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E-M:/ safe drinking water bills pass

Enviro-Mich message from mienvcouncil@igc.apc.org (dave dempsey)

The Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday passed without dissent
two bills to implement new federal Safe Drinking Water Act programs in
Michigan.  Thanks to the bill sponsor, Rep. Jon Jellema, and Clean Water
Action, the bills contain some important provisions for pollution
prevention and public participation.

The bills essentially establish a funding mechanism for the new State
Revolving Fund (SRF) which will make low-interest loans to communities to
upgrade drinking water systems.  Eighty percent of the money to create the
fund will come from the federal government, the rest from the state.

Jellema added three amendments to the bill at CWA's request:

1.  To spur communities to prevent pollution of water supplies, 100 bonus
points in the ranking process will be awarded those seeking loans who have
completed wellhead protection or source water protection plans.

2.  No loans will be made for projects that are designed primarily to
accommodate development (one of the first times a state law has discouraged
sprawl by denying state funding).

3.  DEQ will invite stakeholders from a variety of points of view to
provide advice beginning next year on the spending of the state's Safe
Drinking Water Act money that is set aside for source water protection
activities, including wellhad protection.

The bills now go to the Senate.

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 (fax)

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