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Environmental policy

Environmental Policy Plan

Michigan has abundant natural resources and we must ensure that all people have access to clean water, air, and land. We must fight climate change, pollution, and environmental racism.  We must find balance between our public health and economy while protecting our local and global environment.

WATER

  • Water is a human right. No person shall be denied water, directly or indirectly, because of race, class, socioeconomic status, or geography.
  • A permanent moratorium is needed for residential water shutoffs on the basis of debt.  
  • Establish water affordability plans that base bills on ability to pay and that consider charges such as drainage, sewerage)
  • Protect our Great Lakes, which comprise 20% of the freshwater in the WORLD. 
    • Shut down Enbridge Line 5, which threatens our water in the Straits of Mackinac every day as it sends millions of gallons of oil through aging pipelines.
    • Establish rights of the Great Lakes to protect them from pollution and over-extraction.
    • Levy charges to corporations that conduct water extraction from freshwater resources to fund public and environmental health efforts.
    • We must increase costs and enforce reinvestment strategies for companies that benefit from public water resources.
  • Invest in infrastructure repair prioritizing areas with high populations and high lead exposure.

ENERGY

  • Commit to a transition to complete renewable energy in Michigan by expanding Renewable Portfolio Standards, energy efficiency measures, and prohibition of any new fossil fuel infrastructure.
  • Work with our local manufacturing economy to produce wind and solar products to both support our economy and our environment.
  • We must ban fracking in the absence of lifecycle analysis and Environmental Impact Assessments for wastewater and waste material
  • Eliminate “waste to energy” facilities from Renewable Energy Credit designation.
  • Establish correct classification of radioactive waste relating to fracking.

WASTE 

  • Clean air is a human right, not a privilege.  We cannot allow Waste Processing Systems to be co-located with low-income areas and communities of color. 
  • We must designate incinerator waste and fracking water as toxic waste, and ensure that this toxic waste does not harm residents of Detroit and Hamtramck.
  • We need to incentivize recycling, composting, bottle returns, and rainwater collection.
  • Expand returnables to include water bottles.
  • Reintroduce the “polluter pay” law to hold people or corporations accountable for harming our environment.

GENERAL POLICY REFORMS

  • We cannot allow low-income areas and areas with high populations of people of color to remain as the dumping grounds for waste and pollutants in Detroit and throughout the state. This is a Civil Rights issue, and no individual should be denied a clean environment because of their identity.
  • Audit Michigan’s compliance toward treaties with indigenous peoples and to ensure that everything from explicit land use to water extraction permitting are not directly or indirectly harming protected lands.
  • Require more public disclosure from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) INCLUDING reporting of local economic and environmental impact, and INCLUDING the range of options and conditions available to the board.
  • Establish regulatory requirements/thresholds for air quality in schools and densely populated areas. We must consider the aggregate impact when issuing permits and strictly limit permitting in areas with exceedences of criteria pollutants.
  • Invest in expansion of water and air quality testing, make results transparent and actionable.
  • Create and enforce zero-tolerance policies for demolition contractors receiving public funds who violation of practices that curb lead exposure or otherwise endanger residents.
  • DO NOT ALLOW the “fox guarding the henhouse” law wherein industry would be authorized to regulate itself on permitting requirements.