Environmental Advocacy Group
ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY GROUP
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The Environmental Advocacy Group (EAG) welcomes all who want to join us in educating ourselves and others on the myriad issues affecting our environment. We put on topical programs for both LWV members and the public, confer with schools and other organizations, monitor legislation, and create informational materials like articles for the Capitol Voter and online flyers.
In 2019 we presented the LWVLA Board with a climate emergency resolution that passed unanimously, and toured three different recycling plants (MRFs—Materials Recovery Facilities).
Issues we’ve addressed have ranged from climate change, PFAS, and solid waste to water
quality, recycling and renewable energy. These issues don’t go away, so we’ll continue to
monitor and research those as well others like septic codes and chemicals in the environment. And we need all the help we can get.
Examples of recent/past activities include:
Much To Do About Trash was our Virtual Luncheon Webinar held Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Speakers Emily Freeman and Heidi Sanborn gave us plenty to think about! The webinar is available on our YouTube page, or just click here.
Positions Taken by LWVLA:
1. Voted to Oppose HB 5423 on 9/1/2020. Initiated by beverage distributors, passage of HB 5423 would result in huge changes to Michigan's highly successful Bottle Bill, originally championed by LWV LA and LWV MI in the 1970s. This proposed bill would result in a net funding loss of 8.5 million; money intended to clean up contaminated sites. Reporting of contaminated sites are on the increase in Michigan as is concern about safe drinking water and healthy communities.
2. Voted to Support HB 4500 and SB 0975 "Ban the Ban" on 8/5/2020. The identical bills are meant to repeal PA 389 which was passed in the 2016 lame duck session to restrict local governments from making ordinances stricter than the state, namely banning plastic bags. We believe restricting local governments from regulating waste in their own community is wrong. Support of SB 0975 and HB 4500 returns decision-making to local control.
3. Voted to Support HB 5306 and SB 701 "Expand the Bottle Bill" on 8/5/2020. This bill expands the types of items that can be recycled for a 10-cent return to all bottles except milk and milk alternatives. Recycling rates on returnable bottles/cans are very high, near 90%. However, the beverage market has changed significantly since the 1970s including things like juices, sports drinks, and spirit drinks, all of which are sold in non-deposit containers. Therefore, by including those products these bills would take Michigan from a low recycling rate to a high one. They also serve to decrease plastic pollution.
LWVLA has asked LWVMI to support or oppose these bills. LWVMI supported #2&3 above at their August meeting and will be considering #1 at their upcoming September meeting.
Urging Member Support for Climate Resolution
(Update) The Climate Emergency Resolution was passed by the Ingham County Commissioners on July 28, 2020 after being sponsored by Commissioner Tom Morgan. Members were urged to support a resolution declaring a climate emergency being presented to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners which was recommended by the League of Women Voters Environmental Committee. See updated Resolution here.
TALKIN’ TRASH: RECYCLING WITH THE EXPERTS
A forum on recycling and waste issues, featuring speakers Kerrin O’Brien, Director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition; Lori Welch, Environmental Specialist with City of Lansing Recycling; and Katie Deska, Education Coordinator for MSU Recycling, followed by a lively question-and-answer period. Talkin' Trash Lunch n Learn 4-9-19
TALKIN’ TRASH: A REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE & ROT DIALOGUE
When is “trash” not trash? When it’s reused, recycled or composted. The Environment Work Group presented tips to share on the 4Rs—and invited attendees to do the same--and how to turn “trash” into something useful for a better environmental outcome.
JOIN US ON THE PATH TO A LIGHTER CARBON FOOTPRINT, ONE STEP AT A TIME....
PROTECTING MICHIGAN’S WATER: TAKING ACTION
A forum about ongoing challenges to the integrity of Michigan’s precious waters and how individuals can become involved. Protect Michigan's Water Handouts
SOLARIZE DELTA TOWNSHIP
Co-sponsored with Meridian Township Green Team, this workshop facilitated a discussion around how solar energy systems work, costs and savings, net metering, financing, tax credits, selecting a solar system and contractor, and much more, with Lansing area solar owners sharing their experiences. SOLARIZE Delta Workshop
CRITICAL WATER ISSUES: INGHAM COUNTY DRAIN COMMISSIONER PAT LINDEMAN
Commissioner Lindeman addressed the environmental challenges and opportunities of water management—from rivers and drains to storm water and run-off.
LINE 5 & THE NEED TO SHUT IT DOWN
An informational program on Enbridge’s Line 5, featuring a speaker from Oil & Water Don’t Mix, at East Lansing Public Library
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: EXPLORING SOLAR ENERGY OPTIONS
A panel of representatives from Lansing Board of Water and Light, Consumers Energy, and co-sponsors Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and Michigan Interfaith Power and Light presented options for individuals, public institutions and businesses, and addressed the challenges and opportunities of solar energy. A question-and-answer period followed along with planning for further discussion. Sustainable Future - Solar Energy Flyer