I believe that WE will win!
Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition partnered with community on two major wins in 6 months and we are building momentum! In November 2017, the City of Detroit passed the bulk storage ordinance that would reign in petroleum and metallurgical waste. The ordinance was a five-year, hard fought battle against major polluting industries in SW Detroit and beyond. In January, hundreds poured out to the MDEQ hearing on the Dearborn Industrial Generation to tell MDEQ not to expand the “natural” gas facility in an already overburdened community. Two weeks later the company, CMS Energy, pulled the permit.
I believe we will WIN! We’re winning everyday. Each time another person pulls up the strength to speak truth to power we win, as a community and as a movement.
The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC) consists of over 15 organizations focused on environmental justice, community health, racial justice, and economic equality. The coalition seeks to develop Environmental Justice guidelines with the State of Michigan and to work together to assure the implementation of the Environmental Justice Executive Order.
As MEJC works to facilitate the integration of Environmental Justice into government policies and beyond; we are committed to making sure that policies adopted by the state ensure the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards for everyone, that each resident of every community realizes the same environmental benefits and has equal access to the decision-making process. This is being accomplished via a statewide Environmental Justice advocacy network that we are cultivating.
The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition first annual statewide summit, “Unfinished Business: Environmental Justice in Michigan — 20th Anniversary of the Executive Order 12898, 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act” occurred on September 12th, 2014. This website describes the summit, the history of environmental justice policy in Michigan, and the ongoing work of MEJC member organizations and current issues.
What exactly is Environmental Justice? Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
What is meant by fair treatment and meaningful involvement?
Fair treatment means that no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental, and commercial operations or policies.
Meaningful Involvement means that people have an opportunity to participate in decisions about activities that may affect their environment and/or health and the public’s contribution can significantly influence the regulatory agency’s decision. Source
January 2018: MEJC, along with key partners like Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, Sierra Club, the Clean Air Council, and more pulled together to show up with State Rep Chang and Hammoud, and other local leaders to say no to the Dearborn Industrial Generation permit to expand their “natural” gas facility. We overwhelmed the DEQ with the turnout. Just two weeks later, the company pulled its permit.
November 2017: The City of Detroit passes the bulk storage ordinance making operators of petroleum coke, hazardous waste from the tar sands processing, reign in operations. Pet coke and other bulk materials must now monitor and cover their piles, adding much needed safeguards for the community.
August 2017: Welcome Michelle Martinez as the new Coordinator for the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition. She brings a decade of experience in organizing to end racism in environmental issues, and justice for all people! We look forward to a great year under her collaborative leadership modeling.
May 2017: Congratulations Jeremy Orr on assuming the position of National Director of Organizing & Legal Counsel for IWJ -a national social justice advocacy and organizing network- where, among other things. He was asked to oversee the creation of a national initiative focusing on environmental health and justice in the workplace.
December, 2015: Jeremy Orr has begun his role as the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition Coordinator! See his Bio and his information on the About MEJC Page.
March, 2016: Visit the Issues and Events page to see the MEJC Statement on the Flint Water Crisis.