Twenty-one Michiganders have been selected to the state’s first Michigan Advisory Council for Environmental Justice under the direction of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“Since taking office, I’ve been deliberate and focused on protecting our Great Lakes, cleaning up our drinking water and combating the real-life impacts of climate change,” Whitmer said in a news release. “To address ongoing environmental justice issues, it was absolutely critical that those impacted daily have a seat at the table. We must ensure that the implementation and enforcement of environmental protections, regulations and policies in Michigan will be fair and meaningful to all Michiganders, regardless of geography, race, color, origin, or income. Actions like these will help to further rebuild trust in our state government.”
The Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team is led by Regina Strong, the state’s environmental justice public advocate. The Michigan Advisory Council for Environmental Justice will provide public and impacted community input for the directors appointed to the response team. The response team is also planning regional roundtables around the state to ensure that as many people as possible are at the table on environmental issues.
“Meeting people where they are is vital to our commitment to making Michigan a leader in environmental justice,” Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, said in the news release. “Creating the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice is an important step in building the framework to ensure all Michiganders benefit equitably from our environmental laws and regulations. Through both the Office of Environmental Justice Public Advocate and the Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team, we are working to address inequities that impact communities across this state. The creation of this advisory council will play an important role in helping us achieve that goal.”