Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

How the Great Lakes Will Benefit from Governor Whitmer’s Energy Plan

Originally published October 6, 2023; updated February 29, 2024 In what is among the most comprehensive clean energy initiatives in the country, Michigan has become the first industrialized swing state to enact laws requiring 100 percent of electric power to come from carbon-free sources by 2040. The ambitious legislative agenda, fulfilling Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy… Read more »

Michigan eliminates counterproductive environmental rules committee

The Michigan Legislature recently completed action on a bill eliminating the Environmental Rules Review Committee (ERRC). The ERRC gave polluters and developers an avenue for stopping, slowing, or weakening proposed environmental protection rules. Six of the eleven seats on the committee six were designated for industries regulated by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes,… Read more »

Indiana Wetland Protection Rollback Threatens Great Lakes

A new Indiana law that weakens the state’s wetland protection framework will have repercussions beyond Indiana’s borders. Indiana’s move follows a U.S, Supreme Court ruling last year that gutted federal wetland protection under the Clean Water Act and gave states leeway to weaken their wetland protections. The ruling removed federal protection for about 50% of… Read more »

Happy Birthday to our founder, Jim Olson!

This week, we’re celebrating not only a remarkable individual but also an inspiring force behind the mission of FLOW. It’s our founder Jim Olson’s birthday! Jim’s unwavering commitment to keeping the waters of the Great Lakes Basin healthy, public, and protected has paved the way for positive change. As we commemorate this special day, we… Read more »

A Festering Issue: Why Michigan Can’t Afford to Cave to Big Manure

The Battle Over Regulating Biodigesters The current West Michigan controversy surrounding permitting for a facility that processes pre-consumer food waste into fuel is a stark reminder of the delicate balance between environmental protection and economic interests. While proponents of the facility tout its benefits in terms of waste reduction and energy production, a closer look… Read more »

Water, Clean Energy Budget Boosts in Governor’s Budget

Funds to help communities deal with stormwater pollution triggered by climate change and to support water infrastructure are among budget increases proposed by Governor Whitmer. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1 also includes some increases for clean energy initiatives that build on climate legislation that became law last year…. Read more »

The 2024 Issue Outlook: Hope and Possibility for Michigan’s Environment

A nationally significant package of Michigan climate bills enacted in 2023 may herald significant progress on other environmental issues in 2024. That’s the hope that FLOW and partner groups bring to the policy agenda in the year ahead. With legislative majorities and a governor in favor of strengthening Michigan environmental protections, we have opportunities for… Read more »

Chemours Site Cleanup: FLOW Supports Community Advocates Calling for Polluter to Restore Michigan Waters

With FLOW’s legal help, a community group called the Chemours Environmental Impact Committee (CEIC – pronounced seek) of White River Township, in Muskegon County, Michigan, has petitioned the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy for a more active role in negotiations around cleaning up the Chemours (a Dupont spin-off) industrial site in Muskegon… Read more »

Carolan Sonderegger joins FLOW as Policy Director

FLOW is pleased to announce that Carolan Sonderegger has joined the team as our new Policy Director. Carolan leads our policy team in designing strategic policy interventions, and works with coalition partners, stakeholders, and agency and elected officials to advance FLOW’s mission to keep the Great Lakes healthy, public, and protected for all. Carolan arrives… Read more »