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Planet Detroit

Planet Detroit helps you get smarter about the environment in Detroit and Michigan. Planet Detroit’s stories and weekly newsletter focus on explanatory, solutions-based and investigative reporting, and a deep commitment to community engagement around local environmental issues. Planet Detroit’s mission is to raise awareness about Metro Detroit’s environmental and public health issues, hold powerful entities accountable and help our audience connect with their local environment and take action to protect the health of their communities.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Michigan’s dams a C- on its most 2018 infrastructure report card (better than the roads, storm drains and drinking water systems, which all got a D or worse.)
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The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a 4.7% rate increase for DTE customers last week —  less than the 9% increase DTE had requested in their June 2019 filing. The decision also requires the utility to propose a system to link its performance with profits and to engage with community stakeholders in its next rate case.   Increased rates are set to begin for all DTE customers Friday.  DTE had previously announced that customers would save 3-4% this summer in bill relief due to the coronavirus shutdown resulting in cheaper electric generation costs.  Chris Lamphear, a corporate communications manager for DTE, wrote in an email, “We recognize
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The data gathered by the U.S. Census, which includes information on the age, racial background and income level of an area’s residents, is often the statistical basis for legal action and activism around environmental threats.
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city of detroit orange and white sign denoting sewage problems
Scripps Street on April 3. Photo by Brian Allnutt. On Scripps street in Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers Neighborhood, Blake Grannum, 36, has been nervously watching the canal that links her backyard to the Detroit River. She has lived in this house her entire life and has experienced floods before, but this doesn’t make her any less anxious. “Right now, the water is extremely high,” she says, “and I’m just imagining it coming over it in the next week or two.” If the canal overtops the sixty-foot seawall behind the house that she shares with her mother, this would be the second
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On Saturday morning on March 21, around a dozen volunteers wearing gloves and masks were helping unload an Absopure water truck at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Corktown
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Theresa Landrum’s neighborhood in the shadow of the Marathon Oil Refinery. Photo courtesy Landrum. Theresa Landrum’s neighborhood in the 48217 zip code is surrounded by polluters like AK Steel and Marathon Petroleum. She says that her community is dealing not only with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, but also a high prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma that could make the impact of the virus even deadlier.  “It’s like popcorn popping, hot spots everywhere,” says Landrum, a local resident, and activist, about the spread of COVID-19 in Detroit, which has emerged as one of the worst outbreaks in the country with thousands of cases and a
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A conspiracy theory began floating around on social media in March linking the rollout of 5G technology with the emergence of the novel coronavirus and its resulting disease, COVID-19.
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Six years after Detroit environmental activist Charity Hicks passed away, a strong network of Black environmental activists remains in Detroit, dedicated to tackling environmental injustice.
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hands washed by dripping water
Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declined to declare an emergency around Detroit’s water shutoffs, which affected 23,500 customers last year, citing “insufficient data” proving the shutoffs posed a public health risk.
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plants sprouting in a garden
As COVID-19 forces people to stay home and perhaps look for productive ways to use their time, interest in gardening has grown alongside other pandemic homesteading staples like baking bread and raising chickens.
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Photo courtesy Keep Growing Detroit
Detroit's farm and garden community have had to adapt to new realities — including helping their workers and customers stay safe and adjusting to an expected increased need for fresh food.
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kids in water at belle isle
During the pandemic, Detroiters need parks more than ever. Increasingly, green space is being recognized as a key asset for wellness.
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