This month’s news roundup covers reflections following midterm elections as well as articles on Michigan’s trails, drinking water monitoring, PFAS and local development.

Great Lakes opportunities, obstacles await new governors in Michigan and Wisconsin This article reflects on the potential implications of new governor-elect in Michigan. There are new opportunities and challenges pertaining to water and the environment. For broad implications of the midterm elections take a look at this blog from Alliance for the Great Lakes CEO Joel Brammeier.

Hull's Trace, on the Huron River Water Trail, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the National Park Service. Photo: Dan Harrison
War of 1812 re-enactors at the dedication of Hulls Trace on the Huron River Water Trail, listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the National Parks Service. Photo: Dan Harrison

Issues Of The Environment: Protecting Ann Arbor’s Chimney Swift Population A significant population of Chimney swifts call one of Ann Arbor’s blighted buildings home. This bird species is considered near threatened and with a loss of natural habitat, they rely on built structures for roosting. Because this land is likely a future part of the city greenway, there should be a cool opportunity for some creative solutions.

Residents Rally As Proposed Subdivision Is Denied Site Plan Approval Hamburg residents and municipal staff are debating an issue common to growing towns. A developer is proposing a high density neighborhood – higher than current Master Plan documents allow. Residents have concerns over traffic and strain on drinking water wells. On the flip side, density exceptions give the township more control over other aspects such as open space requirements which can be used to protect wetlands and water, and to build trails and parks.

Wolverine sues 3M over PFAS contamination  A lawsuit has been filed against a major manufacturer of products containing PFAS chemicals in an attempt to hold the company accountable for their role in extensive PFAS contamination statewide. Wolverine Tannery is responsible for the cleanup of water contaminated with PFAS from its operation in Kent County. The company believes 3M has some responsibility as well and is taking the case to court.

SEMCOG completes updates for region’s water quality monitoring Fourteen water treatment plants in southeast Michigan have completed updates to water quality monitoring equipment used to keep drinking water safe for residents who get water from the Great Lakes Water Authority.

How history is making a comeback on Michigan’s trailways  Learn about the DNR’s Heritage Trail Program that is helping connect Michigan’s trails with the history of the places they traverse. The article includes a nod to the Huron River’s own Hull’s Trace –  a military road built during the Water of 1812.