SVSU Targets Fecal Contamination, DEQ Targets Air Quality

For Friday, Nov. 9, 2018


1 – Saginaw Valley State University has received additional resources to study environmental conditions in the Saginaw Bay watershed.

A $200,000 grant will go toward research aimed at identifying and reducing contamination in regional waterways.

The funding comes from the state Office of Great Lakes, a division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Tami Sivy -- Office of the Great Lakes grant.jpg
Tami Sivy (center), professor of chemistry at Saginaw Valley State University, discusses water quality testing. Credit: SVSU

The research, called molecular source tracking, involves tracing the origin of fecal contamination found in the environment to determine whether it came from humans, cows or other sources.

A chemistry professor says the information can be used to eliminate contamination before it occurs, resulting in fewer beach closings and safer recreational water.

The study is expected to extend into February 2019. SVSU faculty and students will test hundreds of water samples collected during the summer of 2018.

2 – Michigan plans to spend close to $65 million on air quality improvements.

The funds come from a 2016 Volkswagen diesel settlement and will be spent over the next nine years on actions to reduce oxides of nitrogen from diesel engine emissions.

The first funding opportunity is expected to occur before the end of the year and will target the replacement of school buses.

More funding is expected to begin in mid-2019 and will target additional categories.

The plan calls for replacing buses, trucks, airport and port equipment, and repowering Great Lakes ferries and tugs. It was developed using statewide air quality data. Officials say more details will be announced soon.

The money is Michigan’s share of a $2.8 billion trust established after Volkswagen admitted to installing devices in some brands of its vehicles to cheat emission tests.

More information is online at


– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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