As heard on Friday Edition, June 22, 2012, on Delta College public radio, Q-90.1 FM
Delta College to get region’s first grey water re-use facility
Environmental improvements are on tap in the Saginaw Bay region.
The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network has awarded a series of new grants. The group, known as Saginaw Bay WIN, is funded by area foundations.
The new grants include money for a Vassar Dam removal project on the Cass River, and the region’s first commercial grey water re-use facility at Delta College.
Funding also has been approved for a nature-based kindergarten program at Bullock Creek Schools, in cooperation with the Midland-based Chippewa Nature Center.
WIN is starting up a brand new small grant program, too. More details are coming in the next few months, group leaders say.
Additionally, the WIN group has existing funding available for projects that address land use, water resources, agriculture, energy efficiency, wildlife habitat and regional marketing.
Sewage Relief Spelled with an $$$
What will it take to curb sewage overflows into the Great Lakes?
A steady stream of money.
A new report by the Alliance for the Great Lakes looks at the success of the federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund in helping finance sewer improvement projects. Experts say improvements are needed throughout the basin to old sewage systems that overflow during rains, in areas including the Saginaw Bay region.
The Revolving Fund program provides low-interest loans and flexible financing to help local governments carry out wastewater management projects and green infrastructure development, Alliance officials say.
For every federal dollar appropriated to the program, states kick in 20 cents. The fund grows as a result of repayments, interest earnings and other proceeds.
In 2011 , almost 19 billion gallons of combined sewage and stormwater was dumped into the Great Lakes by wastewater treatment plants. The report highlights two communities, including Grand Rapids, Michigan, that have achieved large decreases in their overflow volumes with the use of Revolving Fund money.
The Alliance is pushing for continued federal funding to the program. Federal money allocated yearly to the fund has decreased since 2011 and another cut is proposed for 2013.
Bonus: Midwest Energy News
A waste-eating bug for nuclear power? (Michigan State U. research on Geobacter)