural resources. These initial corrective action activities are scheduled to begin this month and be completed as early as August 2007.

    Preparation for implementing the interim actions is underway with Dow developing the final plan and initiating the permit application processes with state and federal agencies for the work to be done in and along the Tittabawassee River. Dow has committed to working collaboratively and cooperatively with DEQ to further refine, design and implement the plan for addressing these areas as quickly and as safely as possible.

    These findings were generated during the implementation of the DEQ-approved sampling plan that was developed and is being implemented by Dow and its contractor, Ann Arbor Technical Services, as part of the remedial investigation of the Tittabawassee River required by DEQ’s hazardous waste management facility operating license, issued to Dow on June 12, 2003.

    The public will have an opportunity to ask questions about short and long-term actions that will be developed during the February 8, 2007 Tri-Cities Community Meeting at The Horizons Center in Saginaw Township from 7-9pm.

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Polar Bears Drowning in Bush Administration Bullshit

    "At least five of the world's 19 polar bear populations are currently in decline from the complex effects of global warming. At this rate, the World Conservation Union, IUCN, is predicting a 30 percent reduction in polar bear numbers in the next 45 years." -- Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife

    The Arctic ice shelf could completely melt during summer by 2080 because of global warming, according to more than 100 researchers working in 45 institutions in 11 European countries and Russia. This would threaten the entire Arctic food chain, the scientists warn.

    "If the situation evolves like physics predicts, the summertime Arctic shelf will completely disappear by 2080," -- Eberhard Fahrbach of the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven.

    "We have sufficient scientific evidence of a threat to the species to warrant proposing it for listing, but we still have a lot of work to do to enhance our scientific models and analyses before making a final decision," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall. Director Hall, all I want to say to you is this: "Look at this photo you fucking ignorant jackass! Not only should you lose your job, you should be dragged from your office and fed to one of these bears! Pissant!"

    United States to become top global nuclear fuel supplier

    The Fascist Bush administration is pressing forward with plans to recycle spent nuclear fuel in the United States and supply nuclear fuel to other countries that refrain from building nuclear enrichment or recycling facilities to make their own nuclear fuel.

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that it intends to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Initiative, GNEP, promoted by King Dickhead George. Under the GNEP, the Energy Department proposes to design, build, and operate three facilities in the United States.

    A nuclear fuel recycling center would be constructed to separate spent nuclear fuel into reusable and waste components and then manufacture new nuclear fast reactor fuel using the reusable components. An advanced recycling reactor would be built to destroy long-lived radioactive elements in the new fuel while generating electricity. An advanced fuel cycle research facility would be built to explore spent nuclear fuel recycling processes and other advanced nuclear fuel cycles.

    Introducing the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, PEIS, on Thursday, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dennis Spurgeon said, “Our need for nuclear power - a safe, emissions-free and affordable source of energy - has never been greater and GNEP puts us on a path to encourage expansion of domestic and international nuclear energy production while reducing nuclear proliferation risks.” Yeah, sure, Spurgeon also enjoys masturbating while trying to shove his head up his own ass.

    You can get more information here.

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    Federal Beach Protection Funding Ridiculously Inadequate

    A paltry $10 Million for the health of American coastlines. Our vile government believes spending billions on bombs and bullets to kill children is more important than the quality of our water. This Administration continues to prove that it cares nothing about public health.

    Thirty states and five territories will have to share $10 million in grants for beach water-quality monitoring and public notification programs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today. Beach water-quality monitoring helps local authorities identify what steps to take to reduce pollution and can lead to advisories or closures when bacteria concentrations reach unhealthy levels.

    Michigan, with tens of thousand of miles of coastline gets a measly $280,000.

    The grant amount is based on the length of the beach season, miles of beaches and number of beachgoers. All 35 coastal and Great Lakes states and territories maintain monitoring programs using the EPA funding.

    EPA says it is focusing efforts on developing new technologies to rapidly analyze beaches for bacteria contamination. Studies involving state-of-the-art detection methods, coupled with population and illness surveys, are under way at various beaches to evaluate the new analytical approaches. Whether or not we can trust them to actually accomplish anything is open to debate.

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Down with Nestle! Important Dates and Deadlines For January


    Nestle will be presenting its arguments for pumping spring water in Monroe Township at the Monroe Township Hall located at 4141 Fillmore on Wednesday, January 10 at 7:00 p.m. The township hall will hold about a hundred, but they only have about 25 chairs. The township clerk said Nestle will be the first order of business. The Monroe Township Hall is located on Old M-20 just past the town of Woodville. Old M-20 is Perry Street past Meijer's in Big Rapids.


    The oral argument on the citizen standing question for Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation vs. Nestle under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) to address harms to wetlands and Osprey Lake on the Sanctuary Site (Bollman's and Nestle property) will be heard January 11, 2007 at the Michigan Hall of Justice, 925 West Ottawa, Lansing. For driving directions please go to:

    MCWC is third case to be heard in the morning. The court opens at 9:15 a.m. and court convenes at 9:30 a.m.


    Please get your letters in to Mr. Brant Fisher at the DEQ Water Bureau, Governor Jennifer Granholm, Mr. Steven Chester, Director of the DEQ, and your State Legislators voicing your opinion on Nestle's proposed withdrawal of 216,000 gallons of water per day in Osceola County (Evart, Michigan). Talking points can be found on Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation web site at

    Monday, January 01, 2007