State of the Air: MICHIGAN

Kelly NicholsContact Kelly Nichols at to learn more or volunteer.

Kelly has 4-year-old twins, and an Australian husband. She grew up roaming the woods of mid-coast Maine and Northern Minnesota before she found herself involved in theatre and stand-up comedy in New York City. The youngest of two girls, her parents instilled a solid love of nature in her growing up, and her favorite thing is to spend time by the waters of Lake Michigan, in her garden, or on a forest preserve in her current home in Highland Park, Illinois. She is excited to be working to make the air of Illinois cleaner, and create a better planet for all of us!

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Here’s what we’re working on in Michigan:

Moms Clean Air Force started organizing in Michigan in January 2012. Michigan is a pivotal state in the fight for clean air and air quality improvements. We now proudly represent more than 18,000 members in Michigan.

Michigan is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to diseases linked to air quality. Outdoor air pollution puts the health of Michigan children, families and seniors at risk. We cannot afford to continue to rely on coal and other dirty sources of energy that pollute our air. The health of all Michiganders— but particularly our most vulnerable populations—depends on it.

Michigan has one of the most polluted zip codes in the country: 48217. That area of the Detroit is nestled between superhighway I-75 and some of Michigan’s largest industrial plants. Pulmonary and other respiratory and cardiovascular issues have plagued residents in that area for decades. Moms Clean Air Force has been working with community and health organizations in the area to bring attention to this issue and to address the environmental injustice this neighborhood has been dealing with for so long.

Michigan is also one of the Great Lakes states. Those gorgeous bodies of water are among our state’s main attractions and a point of pride for Michiganders. However, due to mercury contamination, fishers and anglers are not able to enjoy the lakes to the fullest. Because of pollution from coal-fired power plants, multiple fish advisories annually warn against consuming the polluted fish in our region.

Moms Clean Air Force educates our lawmakers on the importance of expanding and strengthening our current renewable energy portfolio. Michigan gets more than half of its electricity from burning coal. Michigan’s coal plants emit dangerous levels of mercury, sulfur dioxide and arsenic, which are linked to heart disease, childhood asthma, lung disease and premature death. Pollution from Michigan’s nine oldest coal-fired power plants has been linked to 68,000 cases of asthma attacks and 180 premature deaths each year in our state, costing us over $1.5 billion per year in excess healthcare costs.

In addition to state-specific work, Moms Clean Air Force Michigan is supporting national efforts:

Mercury: We are supporting strong limits on harmful mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Climate Change: We are fighting global warming by supporting policies, namely America’s Clean Power Plan, that will reduce carbon emissions and decrease dangerous co-pollutants.

Clean Energy: We are ensuring that our energy future is renewable, clean, and healthy — for the sake of our children’s health.

Chemical Policy Reform: We are fighting to keep toxic chemicals out of the products we use every day, through joining local efforts to protect families from toxic chemicals and advocating for strong implementation of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act (2016).

Natural Gas Pollution: We are demanding strong protections from methane, volatile organic compounds, and other harmful air pollutants associated with fracking and natural gas development.

Michigan’s electricity generation by source, 2017:

  • Coal (39%)

  • Nuclear (30%)

  • Natural Gas (21%)

  • Wind(5%)

  • Other (7%)

According to the American Lung Association’s 2018 State of the Air report, St. Clair County, Michigan reported 18 code orange high ozone days

1 of the top 25 polluting coal-fired power plants in the nation is located in Michigan

The monetized value of diesel fine particle health impacts in 2005 for the state of Michigan totaled 3.4 billion dollars.

Michigan ranks 5th in the nation for premature deaths, hospital admissions and heart attacks attributed to coal-fired power plant particulate pollution

Michiganders spend more than 1.3 billion dollars a year on health care costs related to the air quality impacts of coal pollution

In 2005, 68,000 asthma attacks and 180 premature deaths were directly linked to coal fired power plant pollution in Michigan

Nearly 9% of Michigan children suffer from asthma

Moms and Mayors: Mama Summits in Action (photos)

BY Moms Clean Air Force ON May 8, 2018
  Our Moms and Mayors Mama Summits are in full swing! We’re hosting Mama Summits in 11 cities, giving Moms across the nation the opportunity to work directly with local officials. Moms & Mayors resources give you the tools you need to work with your community’s...

TOPICS: Activism, Children's Health, Climate Change, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Montana, Motherhood, New Mexico, Ohio, Politics, Pollution, Social Justice

The State of Your Air 2018

BY Molly Rauch ON April 20, 2018
How does your city stack up when it comes to air pollution? The American Lung Association helps sort it out in their new report: State of the Air 2018. The results are troubling. More than 40% of Americans live in counties where the air is...

TOPICS: Air Pollution, Alaska, Asthma, California, Children's Health, Colorado, Florida, Fracking, Georgia, Heat and Extreme Weather, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Natural Gas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ozone, Pennsylvania, Pollution, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia

Does Your State Have a Climate Adaptation Plan?

BY Marcia G. Yerman ON March 23, 2018
As parents, one of our key and foremost concerns is keeping our children safe. Under the Trump administration’s philosophy of shrinking government, a slew of protections to children’s health are being sliced away. There is no regard for the potential ramifications. This is of particular...

TOPICS: Alaska, California, Children's Health, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Climate Change, EPA, Heat and Extreme Weather, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New England, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Toxics, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming

The Power of Moms and Mayors

BY Dominique Browning ON March 22, 2018
It seems like every day we hear about new actions by the federal government to introduce a new dangerous policy or cut a crucial program that protects our air, water, and climate. I won’t lie to you — sometimes it is overwhelmingly appalling. But something...

TOPICS: Alaska, California, Children's Health, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Climate Change, Colorado, Economics, Florida, Georgia, Heat and Extreme Weather, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, MCAF News, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Politics, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, Washington State
More Michigan posts

field manager, vee heymach, speaks at a michigan press conference





Upcoming Events

Past Events

July 2017:

Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members attended the 2017 Play-In for Climate Action in Washington, DC.

January 2017:

Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members traveled to Washington, DC to meet with their Senators and urge them to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA.

December 2016:

On Wednesday, December 21 Moms Clean Air Force and its colleagues hosted a media teleconference to urge Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to vigorously oppose the confirmation of Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt has a long track record of opposition to clean air protections that safeguard families’ health, including his participation in multiple lawsuits meant to dismantle EPA clean air protections.

Kelly Nichols of Moms Clean Air Force says, “Pruitt’s entire career has demonstrated that he’ll pick big corporations over the health of our children. We can’t afford to put our children’s’ health at risk by dismantling protections that ensure we have healthy air to breathe.”

“Without strong clean air protections, the health of Michiganders will be put at risk from dangerous pollution spewed by coal-fired power plants,” said Mara Herman, health outreach coordinator with the Ecology Center.

They were joined by Kindra Weid, coalition coordinator of MI Air MI Health. “Michigan’s asthma rates are significantly higher than the national average, which is why we need an EPA administrator who is committed to protecting our air, not big polluters. Unfortunately, Scott Pruitt will be in a position to dismantle and delay progress across the nation. He’s the wrong choice to serve as EPA Administrator, and we urge our U.S. Senators to stand up against his confirmation.”

May 2015: Mama Summit 2015 | Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members gathered at the state capitol in Lansing to call on elected officials to take action on climate change. A diverse group of 80 participants met with more than 20 lawmakers and their staff in Michigan. Reverend Yvette Griffin, who tragically lost her granddaughter to asthma last year, spoke alongside a state senator, a rabbi, an asthma educator, and a supermom about how air pollution from coal plants harms our children.

May 2014: Mama Summit 2014 | Moms Clean Air Force Michigan members gathered at the state capitol in Lansing to call on elected officials to take action on climate change.

March 2014: More than 450 postcards from Michiganders in support of EPA’s proposed standards to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants were delivered to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.



Rick Snyder

Contact information:

US Senate

Gary Peters

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Debbie Stabenow

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

US House of Representatives

Jack Bergman (District 1)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Bill Huizenga (District 2)

Contact information:

  • 1 South Harbor Ave. Suite 6B,
    Grand Haven, MI 49417
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (616) 414-5516
  • Twitter: @RepHuizenga

Environmental Scorecard

Justin Amash (District 3)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

John Moolenaar (District 4)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Dan Kildee (District 5)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Fred Upton (District 6)

Contact information:

  • 157 South Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 180
    Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (269) 385-0039
  • Twitter: @RepFredUpton

Environmental Scorecard

Tim Walberg (District 7)

Contact information:

Environmental Scorecard

Mike Bishop (District 8)

  • 1000 West St. Joseph
    Suite 300
    Lansing, MI 48915
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (517) 702-8000
  • Twitter: @HouseGOP

Environmental Scorecard

Sandy Levin (District 9)

Environmental Scorecard

Paul Mitchell (District 10)

Environmental Scorecard

Dave Trott (District 11)

  • 625 Big Beaver Road
    Suite 204
    Troy, MI 48083
  • Email: Contact form
  • Phone: (202) 225-8171
  • Twitter: @HouseGOP

Environmental Scorecard

Debbie Dingell (District 12)

Environmental Scorecard

District 13 – Vacant 

Brenda Lawrence (District 14)

Environmental Scorecard

Take a look at what we’ve been up to in Michigan: