Sen. Gary Peters Hits Gov. Snyder on Environmental Policy

Peters mourns the passing of Paul Welday and urges the EPA to reduce sulfur dioxide levels in Wayne County.

Emily Dagger/NPR

Host Stephen Henderson talks to Democratic Sen. Gary Peters about politics and policy during a special broadcast of Detroit Today from NPR headquarters in Washington D.C.

Peters mourns the passing of Michigan Republican activist Paul Welday saying, “He did bring civility to the debate,” adding also, “he was a strong partisan, but he was also a real gentleman… he cared deeply about the state, he cared deeply about Oakland County.” 

They also talked about a letter Peters wrote last week urging the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a Federal Implementation Plan to reduce sulfur dioxide levels and other air pollutants in Wayne County. The county was found to have sulfur dioxide levels above the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the state has not yet developed a state implementation plan.

Regarding the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s inaction Peters said, “I think it’s leadership in the governor’s office. It’s about setting the culture…It’s not about protecting the environment first, it’s about making it easier for business…”

Peters clarified his position further adding, “My view is that if you’re not protecting the environment and having a high quality of life, you’re not going to attract businesses, you’re not going to have the dynamic economic environment necessary for the state of Michigan.”

Click on the audio link above to hear the entire conversation.