According to a Jan. 14 press release, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate has launched a website to better connect Michigan residents with the state’s work toward ensuring equity and environmental justice
The site, Michigan.gov/EnvironmentalJustice, highlights ongoing environmental justice projects and initiatives, community partnerships, and ways for the public to interact with the office. It also offers information on the state’s Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team, inaugural Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice, as well as Tribal Relations, and EGLE’s nondiscrimination, public participation and tribal consultation polices. EGLE’s newly developed Limited English Proficiency plan is also available on the site in English, Arabic and Spanish.
“Action is at the heart of environmental justice advocacy. The role of the Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate is to work collaboratively within state government and with the community to move toward ensuring environmental justice in the state,” said Regina Strong, Environmental Justice Public Advocate. “This new website is designed to provide a window into how we are moving the needle.”
The Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate was created by Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Executive Order 2019-06 to serve as an external and internal advocate and catalyst for ensuring environmental justice throughout the state. The Office operates as a Type I agency within EGLE, with a direct line to the Governor’s office to elevate concerns and coordinate across state government. The Office also works to address and resolve environmental justice concerns and complaints and advance environmental justice and equity in Michigan.
Michigan defines environmental justice as the equitable treatment and meaningful involvement of all people – regardless of race, color, national origin, ability or income – and is critical to the development and application of laws, regulations and policies that affect the environment, as well as the places people live, work, play, worship and learn.