Advocates say next DEQ chief should put environment first

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Environmentalists say Gov. Rick Snyder should appoint a state environmental chief whose top priority is protecting human health and natural resources.

In a letter to Snyder, 11 organizations say the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s image was tarnished by the Flint water crisis. The DEQ acknowledges its failure to require anti-corrosion measures after the city began using the Flint River in 2014 enabled lead to contaminate the water supply.

Former Director Dan Wyant resigned in December. Keith Creagh, former director of the Department of Natural Resources, is leading the DEQ on an interim basis.

Environmental advocates say the next boss should have the expertise to make the DEQ do its job.

Snyder’s office says a permanent director will be chosen but the immediate focus is providing safe water for Flint.

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