CLEAN WATER, PROTECTED ENVIRONMENT
Water is core to who we are as Michiganders. We’re home to more than 80% of the nation’s fresh water supply, and over 20% of the world’s. Not only is our responsibility to conserve our environment for generations, but economically advantageous to do so. Let's lead on water policy and conservation. Let's protect the quality of our land, water, and air. And let's ensure the local economies that rely on our natural resources and environment are sustainable for decades to come.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- Four years since the Flint Water Crisis issue was discovered, we’re now finding out that our water is now at risk state-wide. PFAS, or Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are “forever” toxic compounds found in our groundwater, rivers, lakes, soil, drinking water, and fish. Their discovery led to “Do Not Eat” warnings in Oakland County, and “Do Not Drink” advisories in other parts of our state. Although the public is largely learning about these dangers only now, the Snyder administration was aware of warning signs from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) six years ago.
- Enbridge’s Line 5 is a 65-year-old oil pipeline below the Straits of Mackinac. Recent studies have shown this location to be the worst place for such a pipeline. A break or leak in the pipeline would have devastating effects on Michigan’s water, our Great Lakes, our economy, tourism, and all industries tied to the lakes. In the worst-case scenario, a break would result in over 2.5 million gallons of oil released into the water covering 437 miles of shoreline, resulting in $1.86 Billion in damages.
- Michigan’s aging underground infrastructure is underfunded by more than $1 Billion, according to a 2016 report card from the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission, and recent years have seen sinkholes, boil water advisories, water main breaks, and extensive damaging flooding in Oakland County. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Michigan’s drinking water and stormwater management systems a D and D- letter grade, respectively, in their 2017 Infrastructure Report Card.
- The Republican-controlled legislature recently passed a set of bills that effectively allows corporations to “self-regulate” on environmental policy, allowing corporate interests to override independent environmental protection oversight from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
WHAT WE CAN DO
- Establish strict limits for PFAS in drinking water and hold corporate polluters accountable
- Shut down the Line 5 pipeline and bring together scientists, labor unions, environmental experts and the business community to develop oil-transport alternatives that take the risk out of our Great Lakes
- Commit to overhauling our aging infrastructure and developing regular, easily-accessible testing for water quality assessment
- Take corporate polluters out of self-regulating roles and empower an independent body to oversee environmental policy and quality issues without the influence of special interests
- Support utility companies’ efforts to expand renewable energy production and to incentivize its use in the business community