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E-M:/ Right to Know shot down again

Enviro-Mich message from lana pollack <lanamec@sojourn.com>

Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Street 2A  Lansing, MI  48912

For Immediate Release					
Friday, August 22, 1997					

Contact: Lana Pollack
517- 487-9539

Engler Covers up Pollution with Veto of Right to Know Money

Governor John Engler's vetoes of  money for two pollution reporting programs
will mean less information about overflows of untreated human waste and
chemicals into Michigan's lakes and streams.  

Bipartisan support had been strong when the legislature voted to support one
program to provide communities with information on the use and discharge of
toxics substances and another to set up a tracking system and data base on
overflows of untreated human waste.

"The governor is effectively keeping the public in the dark on these common
occurrences of contamination," said Lana Pollack, Michigan Environmental
Council (MEC) president.  "Experience shows that the public is very
intolerant of pollution in their communities and that informed citizens are
the most effective advocates for pollution prevention.  Keeping information
from the public is a way of  sanctioning on-going pollution," Pollack said.

With the veto this week of a $250,000 appropriation to provide communities
with information on the use and discharge of toxic substances, the
Department of Environmental Quality will again lack money for oversight and
for a second straight year, businesses will not have to comply with a state
law that tracks toxic substances through the Critical Materials Register.
Mercury is among the 200 chemicals previously tracked to assure compliance
with health and safety requirements that will now go unreported.  The
release of  just one pound of mercury is enough to contaminate a large lake.

"In a year that has again been marked by sewage overflows and beach
closings, you'd think Governor Engler would have supported $50,000 to track
where some of the problems are starting," Pollack added.  

A Freedom of Information Act request made by MEC last year showed that
corporate officials have lobbied the Engler Administration to eliminate the
Critical Material Program.  MEC is a coalition representing 48 environmental
and health organizations across the state.  


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