Whitmer takes executive action to protect Michigan’s water
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two executive orders and one executive directive today to protect the Great Lakes and drinking water across the state, as well as to address global climate change.
These are Whitmer’s second and third executive orders during her tenure as governor.
Executive Order 2019-2 “restructures the Department of Environmental Quality as the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The executive order also creates new offices within the department, including the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate, the Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate, and the Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team,” according to a press release.
Whitmer’s third executive order is aimed to protect Michigan’s drinking water by strengthening the Michigan PFAS — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — Action Response Team, or MPART. This is an effort to promote awareness and activism surrounding the toxic chemical discovered in drinking water across the state this past year, according to the press release.
“This is about finding real solutions to clean up our drinking water so every Michigander can bathe their kids and give them a glass of water at the dinner table safely,” Whitmer said in the release. “We have a chance to build a system that really works so we can protect our water and improve public health.”
The governor has also entered Michigan into the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance. Following the United States departure from the Paris Agreement of 2015, individual states joined the alliance to create goals “consistent with,” the Paris Agreement. The U.S. Climate Alliance includes 19 other states.
“The science is in, and it’s time we get to work to mitigate the impact of climate change for the sake of our kids and future generations in Michigan,” Whitmer said.