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Reorganizing Environmental Oversight – Take Two

Feb 22, 2019

After the legislature blocked her previous Executive Order (EO) restructuring environmental oversight, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a new EO this week. Under EO 2019-6, the Department of Environmental Quality will become the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The department will focus on improving the quality of Michigan’s air, land, and water, and protecting public health, and encouraging the use of clean energy. It will serve as a full-time guardian of the Great Lakes, freshwater, and public water supplies.

This new EO is nearly identical to the previous one, however it keeps intact two of the commissions that the original order eliminated.  The commission elimination was the root cause for the legislative override.  Under the new order, the two commissions, the Environmental Rules Review Committee and the Environmental Permit Review Commission, will remain intact while Attorney General Dana Nessel reviews the legality of the commissions, as requested by Governor Whitmer.

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