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E-M:/ polluter secrecy update

Enviro-Mich message from davemec@acd.net (Dave Dempsey)

Rep. Liz Brater offered an amendment to legislation revising Michigan's
1996 pollution secrecy law in the House Conservation, Environment and
Recreation Committee yesterday.  Her amendment to H.B. 5092 would have
barred government agencies (like cities and townships) from hiding behind
secrecy when they do environmental audits. The amendment was defeated by a
vote of 8-9, with one abstention.   Voting "yes" for the Brater amendment
and against secrecy were Reps. Anthony, Brater, Brown, LaForge, Mans,
Schermesser, Basham and Birkholtz: Voting "no" on the Brater amendment and
pro-government secrecy were Reps. Alley, Kilpatrick, Middaugh, Bodem, Byl,
DeVuyst, McManus, McNutt, and Walberg.  Abstaining was Rep. Callahan.

Both House and Senate versions of bills modifying the secrecy law to
resolve a complaint filed by MEC and some member groups with the U.S. EPA
are now working through the process.  The Senate passed its version,
sponsored by Sens. Ken DeBeaussaert and Loren Bennett (S.B. 706 and 707) by
unanimous votes yesterday.

On a slightly lighter note, Rep. Brater's bill to designate the dwarf lake
iris as the Michigan wildflower was approved 71-30 on Tuesday.  Initially
described to science from an occurrence on Mackinac Island, the iris is
found almost exclusively on the Michigan shores of Lakes Huron and Michigan
and is a threatened species.  H.B. 4923 now goes 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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