Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two executive directives and an executive order today that’s designed protect the Great Lakes, clean drinking water and prepare the state for the impacts of climate change.
The first order signed will create the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), and also being called “Eagle.” The department will also open up new offices, including the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate, the Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate and the Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team.
The second order will create a stronger PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) to help inform the public about toxis chemical containation sites and help protect clean drinking water.
“If we’re going to become a world leader in water stewardship, we’ve go to keep up with the important work of cleaning up of PFAs containination sites and protecting our lakes and rivers,” said Gov. Whitmer.
The one directive that Gov. Whitmer signed will prepare Michigan for the impacts of climate change. She says that if climate change is dramatic, it could harm the Great Lakes.
“The science is in on climate change, and we need to get to work on behalf of our kids and future Michiganders,” said Gov. Whitmer.
Gov. Whitmer added that will the polar vortex just last week, putting temperatures into the negatives, then getting up int the 50s today, is a sign.
“No one that has lived here the past five days can deny that we are in unique times and it calls for more aggressive action, thoughtful, informed, but swift action, and that’s what this is all about,” said Gov. Whitmer.
With the topic of clean water comes the dicussion of the Flint Water Crisis. Gov. Whitmer says that this is why the department is here, to make sure issues like this get resolved and never happen again.
“I believe that there is enourmous work for us to do and that’s why we’re identifiying an advocate that people in all communities across our state can reach out to to get the process to making sure that we don’t ever have a situation like that again,” said Gov. Whitmer.
Gov. Whitmer says she will be sending her ltter to the MPSC regarding a reanalysis for their need for resources and energy.