Lt. Gov. Calley on PFAS contamination, shutting down Line 5

Jul 24, 2018
Originally published on July 24, 2018 8:52 am

Michigan's primary is two weeks away on August 7. 

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, and he joined Stateside to talk about his campaign and his plans for Michigan's future.

Listen above to hear the full conversation, or catch highlights below.

On dealing with PFAS in Michigan's water

"What is truly extraordinary is that Michigan is one of just three states still that is making this nationwide problem a priority. We were pretty surprised to learn when the issues arose here that there weren't even any federal regs, only guidelines on this, in terms of what acceptable levels are. So, I think what it really came down to is just a matter of the areas that are highly regulated and have regulations on them are the ones that get the most priority. And, for whatever reason, even to this day, there is not a federal EPA standard on what the appropriate levels or safe levels are for PFAS. We've had to develop these standards here in Michigan, but military bases and air force bases all across the country potentially, and probably, have the same problems, so just dealing with it as aggressively as possible is important."

On lessons from Flint

"We have a lot of information now looking back. There are two main lessons. First is, when people say they have a problem, default to believing them. That's just number one. It's a basic premise I think we should go into even when the experts disagree. ... Stay at the table and resolve it.

"The other thing is don't let the bureaucracy get away with technical answers to plain questions. ... For most of us who aren't scientists, we have to make sure that plain questions get plain answers."

On what to do with Line 5

"Shut it down. And the nice thing is we did a feasibility study [to ask] 'what are the other alternatives?'  Because you still need to get oil to refineries, and obviously shipping it by truck isn't a feasible alternative, and tunneling far below the bed the Great Lakes — a dry tunnel where you could walk through it and do visual inspections on the outside but have it 100 feet below the lake bed  is a feasible alternative."

On endorsing another candidate if he doesn't win the nomination

"First of all, I'm going to win. Second of all, when it comes right down to it, when I look across the field, the issues with the Democrats and the issues with the Republicans and overall, all four Republicans are better than all three Democrats in my opinion."

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