Greater Transparency and Accountability Required for Bad Actors
Although the discovery of potentially hazardous chemicals around our state is not unique, the most recent hexavalent chromium discovery on the I-696 interstate from Electro Plating Services in Madison Heights, Michigan in Dec. 2019, and the two subsequent associated locations in Detroit, Michigan and Sanilac County clearly require an immediate and permanent solution.
The prevention and permanent remediation of the environmental contamination of our natural resources—including air, soil and water—is our key priority to safeguard the health and safety of our residents, children and communities, and to support our state’s economy.
Across Michigan, greater transparency and accountability regarding the storage, transport and disposal of hazardous materials is required for the thousands of contaminated locations and a real solution that addresses this decades-old issue is long overdue.
In Feb. 2019, House Democratic floor leader Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) and state Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced identical bills in the House and Senate—HB 4212 and SB 116—to require polluters to fully clean up contamination they cause. Currently, polluters can simply restrict access to a site or an aquifer instead of treating or removing pollutants.
Michigan House Democrats will introduce additional legislation in the coming weeks and months to strengthen our environmental protection laws, including significantly increasing penalties and bonding requirements, restricting new permits for known polluters and helping to address the thousands of orphaned sites across the state.