Ensuring safe drinking water crucial to Michigan’s future economy

LANSING, MI —Michigan’s Senate voted 26-16 today against an environmental executive order signed last week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that would better position the government to protect the health and safety of families across the state. The move is bad for Michigan’s environment and economy and gives some Michigan business leaders reason to wonder if the state is a stable environment for doing business long term.

Whitmer’s order abolished the private-interest panel with veto power over the rulemaking process of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). MDEQ is the primary state authority for regulation of water quality and is critical to protecting the health and safety of Michiganders and ensuring the vitality of the state’s economy.

“Fresh water is the foundation of the community in which our family resides, and where we do business,” said Garry Boyd, owner of The Unicorn Tavern in Grand Haven. “Without investing in the long-term health of our Great Lakes and in the quality of our drinking water, we are perpetuating an environment that is bad for business, our economy, and the health of Michigan.”

Several of Michigan’s largest industries rely heavily on the Great Lakes, including tourism, agriculture, and commercial fishing. Businesses connected to the Great Lakes provide more than 25% of Michigan’s payroll.

“With the Flint crisis still unresolved and a growing concern about PFAS contamination, Michigan is at risk of earning the unfortunate reputation for having bad water,” said E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) Midwest States Advocate Micaela Preskill. “To ensure a strong financial future for Michigan, we must empower the MDEQ to do more to safeguard our water ways and communities, not less”.

To speak with business leaders in Michigan who support clean water policies that are good for the economy, please contact Michael Timberlake (mtimberlake@e2.org).

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Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.