Derelicts and do-gooders 

For those who missed last fall’s nifty report on that environmental disaster known as Gov. John Engler, you’re in luck. The Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) released a follow-up last week: “Continuing Dereliction of Duty: How Michigan’s Environmental Agency Defies the Law and the Public.”

The MEC details decisions made by the five-year old Department of Environmental Quality, which is headed by Engler’s trusty sidekick, Russell Harding.

Here’s just one local example of the type of incident that fills the report:

Rather than protect Hamtramck residents from the state’s only commercial medical waste incinerator (which spews mercury into the air — and which citizens have been fighting for nearly a decade), Harding lowered emission standards so the damn thing will be in compliance with county requirements.

MEC policy director James Clift says the organization — which is made up of 53 environmental groups around the state — produced the new report because members kept hearing stories from communities around Michigan “again and again and again about the DEQ not protecting the public’s health and our natural resources.”

Is a third installment of the report likely? Probably so, informs Clift.

“They are blowing us off,” he says about the DEQ. “We have not seen any change of behavior on the part of department and no acknowledgement that they are protecting the public’s health.”

The full report is at www.mecprotects.org.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or cguyette@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 27, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation