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Adrian Dominican Sister and Associate Speak Out against Air Pollution in Detroit
Headshots of Sister Ellen Burkardt, OP and Associate Patricia Gillis as attendees of Detroit's Dirty Air event

March 30, 2023, Detroit – Adrian Dominican Sister Ellen Burkhardt, OP, and Associate Patricia Gillis were among about 50 Catholics who gathered March 21, 2023, at Gesu Catholic Church to speak out against air pollution and to advocate for stronger prevention regulations. 

The advocates attending “Detroit’s Dirty Air: A Moral Response” were asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lower the allowance of soot from 9-10 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 8 micrograms. 

Sister Ellen, a panel member, urged U.S. Representative Shri Thanedar (D-Michigan) to ask the EPA for an increase in penalties for companies who violate the pollution regulations. “What we’re asking for is greater enforcement, something that will matter to companies enough that they will change what they’re doing,” Sister Ellen said.

Patricia – co-founder with Sister Janet Stankowski, OP, of Detroit-based Voices for Earth Justice, a faith-based network of people concerned about the environment – was one of the organizers of the event. She saw the event as “a real coming together of science and religion.”

Read the entire article by Amy Ketner on Earthbeat, a project of The National Catholic Reporter. 

Feature photo at top shows Adrian Dominican participants Sister Ellen Burkhardt, OP, left, and Associate Patty Gillis, right.

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