- State climatologist: Data suggests warmer than normal summer on the way
The data predicts that this summer will be warmer than normal, Andresen says, but the amount of precipitation cannot be predicted. Many are concerned that another summer drought will occur, which he says is possible, but very unlikely.
- Chuck Leavell: Growing A Better America: Smart, Strong and Sustainable
"We're experiencing phenomenal growth in America, but as we go forward is that growth going to be rapid, rampant, and reckless or can it be smart, strong, and sustainable?"
- Michigan man translates environmental research for public via YouTube
Dozens of leading scientists advise Sinclair, he says, and have began inviting him to join their international research and data-gathering explorations. "They know that they're challenged by communication," he says, "and they know that's a skillset that just a lot of them don't have."
- Pure Michigan Focuses on Conservation, not Preservation
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, she says, the MUCC unites citizens to conserve, protect and enhance our natural resources through communication, education and advocacy. "We really want to protect peoples' rights to hunt and trap, we want to engage people," McDonough says, "and we want to help people foster a stewardship ethic."
- WMEAC and Grand Valley to Recognize Outstanding Women Environmentalists
The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Grand Valley State University are presenting the second annual Women & Environment Symposium on Friday, Feb. 15 at the L.V. Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids.
Veterans can find work in Green Industries
"Many of our troops are coming home, back to civilian life. And as you return, I know that you’re looking for new jobs and new opportunities and new ways to serve this great country of ours." - Pres. Barack Obama
According to the Air Force Times, the unemployment rate for Iraq-Afghanistan veterans in May 2012 is 12.7 percent. Through a program called "Joining Forces," the First Lady, Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, are reaching out to industry to train and hire returning veterans. This initiative reaches beyond the White House, as now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to find employment for veterans in the water and wastewater sector.
The focus on the water and wastewater sector seems random, but there is a reason why EPA and VA are focusing their attention on this sector. In 2008, the Water Environment Federation conducted a study on the potential for a labor shortage in this field as workers retired. The October 2008 Final Report by the Task Force on Workforce Sustainability concluded that within the next ten years 37 percent of water utility workers and 31 percent of wastewater utility workers will retire. At the same time, infrastructure that was created in the 1960s and 1970s would need to be upgraded or replaced, putting additional strains on the systems. In short, the need for new replacements for retiring workers is immediate and possibly acute.
Under the program, public or private utilities may contact the VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) offices to offer career opportunities for veterans. In addition, utilities can pay an apprenticeship or internship wage for veterans to obtain on-the-job training, which the VA supplements through a stipend to the veteran. The training program will need to be approved by a "State Approving Agency," which the Agency will assist in obtaining the necessary approvals. There are also additional benefits for training veterans with disabilities.
Given the need to improve employment for returning veterans and the need for workers in a vital and "green" industry, the partnership between EPA and DVA seems inevitable. Private industry groups, American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Water Environment Federation (WEF), are also involved in this project. The program contacts are Jeffery Jack (202.461.9644 or Jeffrey.Jack@va.gov) or Zeferino Murillo (202.461.9635 or Zeferino.Murillo@va.gov).
The author, Saulius Mikalonis, is an environmental attorney with over 25 years of experience in the Bloomfield Hills offices of Plunkett Cooney. He is also the author of The Green Blawg, in which he writes about environmental law issues for the non-lawyer. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Mikalonis is an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Auburn Hills Campus, at which he teaches a course entitled "Sustainable Development Law & Policy" and a former Board Member of the Detroit Regional Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).