Board encourages state to 'hold polluters accountable'

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners recently voted to support Michigan Senate Bill 116 and House Bill 4212, calling on lawmakers to hold corporate polluters responsible for contaminating land, air or water in the state.

“Michigan used to have the strongest polluter pay law in the country,” Commissioner Kristen Nelson (D-Waterford), who introduced the resolution, said. “If a corporation contaminated an area, it was also responsible for cleaning up the contamination. Sadly, since 1995, the burden has shifted to Michigan taxpayers to clean up an increased number of contaminated sites. We need new laws that require polluters to clean up the contamination they cause.”

Currently, owners of contaminated sites can restrict access to a polluted site or aquifer instead of treating or removing the pollutant. Recent events, like the toxic liquid waste spill along I-696 in Madison Heights and two PFAS sites in the county, have created crises for government agencies.

“It is critical to the health and safety of Oakland County residents that these bills become law,” Chairman David T. Woodward (D-Royal Oak) said. “We need to take action so future polluters are held accountable.”

With adoption of this resolution, the board has made this issue a top legislative priority for Oakland County and will engage the county’s state legislative delegation and the Governor’s office to push for legislative action on these bills, Woodward said. Copies of the resolution will be sent to the Governor of the State of Michigan, the Secretary of State of the State of Michigan, the Attorney General of the State of Michigan, the State Senate Majority and Minority leaders, the State House Speaker and Minority leader, and the members of the Oakland County delegation to the Michigan Legislature.

For additional information about the Board of Commissioners, visit www.oakgov.com/boc.

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