Exterior Firewood Quarantine, Community Solar Benefits, Great Lakes Oil Spill Research

For Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

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1 – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is taking public comment until Nov. 19 on an Exterior Firewood Quarantine

Photo by Lorenzo Pacifico on Pexels.com

The quarantine is proposed to prevent the introduction of unwanted plant pests and diseases into Michigan. 

More than 140 pests and diseases can be moved by firewood, including Asian long-horned beetle, mountain pine beetle and spotted lanternfly. 

These pests are not known to exist in Michigan. But they could start new infestations here if they’re brought into the state by travelers transporting firewood.

The proposed exterior firewood quarantine includes a measure that all firewood shipped into Michigan would have to be certified as heat treated at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 60 minutes.

More information and how to comment is online at michigan.gov/invasives

2 – A Michigan State University study says community solar would create an almost $1.5 billion economic impact, supporting 18,500 well-paying jobs. 

The study examined the impact of 900-megawatts of community solar over a period of about six years, with enough energy to power about 171,000 homes. 

Researchers concluded the installation and ongoing maintenance of community solar projects in Michigan would create 18,500 jobs and contribute nearly $1.5 billion to the economy over the next 30 years.

A Michigan Community Solar Alliance of businesses, environmental groups and others calls community solar a win-win for Michigan. They urge lawmakers to pass community solar legislation so residents can begin to realize the economic benefits.

Community solar refers to a solar array located within a community where multiple customers can subscribe and receive credits on their utility bills for their share of the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their roofs. 

3 – Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie has been selected as the hub for the U.S. Coast Guard National Center of Expertise for the Great Lakes. 

The center will examine impacts of oil spills in freshwater environments and help develop effective responses.

Photo by Dids on Pexels.com

University officials say the work will be critical in protecting the Great Lakes. Current oil spill response technologies are primarily designed for saltwater environments. 

The developments build upon earlier steps by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan to secure $4.5 million for the initiative and pass legislation establishing the center in 2018.

The Lake Superior State center will work with the federal Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

– 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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