Community Solar Support, E. Coli Mapper, Clean Water in West Branch

For Friday, July 30, 2021

audio archive

1 – A push toward community solar projects in Michigan is gaining supporters. 

The latest organization to join a Michigan Community Solar Alliance is the Michigan Municipal League.

The league advocates on behalf of more than 500 municipalities across the state and has thrown its support behind House Bills 4715 and 4716

The bills would allow community solar projects in Michigan, making additional tax revenue available to municipalities across the state.

Community solar refers to a solar array located within a community. Multiple customers can subscribe and receive credit on their utility bill, just as if the panels were on their own roof.

The alliance says more than half of American households don’t have access to solar power because they rent, live in a multi-tenant building, have roofs unable to host a solar system, or live in a service territory of a utility that won’t allow it. 

The Michigan Muncipal League joins 13 other members of the alliance, including the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, Michigan Environmental Council and the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. 

For more information, see

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

2 -A state E. coli Pollution and Solution Mapper has been upgraded. 

Officials say purpose of the mapper, a series of interactive maps, is to provide the public with access to important public health information. 

This includes E. coli monitoring locations, data summaries and information on potential point and nonpoint sources of bacterial pollution.  

E. coli is a type of bacteria used as an indicator of fecal pollution; it also indicates the potential for other pathogens to be present. 

Sources of E. coli may include untreated human sewage through sanitary sewer overflows, untreated combined sewer overflows, failing septic tanks or illicit connections. Animal waste is another source. 

The monitoring is done by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. 

The state say it’s developed a Total Maximum Daily Load for E. coli in Michigan to address E. coli problems, including beach closures. 

– Via

3 – Gov. Whitmer has announced more than $15 million in grants awarded as part of the MI Clean Water plan.

The money that will help communities strengthen drinking water infrastructure and better ensure safe, clean tap water across the state. 

The funding also will assist with state efforts to support local projects that improve water systems through work including replacing lead service lines, enhancing water affordability plans and connecting homes with contaminated drinking water wells to safe community water supplies.  

Recently awarded grants include more than $400,000 to the city of West Branch.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes


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