LANSING — The House Appropriations Committee heard testimony this morning from local officials and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to address the spread and ongoing cleanup efforts of the toxic ‘green ooze’ found seeping onto I-696 and the surrounding area from the shuttered Electro-Plating Services building. In response, state Rep. Sheryl Kennedy (D-Davison), who sits on the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:

Not only is this toxic spill unacceptable, but we can trace its origins all the way back to 1996 — a history marked by failures on the part of the Department of Environmental Quality and multiple administrations to do what was necessary to protect the public. The toxic green ooze we see spilling into our communities today is a symptom of a systemic problem that we, as legislators, need to address in a number of ways. First, we need to invest in technology that allows EGLE to monitor, prioritize and provide transparency to the public. Second, we need to change the laws that allowed violations like this to persist. Third, we need to address the threat of groundwater contamination with the same intensity as our drinking water. And above all else, we need to ensure EGLE receives the financial support it needs to properly do the work necessary to keep Michiganders safe. I look forward to tackling some of these issues this year, so we can ensure events like this do not happen again.”