Gas prices posted at a filling station in Philidelphia on March 2, 2016
AP Images/Matt Rourke

It’s been a great month for a drive in Southwest Michigan - warm weather and blissfully low gas prices. But what’s good for our wallets isn’t always good for the environment. Nicholas Occhipinti - the director of policy and community activism for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council - says that low gas prices mean more pollution and sometimes they thwart sustainability efforts.

Orchard Hill Landfill can easily be seen from I-94
Rebecca Thiele

 Coloma residents are hoping a state House bill will help get rid of the odor from nearby Orchard Hill Landfill. The bill, sponsored by state representative Al Pscholka, would double fines for landfills that commit odor violations. 

Diane Pierce, University of Michigan

Plans to expand Western Michigan University’s Business, Technology, and Research Park at Colony Farm Orchard have been met with controversy. The university got the property with the caveat that it could not be developed. But in 2010, the state got rid of that restriction.

Environmentalists are worried about plants and wildlife on the site as well as in nearby Asylum Lake Preserve. The discovery of a rare species of orchid on the site has given environmentalists hope that Western might change its plans.


(MPRN-Lansing) Democrats in the state Legislature say it’s time to restore citizen oversight panels to supervise air and water programs in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 

The EPA's current plan for Allied Paper Landfill
courtesy photo

We don’t yet know if Kalamazoo’s Allied Paper Landfill can be cleaned up using microorganisms. The company that wants to do that, BioPath Solutions, is still testing its product. But if BioPath gets the go-ahead from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it might remove the waste. Many residents have said that’s what they want. But they would also have to deal with some noise and some unpleasant smells.