Weakening Mercury Rule, Pulling Garlic Mustard, Turning on Polaris Wind

For May 1, 2020

1 – Sporting, health and conservation groups have voiced strong concerns on the weakening of a mercury and air toxics rule.

They say the federal change opens the door for increased mercury and other pollution in the air and water, which could exacerbate the effects of COVID-19.

The rule regulates emissions of mercury and other air pollutants from coal and oil-fired power plants. The groups say the Environmental Protection Agency has changed how the benefits of mercury emission standards are calculated so that the economy takes precedence over public health.

For its part, the EPA says the action does not mean that any more mercury will be emitted. Officials say the agency is “following through on the Supreme Court’s direction and correcting the previous Administration’s flawed cost finding in its original rule.” 


2 – The Little Forks Conservancy in Midland is encouraging people to remove garlic mustard from their yards. 

The conservancy’s Stay Home Garlic Mustard Pull started last week and runs through May 31. 

Garlic mustard is an invasive plant that spreads rapidly through woodlots and out-competes native vegetation.  

Little Forks Conservancy has partnered with the Central Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area to promote the event. 

You can find links on the conservancy’s website at littleforks.org to learn how to properly identify, remove and dispose of the plant. 


3 – DTE Energy has turned on its largest wind park, the first of our coming online in 2020. 

Officials say the Polaris Wind park, located in mid-Michigan’s Gratiot County, is now operational and will provide enough clean energy to power more than 64,000 homes. 

With 68 turbines generating 168 megawatts, Polaris Wind is now the largest operating wind park in Michigan. DTE also has wind turbines in 10 locations throughout Michigan’s Thumb region. 

Via DTE Energy

DTE has more than 1,300 megawatts of renewables online and will be adding another 800 by the end of 2022. DTE’s renewable energy portfolio includes 15 wind parks and 31 solar arrays, all in Michigan. 


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


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