Wildlife officials are working to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease. The disease is contagious among deer and elk and attacks the brains of infected animals. Officials are trying to keep deer and elk hunters from driving carcasses across state lines. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Brian Bull reports:
Wildlife officials are working to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting disease.
The disease is contagious among deer and elk and attacks the brains of infected
animals. Officials are trying to keep deer and elk hunters from driving carcasses
across state lines. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Brian Bull reports:
So far chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has been found in wild deer in Wisconsin,
Illinois, and New York. Thomas Courchaine hopes to keep it that way.
He’s with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says hunters
returning from neighboring states often bring in whole deer carcasses for meat
processing or taxidermy. Courchaine says by law people can only bring in de-boned meat, antlers
“We ran into a problem last year, a lot of Wisconsin folks bringing deer up to be processed into
Michigan. And this is a Michigan law, it’s in our digest, but if a person hunts in Wisconsin there’s
not a good way for him to realize it’s against the law unless he takes the time and effort to call
people in Michigan.”
Courchaine says violators could pay up to 500 dollars and spend up to 90 days in jail. CWD has
not yet been found to be contagious to humans, but officials warn against eating infected meat.
In order to provide safe drinking water for a community, water pipelines have to be properly maintained. (Photo by Keith Syvinski)
The Environmental Protection Agency says it will cost more than a quarter trillion dollars over the next 20 years to ensure safe drinking water in the U.S. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Carmody reports:
The EPA says it will cost more than a quarter trillion dollars over the next twenty years to ensure safe drinking water in the U.S. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Steve Carmody reports:
Benjamin Grumbles is the assistant EPA administrator for water. He says
the primary obstacle faced by most communities to providing safe drinking
water is the age of the pipes and other infrastructure through which the water
Grumbles says replacing transmission lines and distribution pipes accounts
for two-thirds of the 277 billion dollars the EPA estimates will need to be
spent between now and 2025.
“Sometimes the materials will just break down due to age or other stresses.”
The biggest obstacle communities will face is paying for upgrades of their
The federal government only provides a small amount of seed money for
upgrading local water utilities, amounting to only 850 million dollars this
Motor oil dripping from cars can add up and end up contaminating waterways and sediments. (Photo by Brandon Blinkenberg)
Industries and companies get labeled as
“polluters.” But what do you do when you find out you’re a pretty big polluter yourself… and you find out it’s going to cost you a lot of money to fix the
problem? As part of the series, “Your Choice; Your
Planet,” the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca
Williams finds herself in that dilemma:
Industries and companies get labeled as “polluters.” But what do you do when you find out you’re a pretty big polluter yourself… and you find out it’s going to cost you a lot of money to fix the problem? As part of the series, “Your Choice; Your Planet,” the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams finds herself in that dilemma:
(sound of car starting)
This is my ‘89 Toyota Camry. It has 188,000 miles on it. Pieces of
plastic trim fly off on the highway, and I have to climb in from the
backseat when my door gets frozen in the winter. But I got it for free, I get good gas mileage, and my insurance is cheap. But now, it’s leaking oil – lots of oil. I knew it was bad when I started
pouring in a quart of oil every other week.
I thought I’d better take it in to the shop.
(sound of car shop)
My mechanic, Walt Hayes, didn’t exactly have good news for me.
“You know, you’re probably leaking about 80% of that, just from experience, I’d say
you’re burning 20% and leaking 80%.”
Walt says the rear main seal is leaking, and the oil’s just dripping
straight to the ground. Walt tells me the seal costs 25 dollars, but he’d
have to take the transmission out to get to the seal. That means I’d be
paying him 650 dollars.
650 bucks to fix an oil leak, when no one would steal my car’s radio. There’s no way. Obviously, it’s cheaper to spend two dollars on each quart of oil, than to fix the seal.
“Right – what else is going to break, you know? You might fix the rear main
seal, and your transmission might go out next week or something. Your car,
because of its age, is on the edge all the time. So to invest in a 25 dollar seal, spending a lot of money for labor, almost doesn’t make sense on an
That’s my mechanic telling me not to fix my car. In fact, he says he’s seen
plenty of people driving even older Toyotas, and he says my engine will
probably hold out a while longer. But now I can’t stop thinking about the
quarts of oil I’m slowly dripping all over town.
I need someone to tell me: is my one leaky car really all that bad? Ralph
Reznick works with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He
spends his time trying to get polluters to change their behavior.
“That’s a lot for an old car. If you were the only car in the parking lot,
that wouldn’t be very much. But the fact is, there’s a lot of cars just
like yours that are doing the same thing.”
Reznick says the oil and antifreeze and other things that leak from and fall
off cars like mine add up.
“The accumulative impact of your car and other cars, by hitting the
pavement, and washing off the pavement into the waterways, is a very large
impact. It’s one of the largest sources of pollution we’re dealing with
Reznick says even just a quart of oil can pollute thousands of gallons of
water. And he says toxins in oil can build up in sediment at the bottom of
rivers and lakes. That can be bad news for aquatic animals and plants.
There’s no question – he wants me to fix the leak.
But I am NOT pouring 650 bucks into this car when the only thing it has going
for it is that it’s saving me money. So I can either keep driving it, and
feel pretty guilty, or I can scrap it and get a new car.
But it does take a lot of steel and plastic and aluminum to make a new car.
Maybe I’m doing something right for the environment by driving a car that’s
already got that stuff invested in it.
I went to the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan
and talked to Greg Keoleian. He’s done studies on how many years it makes
sense to keep a car. He says if you look at personal costs, and the energy
that goes into a making a midsize car, it makes sense to hang onto it for a
long time… like 16 years.
No problem there – I finally did something right!
Well, sort of.
“In your case, from an emissions point of view, you should definitely
replace your vehicle. It turns out that a small fraction of vehicles are
really contributing to a lot of the local air pollution. Older vehicles
tend to be more polluting, and you would definitely benefit the environment
by retiring your vehicle.”
Keoleian says if I get a newer car, it won’t be leaking oil, and it won’t
putting out nearly as much nitrogen oxide and other chemicals that lead to
smog. Oh yeah, he also says I really need to start looking today.
And so doing the right thing for the environment is going to cost me money.
There’s no way around that. The more I think about my rusty old car, the
more I notice all the OTHER old heaps on the road. Maybe all of you are a
bit like me, hoping to make it through just one more winter without car
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Rebecca Williams.
Some environmentalists are concerned that the blackout that affected the Northeast and part of Canada might be used as an excuse to build more power plants. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
Some environmentalists are concerned that the blackout that affected the Northeast
and part of
Canada might be used as an excuse to build more power plants. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
Experts don’t yet know all the factors that led to the power blackout. But
worry that private interests will take advantage of the situation and call for more
large nuclear and
coal-burning power plants. David Gard is with the Michigan Environmental Council.
“Clearly we know, experts have already said even though we don’t know the exact
cause of the
problem, we know for sure that it’s not an issue of not enough generation. We have
power plants; we have plenty of supply. This is primarily a problem with
getting energy that’s already been made to the end customer.”
Environmentalists say fixing the transmission bottle-necks, building a more diverse
wind and solar power generation and real conservation measures such as more
conditioners are better solutions than building big generating plants that pollute.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.