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E-M:/ Rep. Levin's Environmental Leadership



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

So we do have some of the most backward extreme anti-enviros as elected
officials here in the state, we also have the likes of U.S. Representative
Sander Levin (D-MI).  Personnally, I have always overlooked the good Rep.
as an ally of the environment.  Obviously, Rep. Levin knows his stuff when
it comes to protecting our environment.  Why do I say that? Read On...

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FLOOD PREVENTION AND FAMILY PROTECTION ACT OF 1997 (House of
Representatives- May 07, 1997)

   * Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Chairman, I am adamantly opposed to H.R. 478. This
legislation is a transparent effort to gut the Endangered Species Act.

   * Supporters of this bill would have us believe that the Endangered
Species Act was somehow responsible for the tragic floods that occurred
earlier this year in the Midwest and California. There is simply no
evidence to support their claim that the Endangered Species Act was in any
way linked to these events. Both the Interior and Commerce Departments
have emphatically stated that there were no cases where it could be
demonstrated that the implementation of the Endangered Species Act caused
any flood structure to fail. The truth is that the floods in California
and the Midwest were the result of storms that were unprecedented in
recent history. Reservoirs and levees were simply overwhelmed.

   * It should be noted the Endangered Species Act already contains
emergency waiver provisions that permit the President to grant exemptions
to ESA regulations in major disaster areas.

   * The legislation before us would undermine the basic protections of
the Endangered Species Act. H.R. 478 would prevent species protection from
being taken into account at any existing dam, levee or flood control
project, even in cases where there is no conceivable threat to public
safety.

   * Earlier this week, I received a letter from the sponsor of this
legislation that contained a picture of water pouring over a breached
levee with the admonition, `Let's work to Prevent this from Happening.
Support H.R. 478.' I wonder that the author of this letter did not also
attempt to link the Endangered Species Act to last summer's crash of TWA
Flight 800 or, for that matter, the sinking of the Titanic. Even the name
of this bill is misleading. The `Flood Prevention and Family Protection
Act' will neither prevent floods or protect families .

   * We should do everything humanly possible to reduce the possibility of
future flooding . To that end, we must look to the real causes of these
disasters. We should not use these tragedies to undercut the Endangered
Species Act. I will support the substitute offer by Mr. Boehlert which
allows repairs to flood control projects to go forward anywhere there is
an imminent threat to human lives or property. Should the Boehlert
substitute fail, I urge the defeat of H.R. 478.



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