Robert Alway says taking care of environmental responsibilities and agriculture would be at the top of his list if he is elected to the state Senate. Alway is Green Party candidate in the 26th state Senate District. It includes all of Van Buren and Allegan Counties, as well as part of Kent County.
Alway is retired from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He says most of his career was spent in environmental compliance and enforcement. He’s now volunteering with Otsego’s Planning Commission.
Alway says the state has to figure out the hazardous limits of PFASes. The chemicals have been found in high concentrations in several spots around the state, including some in Southwest Michigan. Alway says it’s important to find out where the chemicals are. But he says remediation is difficult because PFASes were used specifically because they don’t decompose quickly.
Regarding agriculture, Alway says new crops can be developed, including paw paws. He says they are a wonderful fruit, but aren’t ready to fully be crops yet. Alway says universities can work on new crops and new varieties of crops such as grapes and blueberries.
Alway says need new taxes and fees will be probably be needed for better roads. He says the growth of electric vehicles poses a problem since they don’t pay gasoline tax, which is the primary source of road funding. Alway says that could require higher vehicle registration fees.
Regarding high auto insurance rates, Alway says people seriously injured in auto accidents should be covered. He says there is not an easy solution to offer that coverage and still bring down auto insurance rates
Asked what a Green Party candidate has to offer in a district which has traditionally been safely Republican, Alway says “conservation, which is very close to conservatism.” He says that means taking care of what you have.