Weekly Edition 1/13 - 1/19

News & Notes From the Capitol



From the offices of Mid-Michigan's Elected Officials

DNR News & Notes


News, notes and stories from Michigan's DNR




City of Lansing Building Growth Triples in 2019 City has $280 Million Dollars in Permitted Building

 (LANSING) – Mayor Andy Schor today announced that there was more than $280 million dollars in construction and permit activity in 2019. This is a $200 million-dollar increase compared to 2018. Notable projects in 2019 included partial permitting for Red Cedar Development, McLaren’s new state of the art medical facility, the downtown grocery store with hotel and housing, Oliver Towers, the Y site and Waypoint, among others. 

“The City of Lansing is growing, and people are eager to invest here,” said Mayor Andy Schor. “We are excited for the results of the investments made in 2019, as they will create more jobs, retail, housing, business and other opportunities for residents and visitors. These developments will also create a more vibrant and walkable community, which will continue to help attract and retain talent in Lansing.” 

Lansing’s Building Safety Office (BSO) is responsible for enforcing the 2015 Michigan Building Code, which establishes the requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare when it comes to buildings and construction. As of December 3, 2019, BSO issued 7,682 permits required for building construction during the calendar year. 

This is a 478-permit increase compared to 2018. 

Electrical Permits: 1,745 

Mechanical Permits: 2,052 

Plumbing Permits: 1,770 

Building Permits: 1,977 

Slotkin Statement on Breach of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

“It is difficult to watch the violent breach of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq earlier today,” Slotkin said. “I am thinking first and foremost of our diplomats and service members there, after having served three times in Iraq myself. Two months ago, I traveled to Iraq on a bipartisan congressional delegation of the House Armed Services Committee and had the chance to spend time with the hardworking men and women at our Embassy. 

I know how stressful this time must be for them and their families, and I was glad to hear that military reinforcements were ordered by the Secretary of Defense. No matter the politics, the government of Iraq has a responsibility to provide for the security of all foreign embassies on their soil. The government of Iraq must live up to those responsibilities.”

“As a former Shia militia CIA analyst who has served multiple times in Iraq, I have seen Iran's destabilizing activity in Iraq up close and personal,” Slotkin continued. “The Iranian government has long sought political influence over the Iraqis, with the goal of using Iraq's territory to move people, materiel, and weapons across the Middle East. During the House Armed Services Committee congressional delegation visit to Iraq last month, we warned the government of Iraq about growing Iranian influence, and that the placement of Iranian ballistic missiles in Iraq, in particular, ran counter to ongoing U.S support to train and equip the Iraqi military. The subsequent rocket attacks last week on a U.S. military location in Kirkuk, which killed a U.S. contractor and wounded several U.S. service members, demonstrate Iran's continued interest in using Iraqi proxies to attack the United States and further its regional objectives.”

“That said, this is a moment for careful diplomacy,” Slotkin said. “Our diplomats and service members in Iraq deserve a thoughtful, reasoned strategy to help de-escalate the situation. In the short term, American lives are at risk. In the long-term, we must not break our strategic relationship with the government of Iraq in a way that cedes Iraq to Iranian influence, or throws away the hard-fought gains we have made beating back ISIS. In short, the Trump Administration must be judicious as it develops options, and not let fast-moving events draw us into a wider conflict that threatens lives.”

Whitmer Administration Reviewing Possible Criminal Charges Against “Green Ooze” Polluter

Governor calls on Legislature to pass “Polluter Pay” legislation to force polluters to pay for cleaning up contamination   

 LANSING, Mich.- Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement on actions her administration is taking to clean up the “green ooze” pollution in Oakland County, to hold the polluter accountable, and to strengthen pollution inspection and enforcement procedures at the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to prevent future contamination:  

"Since taking office, I've remained committed to protecting public health and safety. The ongoing situation in Madison Heights is very concerning, and further stresses the need to enforce protections that keep Michiganders safe. State experts are on location assisting in the ongoing clean-up efforts. I’m grateful for their vigilant efforts during this holiday season.   

“My administration is actively reviewing all means of accountability, including further criminal charges against the polluter who caused this mess. Today I also directed EGLE to conduct a formal review of its pollution inspection procedures to strengthen enforcement and accountability.  

“This situation demonstrates the need for broad reforms to address problems of critical underfunding and understaffing at the department following eight years of one-party control in Lansing. It’s time for Republicans in the legislature to ensure EGLE has the technology and resources it needs to keep the public safe. They should also pass ‘Polluter Pay’ legislation championed by Democrats in the Legislature that will force polluters to clean up the mess they make. Working with federal and local partners, my administration will stay focused on cleaning up contaminated sites sooner, addressing root causes, and holding polluters accountable.”  


News & Notes from the DNR


Last shot at antlerless deer – January hunt in southern Alpena County

Start the new year off right – by hunting! The late antlerless firearm deer hunt in southern Alpena County begins today. Hunters have one more chance to get out in the woods and harvest an antlerless deer this winter, Jan. 2-5 and 9-12, on private land south of Highway M-32.    

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Hunting Access Program recently has made over 2,900 acres of quality private land available to the public specifically for this hunt. This is in addition to the existing 1,200 acres already enrolled in long-term leases. Descriptions of the 24 HAP properties that can be used during this late antlerless firearm hunt are available at Michigan.gov/HAP. Contact Monique Ferrisat 517-284-4741 with questions about HAP properties and how to hunt on them.

Hunters can take antlerless deer with an unused 2019 deer or deer combo license or private-land antlerless license for DMU 487 or with disease control permits issued for 2020. Additional deer licenses can be purchased at any DNR license agent through Jan. 12.

Successful hunters can bring their deer to the Alpena DNR deer check station between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. any of the eight days of the season. Self-service drop boxes to submit heads for bovine tuberculosis testing also are available 24 hours a day at the Alpena deer check station and the DNR Mio field office. The use of a smartphone is required to utilize the drop boxes.

Want to donate your deer to help the community? Michigan Sportsman Against Hunger, the Foodbank of Eastern Michigan and the DNR are working together to collect deer for donation during this hunt. Just bring field-dressed deer to the Alpena DNR deer check station between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the days of the hunt. 

Contact DNR wildlife health specialist Emily Sewell at SewellE@michigan.gov or 231-340-1821 with any questions.