Shouldn’t pass bad environmental policy

As the 2018 lame-duck session of our state legislature winds down, I see that our state Sen. James Stamas continues his sponsorship of corporate polluter-friendly bills. He recently introduced Senate Bill 1244, a big Christmas gift to our Michigan polluters. This is a last-ditch effort for Sen. Stamas to protect his big campaign contributors from more strict drinking water standards, which he anticipates from the Gretchen Whitmer administration.

If you were truly concerned about the quality of drinking water in your 10-county Senate district, why would you write a bill that stops the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality from using the most current data to determine the maximum allowable quantities of toxic chemicals in our drinking water? Why would you tie the hands of MDEQ to update their requirements for existing contamination sites, as new studies are released?

Sen. Stamas has a record of writing bills that are supposed to protect our environment and drinking water that are not thoroughly investigated before they are implemented. For example, Public Act 545 of 2016 was sponsored by Stamas and was supposed to mandate the U.S. Air Force to reimburse the state and local governments for work done to mitigate the increasing impact of the Wurtsmith air base’s PFAS on local drinking water in Iosco County. However, the Air Force could not follow the law because it was discriminatory, as it only applied to state and federal agencies, not to all entities.

We should not be rushing to get bad environmental and drinking-water bills through this last week of lame duck. Instead, we should allow the newly elected Whitmer administration to rigorously work with the Legislature to enact drinking water standards and environmental laws that protect all Michanganders.