Since the 1970s, Michiganders have benefited from – and agreed on the need for – basic environmental protections. Our health, recreation and tourism economy and quality of life have improved since the days of rivers with dead zones and skies blackened by smoke.
Now the Michigan Legislature threatens to undo all that.
In a move that is far out of step with the Michigan mainstream, the State Senate has passed bills (S.B. 652, S.B. 653) that give polluters virtual veto power over proposed environmental protection rules and give them a fast-track opportunity to appeal permits they don’t like.
The bills are founded on the false premise that the state Department of Environmental Quality is “overzealous” in its efforts to protect air, water and more. The sponsor of the S.B. 652, Senator Thomas Casperson, is instead overzealous in trying to roll back the gains of two generations.
Had his bills been the law in 1970, it is likely Michigan would have been unable to clean up algae pollution with rules on laundry detergents or ban certain toxic chemicals.
The bills now go to the State House. Governor Snyder has not yet taken a position on them. It is up to citizens to defend Michigan’s environmental heritage from this extreme attack. Or else our new heritage will be one of shame and pollution. Click the button below to find your state representative.
WHY SENATE BILLS 652 and 653 ARE BAD FOR MICHIGAN’S AIR AND WATER
- Having regulated industries set Michigan’s environmental rules is like trusting the fox to guard the henhouse--it is fundamentally reckless to ask regulated industries to set their own rules when it comes to protecting the health of Michigan families and our natural resources from environmental harm and pollution.
- The industry representatives and industry interest groups in these positions benefit directly from lax enforcement of environmental laws, and yet these bills would hand over authority for protecting our state’s environment to these unelected individuals who are on the payroll of polluting industries.
- As communities across Michigan that face the very real dangers of polluted air and water can attest, the stakes for bad environmental decision making are incredibly high.
- With the Trump Administration dead set on greatly weakening the US Environmental Protection Agency, by further undermining the MDEQ this plan would leave Michigan doubly vulnerable.
- Without federal, and now, state environmental cops on the beat--who is going to hold polluters accountable when they poison our families or devastate our natural areas? The answer: no one.
EXPECTED BILL TIMELINE
- Bills were passed by the full Senate on a 26 -- 11 vote on 1/25/18.
- Action is expected in the House Natural Resources Committee, but no hearings have been scheduled at this time.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
- Send a message to your State Representative: https://act.myngp.com/Forms/-135686762560157696
- Call your State Representative:
- You can find personal contact information for your House Rep: http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/frmFindARep.aspx
- Call Governor Snyder at 517-335-7858 and tell him to veto Senate Bills 652, 653, and 654 should they reach his desk.
- Spread the word to your friends on social media:
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Your State Representative is gearing up to vote on dangerous bills that could allow polluting industries to write Michigan's environmental rules. Urge your representative to stand up and protect our state's natural resources & public health by VOTING NO >>http://bit.ly/2GRWCBO
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MI House gearing up to vote on bills that allow polluting industries to write #Michigan's #environmental rules. Urge your State Rep. to protect our state's natural resources & public health & VOTE NO >> http://bit.ly/2GRWCBO
- Editorial: Lobbyists have sway; they don’t need veto power, tooTraverse City Record Eagle – February 3, 2018 http://www.record-eagle.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-lobbyists-have-sway-they-don-t-need-veto-power/article_49e3330b-62cd-5c35-bade-eb3af17a019c.html
- Senator wants to defang the ‘radical’ Michigan DEQ. He just may do so Bridge Magazine – February 2, 2018 http://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-environment-watch/senator-wants-defang-radical-michigan-deq-he-just-may-do-so
- Casperson defends big biz from planet-saving MDEQ Detroit Free Press– February 5, 2018 https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/columnists/nancy-kaffer/2018/02/02/reining-michigan-deq/1080432001/
- Chemical contaminant found at sites across Michigan poses health and environmental riskDetroit Free Press - December 11, 2017 https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/12/11/chemical-health-environment-risk/927819001/
- Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement OfficersNew York Times - December 10, 2017 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/us/politics/pollution-epa-regulations.html