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Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler Wraps Up Michigan Visit

08/17/2018
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ANN ARBOR – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited Pointe Mouillee, participated in a discussion on agriculture with the Michigan Farm Bureau at Horkey Farms in Dundee, Michigan, and toured EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Today’s visit and dialogue will enhance EPA’s efforts to protect the water quality, wildlife, and economic activity of the Great Lakes region,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Listening to Michigan’s farmers, stakeholders, and elected officials is essential to EPA’s mission and ensures that their concerns can be addressed quickly and thoroughly.” 

At Pointe Mouillee, Administrator Wheeler was joined by Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-7), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Keith Creagh, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Chief Deputy Director Aaron Keatley, additional members of the Michigan DNR and DEQ team, representatives from Ducks Unlimited, and local advocacy groups to discuss Great Lakes challenges and view a restoration success story. 

“I’m pleased to welcome Acting Administrator Wheeler to Michigan where the Great Lakes are an indispensable resource for our state and nation,” said Congressman Walberg. “As we saw up close today, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is making a positive impact on the health of our local wetlands and waterways, benefiting our environment and economy. Maintaining and building on the GLRI’s success must remain a bipartisan priority. The Great Lakes face a variety of threats—from algae blooms to Asian Carp—and I’ll continue working together to help ensure their long-term health.”

Afterward, Administrator Wheeler discussed agricultural issues and regulations impacting Michigan farmers, like EPA’s ongoing efforts to repeal and replace the 2015 “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) definition, with Rep. Walberg, Michigan Farm Bureau representatives, Agent Mike Gaynier of Spartan Insurance Agency, Horkey Farms owners Dave and Karl Horkey, and 30 local farmers at Horkey Farms in Dundee, Michigan. Administrator Wheeler then held a question and answer session where they discussed WOTUS, dicamba, and the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

"Michigan Farm Bureau appreciates Administrator Wheeler and Congressman Walberg for meeting with farmers today to discuss issues impacting agriculture," said Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski. "On the top of our minds are how EPA moves forward with the dangerous Waters of the U.S. rule and how to best support Congressman Walberg’s efforts to improve voluntary conservation in the Great Lakes region. We applaud Administrator Wheeler for continuing to work toward greater clarity for farmers on the WOTUS Rule."

 Administrator Wheeler finished the day with an all-hands meeting and tour of EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor. He saw firsthand both conventional light-duty and heavy-duty vehicle testing, portable emissions measurement system testing to understand real-world environmental benefits, and additional testing strategies to ensure compliance with federal and state standards.