Environment Picture

Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

Gaining speed

High-speed railroad passenger service between Detroit and Chicago is one step closer after the October announcement that $161 million in federal grants were awarded to Michigan for the project. The grant provides money to upgrade rail stations, purchase track, and rework congestion points to separate passenger and freight trains. The result would be a Detroit-to-Chicago trip in less than four hours—shaving 90 minutes off the existing travel time.

Phosphorus free

Legislation restricting phosphorus in lawn fertilizer was passed in September by the Michigan House of Representatives. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants, but most lawns have more than enough. Excess amounts drain into storm sewers and creeks where they end up fueling excessive plant growth in lakes and ponds. That growth can create oxygen-starved “dead zones” where fish and other aquatic creatures cannot survive. The bill was pending in the State Senate at press time.

Your vision

A vision for a vibrant, sustainable Michigan was released for public comment this fall by MEC. The document is the product of a year’s work by our policy staff in consultation with member groups. It is an attempt to take a step back from the hectic day-to-day pace of working for environmental protection and take a big-picture look at where our state should be in 2060, and how best to get there. Please give it your input at vision.environmentalcouncil.org.
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