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Executive Order 2019-2 restructures the Department of Environmental Quality as the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The executive order also creates new offices within the department, including the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate, the Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate, and the Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team.
Executive Order 2019-3 strengthens the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team as an effort to inform the public about perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), locate contamination, and take action to protect sources of drinking water from these dangerous chemicals.
Executive Directive 2019-12 enters Michigan into the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors from 19 other states that have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Executive Order 2019-2 also creates a new office of climate and energy that will work with the governor to mitigate the impacts of climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and embrace more sustainable energy solutions.
“This is about finding real solutions to clean up our drinking water so every Michigander can bathe their kids and give them a glass of water at the dinner table safely,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We have a chance to build a system that really works so we can protect our water and improve public health. We’ve also got to take action to protect our state from the effects of climate change. The science is in, and it’s time we get to work to mitigate the impact of climate change for the sake of our kids and future generations in Michigan.”
Why This Matters: Michigan joining the U.S. Climate Alliance and creating a new office to move the state forward on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing clean energy sources is an important step for what is sure to be a battleground state in the 2020 election. Moreover, the Governor’s focus on environmental justice and her appointment of “advocates” within her Administration who will work to ensure that poor, rural and minority communities are not overlooked is also tremendous progress, as is the disbanding of a committee of industry representatives that had the power to overturn regulations they found objectionable. In keeping her promises, the Governor of Michigan put the state on the right path to overcoming its environmental problems, particularly regarding clean water. Nothing could be more important to her state — the Great Lakes hold 21 percent of the world’s surface freshwater.
In the runup to the election next week, we talked with Jean-Luc Duvall, who is a climate organizer with the League of Conservation Voters in North Carolina. In his spare time, Jean-Luc is running for a local office in his home of Wake County. Here are a few of the highlights.
Catherine Flowers is an environmental justice advocate in Lowndes County, Ala., where she began her advocacy work after watching raw sewage leak into the yards of poor residents who lacked access to a municipal sewer system. Lowdnes County is one of the ten poorest counties in Alabama’s Black Belt–a part of the United States where […]
This week we talked with Justin Onwenu, a Sierra Club community organizer in Detroit working on environmental justice and the COVID-19 pandemic. Justin is a member of Michigan Governor Whitmer’s Environmental Justice Advisory Task Force and the Democratic National Committee’s Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis. Here are some of the highlights. On Environmental […]
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