Protect vital natural resources in the communities we call home.
Michigan is comprised of two large landmasses connected by a bridge, abutting Canada from our northern and southeastern borders. Our geography includes slightly mountain-like areas to sand dunes to shorelines. We have vast unspoiled forested areas and age-old islands in the Great Lakes with no inhabitants. And we are residents of the only state in the country that is surrounded by 21% of the world's fresh surface water. We are a unique state.
We are the rustbelt and have a long, proud history of manufacturing in Michigan, Detroit, and other cities. That history is not without consequence. The ways we manage our water, land use, and air will directly impact the sustainability of our country and the planet.
The Issues I will advocate for:
I acknowledge that environmental and climate inequities disproportionately affect communities of color. Policy changes must occur to give all persons regardless of race, national origin, or income a voice on the environmental laws and regulations that affect their community.
We must ensure neighborhoods and communities are not placed in harm's way through illegal dumping of toxic chemicals and the release of airborne toxins such as carbon dioxide and particulate matter.
I support HB 4386 — the repeal of the "No Stricter Than Federal" bill. This 2017/2018 lame-duck bill prohibits any law that is stricter than the federal standard. We must be stewards of our natural environment, not the federal government. Repealing No Stricter Than Federal will give us that ability.
Protect and preserve the Great Lakes Compact, a legally binding interstate agreement (that builds upon the Great Lakes Charter from 1985), between all the states and Canadian provinces that abut the Great Lakes, to manage the waters and not divert water from the Great Lakes.
I maintain that water is a human right and believe in ensuring everyone in Michigan has access to safe, fresh, and affordable drinking water. I do not think our Great Lakes water or lakes and streams are a commodity to be sold to Nestle, and I will work to prevent future commercial water commoditization. I support legislation that proposes water shutoff protections.
Lead: We must develop a process for swift removal of all lead pipes from our water systems, and provide a water infrastructure that is up to date and free of hazardous toxins and materials.
PFAS: We must regulate PFAS contamination and work to eradicate it from our water and ecosystem. Ensure polluters are responsible for the cleanup cost of contaminated sites. Polluters must pay.
Line 5: The Enbridge Line 5 is a Canadian pipeline at the crossroads of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron within the Straits of Mackinac. It carries up to 23 million gallons of crude oil and petroleum products into our state daily (including the dangerous tar sands oil, which produces more 15% more carbon dioxide emissions) and is a considerable risk to 21% of the planet's surface freshwater.
Enbridge Line 5 has “spilled” 1.13 million gallons of oil since 1968.
I stand with the eight Michigan counties and the environmental experts who are in support of the immediate shut down of Line 5, pending a full review under state public trust law
We must address the impact of climate change on the shores of our Great Lakes; higher water levels, damage to communities.
I would support the Clean Michigan Initiative (or CMI2) which would provide $1.5 billion in funding for water infrastructure to include: waste water treatment, water and stormwater infrastructure, lead remediation, replacement of lead pipes, and clean-up of polluted sites.
We must hold companies in Southwest Detroit and elsewhere accountable for the release of toxic fumes and chemicals. Southwest Detroit is one of the most polluted places in Michigan, surrounded by three busy highways, a coal-fired power plant, a gas-fired power plant, an oil refinery, a steel mill, and a wastewater treatment plant.
These combined create high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (N02), increasing upper respiratory distress and asthma to those who suffer.
Citizens located near these kinds of sites throughout our state are disproportionately people of color, suffering from underlying health conditions, increasing the likely hood to die from COVID-19, cancer, and suffer from mental health issues.
We must consider strengthening the PM2.5 standard (fine particulate matter) in Michigan.
Protect overdevelopment of land and encroachment onto protected wetlands.
We need to encourage clean, renewable energy sources in wind, solar, water, geothermal.