Despite Flint, many water systems not open about lead pipes

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service

LANSING – Flint’s lead-tainted water crisis has drawn international headlines, but some states and their water systems appear to be slow in learning the importance of keeping the public informed about similar risks. Most of the country’s 100 largest water systems have failed to follow an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendation to publicize where their lead service lines are, according to a new report by the U.S. General Accountability Office. The GAO is a nonpartisan investigatory arm of Congress. The EPA made that recommendation to all states in 2016 after “the crisis in Flint brought increased attention to the country’s challenge of addressing lead in drinking water infrastructure,” GAO said in its report to congressional committees. “Lead service lines present a significant risk of lead contamination in drinking water,” the report said.

East Lansing bulk leaf collection

With temperatures dropping, and leaves changing colors, fall is officially here. It is important to dispose of leaves early and properly this fall season to avoid a fine. A local ordinance in East Lansing prohibits yard waste such as leaves from being deposited in parks, streets, or any public property. In an effort to help the residents of East Lansing, bulk leaf collection will be offered six times through the October and November months. Leaf collection will start on the city’s east side during the weeks of Oct.

Are common species worthy of conservation?

What happens when saving the few – in this case, a small number of plants or animals in a species at high risk of extinction – may harm the many – here, members of more common species? That’s a real problem as conservation experts and public land agencies wrestle with how to allocate scarce funds for habitat protection. A new study by scientists from the Nature Conservancy’s Michigan chapter and three universities says tradeoffs are necessary, based on their research of about 35 species of native migratory fish – some extremely rare, some extremely common — in the 1,833 largest tributaries of the Great Lakes.

Mining legacy, wetlands expansion, fuel concern over U.P. mercury levels

Mercury levels remain high in Western U.P .lakes, rivers and fish despite a substantial decline in airborne mercury emissions over the past 30 years, according to a new study from Michigan Tech and the EPA. That poses health risks. The U.P.’s extensive – and growing – wetlands play a major role in the problem as forested and wetland environments are returning as large northern tracts are converted to state and federal forests and wetland ditching is reduced.