Wayne Co. environmental task force holds first meeting

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit — Spurred by the Flint water crisis, the Wayne County Commission’s environmental quality task force held its first meeting Wednesday.

The meeting came two weeks after Commission Chairman Gary Woronchak, D-Dearborn, announced its creation in response to growing environmental concerns locally and across the state.

“This task force will help us try to get the attention we deserve to get clean air for our residents and for us all,” said Commissioner Ilona Varga, D-Lincoln Park, the task force’s chairman.

Varga said the group plans to work with community leaders as well as state and federal officials to address environmental issues.

“This is not just a five-member task force,” she said. “We want to work with everyone. We want to ... accomplish something and it’s a good start today.”

More than two dozen people, most of them from environmental groups, attended the meeting.

“I thank you for having this task force,” Regina Strong, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, told commissioners. “I think there’s some very exciting opportunities for action.”

Other commissioners on the task force are Raymond Basham, D-Taylor; Tim Killeen, D-Detroit; Joe Barone, R-Plymouth Township; and Al Haidous, D-Wayne. The members discussed objectives Wednesday and said they plan to begin holding regular meetings next week, but a meeting has yet to be scheduled.

County officials, including Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, director of the county’s Health, Veterans and Community Wellness Department, also attended.


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