West Michigan Environmental Action Council Records: 1968-2012
Summary Information
Title: West Michigan Environmental Action Council Records
Creator: West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
Dates: 1968-2012
Extent: 28 linear feet
Abstract:
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based environmental protection organization. Administrative, educational, legislative, and litigation files relating to various environmental issues, notably the Pigeon River Country State Forest oil drilling controversy, the problem of solid waste disposal, land and water use, and nuclear energy; contain files created during the tenures of executive directors Joan Wolfe, Roger Conner, Kenneth Sikkema, Frank Ruswick, Jr., Robert Newberry, Thomas Leonard, and Rachel Hood.
Call number: 85504 Bn 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Bentley Historical Library staff, updated by Jennifer Sharp in 2005 (reprocessing), and Devon Proudfoot in April 2017.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The record group was donated by the organization (donor no. 6700) beginning in 1994. Subsequent additions have been received.

Access Restrictions:

The record group is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, West Michigan Environmental Action Council Records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


History

Founded in 1968 as a non-profit organization by Mrs. Joan Wolfe and other concerned citizens, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) was established to protect and restore the quality of Michigan's environment. By means of programs of education, legislation, and litigation, WMEAC worked toward the goal of "translating concern into action."

Throughout the 1970s, as the membership of the organization grew, so too did the number of legislative initiatives and court cases in which WMEAC was involved. During the tenure of Mrs. Joan Wolfe, executive director from 1968 to 1973, the membership grew to seven hundred individuals and sixty Grand Rapids civic and professional organizations. The budget of the organization in this period was $60,000. By 1978-1979 the budget had expanded to $100,000 and membership numbered eight hundred and fifty individuals and seventy civic and professional organizations.

Originally WMEAC focused its attention on the Grand Rapids and Kent County area. However, the leaders of WMEAC realized that the environmental issues of concern to the Grand Rapids area were identical to problems being faced in other parts of the state. As a result, the leadership decided to establish a series of statewide coalitions and committees of organizations and individuals sharing similar environmental goals. The resulting coordinated effort of similar-minded organizations and individuals was able to produce more effective legislative and legal action in environmental problem areas.

The rapid expansion and growing diversity of the scope of WMEAC's activities produced a need for more organizational flexibility. Thus, in 1971, WMEAC established two separate tax deductible foundations to aid them in their work. The Michigan Environmental Protection Foundation (MEPF) was organized for the purpose of engaging in environmental litigation; and the WMEAC Education Foundation was created for the purpose of educating the public to environmental issues and problem areas. The budget for the Michigan Environmental Protection Foundation was drawn from donations specifically solicited to carry forward certain legal suits. The MEPF was commissioned to choose its lawsuits carefully in order to establish precedents and lay important groundwork in the field of environmental law.

In 1973, Mrs. Joan Wolfe was appointed to the Department of Natural Resources' Natural Resource Commission by Governor William Milliken. Succeeding Mrs. Wolfe as the executive director was Roger Conner, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. While in school Conner and some of his fellow law students had organized the Environmental Law Society. He also served as a research assistant to Professor Joseph L. Sax, the author of Michigan's Environmental Protection Act of 1970. Conner became the first full-time executive director of WMEAC. During his tenure, WMEAC involved itself more in court actions and sought in this fashion to support the progress made through legislation.

Conner left WMEAC in 1978 and Kenneth Sikkema, a native of Cadillac, Michigan, replaced him. Sikkema had been a legislative assistant and this experience had given him a knowledge of legislative personnel and procedures helpful to WMEAC in maintaining effective channels of communication with the state legislature. During Sikkema's tenure, several important pieces of environmental legislation supported and sponsored by WMEAC were passed by the state legislature. Among these were the Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste Act (1979) and the Wetlands Protection Act (1979). Significant new programs were also created by WMEAC during this period such as the Michigan Used Oil Recycling Program (MUORP) in 1979, and the establishment of a coalition of Michigan environmental groups called the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) in 1980.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s WMEAC continued to play a vital role in both local and statewide environmental education, litigation and legislation. During this period, however, the group's emphasis shifted away from direct involvement in environmental lawsuits and towards more of a public "watchdog" to monitor actions and decisions in private and public sectors that could have an impact on West Michigan's environment, and to alert the community to potential environmental harm. WMEAC fulfilled this role through representing environmental concerns behind the scenes in local, state, and federal governmental offices; providing informed testimony at public hearings, commission meetings, in the legislature and before judicial bodies; and intervening directly to protect the environment through litigation and legislation when necessary.

As public environmental awareness continued to grow throughout this period and environmental battles became more intensified and polarized, WMEAC continued to promote itself as a moderate organization which provided a "grass-roots" reflection of the West Michigan community itself. WMEAC thus endeavored to build coalitions with diverse interests in order to find "common ground" solutions to environmental problems rather than pursue radical activism. This approach proved highly successful as WMEAC achieved numerous significant accomplishments and launched several important new programs under the leadership of executive directors Frank Ruswick, Jr. (1982-1987) and Robert Newberry (1988-1992).

With the departure of Ken Sikkema in September 1982, Frank Ruswick, Jr. was chosen by the Board of Directors to become WMEAC's new executive director. Ruswick, a University of Michigan Law School graduate, left his post as Attorney Advisor in the U.S. Department of the Interior's Division of Conservation and Wildlife, and accepted the position. Under his tenure, WMEAC expanded its sponsorship of Michigan's first used motor oil recycling program (MUORP), extending its scope from its West Michigan headquarters to cover virtually the entire state. As the Michigan legislature continued to balk at constructing a state-funded program, WMEAC by default became the organizer of this ambitious privately-run program, which provided the only recycling sources for "do-it-yourself" oil disposal in the state. Due to constraints upon WMEAC's financial and other resources this program was able to recover only a small portion of the used motor oil dumped by "do-it-yourself" oil changers. The program, however, raised awareness statewide of the need for a government-funded recycling effort to address this problem. Other major programs developed by WMEAC during this era included a two-year project to work cooperatively with the West Michigan industrial and agricultural communities to reduce "nonpoint source" pollution of lakes and streams, development of an annual "Youth Conference on the Environment," and creation of a "Speaker's Bureau," a committee of volunteers and staff available to speak on environmental issues for area schools, organizations and groups.

Several important pieces of environmental legislation were also enacted as a result of WMEAC's activities during the directorship of Ruswick. The most significant of these legislative victories included passage of the Surface and Underground Mine Reclamation Act (1982), the Great Lakes Oil Drilling Ban (1982), the Peat Mining Act (1984), and the statewide ban on the use of the pesticide Chlordane (1987).

Ruswick resigned in October 1987 to accept a position as chief of Michigan's Civilian Conservation Corps, and Robert Newberry, then a WMEAC program specialist and pesticides expert, was named acting executive director. Newberry, a longtime Grand Rapids resident and graduate of Grand Valley State College with a degree in environmental science, was officially appointed executive director in January 1988, and under his leadership WMEAC continued its legislative success and developed several new programs which further expanded the scope of the group's influence both locally and statewide.

Most notable among the new programs established by WMEAC during Newberry's tenure were "YIKES!" (Young Idealistic Kids with Environmental Sensitivity - 1989), Designs for Environmental Awareness (1989), the Adopt-A-Stream Program (1991) and Project Greenspace (1992). YIKES! was established as a WMEAC-sponsored high school group and has engaged in such activities as Christmas tree recycling, letter-writing campaigns and making recycled paper. Designs for Environmental Awareness was a grant-funded program created to extend community awareness of local environmental concerns and efforts through consultations and workshop applications. The Adopt-A-Stream Program is an ongoing project which enables school, service, church and community organizations to "adopt" West Michigan streams in order to protect water quality and wildlife habitats. Project Greenspace was created to identify, protect and connect parks, fields, gardens and wooded areas which exist within West Michigan urban landscapes.

As always, WMEAC was very politically active during this era and its success in helping to enact environmental legislation continued unabated. Notable accomplishments included the Statewide Sewer Overflow Policy (1988), the Used Oil Dumping Ban (1990), Polluters Pay (1990), and the successful campaign of environmental groups led by WMEAC to block Governor Engler's proposed shakeup of the Department of Natural Resources, which would have eliminated many of the DNR's boards (1992).

With the resignation of Newberry in September 1992, the Board of Directors culminated a five-month, nationwide search with the selection of Dr. Sandra Marlatt as its new executive director. Marlatt, a Grand Rapids native whose diverse background includes teaching at Michigan State University, marketing county parks for the Kalamazoo County Visitors and Convention Bureau and running a 1,600-acre nature center in Nebraska, was commissioned to engineer the fulfillment of the goals of a five-year strategic plan enacted by the WMEAC Board of Directors in 1991. This plan calls for the establishment of ecosystems land use planning, the creation of strategies/programs to control non-point source water pollution and reduce toxic air emissions in West Michigan, and efforts to increase WMEAC's endowment fund by $500,000 and membership to 5000 by 1996.

Martlatt's tenure was short, and WMEAC went through several leaders over the next few years. Thomas Leonard, who considers himself more of an administrator than an environmentalist, took over the leadership role in 1995.

The projects Leonard has been involved with include the US-31 Bypass, Kent County International Airport, and the Nordhouse Dunes litigation. He has also been a member of several committees with work related to WMEAC's mission. One such group is the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.

New Working Groups have continued to be formed. The Religion, Ecology, and Spirituality group has been active planning Earth Day celebrations, and other such activities.

WMEAC has applied for grants to fund a number of initiatives, and both the Board of Directors and Leonard have taken an active interest in the retention and recruitment of members, as well as insuring the continued financial solvency of the organization.

"Action Issue", WMEAC's primary publication continues to be published monthly, providing news and information related specifically to the group, and to environmental issues in general. Rachel Hood became WMEAC Executive Director in 2007. During Hood's tenure as the Executive Director, in 2013, WMEAC lounched IDEAL (Inclusion and Development of Environmental Allies and Leaders), a project created with a goal of "building relationships with community leaders and citizens from underrepresented communities to mobilize around environmental justice issues such as housing quality, health, energy insecurity, workforce development and pollution." The organization also focused on education programs, such as Teach for the Watershed (T4W), Teach our Energy Future (T4EF), and Zero Waste in Landfill (ZWIL). Bob Wood took over as the executive director of WMEAC organization in September 2017.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The records of the WMEAC, received in multiple accessions, but now melded together, have been retained in an order approximate to that maintained by the organization in its earlier years. The records include administrative, educational, legislative, and litigation files relating to various environmental issues, notably the Pigeon River Country State Forest oil drilling controversy, the problem of solid waste disposal, land and water use, and nuclear energy; contain files of executive directors Joan Wolfe, Roger Conner, Kenneth Sikkema, Frank Ruswick, Jr., Robert Newberry and Thomas Leonard. the records are organized into eight series: administrative files, educational files, legislative files, litigation files, chlordane ban efforts, WMEAC non-serial publications, WMEAC publicity and media coverage, and WMEAC serial publications.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Nuclear energy.
  • Citizens' associations -- Michigan.
  • Conservation of natural resources -- Michigan.
  • Environmental protection -- Michigan.
  • Global warming.
  • Grand Rapids (Mich.)
  • Land use -- Michigan.
  • Lubricating oils -- Recycling.
  • Pesticides -- Environmental aspects -- Michigan.
  • Pigeon River Country State Forest (Mich.)
  • Recycling (Waste, etc.) -- Michigan.
  • Refuse and refuse disposal -- Michigan.
  • Water -- Michigan.
  • Photographs.
  • Conner, Roger L.
  • Hood, Rachel.
  • Leonard, Thomas.
  • Newberry, Robert E.
  • Ruswick, Frank.
  • Sikkema, Ken, 1951-
  • Wolfe, Joan.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Administrative files [series]

The Administrative Files begins with a miscellanea of annual reports, historical information, budget data, and correspondence. Within this grouping is a file entitled "Organizational and Historical" containing materials from the period 1982-1992. This file includes an agency history from 1982, lists of board members spanning WMEAC's entire history, information about WMEAC affiliate organizations, statements of objectives, and of special interest, a strategic plan authored by the board which projects WMEAC's future direction and major goals for the period 1992-1996.

Among the most significant files in the Administrative series are: Board of Directors files, Executive Director files, Assistant Director file, Administrative Staff files, and Engineering/Planning Coordinator files, and Program Staff files.

Box   1  
Annual Reports 1972-2003 (scattered) (3 folders)
Box   1  
Organizational and Historical Information 1982-1992
 
Budget Data
Box   1  
1971-1972
Box   1  
1973-1975
 
Strategic Plan
Box   1  
1992-1999
Box   27  
2000-2007 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Endowment fund and Capital Campaign
 
Correspondence
Box   1  
1971-1972
Box   1  
1973
Box   1  
1974
Box   1  
Name controversy (MUCC)
Box   1  
Political-Ford, Hart, Vander Veen
Box   1  
Histories and operational policies of WMEAC
 
Board of Directors

The Board of Directors files contain records produced out of the operations and regular meetings conducted by the WMEAC Board of Directors. The "Board Decisions" files contain annual summaries of the policies and strategic positions adopted by the board from 1975 to 1994 on issues such as new programs to be launched, educational efforts, and support of various pieces of environmental legislation and litigation. As such, the board decisions provide a valuable resource for tracking the evolution of WMEAC's stances on the environmental problems of the era which, unlike the meeting minutes, are not encumbered by routine administrative decisions and other procedural matters. The board's "Minutes," 1968-1992, provide insight into the reasons behind major policy decisions and the dynamics of the operation of the Board of Directors. Also included, interspersed within the official minutes, are committee and financial reports and budget summaries.

 
Board Decisions
Box   1  
1975-1984
Box   1  
1985-1987
Box   1  
1988-1991
Box   1  
1992-February 1994
Box   24  
1984-2001 (2 binders)
 
Minutes
Box   1  
1968-1977 (11 folders)
Box   2  
1978-1992 (25 folders)
Box   21  
1994-2000 (4 binders)
Box   22  
2000-2005 (5 binders)
Box   23  
2005-2010 (7 binders)
Box   24  
2010-2011 (1 binders)
 
Executive Director files

The Executive Director files, as well as the files of the Assistant Director, Administrative Director, Administrative Staff, Engineering/Planning Coordinator, and Program Staff primarily comprise correspondence, arranged chronologically, and produced through the various operations and responsibilities of the different positions of the WMEAC administrative staff. Only a sampling of routine membership correspondence is included in the record group. The great majority of the materials included are substantive and provide a view of the overall scope and depth of WMEAC staff activities. Most notable are the plethora of letters written by WMEAC staff to various members of local and state legislatures, government agencies and the governor's office in support or criticism of various governmental actions with environmental implications. The interplay between WMEAC staff and local communities, business interests, and civic groups is documented here, and WMEAC's coalition and consensus-building efforts and moderate tactics are also clearly displayed.

Box   3  
Conner, Roger L. correspondence 1977-1978 (5 folders)
 
Sikkema, Kenneth correspondence
Box   3  
1979-1982 (8 folders)
Box   3  
Ruswick, Frank, Jr. correspondence September 1982-December 1984 (8 folders)
Box   4  
Ruswick, Frank, Jr. correspondence January 1985-October 1987 (7 folders)
Box   4  
Newberry, Robert E. correspondence November 1987-December 1990 (7 folders)
Box   4  
Martlatt, Sandra correspondence 1992-1993
Box   4  
Leonard, Thomas correspondence 1995-2004 (9 folders)
 
Assistant Director files
Box   4  
Davidson, Marty correspondence January-November 1986 (3 folders)
Box   5  
Stoneman, Julie correspondence November 1986-1990 (8 folders)
 
Administrative Staff files
Box   5  
Lobbestael, Diane F. correspondence 1977-June 1980 (8 folders)
Box   5  
Woudenberg, Ginger correspondence 1994
Box   5  
Finch, Kathleen correspondence 1994-1996
Box   5  
Allen, Jennie correspondence 1998-1999
Box   5  
Reusch, Theresa H. correspondence 2002
 
Board of Directors
Box   5  
Kiste, Stan correspondence 1994
Box   5  
Schroder, Marion correspondence 1994
Box   5  
Peterson, Thom correspondence 1996-1999
 
Engineering/Planning Coordinator
Box   5  
Dauphin, Jeffrey L. correspondence 1977-1980 (8 folders)
 
Program Staff files
Box   5  
Pelc, Elaine, Water Quality Program Director 1992-1994 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Cary, Tom, Program Coordinator 1994-2004 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Kauffman, Karla, Community Organizer 2002-2003
 
Miscellaneous Correspondence
Box   5  
1994
Box   27  
Financial Reports 1992-2010 (28 volumes)
Box   27  
Endowment (2 folders)
Box   27  
Regulations and Risk Assessment (2 folders)
Box   27  
Transitions
Box   27  
Policies and Positions March 1994 (1 volume)
Box   26  
Policy Book (1 binders)
Box   28  
Organizational Design Initiative 2006
 
Educational files [series]

The Educational Files consist of WMEAC committee records, as well as information pertaining to the various causes and issues the group has adopted over the years. In these files, there are important documents relating to the Pigeon River State Forest oil drilling controversy, the problem of solid waste disposal, land and water use, transportation, and urban renewal and growth.

Within the Educational Files, also, are the papers of other organizations and groups allied with or involved with the WMEAC. These are included in the transportation, solid wastes, housing and zoning, and water committees' files. These organizations include the Community Development Citizen's Committee of Grand Rapids; the Kent County Road Commission; Citizens for the Improvement of M-37; the Grand Rapids and Environs Transportation Study; the Michigan Environmental Review Board; the Statewide Coalition for Balanced Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Michigan Coalition for Better Waste Management; Michigan Committee for Environmental Information; Recycle Unlimited; the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission; the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission; the Committee on Urban Homesteading of Grand Rapids; the Grand Rapids Riverbank Committee; the Grand Rapids Watershed Council; the Michigan Sea Grant Program; and the Michigan Water Quality Standards and Drain Commission.

Box   6  
Annual Report 1972
 
Support Committees
 
Finance or fund raising committee
Box   6  
Accounting statements
Box   6  
Fund raising campaign
Box   6  
Tax data
 
Communications or publicity committee
Box   6  
Brochures
Box   6  
Newspaper articles 1973-1979
Box   6  
Responses to periodical and newspaper articles
Box   6  
Planning or policy and procedures committee
Box   6  
Education committee
 
Transportation issues
 
City of Grand Rapids
Box   6  
Fountain Street
Box   6  
44th Street
Box   6  
6th Street
Box   6  
Miscellaneous
Box   6  
South Beltline
Box   6  
Coalition for Sensible Transportation Solutions
 
Grand Rapids Metro Transportation
Box   6  
Community Development Citizen's Committee
Box   6  
East Beltline Association
Box   6  
Guidelines for Development
Box   6  
Impact Analysis and Notification Ordinance
Box   6  
Lake Drive
Box   6  
Ottawa County-Grand Haven
Box   6  
Kent Airport, Tom Leonard Correspondence
 
Kent County Road Commission
Box   6  
Agendas and Board Meetings
Box   6  
Drafts of investigative report
Box   6  
Final report-part two
Box   6  
Final report-notes
Box   6  
Project check-off list
Box   6  
Project questionnaires
Box   6  
Project survey response "Masterfile"
Box   6  
Suggested investigation of road commission
Box   6  
12 mile road
Box   6  
M-21 Environmental Impact Statement
Box   6  
M-27 and Climax-Fullerton Projects
 
M-37
Box   6  
Citizens for the Improvement of M-37
Box   6  
Correspondence 1976-1979
Box   6  
Correspondence Gov. Milliken 1976-1977
 
Grand Rapids and Environs Transportation Study-GRETS
Box   6  
Annual Reports 1973, 1975
Box   7  
Citizens Committee Resolution
Box   7  
Historical Background
Box   7  
Project 77
Box   7  
Proposed GRETS Unified Work Program
Box   7  
Transportation Improvement FY 1976-1980, 1981-1983
Box   7  
Maps
Box   7  
Michigan Environmental Review Board
Box   7  
Proposals for Improvement
Box   7  
Statistics
Box   7  
M-66 Filer Creek
 
M-131 and M-31
Box   7  
Correspondence 1975-1977
Box   7  
Highway encroachment committee-HECC
Box   7  
Reports, maps, clippings
Box   7  
M-275; correspondence with EMEAC
Box   7  
Statewide Coalition for balanced transportation
Box   7  
Transportation sub-committee report, notes
Box   20  
Transportation Working Group 1996
Box   20  
Accessibility, Quality of Life, and Development Evaluation (AQOLADE) Working Group 2000
 
Parks and recreation committee
Box   7  
Off Road Vehicles
Box   7  
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes
Box   7  
State and national parks
 
Solid Wastes Committee
Box   7  
Dirty Dozen-12 worst Michigan landfills
Box   7  
Fleischman Foundation
Box   7  
Grant Proposal 208-EPA Water Quality
Box   8  
Love Canal
 
Michigan counties
Box   8  
Cass county-Milton Twp.
 
Kent county
Box   8  
Byron Twp.
Box   8  
Cascade Twp.
Box   8  
Grand Rapids City
Box   8  
Kentwood City
Box   8  
Landfills
Box   8  
NPDES Permit
 
Plainfield Township Landfill
Box   8  
Arguments and Index (3 folders)
Box   8  
Correspondence (2 folders)
Box   8  
Cost
Box   8  
Environmental Impact Statement (3 folders)
Box   8  
Motion for Adjournment
Box   8  
Petition for Leave to Intervene
Box   8  
Proposals and Exceptions for Decision
Box   8  
Public Hearing
Box   8  
Sanitary Landfill proposal
Box   8  
Statements
Box   8  
Wyoming City
Box   9  
Macomb County-Chesterfield Twp.
Box   9  
Montcalm. County-Pierson Twp.
 
Muskegon County
Box   9  
Hooker Chemical Co.
Box   9  
Story Chemical Co.
Box   9  
White Lake 1979
Box   9  
Oakland County-Clinton River
Box   9  
Ottawa County-Fenske Landfill
Box   9  
Office Paper Recycling
Box   9  
Oil Recycling center
Box   9  
Sewage Treatment-Muskegon and Hol 1971
Box   9  
Solid Waste Recycling 1971-1972
Box   9  
Toxic Wastes 1971
 
Waste Management and Treatment
Box   9  
Office of Solid Waste
Box   9  
Sewage Treatment
 
Other Organizations (Correspondence and reports)
 
EPA
Box   9  
Federal Grant Application (2 folders)
Box   9  
Model Scope of Work for Resource Recovery
Box   9  
Region 8 and 14 Pedco Urban Policies Team
Box   9  
President's Urban Policy Program-Source Separation
 
Michigan Coalition for Better Waste Management
Box   9  
Committee Histories
Box   9  
Conference-Ending Solid Wastefulness-Gull Lake 1978
 
County Reports
Box   9  
Oakland County
Box   9  
Oceana County-Pentwater
Box   9  
St. Clair County-Fort Gratiot
Box   9  
Grant Proposal-Public Involvement
Box   9  
Guide to Solid Waste Decision Making in Michigan
Box   9  
Waste Management Proposals
Box   9  
Background Information
Box   9  
Correspondence
 
Recycle Unlimited
Box   9  
Board of Directors
Box   9  
Department of Public Works
Box   9  
Estimated Solid Waste Stream
Box   9  
Feasibility Study in Recovering and Recycling
Box   9  
Source Separation
Box   9  
Statistics 1978-1980
Box   9  
Statewide Coalition for Better Waste Management
 
West Michigan Regional Planning Commission-WMRPC
Box   9  
Kent/Ottawa County 1980
Box   10  
Land Use Plan-Region 8 1978
Box   10  
Regionotes November 1980
Box   10  
Ten Ech-Resource Recovery Project 1979-1980
Box   10  
West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission
 
Housing and Zoning Committee
 
Urban Housing-Homesteading
Box   10  
Committee on Urban Homesteading 1974
Box   10  
Grand Rapids Planning Department
Box   10  
Housing Referral Center 1975
Box   10  
Inspection Team
Box   10  
Kent County-Housing Coalition
Box   10  
Legislation and legal opinions
Box   10  
Neighborhood Alliance
Box   10  
Reclining
Box   10  
Subcommittee's notes
Box   10  
Task force
 
City Center Committee
Box   10  
Manhattan Project Phase II; East Grand Rapids
Box   10  
Nature Area Development Plan
Box   10  
Grand Rapids Riverbank Committee
Box   10  
Grand Rapids Riverfront
Box   10  
Grand River Banks
Box   10  
Air Pollution Committee
 
Legislative Committee
Box   10  
Alaska Lands Bill
Box   10  
Billboards Bill
 
Bottle Bill
Box   10  
Campaign Committee
Box   10  
Campaign-Kent Co.
Box   10  
Correspondence
Box   10  
Reports
Box   10  
Community Development Act 1974
Box   10  
Correspondence to Legislature
Box   10  
DNR-Gill Nets
Box   10  
Federal Legislation
Box   10  
Legislative Committee 1974
Box   11  
Mining-Mineral Leasing Activity
Box   11  
Mining-Sand Dunes
 
Pigeon River
Box   11  
Compromise April 1980-1981
Box   11  
Correspondence 1976-1978
Box   11  
Correspondence 1979-1980
Box   11  
History of Pigeon River Controversy
Box   11  
Map
Box   11  
Pigeon River Country Advisory Council
Box   11  
Report-"Pigeon River How Much Oil?"
Box   11  
Porcupine Mountains
Box   11  
Tree Removal
Box   11  
Trout and Salmon Fund
Box   11  
Voting records of Legislators
 
Land Use Committee
Box   11  
Correspondence 1973-1974
Box   11  
Environmental History-Laws and Impact Statements
Box   11  
Forest Legislation
Box   11  
Landscape
Box   11  
Law Issues
Box   11  
Michigan DNR and Land Use
Box   11  
Planning, Viewpoints,-Alternatives, and Options
Box   11  
Potential Legislation
Box   11  
Public Lands Management
Box   11  
Regional Framework Plan
Box   11  
Reports and papers
Box   11  
Soil Erosion
Box   11  
Tax Considerations
Box   11  
Zoning
 
Energy Committee-Nuclear Power Files
Box   11  
Big Rock Nuclear Plant
 
Consumers Power
Box   11  
Peak Load Precinct Documents
Box   11  
Rate Increase and Advertising
Box   12  
Shareholders Proposal
Box   12  
Ten Year Plan
Box   12  
Correspondence
Box   12  
Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant
Box   12  
Nuclear Advertising
Box   12  
Nuclear Conference
Box   12  
Nuclear Legislation
Box   12  
Nuclear Moratorium
 
Pesticides Committee
Box   12  
Gypsy Moths
Box   12  
Miscellaneous
 
Water Committee
 
DNR
Box   12  
Dams and the DNR
Box   12  
Dam Study Fund
Box   12  
Inland Lakes and Streams
Box   12  
Maple River Project
Box   12  
Soil Conservation Service, Future Projects
Box   28  
Inland Lake and Stream Annual Reports 1974-1999 (21 volumes)
Box   12  
Grand Rapids Watershed council
Box   12  
Grand River Basin Plan
Box   12  
Michigan Sea Grant Program
Box   12  
Michigan Water Quality Standards and Drains
Box   12  
Presque Isle River-Fish Ladder
Box   12  
Wabasis Lake
Box   12  
WMRPC-Report 208 Water Quality (2 folders)
Box   28  
Lake and Stream Files (25 folders)
Box   12  
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
 
Non-committee correspondence and documents
Box   12  
Adopt A Stream
Box   26  
Adopt A Stream (1 binders)

(continued)

Box   12  
Biological Surveys -- various streams
Box   12  
Flat River
Box   12  
Grand Rapids Citizens Watershed Council
Box   12  
Grand Rapids Sewer
Box   12  
Gunlake Wetlands
Box   13  
River Monitoring (Part 2)

(Part 1 not included in collection)

 
Sand Dunes
Box   13  
General (3 folders)
Box   13  
Saugatuck
Box   13  
Water Programs: Grants
 
Various Committee Correspondences
Box   13  
Michigan Student Environmental Coalition
Box   13  
Pesticide Work Group
Box   13  
Religion, Ecology, and Spirituality (2 folders)
 
Various Work Groups
Box   13  
Minutes
Box   24  
Mayor's Environmental Advisory Committee 2004 (1 binders)
Box   20  
Environmental Issues 1983-2003
Box   20  
Education Evaluation Report 2006
Box   25  
Michigan Used Motor Oil Recycling Program (MUORP) 1986-1991 (1 binders)
Box   25  
Oil and Gas Drilling in Michigan 1977-1981 (2 binders)
Box   26  
Advocacy Toolbox 1991 (1 binders)
Box   27  
Volunteer Project 1984 (11 folders)
 
Legislative files [series]

The Legislative Files reveal WMEAC's interaction with the Michigan legislature and the Governor's office. These files begin with the 75th Legislative session (1969-1970) and continue through the 80th Legislative session (1979-1980). Of interest are materials concerning the legislative histories of bills relating to returnable bottles and cans, off-road vehicles, sand dunes and mineral mining, and the management of solid wastes.

 
75th Legislative Session 1969-1970
Box   13  
HB3055 Michigan EPA
 
76th Legislative Session 1971-1972
Box   13  
HB4948 Inland Lakes and Streams (2 folders)
Box   13  
PA346 of Inland Lakes and Streams 1972
 
77th Legislative Session 1973-1974
Box   13  
HB239; SB117 Environmental Education
Box   13  
HB4170 Off Road Vehicles
Box   13  
HB4244 Land Use
Box   13  
HB4926 Bottle Bill
Box   13  
HB505 Land Use-State
Box   13  
HB6123 Environmental Review Board
Box   13  
SB419 Natural Preservation Act
Box   13  
SB946 Solid Waste Authority
Box   14  
PA116 Land Use
Box   14  
Miscellaneous Legislation
 
78th Legislative Session 1975-1976
Box   14  
HB4038 Sand Dune Mining
Box   14  
HB4234 Substitute Land Use
Box   14  
HB4341 HB4342 HB4343 Solid Waste
Box   14  
HB4296 SB233 Bottle Bill
Box   14  
HB4729 Off Road Vehicles
Box   14  
HB5054 HB5455 SB1003 Mack and Jacobetti Act
Box   14  
HB6247 HB6248 HB6249 Solid Waste
Box   14  
SB1234 Mobile Homes
Box   14  
SB1394 Change in Refuse Laws
Box   14  
Miscellaneous Legislation
 
79th Legislative Session 1977-1978
Box   14  
HB4189 Land Use
Box   14  
HB4329 Wetlands
Box   14  
HB4591 Zoning
Box   14  
HB4804 Solid Waste Management
Box   14  
HB6314 Solid Waste Management
Box   14  
SBG92 Land Resources Planning Act
Box   14  
Miscellaneous Legislation
 
80th Legislative Session 1979-1980
Box   14  
HB4006 Hazardous Waste
Box   14  
HB6565 Bottle Bill
Box   14  
SB1119 Substitute SB1119 Hydrocarbon Development
 
Committees
Box   14  
House Study Committee on Waste Disposal 1977
Box   14  
Tom Matthiew Committee on Waste Disposal 1977
 
Litigation files [series]

The Litigation Files consist of materials concerning legal cases which either involved WMEAC directly or indirectly through the Michigan Environmental Protection Foundation. Court papers documenting the development of several lawsuits involving the WMEAC are complete, and reveal how the WMEAC either defended established statutes against industry and/or government's attempts to interpret these statutes in a manner which could result in potential damage to the environment; or how the WMEAC sued individuals, industry, and government when specific environmental statutes were being ignored or disobeyed. Important lawsuits here involve the Consumers Power Company (Big Rock Nuclear Plant in Charlevoix, Michigan); attempts by various oil companies and the state of Michigan to allow drilling within the Pigeon River State Forest; and the banning of the pesticide DDT.

The Michigan Environmental Protection Foundation's legal actions are concerned with specific lawsuits where it hoped to establish legal precedents on issues of environmental quality and protection. The records concern in part the development of property on Little Traverse Bay and Torch Lake; advertising on Grand Rapids city benches; the proper uses of nuclear power; and highway construction.

Box   14  
Attorney's Fees No. 3137, No. 23011, No. 57274
Box   14  
Betz Foundry v. WMEAC et. al. No. 11409 No. 14355
 
Big Rock Nuclear Power Plant; Charlevoix, Michigan
 
No. G58-73CA7
Box   14  
Correspondence, notes
Box   14  
WMEAC v. AEC March 1973
Box   15  
WMEAC v. AEC April-September 1973
Box   15  
WMEAC v. AEC October-December 1973
Box   15  
WMEAC v. AEC 1974-1975
 
No. 50-155
 
Correspondence, notes
Box   15  
1971-June 1973
Box   15  
July-December 1973
Box   15  
January-August 1973
Box   15  
September 1973-1975
Box   15  
WMEAC v. ABC March-May 1973
Box   15  
WMEAC v. AEC June-December 1973
Box   15  
WMEAC v. AEC January-July 1974
Box   15  
WMEAC v. AEC August-December 1974
Box   15  
WMEAC V. AEC 1975-1976
 
Consumers Power Rate Increase
Box   15  
Intervention 1973
Box   15  
Shareholder's Proposal 1971-1973
Box   15  
Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant No. 50-315ED; No. 50-316ED
 
DDT
 
Correspondence, notes
Box   15  
1969-1970
Box   16  
1971-1974
 
No. 23,813 court papers
Box   16  
1969
Box   16  
1970
Box   16  
1971-1974
Box   16  
No. 71-1256 court papers 1971
Box   16  
Genetic Environmental Statement RM50-5 1976
Box   16  
Goemaere-Anderson Wetland Protection Act
Box   16  
Hillsdale County Citizens v. Hillsdale County
Box   16  
Hooker Chemical No. 79-22878 CE
Box   16  
Kent County-Plainfield Township
Box   16  
Lake Dosier Development Co. vs. WMEAC No. 78-0339-AV
 
Nordhouse Dunes
 
Correspondence
Box   16  
1982-1983
Box   16  
1985
Box   16  
1986
Box   16  
1994-1996
Box   16  
Environmental Impact Statement (Draft)
Box   16  
Environmental Study
Box   16  
Environmental Study Supplement
Box   16  
Court Documents December 1995 (3 folders)
 
Pigeon River
Box   16  
WMEAC et. al. v. NRC et. al. 1976
Box   17  
WMEAC et. al. v. NRC et. al. No. 76-19335Ce; No. 77-4777 No. 65805 1977-1980 (2 folders)
Box   17  
Shell Oil v. Tanner No. 80-24466-AA 1979-1980
Box   17  
WMEAC v. Tanner No. 80-24630-CE; MO. 50236 No. 64786 1980
Box   17  
WMEAC v. NRC et. al. No. 76-19335 No. 50752 1980-1981
Box   26  
Direct Examination (1 binders)
Box   28  
Litigation (1 envelopes)
Box   17  
Plutonium Use No. 75-4276 No. 75-4278
Box   17  
Radiation Protection Standard PRM 20-5
Box   17  
Ray v. Mason Co. Drain Commissioner No. 55248
Box   17  
Roberts v. State of Michigan No. 13640
Box   17  
Roadside Obstacles; G76-70 CA 1; WMEAC v. Coleman
Box   17  
Zoning; Turkish v. City of Warren
 
Michigan Environmental Protection Foundation
Box   17  
Advertising Benches-City of Grand Rapids
Box   17  
Consumers Power
Box   17  
Consumers Power Advertising
Box   17  
Consumers Power Correspondence
Box   17  
Grand Haven Canals
Box   17  
Kennedy Fund
Box   17  
Lake Macatawa
Box   17  
Little Traverse Fund
Box   17  
MEPF v. Antrim Co. Road Commission-Cedar River
Box   17  
Monroe Creek-Lake Charlevoix
Box   17  
Organizational Information
Box   17  
Pigeon River Drilling Permits
Box   17  
Property Development v. Irish et. al
Box   17  
Proposed Law Suite
Box   17  
Tanton v. DNR
Box   17  
Taxpayers etc. v. Highway Dept. of Michigan
Box   17  
Torch Lake Case
Box   17  
WMEAC v. Reenders
 
Chlordane Ban Efforts 1981-1988 [series]

The Chlordane Ban Efforts, 1981-1988 series documents the long struggle of WMEAC and individuals from the local community to support the enactment of a statewide ban on the use of the pesticide Chlordane (a termiticide used extensively by Michigan pest control companies). The series is composed of three parts: Chlordane Investigation (Michigan Dept. of Health), 1985-1986; Newberry, Robert E., (WMEAC Program Specialist and Executive Director) and; Tvedten Steve (Stroz, Inc.).

Taken together these files illustrate how a typical WMEAC environmental campaign was organized and implemented, and elucidate the various dynamics involved in the interaction of the group with private individuals and businesses and local/state government. The correspondence of Steve Tvedten, president of a Grand Rapids pest control company who became concerned with the health effects of the chemical on his workers and homeowners, in conjunction with the correspondence of Robert Newberry of the WMEAC staff, exemplifies how an individual's concerns were translated into effective political action by WMEAC. The materials on the Chlordane Investigation by the Michigan Dept. of Health (1985-1986) document how WMEAC was able to counteract and question the validity of a government-sponsored investigation which claimed that Chlordane was safe to use. The culmination of the efforts documented in these records was the signing of a state law banning the use of this dangerous pesticide by Governor Blanchard in 1988.

Box   18  
Chlordane Investigation (Michigan Dept. of Health) 1985-1986
Box   18  
Newberry, Robert E. (WMEAC Program Specialist and Executive Director) correspondence 1985-1987
Box   18  
Tvedten, Steve (Stroz, Inc.) correspondence 1981-1985 (8 folders)
 
WMEAC Non-serial Publications [series]

The WMEAC Non-serial Publications series is comprised of some of the printed materials published by WMEAC, along with some related correspondence/records. The series is divided into Educational Materials and Michigan Environs.

The Educational Materials contain evidence of the wide-ranging educational efforts undertaken by WMEAC, a topic somewhat under-documented in the rest of the 1994 accession. It is composed primarily of pamphlets, brochures and instructional notebooks produced during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The materials are focused upon four major topical areas: global warming, solid waste disposal, water pollution and youth involvement. Particularly valuable are: the "Global Warming Review," an informative brochure published by WMEAC in 1990 to educate the public on the issues involved; an instructional notebook designed for participants in WMEAC's ambitious "Adopt-A-Stream" program, which outlines the purpose and goals of the program along with information on water pollution reversal tactics and methods; and brochures and pamphlets produced by "YIKES" (Young Idealistic Kids with Environmental Sensitivity), which provide details on the program's goals, activities and accomplishments from 1989 to 1994.

Michigan Environs is composed of materials relating to WMEAC's attempt during the early 1980s to publish an environmental magazine which was intended to be distributed through individual subscriptions and sales to state public and school libraries. This project was originally grant-funded and expected to become self-sustaining, however, financial and staff limitations led to its demise in 1982.

 
Educational Materials
Box   18  
Introductory Packet
 
Global Warming
Box   18  
"Global Warming Review" 1990
 
Solid Waste Disposal
Box   18  
"Integrated Waste Management"
 
Water Pollution
Box   18  
"Adopt-a-Stream" Program
Box   18  
Homeowner's Guides
Box   18  
Nonpoint Contamination
Box   18  
"Save Your Stream: Manage Your Stormwater" Program
Box   18  
Watershed Management
 
Youth Involvement
Box   18  
"YIKES" (Young Idealistic Kids with Environmental Sensitivity)
Box   18  
Miscellaneous
 
Michigan Environs
 
Editor's Reference Materials
Box   18  
Marketing Planning Process
Box   18  
Fundraising
Box   18  
Editorial, Production and Circulation Information
 
Meadows, Deb (editor)
Box   18  
Correspondence 1981
Box   18  
Correspondence 1982-1983
Box   20  
Assorted Brochures and Pamphlets
 
WMEAC Publicity and Media Coverage [series]

The WMEAC Publicity and Media Coverage series documents both internal and external efforts to publicize and analyze programs, campaigns and accomplishments of WMEAC. The materials span virtually the entire history of the group (1968-2005), and are divided into Clippings, Hearing Statements, Photographs, and Press Releases.

The Clippings consist of primarily newspaper or magazine articles, accumulated by WMEAC staff, that document the programs, activities, and accomplishments of the group over the years. The overwhelming majority of the clippings originate from the Grand Rapids Press and other local West Michigan newspapers and include, along with normal news coverage, various editorials both favorable and unfavorable of WMEAC policies. As such, these chronologically arranged articles present a fascinating account of the interaction between WMEAC and the local community and document the impact of WMEAC on both state and national environmental debates. Also included are several feature-length articles describing the nature and scope of the organization and the motivations and personalities of WMEAC leaders.

The Hearing Statements are transcripts of testimony delivered by WMEAC members at various legislative and other hearings from 1968 to 1990. These materials are contained within the Publicity and Media Coverage series because they were utilized by WMEAC in a manner similar to press releases, i.e. they were intended mainly to elucidate and publicize WMEAC positions on various legislative and litigious issues.

The Press Releases is a fairly complete collection of press releases issued by WMEAC. WMEAC employed their press releases as a means of publicizing organizational activities, announcing new programs or staff appointments, and stating official positions on various legislative and other governmental actions, and legal suits in which WMEAC was directly or indirectly involved. Some of the topics covered in this files are: nuclear power, air pollution/Clean Air Act, the banning of the pesticides DDT and Chlordane, the Michigan Bottle Bill, the Michigan Used Motor Oil Recycling Program, the Great Lakes Oil Drilling Ban, the formation of the Michigan Environmental Council and sand dune protection efforts.

 
Clippings
Box   18  
1968-1987 (5 folders)
Box   19  
1988-2005 (7 folders)
Box   19  
Hearing Statements 1968-1990 (4 folders)
 
Photographs
Box   19  
Adopt A Stream
Box   25  
Unidentified Event (1 photo albums)
 
Press Releases
Box   19  
1969-1976
Box   19  
1979-1982
Box   19  
1983-1986
Box   19  
1987-1990
Box   19  
1988-2005
Box   20  
Grand Rapids Proclamations 2002-2012
 
WMEAC Serial Publications [series]

The WMEAC Serial Publications series includes all publications that have been published with some sort of regularity throughout the organization's existence. The main publication, currently titled Action Issue, has been in continuous publication since April 1970. The name, though, has changed over the years. The "Action Alerts" are a series of informational flyers produced by WMEAC between 1977-1984, which were designed to call the membership's attention to various environmental issues and to promote direct and immediate action through letter-writing campaigns or other lobbying efforts. Published with less regularity are the MCBWM Newsletters, the Michigan Environs Update, and the Sand Dune Bulletin.

 
Main Publication
Box   19  
Environmental Action Council Newsletter (name becomes West Michigan Environmental Action Council April 1970-June 1976)
Box   19  
Newsletter 1976-1979
Box   19  
Environs 1979-1982
Box   19  
Action Issue 1982-2005 (5 folders)
Box   20  
Action Issue 1982-2005 (7 folders)
Box   20  
Tuebor 2006-2009
Box   20  
Action Alerts 1977-1984
Box   20  
MCBWM Newsletters 1978-1980
Box   20  
Michigan Environs Update (scattered)
Box   20  
Sand Dune Bulletin (scattered)