Securing the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate
for all present and future generations


Legal Updates

Photo at right: Upper Tahquamenon Falls, a beautiful state park located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST helped Michigan youth and partners take important action toward achieving scientifically adequate emission reductions in Michigan. Youth working with OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST filed a rulemaking petition with the State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality seeking the establishment of a science-based Climate Recovery Plan for Wyoming. The rulemaking petition was part of a strategically coordinated national effort in which youth filed official actions in every state in May, 2011.

This rulemaking petition filed on behalf of Michigan youth raised awareness in the state about the scientific remedies necessary to address climate change and educated Michigan officials about their duty to protect the atmosphere. But, as expected, the rulemaking petition was denied by state officials. See below. However, that state denial now plays an important role in supporting the need for the federal protections that youth supported by OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST are now seeking in federal court. Learn more about the youth-driven federal case here.

The rulemaking petition filed in Michigan, and other rulemaking petitions filed by youth around the country, are critical components of the comprehensive national strategy we are engaged in to establish science-based Climate Recovery Plans before it is too late. And, as part of that comprehensive national strategy, we are shaping our next steps in Michigan. If you live in Michigan and would like to get involved, please contact us.

August 3rd, 2011

The State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Lansing denied OCT's petition for rule making.

May 4th, 2011

OCT filed a petition for rule making with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Air Quality Division.

Climate Change Impacts in Michigan

The following points are taken from the petition for rule-making filed in May. Click on each topic for more information.

In recent decades, a noticeable increase in air temperatures has been measured in the Midwest, with the largest increases observed during the winter, with an extended frost-free growing season of more than a week. Climate models project an increase in temperature of 5-15 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the winter and 5-20 degrees in the summer by the end of the current century. With predicted increases in temperatures, it is expected that the winter season will shorten by as much as 8-10 weeks annually.

In the last 30 years there has been an increase in the intensity and frequency of heat waves, which have been more intense that any other events in the past century except for the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s. It is expected that extreme heat events will become more common.

Heavy precipitation events have doubled in frequency in the last century in the Midwestern United States. In the last three decades, summer and winter precipitation levels have been above average; it has been the wettest period in the last century. Precipitation is expected to increase by about 5% in the winter, spring and fall months, and as much as 20-40% during the summer over the next century.

Increases in precipitation during the winter months are likely to fall as rain instead of snow due to the rise in temperatures. Spring and fall precipitation is also projected to increase and intensify, with the most intense rainfall events expected to occur between the months of December and April. Studies suggest that the frequency of heavy rainstorms may increase by 50-100% by the end of the current century.

During the summer, it is predicted that the number of hot days exceeding 90 degrees is projected to double or even triple, with some years at the end of the century experiencing as many as 30-50 days of extreme heat above 90 degrees.

1. Michigan's Water Supply

2. Threats to Michigan Plants and Wildlife

3. Human Health

4. Economic Impacts of Climate Change in Michigan

Michigan Petition.pdf1.21 MB