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Re: E-M:/ Ground Water Contamination

Enviro-Mich message from David Zaber <ecotox@umich.edu>

Dear Villy,

Garbage dumping is a huge, huge problem here in the Waterloo SRA. I have
removed everything from pesticides to waste oil to diapers from our
forests and wetlands in the western edge of the park.  While the DNR tries
to keep up, they can't.  The lowlife, piece of #&@$% scum who dump are
only a
small segment of the total but here in Jackson county, we still have a
huge problem.  Even the  Road Commission refuses to clean up
garbage.  I have pictures of 100 +year old trees wantonly cut down along
the backroads with piles of garbage next to the stump. The RC refuses to
clean them up but they do have plenty of time to destroy our ecological
and cultural heritage.  

In Jackson county (Birthplace of the Republican Party), construction of
our dioxin and mercury-spewing incinerator (resource recovery
facility to those of you who actually fall for the male bovine excreta) 
which required influxes of tax dollars and now is the largest single
budgetary drain on the county resulted in rising rates for trash disposal
for all of us.  Dumping has increased since those rate hikes took effect.

Typical for Jackson County govt., the out-of-touch mostly republican
County Commission has consistently failed to deal
with this problem, alternating between selling, scrapping or leasing the
polluting garbage burner.  Disposal of the toxic ash is also a monkey on
the backs of these techno-addicts who promoted the $400 million facility
in the first place. The garbage along our roadways is only the tip of the
iceberg when it comes to the environmental ramifictions of stupid

 Would all conservative, budget-conscious, tax-cutting
Republican politicians who helped to develop this financial and
environmental Titanic please stand up?  Dems, you can stand up too if you
supported incineration as a garbage disposal alternative.


U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, a dedicated and effective protector of Michigan's
rivers and
forests and wildlife, has introduced a bill to sharply increase the fines
for illegal dumping on fed lands (i.e NFs, NWRs, NPs).  This much-needed
step will help to put behind bars those  who threaten natural
resources and tourism by illegally dumping their wastes. 

We need a similar increase in penalties on state and private lands with
roadside cleanup as part of
the punishment.  In addition, dumping vouchers for low-income folks who
want to do the right thing but are financially-limited may be necessary.
There is also no reasonable reason why we should not have prisoners pick
up garbage throughout the state as well. Forget taking away an inmate's
cigarettes and TV, a couple of hours in the swamps and forests of
Michigan in the summer should be a sufficient deterent to future crimes.
For the truly dangerous prisoner, take away the OFF and Cutters. 

Finally, for the common litter problem, I see no reason why each of the
major litter producers (fast food outlets, newspapers, cigarette makers,
etc.) could not contribute a few $$$ to offset costs for disposal of the
collected wastes and food, etc.); contributions could be weighted by the
relative amount of litter collected from each entity). 


P.S.  I long for the day I drive down a road in Michigan, cross a
erosion-stabilized creek flowing through a large tract of recovered
forest and find the politicians responsible for our current
dire straits linked together by recycled plastic leg bands picking up
discarded low-income dumping vouchers from the side of the soon to be
obliterated road. 

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