For Friday, Dec. 7, 2018
1 – A Water School is being offered for elected and appointed public officials in Michigan.
The two-day program is meant to provide leaders with critical, relevant information needed to understand Michigan’s water resources.
That includes the fundamentals of water science, to support sound water management decisions and increase awareness of current and future local and state water issues.
The school is put on by Michigan State University Extension and features in-class presentations, interactive learning demonstrations and a field tour. Sessions are included on water quantity; water quality; economics, finance, and planning; and water policy issues.
A 2019 schedule will be announced soon.
2 – An auction of surplus state land starts Dec. 11.
Most parcels are in central and northern lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources say 81 spots of land, ranging in size from less than an acre to 160 acres – will be available for sale in a sealed-bid auction starting Tuesday, Dec. 11.
The auction is part of a department strategy to efficiently manage public lands while maximizing outdoor recreation opportunities. Bids will be accepted through Jan. 9, 2019.
Public land is for sale in counties including Alpena, Clare, Crawford, Midland, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Roscommon. Several of the spots are forested and have riverside or lake frontage.
More information is online at michigan.gov/landforsale.
3 – A published report from a Michigan environmental group is said to be the first-ever on the presence of a new flame retardant chemical in child car seats in North America.
The Ecology Center in Ann Arbor published the report in a journal called Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
The center tested 18 children’s car seats and found that 80 percent contained hazardous flame retardant chemical additives and 50 percent likely contained hazardous PFAS (per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances) chemicals on the fabric. Such PFAS chemicals are persistent in the environment and can end up in drinking water after items are discarded.
Testing found that three companies offer a child car seat that does not contain added flame retardant chemicals.
The Ecology Center says public health groups from across the country are working to update government flammability standards from the 1970s so less children are exposed to unnecessary toxic hazards.