HAMTRAMCK — Today, state Reps. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit), Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) and Ed Martell on behalf state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) were joined by several community leaders at a press conference in Hamtramck to raise awareness about the proposed expansion ten-fold expansion of the U.S. Ecology Hazardous Waste Processing and Storage Plant on Detroit’s east side near Hamtramck and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s, formally Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, upcoming hearing on March 28.
“One of the most fundamental issues for any person is the health and safety of their family,” Robinson said. “This proposed expansion could expose numerous families to unacceptable levels of toxic fumes in our air and chemical levels in our water, and those that are going to be impacted deserve to have their voices heard. No one should have to worry about whether the air they are breathing or the water they are drinking is safe.”
“After what people in this community have already gone through, to propose a further expansion of the facility is almost offensive,” said Carter. “Every family in Michigan, regardless of where they live, deserves clean air to breathe and safe water to drink, and the families in our community have been robbed of that for a long time due to their proximity to hazardous waste. This is not something we should be storing next to schools, churches and homes. I hope the EGLE will work with us and take our concerns seriously when considering how to move forward.”
As part of the process to allow the proposed expansion, the EGLE is hosting a public meeting on March 28 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Bridge Academy East, 9600 Buffalo Street in Hamtramck. At 6 p.m., EGLE staff will be available to answer one-on-one questions. At 6:45 p.m., there will be a short, recorded presentation followed by a question and answer period. At 7:30 p.m., EGLE will be accepting formal comment from the community. During the meeting, both Arabic and Bengali translators will be available.
“For the last eight years corporate polluters had a free pass in Michigan instead of being held accountable,” said Johnson, who was, unfortunately, prevented from being present stands in solidarity with the community and her colleagues. “That era is over. We’re tired of being ignored. We’re tired of being silenced. It is time the health and safety of Michigan families came first, and that’s what we’re fighting for.”
All formal comments will be recorded as part of the public record and written formal comment on the proposed action will continue to be accepted from March 28 until the public comment period closes on April 12. A summary detailing all the formal comments received and the EGLE response will be issued in April after the comment period ends. Meeting resources and additional details on the proposed action, and public comment period can be found here.