Sen. Irwin on Republican attempts to weaken environmental protections

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jeff Irwin (D–Ann Arbor) today released the following statement after the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee, on which he is the sole Democratic member, heard testimony from those opposed to Gov. Whitmer’s recent executive order that calls for reorganizing the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) into the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to better protect land, air, and water resources for Michiganders:

“In 1993, Gov. Engler reorganized the DEQ to try to take away citizen oversight and get more power for polluters over permits. Now, Gov. Whitmer is aiming to reorganize the department for the opposite reason: to try and bring more environmental protections to the forefront. I don’t support putting polluters in charge of rules and permits. It’s a conflict of interest and not in the public’s best interest, which is why I support the governor’s executive order.

“It’s critical that we protect clean water and our Great Lakes. Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are trying to shoot down the EGLE and prevent the reorganization. I’m going to stand behind the governor, I’m going to stand behind the Great Lakes, and I’m going to stand up for clean drinking water and a better Michigan.”


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