FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019
Contact: Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, (517) 333-1606
Business leaders urge lawmakers to support clean water
LANSING – Business leaders today held a tele-news conference to call on lawmakers in the state Legislature to support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order that reorganizes the Department of Environmental Quality to better protect Michigan’s air, land, Great Lakes and drinking water.
“Our state is among others across the country grappling with the growing PFAS water contamination crisis, which is why we applauded Gov. Whitmer when she announced state government would be refocused to better protect our water,” said Larry Bell, owner of Bell’s Brewery. “I urge lawmakers to support the governor’s order to ensure clean drinking water. A vote to block Gov. Whitmer’s order is a vote against clean water.”
On Wednesday, the state House approved a resolution to block Gov. Whitmer’s order to restructure the Department of Environmental Quality into the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.
“Gov. Whitmer’s executive order to revamp and refocus the DEQ on clean water is a huge step forward for northern Michigan, our Great Lakes and our economy,” said Bob Sutherland, owner of Cherry Republic. “As a business owner who depends on a thriving tourist economy and the Great Lakes that are a magnet to millions of visitors each year, I urge lawmakers to support clean drinking water and support our new governor who has made this one of her top priorities.”
Gov. Whitmer made clean drinking water a cornerstone of her campaign in 2018. Following the discovery of PFAS in drinking water of communities across Michigan, water quality became a top priority among Michigan citizens.
“Republicans, Democrats and Independents need to work together, shoulder to shoulder, to make clean water a top priority,” said Rich Bergmann, owner of Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company. “State lawmakers should join Gov. Whitmer in making protecting our Great Lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water a number one priority and support her executive order.”
“Too many Michigan businesses and communities are struggling with the aftermath of water contamination,” said Josh Greenberg, owner of the Gates Au Sable Lodge in Grayling. “We need state Government to protect Michigan’s greatest asset. I support Gov. Whitmer’s steps toward doing so.”
“Michigan farmers on the frontlines are experiencing the negative impacts of climate change firsthand, with extreme weather events, new pests, crop quality issues and more,” said Tim Boring, a farmer from Stockbridge. “We urge lawmakers to support Gov. Whitmer’s executive order instead of blocking it to ensure state government takes action on climate change.”