Author name: Dave Dempsey

Dave Dempsey is a writer active in conservation for more than 25 years. A frequent freelance contributor and newsweekly columnist, Dave is the author of four award-winning books on the environment and a biography of Michigan’s longest-serving Governor, William Milliken. A native of Michigan who now lives in the Twin Cities metro in Minnesota, Dave served as environmental advisor to Michigan Governor James J. Blanchard from 1983-89. President Clinton appointed him to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 1994. Dave has also held numerous administrative, policy and consulting positions for nonprofit conservation and environmental organizations in Michigan and Minnesota. He was both policy director and executive director at the Michigan Environmental Council and Great Lakes policy consultant for Clean Water Action. Dave has a bachelor of arts degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in natural resource development from Michigan State University, and has served as an adjunct university instructor at MSU in environmental policy.

Paper or Plastic? Neither

[social_buttons] Green Cities California (GCC) announced today the release of its Master Environmental Assessment (MEA) on Single Use and Reusable Bags. The MEA, commissioned by GCC and developed by ICF International’s Sacramento office, summarizes existing studies on the environmental impacts of single use plastic, paper, compostable and reusable bags, as well as the impacts of […]

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DE bottle refund law: Mend it, don't end it, say advocates

A volunteer poses with the bottles and cans collected at a Massachusetts watershed cleanup. [social_buttons] A month after the governor of Delaware proposed dumping the state’s beverage container refund law in favor of a new tax for community recycling, in-state and national environmental groups have come out against the recommendation.Β  Delaware is one of 11

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Is A Pill Take-Back Law in Our Future?

[social_buttons] As the product stewardship movement gains steam, attention is turning to the issue of unsafe disposal of residue or unwanted consumer pharmaceuticals.Β  The widespread detection of pharmaceutical residues in public waters and fish has raised biologists’ concerns.Β  In Minnesota, the popularity of public-sponsored take-back days and a coming legislative proposal in the 2010 session

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MN Solid Waste Reform Could Sharply Reduce Greenhouse Emissions

A new Minnesota stakeholder report identifies 38 solid waste reform recommendations that could dramatically reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. [social_buttons] A report submitted December 31 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) outlines 38 ways the state could achieve a 20-year reduction of 52.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions through changes

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Michigan Offshore Wind Proposal Stirs Waves

A map prepared for Michigan’s GreatΒ  Lakes Offshore Wind Council shows areas of high wind power production potential in the state’s offshore waters. [social_buttons] One of the first proposals for a major offshore wind project in America’s freshwater has surprised Michigan regulators and begun to stir opposition from onshore property owners. But the company behind

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Curbside Vs. Deposit and GHG Reduction

[social_buttons] The beverage container industry continues to fight state and national container legislation despite evidence that such laws could contribute significantly to greenhouse gas reduction while providing energy, recycling and litter control benefits. The industry says community recycling programs, which put the cost burden on communities rather than container manufacturers, are a superior system for

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An Ocean of Effort

Ocean trash is one of the problems photographed by Christopher Swain on his 1,000-mile ocean advocacy and education journey. [social_buttons] As the Obama Administration’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force moves into its sixth public meeting on an interim report in Cleveland this week, one determined ocean advocate is continuing to make his way from Massachusetts

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The Missing Link in Climate Change: Product Policy

[social_buttons] Although images of giant coal-fired smokestacks and automobile tailpipes characterize greenhouse gas scenarios, a new report proposes a different way of thinking about it – product policy.Β  Products and packaging contribute 44% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and reduction plans are more likely to succeed if extended producer responsibility (EPR) is made a cornerstone

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Double Whammy of Pollution for Mississippi River in Minnesota

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee samples river water for endocrine disrupting pollutants. [social_buttons] Study results publicized this week suggest Twin Cities water resources and the Mississippi River downstream from the Cities are suffering from pollution by road salt and endocrine disrupting chemicals. The results are from U.S. Geological Survey analysis of watersheds around

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The Greening of Paint

[social_buttons] Oregon this summer became the first state to enact in law a product stewardship law for the collection of leftover consumer paint.Β  The pilot program, which expires in 2014, involves a consumer fee that a nonprofit organization established by paint producers uses to pay for the collection and proper disposal or reuse of the

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The Great Lakes: Whose water is it anyway?

[social_buttons] In a century of rising fresh water scarcity, a community of activists in the Great Lakes region is working to prevent private ownership of that water resource, although most mainstream conservation and environmental activists are focused elsewhere. If the activists’ concerns are valid, their battle has national as well as international implications. The fear

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What's In Your Bloodstream?

[social_buttons] A two-year-old Minnesota biomonitoring program has now confirmed that residents of suburbs east of the Twin Cities have perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in their blood, although government agencies stress that the levels are only slightly higher than those in the general population. Several landfill sites where 3M formerly dumped CFC wastes leaked the chemicals into groundwater

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Minnesota Moose on the Run from Climate Change

[social_buttons] An expert advisory committee this week released recommendations on restoring Minnesota’s dwindling moose population, whose decline one expert said is related to gradual warming of the state’s climate. β€œThe moose, of course, is not an animal that deals very well with heat,’’ panel chairperson Rolf Peterson of Michigan Technological University said. β€œWe wouldn’t even

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Freshwater Dreams and Schemes

The North American Great Lakes contain 6 quadrillion gallons of freshwater, about one-fifth of the world’s available freshwater supply. [social_buttons] For more than 25 years, residents of the Great Lakes region have feared large-scale public works projects to take freshwater from the Lakes to thirsty, faster-growing areas of North America. That’s why the eight Great

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Who Needs a Phone Book?

[social_buttons] As the Internet becomes the resource more Americans turn to for phone numbers, lawmakers are beginning to examine the proliferation of unwanted phone books — and their environmental impact. A Minnesota legislator, Rep. Paul Gardner, has introduced state legislation to allow consumers to opt-out of receiving the paper directories, but is taking a wait-and-see

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Minnesota's New Conservation Tax Beginning to Pay Dividends

[social_buttons] Restoration of shallow lake habitat in southern and western Minnesota is one of the habitat programs funded by a new 25-year conservation tax in the state. Photo courtesy of Ducks Unlimited. A new three-eighths cent Minnesota sales tax that took effect July 1 is beginning to result in conservation improvements. Approved as a constitutional

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