Matter remanded back to the City Commission

Other Party,
Intervening Appellant.

The trial court concluded that the city’s determination in granting the SLUP was not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence. We do not agree in all aspects with the trial court’s decision. That is, there are areas in which the trial court determined a lack of support that we conclude were adequately supported. Nonetheless, we do agree in some respects with the trial court’s determination and, therefore, with its ultimate conclusion to remand the matter to the city commission with direction that it must provide further support for its decision. Accordingly, we will focus on those areas in which we agree with the trial court that the record was lacking in competent, material, and substantial evidence to support the city’s decision.

October 25 | Skip Pruss and climate change expert Peter Sinclair LIVE

NMEAC is hosting clean energy expert Skip Pruss and climate change expert Peter Sinclair who will share new information on these extremely important issues.

There will also be an update on the Traverse City Green Team and progress they are making on the 100% clean energy goal.

Please join us! Free — but donations are welcome.

Where: Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Ave, Traverse City, MI 49686

Please do this now

We’re getting to crunch time — hopefully. Scan the Oil & Water Don’t Mix message below, and if you agree that with SHUT DOWN LINE 5, join with me in signing this new petition. Public comment opened yesterday, and nearly 500 have signed since it was opened yesterday morning! We hope to convince AG Schuette with thousands of citizen voices.
If the link doesn’t work, copy & past this long string into your browser!

June 12 | Bus to Pipeline Safety Advisory Board meeting in Petoskey

Get your ticket now from Traverse City to the next Pipeline Safety Advisory Board meeting in Petoskey. They have set aside THREE HOURS for public comment! Tickets are going fast!

Public turnout for this meeting is incredibly important.

Ride a bus to the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board meeting from Traverse City to Petoskey on June 12!

Buy a bus ticket below. If you cannot attend and still want to help, please consider a sponsorship donation to subsidize the cost of these discounted seats.

Monday, June 12

6:45 AM – Load the bus

7:00 AM – Depart Traverse City Civic Center

8:30 AM – Arrive Petoskey Middle School (venue for the meeting)

9:00 AM to 3:30 PM – Pipeline Safety Advisory Board Meeting (a lunch break at noon)

3:45 PM – Depart Petoskey

5:15 PM – Arrive at Civic Center (approximate time)

Parking at the Civic Center is free. Park in the middle lot and look for the bus. Please be prompt!

April 28 | Environmentalist of the year

aaronpayment Save the date for our 29th Annual Environmentalist of the Year Awards & Celebration on Friday, April 28 at Dennos Museum and Milliken Auditorium


Aaron Payment, Tribal Chair of the Soo Tribe, will be the guest speaker. Aaron will be speaking about Line 5 and tribal fishing rights in the Straits plus much, much more.


Maya Mj James is a passionate voice for today’s college generation. She will be throwing down some important words tonight. If you are a fan of “slam poetry”, you won’t want to miss this.

Maya is a representative of NMCs amazing “Students United for Social and Environmental Justice,” group, our campus co-partner at the Environmentalist of the Year Awards.

Maya helps us learn how to connect the dots between culture and the environment.

5:30pm Door Opens (cash bar and meet and greet)
6pm Reception sampling of local cuisine (by Taproot Ciderhouse)
7pm Awards Program in Milliken Auditorium

March 2 | Clean Energy Now

Please mark your calendars for NMEAC’s CLEAN ENERGY NOW !! program to be held on Thursday, March 2 at 6:30 pm at the Traverse Area Library. The program will feature Skip Pruss speaking on climate change and the need to transition to clean energy sources. In addition, Kate Madigan will be speaking on the group TC 100 and Traverse City’s new goal of moving to 100% clean energy by 2020. Please join us.

2016 Fall Newsletter

The Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is dedicated to preserving our natural environment through citizen action and education. Founded in 1980 we are the oldest grassroots environmental organization in the Grand Traverse region. This year we celebrated our 36th anniversary. As an all-volunteer organization we are working on a number of issues and wanted to share them with you.

NMEAC has joined with over 20 environmental organizations in the state to call for a shut down of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac. This year we have participated in numerous rallies, film events, handed out yard signs and stickers and worked to raise public awareness of this issue. The coalition has elevated the risks posed by the 63-year Line 5 pipelines to a top tier statewide issue. Over 67 municipalities have signed resolutions calling for the shut down of Line 5 including the City of Traverse City and Grand Traverse County. Please go to for complete information.

NMEAC has been promoting the transition to solar energy for over seven years. This year the effort expanded into a new group called TC100. The group includes: Groundwork Center, TC350, Michigan Environmental Council, Citizens Climate Lobby and SEEDS. In October we co- sponsored a presentation on climate change by former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell. We are also working with the City of Traverse City to set a goal of 100% clean energy in all city-owned buildings and facilities. In addition, NMEAC brought climate change activist Peter Sinclair to Traverse City twice in 2016. Peter’s well recognized “Climate Crock of the Week” and his numerous trips to Greenland have put him at the front of the climate change movement.

NMEAC voiced opposition to the ill-conceived plans for the 81 on East Bay development on the Old Mission Peninsula and helped support a new group called Preserve Old Mission. The development site includes steep ridges along East Bay and a spectacular woods running along the tops of those steep ridges. The developer wants to level the ridges to gain views of the Bay. We have also been involved with The Moorings development along M-72 near Tom’s West Bay. The developers recently received a violation notice from MDEQ concerning large amounts of sediment flowing to both wetlands on the site and into a local creek that empties into West Bay.

NMEAC joined with concerned citizens in downtown Traverse City to file a circuit court appeal of a special land use permit approved by the city commission. We voiced concerns about setbacks from the Boardman River and contaminated soils at the site along with the size and scope of this huge project. Judge Phil Rodgers remanded the permit back to the city commission. We have expressed concerns about the required 10-foot setback along the Boardman and feel a zoning change is needed to a minimum of 25 ft. New developments along the river have stripped all trees, bushes and vegetation and threaten to turn the river into a channel running through town.

Problems with the Homestead Resort’s septage system have been on NMEAC’s agenda since 1991. In recent years the resort has used a spray irrigation system to dispose of its septage on 11 acres of land within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Local residents calling themselves The Drifters have continued to monitor spray drift onto adjacent lands and outside the boundaries of the spray area. Recently, NMEAC called for a public hearing when MDEQ was preparing a new five-year permit for the discharge. This was largely ignored and the permit was granted. We are still hopeful this issue can be resolved.

This is our biggest event of the year and we are proud to report the 2016 event at the Park Place Dome was among our largest in NMEAC history with over 225 people attending last April 22. We were extremely fortunate to have Liz Kirkwood, executive director of FLOW, as our guest speaker. Liz spoke about the urgency of the Line 5 issue at the Straits. NMEAC handed out 17 awards for environmental excellence in a number of categories. We are already in the planning stages for our April 21, 2017 event and will be accepting nominations for awards on January 1. Go to to make nominations.

“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community
to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
Aldo Leopold

October 6 | Mayor of Grand Rapids on Clean Energy

George Heartwell on Clean EnergyGeorge Heartwell will be speaking about clean energy on October 6 at 7 pm at the Central United Methodist Church.

Former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell is coming to Traverse City to share his experiences at the Paris climate talks and to discuss how cities can take local action in the fight against global climate change.

Early in his tenure as Grand Rapids mayor, Heartwell saw the threat of climate change to his community and began working to mitigate climate impacts and to create a city infrastructure that will be resilient to those impacts. During his 12 years as mayor, Heartwell led the city to set a 100% renewable energy goal—the first in Michigan—and significantly reduce its carbon footprint through a variety of other measures.

The discussion will feature an introduction from Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers, as well as a closing panel discussion with Heartwell and local leaders.

The discussion is co-hosted with the Michigan Climate Action Network, TC350, Michigan Environmental Council, SEEDS, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, LIAA, NMEAC, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Sponsored by Oryana Community Co-op, and Central United Methodist Church’s Creation Stewards Ministry.

October 25 | Peter Sinclair with Skip Pruss in Traverse City

NMEAC is hosting clean energy expert Skip Pruss and climate change expert Peter Sinclair who will share new information on these extremely important issues.
There will also be an update on the Traverse City Green Team and progress they are making on the 100% clean energy goal.
Please join us! Free — but donations are welcome.