The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality promotes wise management of Michigan’s land, air and water resources to support a sustainable environment, healthy communities and a vibrant economy. This is a mission statement we can all believe in.
To strengthen the MDEQ, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order transforming the MDEQ into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.
This re-organizing responds to threats to our drinking water and doesn’t increase costs. Re-organizing the executive branch is a common practice for new Governors. In fact, in 2010 Governor Snyder separated the MDEQ and MDNR, re-organizing both agencies.
Whitmer’s re-organization abolished the Environmental Rules and Permits Review Commissions; private sector industry panels which were established in the chaos of the 2018 Lame Duck session to oversee all rule making and permit denials of the MDEQ.
Allowing industries to set their own rules is reckless and does not protect our drinking water; essentially hiring a fox to guard a henhouse.
In an early blow to bipartisanship, on Feb. 6, state Rep. Andrea Schroeder voted to override Gov. Whitmer’s executive order.
Rep. Schroeder claims to support a streamlined government, yet she voted to restore a layer of bureaucracy to the MDEQ which would require additional staff time and higher costs.
I hope Rep. Schroeder can explain why she sides with industry over the protection of our drinking water.