Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order to Protect Drinking Water, Great Lakes

Wednesday, Governor Whitmer signed an executive order aimed at cleaning up Michigan’s drinking water.

In executive order 2019-6, she has created the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or the EGLE.

EGLE will fight for clean drinking water, Great Lakes protection, PFAS mitigation and climate change action. The new department will serve as a full-time guardian of the lakes, freshwater, and public water.

“Every Michigander deserves safe, clean drinking water, and I’m not going to let partisan politics slow down the important work that needs to get done right now to protect public health,” Whitmer said in a press release.

Her plan also restructures the state government and puts more emphasis on environmental goals.

The order got rid of the environmental science advisory board. The governor is waiting on a decision from the attorney general regarding the legality of the environmental rules review committee and environmental permit review commission.

Northern Michigan environmental groups say it’s a move that prioritizes and supports clean water.

“This executive order signals a very exciting change a cultural change,” said Liz Kirkwood, the executive director of For Love of Water. “This is a conscious, intentional effort to put a new vision for how government is going to respond to people.”

EGLE will take effect in 60 days.