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Senate Plans Hearing On New Environmental Quality Director

LANSING, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - The Michigan Senate will hold a hearing on Gov. Rick Snyder's pick to lead the Department of Environmental Quality in the wake of Flint's water crisis.

A spokeswoman for Senate Republicans said Tuesday that the Senate Natural Resources Committee will meet Sept. 7 to consider the appointment of Heidi Grether.

The selection of the former oil and gas lobbyist has drawn criticism from Democrats and environmentalists. But Grether, who began the job on Aug. 1, is unlikely to be rejected by the GOP-led Senate.

Senators last year let stand the Republican governor's choice for the Michigan Public Service Commission despite the appointee's past ties to a major utility that the panel regulates.

Discovered during an email dump by Governor Snyder in early 2016, Snyder continued to back the DEQ even after initial concerns were raised in January 2015.

It wasn't until late December 2015 when it was decided that DEQ head Dan Wyant was a political liability and they called for his resignation while firing several others.

Grether replaces Wyant, who resigned in December amid fierce national political and media attention due to Flint's lead contamination.


(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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