Skubick: New DEQ head in no hurry to close pipeline at Straits

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The new director of the State Department of Environmental Quality believes the call to shutdown Pipeline 5 under the straits of Mackinac is premature.

Director Heidi Grether has told her media advisor that dealing with the media is not one of her favorite things.

Nevertheless she sat down for a half-hour to outline her goals which are to clean up the DEQ image in the wake of the Flint water crisis and restore morale with her 1100 employees, some of whom have been charged with crimes and fired over the water crisis.

When asked if she considers herself an environmentalist her answer was succinct. “I do.”

If so, some environmentalists might wonder why go to work for BP as a lobbyist.

She explains that was one way for her to influence environmental issues deep inside the oil company.

“Every once in awhile someone would come up with a lame brain idea and I said, where did you get that?”, said Grether. “That’s not going to work.”

The state’s environmental lobby is demanding the shutdown of Pipeline 5 near the Mackinac Bridge.

But the new director argues the demand is premature.

“You want all of the facts so it is premature,” said Grether. “They believe they have enough information to pursue their position. I don’t agree.”

She says she is meeting with the “Green lobby” and did not talk to those folks before the appointment was made because she was sick.

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