Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2019
Whitmer Administration Reviewing Possible Criminal Charges Against “Green Ooze” Polluter, Directs EGLE to Toughen Pollution Inspection and Enforcement Procedures
Governor calls on Legislature to pass “Polluter Pay” legislation to force polluters to pay for cleaning up contamination
LANSING, Mich.- Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement on actions her administration is taking to clean up the “green ooze” pollution in Oakland County, to hold the polluter accountable, and to strengthen pollution inspection and enforcement procedures at the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to prevent future contamination:
"Since taking office, I've remained committed to protecting public health and safety. The ongoing situation in Madison Heights is very concerning, and further stresses the need to enforce protections that keep Michiganders safe. State experts are on location assisting in the ongoing clean-up efforts. I’m grateful for their vigilant efforts during this holiday season.
“My administration is actively reviewing all means of accountability, including further criminal charges against the polluter who caused this mess. Today I also directed EGLE to conduct a formal review of its pollution inspection procedures to strengthen enforcement and accountability.
“This situation demonstrates the need for broad reforms to address problems of critical underfunding and understaffing at the department following eight years of one-party control in Lansing. It’s time for Republicans in the legislature to ensure EGLE has the technology and resources it needs to keep the public safe. They should also pass ‘Polluter Pay’ legislation championed by Democrats in the Legislature that will force polluters to clean up the mess they make. Working with federal and local partners, my administration will stay focused on cleaning up contaminated sites sooner, addressing root causes, and holding polluters accountable.”