Unhealthy levels of air pollution in Michigan harm people’s health and reduces their quality of life. For example, recent data shows that the state’s nine oldest coal-fired power plants emit pollution associated with 68,000 cases of asthma exacerbation and 180 premature deaths in Michigan each year. On April 20, 2012, representatives from approximately 30 Michigan health organizations officially formed the MI Air MI Health coalition to give health groups a stronger voice when advocating for policies at the local, state, and federal levels that improve outdoor air quality, curb the harmful health impacts of climate change, and improve the health of children and families across Michigan.
MI Air MI Health is committed to ensuring healthy air for Michigan communities by assessing the health effects of air quality and advocating for the development, implementation, and enforcement of policies to address these issues, recognizing that clean air contributes to a healthy economy.
MI Air MI Health partners with various Michigan colleges and universities to offer a health professional education program to teach tomorrow’s health professionals about policy and advocacy. Our Coalition invites professors, instructors, and other leaders across the state to participate in this unique environmental health educational opportunity. We host this half-day program in Lansing in legislative offices; It includes a basic orientation to policy and advocacy work, a panel of current health professionals that have combined their clinical work with advocacy work, and a legislative testimony exercise.
This program is flexible and can be adapted to specific areas of expertise, including medicine, nursing, social work, and public health. This content is adaptable for both classroom sessions and student organizations. Our current partners include the University of Michigan School of Nursing, the University of Detroit Mercy and Michigan State University College of Nursing.
For more information about this program, please contact Kindra Weid, RN, MPH, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health Policy Calls (HPCs) take place on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from 1:30-2:30 pm and are focused on reviewing legislative action taken by different stakeholders in the past month, as well as developing future strategies for advancing the mission of the coalition. If you are interested in joining these calls, please contact us via email at email@example.com.
LANSING – Nurses, health professionals and public health advocates today applauded Gov. Whitmer for highlighting the importance of addressing climate change in her State of the State address. This follows Gov. Whitmer’s recent announcement on the reorganization of the Department of Environmental Quality and creation of the Office of Climate and Energy.
“Climate change causes extreme weather that exacerbates the impacts of asthma, lung and heart disease and other respiratory conditions, which is why we need urgent action to reduce pollution in our air,” said Kathleen Slonager, RN, AE-C, CCH, executive director of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America Michigan Chapter. “We applaud Gov. Whitmer for making combating climate change a priority in her address this evening.”
“Gov. Whitmer understands the serious threats climate change poses to the health of Michigan families, children and seniors,” said Kindra Weid, RN, coalition coordinator for MI Air MI Health. “We thank Gov. Whitmer for taking a head-on approach to tackling climate change and protecting public health.”
“From more frequent and severe extreme weather events to increases in disease-bearing insects, climate change poses significant threats to the health of Michiganders. We applaud Gov. Whitmer for recognizing the impacts of climate change and taking steps to address it,” said Mara Herman, health policy specialist for the Ecology Center.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019
Contact: Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, (517) 333-1606
In Michigan, every utility company is required to create a long-term energy plan, called an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The IRP process determines what sources the utilities will generate their energy from in the future. Through this process, utility companies commit to the amount of renewable energy and energy efficiency they will use, which will have a direct impact on public health, the environment, and our electricity bills.
Michigan's two largest energy companies, Consumers Energy and DTE are working on their plans now, following guidelines created last year by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). DTE is holding its final of three open houses to hear from other stakeholders, like yourself, about what they should include in their plan. This final open house will be an important forum to urge DTE to include large commitments to renewables and energy efficiency.
The MPSC approved DTE's proposal to build a new 1,100 megawatt natural gas plant. Given this large natural gas plant in DTE's portfolio, it is critical that the company has strong commitments to energy efficiency and renewable energy in their IRP so everyone can have access to Michigan's clean energy future and protect our environment and health. Now is the time to let DTE know their utility customers support clean, renewable and efficient energy sources. Attend the meeting and make sure your voice is heard.
DTE IRP Open House Details:
Things to make sure to state/write in comments:
Sample Talking points:
Other things to highlight:
DEARBORN, Mich. – Nurses and health advocates today spoke out against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rollback of federal fuel efficiency standards at a federal public hearing in Dearborn.
"We must maintain the clean car standards that reduce dangerous tailpipe pollution that threatens the health of Michiganders,” said Kathleen Slonager, RN, AE-C, CCH, executive director of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Michigan Chapter. “As health professionals, we have a duty to challenge policies that are harmful to public health, and this rollback would have significant health implications for children and seniors living in low-income communities."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation are holding three public hearings across the country to gather public input on the EPA’s proposed rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards. President Trump formerly announced his proposal to roll back the standards in early August.
“Motor vehicles remain a major source of air pollution that can lead to illness and premature death, and the transportation sector is the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States,” said Kenneth Fletcher, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in Michigan and Ohio. “Adopting and enforcing America’s existing, health-protective clean car standards is vital. Weakening these standards is out of step with our responsibility to protect public health.”
Michigan is home to some of the nation’s most-polluted zip codes, and the clean car standards finalized during the Obama Administration are designed to help safeguard public health by improving fuel efficiency and reducing tailpipe pollution.
“There is an overwhelming body of evidence linking transportation emissions to serious negative health outcomes, such as chronic heart and lung conditions, various cancers, neurological conditions, allergies, asthma, premature death and premature birth,” said Kindra Weid, RN and coalition coordinator for MI Air MI Health. “Sadly, the health impacts of exposure to tailpipe pollution are not evenly distributed throughout the population; they disproportionately affect people living in low-income communities and people of color. Infants and senior citizens, as well as those with pre-existing heart or lung conditions are particularly vulnerable. Rolling back the climate and clean air protections provided by the Clean Car Standards will create more public health problems in Michigan and will cost lives.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018
Contact: Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, (517) 333-1606
LANSING – Michigan Health professionals, experts and advocates today blasted the Trump Administration’s proposal to roll back the Clean Power Plan, a 2015 executive action under the Obama Administration aimed at reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants and curbing the effects of global warming. “Today’s announcement is a major step backward for the health of communities in Michigan and across the U.S.,” said Kindra Weid, RN, coalition coordinator for MI Air MI Health. “Giving states free reign to allow dirty, coal-fired power plants to continue spewing dangerous pollution into the air and water of communities across the country is unacceptable and an affront to public health.”
The Clean Power Plan is a federal policy to reduce carbon dioxide pollution across the country by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Under the Trump Administration’s replacement rule, states would be allowed more leeway to set regulations for coal-fired power plants and are provided loopholes to opt out of emissions reductions. “Rolling back the Clean Power Plan flies in the face of proactive investments in clean, renewable energy that are happening by companies and communities across Michigan, and the real victims of this decision are vulnerable populations that live near coal-fired power plants,” said Mara Herman, health outreach coordinator for the Ecology Center. “Coal-fired power plants are harmful to the health of Michigan families, children and seniors and more expensive than cleaner alternatives like wind and solar. Rolling back the Clean Power Plan is misguided and a step in the wrong direction.”
“Burning coal causes adverse health impacts like increased rates of asthma, lung and heart disease and other life-threatening diseases,” said Kathleen Slonager, RN, AE-C, CCH executive director of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation Michigan Chapter. “Michigan has already made great strides toward shuttering coal plants and investing in clean energy, and we will continue to hold big utility companies accountable for reducing dangerous pollution in our air and water.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 Contact: Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, (517) 333-1606
Health advocates slam Trump, Pruitt plan to dismantle historic clean car standards.
LANSING – MI Air MI Health today said the Trump Administration’s plans to roll back historic clean car standards represents a major blow to Michigan families – especially children and seniors who are particularly vulnerable to air pollution.
“Rolling back the clean car standards represents a clear attack on the health of families in Michigan and throughout the nation,” said Kindra Weid, RN and Coalition Coordinator of MI Air MI Health. “Exposure to tailpipe pollution is a public health risk factor, especially in low-income communities, and the clean car standards provide one way to help ensure cleaner air for families, children and seniors.”
Weid noted that Michigan is home to some of the nation’s most-polluted zip codes, and the clean car standards finalized during the Obama Administration are designed to help safeguard public health by improving fuel efficiency and reducing tailpipe pollution.
“The clean car standards were designed in partnership with U.S. automakers to improve efficiency, which cuts back on tailpipe pollution and benefits public health, so rolling back the standards is simply bad policy,” said Weid. “The Trump Administration has made a clear statement today: The health of Michigan’s most vulnerable populations simply isn’t their priority.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Contact: Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Communications, (517) 333-1606