Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer directs state agencies on environmental initiatives

By: - August 8, 2019 1:12 pm

A series of new directives from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer aims to ramp up the sustainability efforts of multiple state departments. 

Whitmer on Thursday announced that departments such as Management, Technology and Budget (DTMB), Corrections (DOC) and Health and Human Services (DHHS) will work towards implementing more sustainable practices for state-owned buildings and to reduce energy usage where possible. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Zeeland | Nick Manes

“These steps are a win-win for the environment and taxpayers,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By improving our government’s environmental footprint while lowering energy costs we’re able to prove that sustainable practices can and will work across our state from rural, forested locations to downtown Detroit.”

Among the specific actions Whitmer has instructed are the Department of Natural Resources converting the state’s parks and fish hatcheries to renewable energy, the DOC “working toward green prisons.” St. Louis Correctional Facility in the central part of the state is set to be the first prison to receive that designation, as it seeks solar panels and other energy improvements, according to the governor’s office. 

The directives garnered her applause from a variety of environmental advocacy groups, including the Energy Innovation Business Council, the Michigan Environmental Council and the League of Conservation Voters. 

“Gov. Whitmer is rightly moving to have departments like Corrections, Transportation, Natural Resources and others to immediately implement cleaner energy solutions and reduce our state government’s impact on climate change. This is long overdue,” Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement. “Michigan is proactively implementing these sustainable practices, making it a leader in addressing climate change.”

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Nick Manes
Nick Manes

Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.