Environment Picture

Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

In each issue of the Michigan Environmental Report, we celebrate accomplishments by MEC and member groups.
Getting the lead out
A bipartisan chorus of legislators passed, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed, important legislation establishing lead standards for children’s toys. The victory followed intensive lobbying by MEC and its allies, and a high-profile testing campaign by the Ecology Center. The new standard, 600 parts per million of lead, is only a start. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 40 ppm as a safe level. MEC will work urgently to make the state standard fully protective.
Justice for all
An environmental justice executive directive signed by Gov. Granholm in November seeks to protect low-income communities and populations of color from the disproportionate burden of pollution. The order was pushed for by numerous state environmental groups, including Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Ecology Center, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Clean Water Action, and Sierra Club as well as MEC.The order requires state regulators to develop a plan to foster environmental justice in Michigan.
CAFÉ increase, finally

The first statutory increase in federal fuel economy standards for vehicles was signed into law as part of the federal energy bill in early 2008—a win for consumers, the environment, and ultimately domestic automakers. MEC lobbied federal lawmakers, particularly Congressman John Dingell, for aggressive mileage standards and protection for domestic auto industry jobs. The bad news: Political compromises forced abandonment of a federal renewable energy standard that had been part of the Energy Bill.
Cracked bell: No news is bad news?

For seven months after its completion, federal health officials kept buried an exhaustive study of the Great Lakes which shows elevated infant mortality and cancer rates near heavily polluted sites. After parts of the report were made public by the Washington, DC-based Center for Public Integrity, officials at the Center for Disease Control grudgingly said they would release it after it is “worked on.”
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