Capital Catch-Up: April 24, 2023
Last Week In Lansing: Rep. Rogers Bill Would Phase Out “Perc,” a Dangerous Dry Cleaning Chemical
Michigan LCV was able to sit down with House Health Policy Committee Chair, Rep. Julie Rogers (D- Kalamazoo), to discuss her bill: HB 4083. This bill would prevent the manufacturing, sale, and eventually the use of perchloroethylene from dry cleaning practices while transitioning to alternative environmentally-friendly products over time. Rep. Rogers’ has experience working on this issue in the Kalamazoo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority for over 10 years.
I am excited to be in a position of crafting policy to prevent contamination rather than being reactionary to chemical releases.” – Rep. Julie Rogers
“Perc” is harmful to the environment and to human health. This bill is a proactive way to prevent additional pollution in Michigan’s groundwater and to protect human health, reduce the number of dry-cleaners that become contaminated sites, saving taxpayer dollars that would have been used in site clean-up.
What is perchlorethylene? Perchlorethylene, commonly known as “perc,” is a volatile organic compound (VOC) used in dry-cleaning processes. It is a neurotoxin and likely carcinogen. In 2020, the EPA banned the use of the chemical in residential buildings across the country for its “unreasonable risk of injury to human health.” One of the reasons perc is so difficult to clean up is because of the “off-gassing” that can occur since it’s a VOC. Often costly vapor extraction systems must be installed on these sites to ensure indoor air quality is healthy for future uses.
Preventing Pollution Will Save Money Of the 24,000 contaminated sites in Michigan, 2,171 sites are known locations of dry cleaners. Nearly 79% of these dry-cleaning sites would require expensive remediation to clean up the perc-liquid and residual that is harmful to human health. This bill would prevent more dry-cleaner contaminated sites needing additional taxpayer-funded clean up processes.
Michigan LCV Budget Priorities
This is a major week regarding legislative budget work, and Michigan LCV is working to see our top air, land, water, and democracy programs funded. Below are some of our top budget priorities:
Affordable Housing: Healthy, Safe, Comfortable and Energy Efficient Homes
- Michigan LCV Budget Request: $507 million
- Executive Budget (+Public Act 0001): $150 million
This request of $507 million would provide funding for safe, comfortable, healthy and energy efficient homes.
Water Infrastructure Projects
- Michigan LCV Budget Request: $350 million
- Executive Budget: $280.5 million
This request of $350 million would provide funding for lead service line replacement, water treatment facility upgrades, and stormwater management systems upgrades.
Local Water Utility Affordability
- Michigan LCV Budget Request: $225 million
- Executive Budget: $65 million
This request would provide funding for local water utility affordability to assist consumers with utility payments and arrears.
Proposal 2 Implementation
- Michigan LCV Budget Request: $72 million
- Executive Budget: $4.7 million + $11.5 million for Proposal 1 and 2
$72 million would fully fund implementation of Proposal 2 for the state to assist local governments for expansion of absentee and early voting.
Environmental Justice Community Health Fund
- Michigan LCV Budget Request: $100 million
- Executive Budget: $100 million
$100 million would provide funding to remediate contaminated sites and address air pollution in significantly overburdened communities.
One Step Closer to Repealing “No Stricter Than Federal”
Last Thursday, the Senate Energy and Environment Committee passed a bill out of the committee that would repeal Michigan’s so-called “No Stricter Than Federal” law. The current law prohibits state environmental protections from being stronger than those set at the federal level.
Filter First Bills Pass Senate
Also last Thursday, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bills 88 and 89 with 31 yays and 6 nays. The “Filter First” bills would help ensure clean, safe drinking water in Michigan schools and childcare facilities by requiring the installation of filtration systems.
Public Service Spotlight: Molly Korn
This week’s Public Service Spotlight is on Molly Korn, Chief of Staff for Senator Sam Singh (D- East Lansing). Molly was nominated because of the role she played in leading the introduction of the Senate’s Clean Energy Future Plan (SB’s 271-277). Molly moved a whole lot of work forward in an extremely short period of time to coordinate the bill package’s introduction with the MI Healthy Climate Conference. She worked directly with the Legislative Service Bureau, state departments, and a host of Senate members enabling Senator Singh to announce major climate action as the MI Climate Conference took place in Detroit! She expresses sincere gratitude to Sydney Hart from Senator Sue Shink’s office and Kris Young for all the hard work they did in helping to get the bills ready for introduction.
Molly previously worked in Sen. Singh’s office during the six years he served as State Representative. As a lifelong Michigan resident, Molly understands the importance of protecting our Great Lakes and natural resources. She said that Michigan has a special opportunity to be a leader on strong environmental policy which can draw more people to the state. She is excited to be part of the team working to make that vision a reality.
Michigan LCV in Action: Michigan LCV Celebrates Earth Day 2023
Earth Day celebrations were in full swing across the state over the weekend! In West Michigan, Michigan LCV teammates attended an Earth Day march in downtown Grand Rapids, a rally, march and fair in Royal Oak and more!
Left to right: Michigan LCV’s Abigail Barker, Wesley Watson and Maddie Samuels at the Earth Day event in Grand Rapids!
In Grand Rapids, our team partnered with Grand Rapids Climate Coalition, Urban Core Collective, the Community Collaboration on Climate Change (C4), and Creston Neighborhood Association for a rally and March in Downtown Grand Rapids at Rosa Parks Circle. Following the march, there was a panel discussion on climate change with WZZM meteorologist Samantha Jacques, Darren Riley of Just Air and State Representative Rachel Hood.
Attendees gather at Rosa Parks Circle for a series of speeches from local leaders and climate activists
In Southeast Michigan, a large contingent of Michigan LCV staff were in Royal Oak for the Oakland County Climate rally and march!
Michigan LCV Deputy Director Bob Allison and his daughter with State Rep. Helena Scott!
Hundreds of people turned out for the event, which featured a host of local leaders, including State Rep. Helena Scott, Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, former Congressman Andy Levin and more.
Rep. Helena Scott with former Congressman Andy Levin.
After the recent introduction of the MI Clean Energy Future Plan in the Michigan Senate, many of the speakers noted the immense opportunity the Legislature now has to transition the state to a 100% clean energy economy, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and address the climate crisis.
Michigan LCV’s Shannon Rochon and Shannon Ervin emcee-ed Saturday’s event!
Now that the MI Clean Energy Future Plan has been fully introduced, we encourage you to join Michigan LCV in urging our elected officials in Lansing to take advantage of the moment and pass the bill package.
Update From Washington
It’s been well documented that Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline presents an imminent threat to the sovereign rights of many Tribes and First Nations in the Great Lakes region of North America. For instance, all of the Indigenous tribes and communities in Michigan publicly opposed Line 5 and called for a shutdown long ago.
But that opposition reached a new, historic level with an extremely powerful submission to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by 51 Tribal and First Nations of Anishinaabe People, detailing Canada’s violations of international commitments to respect Indigenous rights due to Canada’s support of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. ”
Read the full article here.