Prepping Clean Power Plan, Commenting on Water Strategy, Planting Rain Gardens

For Friday, Aug. 21, 2015

[audio https://dl.dropbox.com/s/hftnawg96hepxmn/mr-great-lakes-8-21-15.mp3]

1 – Michigan officials are reviewing a new federal rule regulating carbon emissions from power plants.

carbon emissions michigan

One day’s CO2 emissions. Credit: Carbon Visuals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the Clean Power Plan earlier this month. It will regulate carbon emissions from utilities for the first time, to help address climate change.

Multiple state agencies are looking at the rule and its implications for Michigan. An official with the Michigan Agency for Energy says the state hopes to find “a reasonable path to compliance,” and the public will have a chance to participate in the development of a plan.

Gov. Rick Snyder has said that, even without the rule, the expected retirement of a number of Michigan coal-fired power plants due to environmental regulations and age, means that up to 40 percent of the state’s power should be coming from cleaner sources by 2025.

State officials hope to have their review and analysis complete shortly after Labor Day.

See also: Michigan is more than halfway toward meeting a clean power goal

2 – There’s still time to comment on a water strategy for Michigan.

A draft of the strategy was released earlier this year, and public meetings have been held in Saginaw and other locations.

The strategy is built around a 30-year vision.

Key recommendations include:

●   Achieving a 40 percent reduction to phosphorus in the western Lake Erie basin

●   Preventing the introduction of new aquatic invasive species and controlling established ones

●   Supporting investments in commercial and recreational harbors and maritime infrastructure

●   Developing a water trails system.

The plan was put together by the state Department of Environmental Quality, along with the state Departments of Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Rural Development, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and communities and organizations around the state.

Comments are due by Friday, Aug. 28.

3 – You can use your smartphone to build a rain garden.

garden shovel

Credit: Quinn Dombrowski

You’ll also need a shovel.

A free Rain Garden App, highlighted recently by the Great Lakes Protection Fund, is designed to help a person properly install a rain garden at their home or office.

It includes video tutorials and diagrams, and guides on selecting plants. There also are tools for determining soil type, and measuring the size of the area.

In case you’re not familiar, a rain garden is an area, usually about 6 inches deep, that collects stormwater that runs off of a roof, driveway or yard, and helps filter out pollutants.

-30-

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

Follow @jeffkart on Twitter

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