Sen. Chang on Senate vote against executive order, environmental justice

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Stephanie Chang (D–Detroit) today released the following statement after the Michigan Senate voted along party lines to approveHouse Concurrent Resolution 1, striking down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2019-02, that would restructure the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) into the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

“It’s time the people of Detroit, Downriver and Michigan had their voices heard by our government, and Gov. Whitmer’s executive order took bold, necessary and long overdue steps toward addressing environmental injustices in our state. Whether it’s clean air to breathe, or safe and affordable water to drink, we are the Great Lakes State and we can — and must — do better. This resolution is a statement to all of Michigan’s residents who have struggled for years to be heard, and who are being told today that their voices matter less, and that industry and corporate polluters’ voices matter more.

“I’ve heard far too many stories from Detroit residents who are quite literally sick and tired of air pollution. Residents tell me they wake up coughing because the air pollution from a nearby refinery or plant triggers their asthma. There are too many cases of lung cancer or other respiratory diseases because of the pollution from industrial sites or the heavy truck traffic on the international bridge located just blocks away from their home. Our environmental departments aren’t currently designed to protect every resident of Michigan, and I will continue to stand with Gov. Whitmer because she has a plan to fix it.”

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