Environmental Theme Semester

"Environment" is the buzz word at The University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor this semester. Following a trend among universities nationwide, faculty and students from all different departments here joined together to pay a tribute to planet earth with an Environmental Theme Semester. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Julie Edelson Halpert attended one of the events and has this report:

New Technology Curtails Airport Runoff

Recent studies have shown that the use of ethylene glycol to ridairplanes of ice and frost is costly to both airlines and theenvironment. While efforts are underway to gather up more and more ofthis toxic liquid so that it can be recycled, another airport isimplementing an entirely new technology to drastically reduce the use ofglycol even in the most extreme conditions. The Great Lakes RadioConsortium’s Todd Witter reports:

New Corn Variety Lowers Agricultural Impact

Manure spills and overflow from large hog farms has become a problem for many local waterways. Those spills often contains high levels of nitrates and pesticides which can endanger fish populations and contaminate water supplies. But now, researchers have found a variety of corn that could make hog manure less harmful. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Frenkel Reports:

Superfund Remediation

The Great Lakes Region is home to thousands of inactive, abandonedhazardous waste sites. Cleaning them up is often the responsibility ofeach individual state. But the process often takes years and ishampered by a lack of funds, a lack of scientific knowledge, and a lackof political will. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Bud Lowell isfollowing the clean-up at one New York site. Today, the siteassessment:

Restoration Practices Generating Controversy

Years ago, forest preserves were established in many American cities toprotect valuable natural areas from urban development. But over theyears, the health of those preserves has declined. Conservationists arenow trying to repair the damage by actively restoring those naturalareas. But now, some of their techniques are being questioned. TheGreat Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Frenkel reports:

Female Hormones Found in Waste Water

Millions of American women rely on birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Millions more depend on replacement hormones to prevent symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and osteoporosis. Both medications contain a synthetic version of the female hormone estrogen. And now, researchers at the University of Mississippi found that some of that estrogen ends up in wastewater. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Frenkel has more on the potential effects: