Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Michigan Has A New Environmental Justice Advisory Council

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Image credit: Shiraz Ahmed / WDET

Water, air pollution and more are issues of interest for state’s new environmental justice group.

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If it’s not green ooze leaching onto I-696, it’s the air pollution in southwest Detroit. If it’s not the air pollution, it’s the Flint Water Crisis

Here in the Detroit area and all over the state, environmental justice is becoming a top priority for residents, and, in 2020, for voters.

Now there’s a group of people formally convening around addressing and working on these issues. It’s the state of Michigan’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

Click on the player to hear the full conversation about the state’s new environmental justice advisory council.


Regina Strong is the Environmental Justice Public Advocate with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). 

​One big environmental justice statewide issue, according to Strong, is clean water.

Overall it’s a top priority of the governor, everything from PFAS to lead.”

She says she is looking forward to the new advisory council having their first meeting next month. 

Joel Howrani Heeres is the Director of Sustainability for the City of Detroit. As Heeres is specifically focused on the city of Detroit, he notes that air quality remains an issue, especially since 48217, a Detroit zip code, which remains the most polluted in the state.

The area, he says, “has the highest asthma hospitalization rates in the state of Michigan.”

Many of these issues are kind of multi jurisdictional, sometimes these issues became a hot potato. This commission is a great way to come together and think collectively.”

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