LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Some Michigan legislators are calling upon the state to release documents regarding the potential environmental impacts of the planned Gotion Electric Vehicle Battery Plant.
Eight Republican lawmakers said “because of concerns about the project, it’s necessary to provide documents about water withdrawals” submitted the letter to Acting Director Aaron Keatley of EGLE. The lawmakers include Reps. Matt Hall (R-Richland Township), Tom Kunse (R-Clare), Timmy Beson (R-Bay City), Angela Rigas (R-Caledonia Township), and Senators Aric Nesbitt (R-Porter Township), Roger Hauck (R-Mount Pleasant), Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway), and Lana Theis (R-Brighton).
“We trust that fulfilling this request will not be a time consuming or difficult endeavor as these all would seem to be commonsense inquiries to perform and documentation to create ahead of committing significant natural and fiscal resources of Michiganders to such a large and controversial project,” the lawmakers’ said in a letter to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.
Part of the letter refers to what Gotion Inc. representatives have “admitted in open hearings that the facility will be withdrawing approximately 715,000 gallons of Michigan groundwater per day.”
“Today, Michigan legislative leaders sent a letter to the acting director of EGLE, as many important environmental questions have been asked and gone unanswered about the Gotion project that continues to bulldoze forward,” Senator Minority Leader Nesbitt said in a tweet, “Michiganders deserve answers.”
The Senate recently opted to approve funding to the contested project in a narrow vote, though the dissenting Democrat Senators refused comment as to their votes.
Hugh McDiarmid Jr., spokesman for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, said the agency hasn’t yet received any permit requests for the project, and the documents that relate to the permits, when they come, would be available to the public. According to the Detroit News he also said that the department plans to respond to the lawmakers’ letter, but as of now, there are not large amounts of documents to hand over.
One woman who would live within 10 miles of the proposed project, and who previously voted twice for Governor Gretchen Whitmer – who has advocated for the project – has also voiced concerns regarding the environmental impact of the project.
“I am an independent, and I largely vote Democrat for social issues but the Democratic Party’s dogged defense of the EV market despite searing environmental concerns and their complete lack of interest in exploring any of those concerns has honestly prompted me to ally with our Republican allies” Marjorie Steele said, “The Republicans have been the only ones expressing any interest in their constituents genuine concerns about the environment.”
The letter was also copied to Gov. Whitmer and concluded by expressing the belief that fulfilling their requests would not be a “time-consuming or difficult endeavor” as likely the documents were formed ahead of giving “significant natural and fiscal resources” to “such a large and controversial project.”