Advocacy and Solutions
There are other people and organizations working on improving conditions in the Southwest Detroit area. Here are some helpful websites to get informed and take action on local environmental issues.
- The federal organization responsible for regulating environmental issues is the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order to file a complaint with the EPA or learn more about the area where you live, visit this site.
- The statewide organization responsible for regulating air quality is the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). THE DEQ coordinates the Michigan Clean Diesel Initiative (MiCDI), which is a group of government, businesses, industry, and nonprofit organizations working together to address diesel engine pollution in Michigan. The objectives of the MiCDI are to help the state of Michigan achieve improvements in the federal air quality standards for particulate matter and ozone through various initiatives. The MiCDI is part of the broader Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative (MCDI), lead by the U.S. EPA.
- To file a complaint with the MDEQ during regular business hours, you can call (313) 456-4700, for emergencies or after hours, please call (800) 292-4706. Be sure to call while the problem is occurring, request the name of the DEQ employee you speak to, and provide a detailed description of the problem.
- The City Council of Detroit is responsible for zoning decisions which allow industry to exist adjacent to residential areas and schools. The city’s zoning ordinance is a legal document which includes descriptions of uses permitted in various zones and a map with the locations of those zones. Because zoning is a governmental process, formulating an effective complaint is a bit more complex. This information and more is available by contacting the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environment.
- City of Detroit Municipal Codes
- The East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) has been working in the legislature, in the courts, in township halls and in schools for almost fifty years! They played a role in the enactment of most of Michigan’s environmental laws. Learn more about EMEAC.
- The Sierra Club is a national environmental organization that has gotten involved in air quality issues in our area. Rhonda Anderson works with the Sierra Club on environmental justice issues in the Detroit area and she can be reached by email at Rhonda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Healthy Environments Partnership is a community-based participatory research project founded by Angela G. Reyes, MPH, out of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. The project is focused on the harmful effects of air pollutants in Detroit. Angela can be reached at (313) 967-4880 or at email@example.com.
- Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ) works with communities to create cleaner, healthier and safer neighborhoods.
- Urban Neighborhood Initiatives (UNI) has a mission of making urban neighborhoods vital, healthy environments that strengthen individuals and support families
- Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC) has a mission of making a difference by creating life changing opportunities for youth and their families. They are committed to meeting the needs of the community by providing quality, innovative and culturally appropriate programs and services, primarily in the Southwest Detroit community.
- Zero Waste Detroit (ZWD) is a coalition of local organizations advocating curbside recycling, a materials recovery system that would bring new jobs and economic development to the City, and an end to waste incineration.