Mich Enviro Report: Coal in your Life, Heat Wave Tips & Lake Management Plans

As heard on Delta College Q-90.1 FM, July 22, 2011:


How much coal is in your life? photo coal plant emissions mr. great lakes q 90.1 fm delta college

If you live in Bay County, you may be at a greater risk for respiratory illness or mercury exposure due to emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The information comes from the Sierra Club, which has designed a tool to localize the impact of coal in people’s lives.

Most electricity in the Saginaw Bay area, and nationwide, is generated by coal-fired power plants.

The tool uses information on your ZIP code and fish consumption habits, along with data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The tool gives each user a 1 out of 10 score. The higher the score, the higher the potential threat to your health from coal pollution.

For more information, see coalinyourlife.org.


You’ve probably noticed that it’s been hot outside.

Here are a number of ways to cut your air conditioning and electric bill, or cool off your house if you don’t have air conditioning. The tips come from Earth 911, an environmental services company.

No. 1: Use two fans, one to pull outside air into your home, and another at an opposite window to blow interior air outside.

Other tips: Cook outside on the grill to keep the heat from a stove or oven outside of your house.

You also can pull the shades, and consider getting insulated blinds that can help keep out the summer heat.

According to Energy Star, up to half of the energy used in a home goes to heating and cooling.


Lakewide Management Plan reports have been released for the five Great Lakes.

The annual reports highlight accomplishments in restoring and protecting the lakes, and current management challenges that U.S. and Canadian agencies say they are trying to address.

According to the report for Lake Huron, the lake’s biodiversity is in “fair” condition.

Critical threats include non-native species; incompatible housing development and shoreline alteration; climate change; dams;
and pollution from non-point sources due to agriculture,
forestry and urban land uses.

Another concern: A Type E botulism outbreak in Southern Georgian Bay.

The latest occurred in the fall of 2010, and killed lake sturgeon, gulls and loons.

Photo by Señor Codo

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