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E-M:/ Detroit River & GLWQA

Enviro-Mich message from GreenPlanet <riccawu@MNSi.Net>

Dear Enviro-Mich:  Subject:  Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA)

I went to a Detroit River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) stakeholders meeting
Wednesday evening at Cobo Hall.  It was poorly attended, only six members of
the Detroit public were on hand + me.  One invitation said the meeting was
for 7:00pm another had it at 6:00pm.  

At this meeting MDEQ, Ralph Kummler of Wayne State and US EPA were on hand
to discuss a new (or is it the same) partnership agreement for Michigan's
implementation of the RAP.  Bob Sweet stated that MDEQ 's strategy (approach
to the Detroit River cleanup) is  different than the plan delineated in the
He also stated that this is in agreement with Environment Canada and Ontario
Ministry of Ontario who are taking a different approach on the St.Clair and
St.Mary's rivers.  We here in Windsor no nothing of this, we will be
checking up on it.

Does anyone have a comment on this?  I am not aware that either Environment
Canada, USEPA, Michigan or Ontario had the green light or an understanding
to divert from the GLWQA. Although the GLWQA is not a legal document it has
been used as the convention for all parties since its inception in 1972 and
subsequent amendments in 1987.  Citizens who have been part of the process
since its beginning in 1988, have disagreed with any suggestion that we
would not follow the GLWQA.  

Suffice to say,  it is another reason why the Detroit RAP process has been
less then successful over the past 10 years, and is classified as one of the
worst organized and least active RAPs in the Great Lakes basin.  At this
point in time I have absolutely no assurances that the Windsor side and the
Detroit side will be able to work together for a healthy ecosystem in the
Detroit River.  Even as the Windsor public puts a new RAP process together -
a cooperative organization with a consensus building mechanism - we are
under no illusions that the Detroit River will ever be delisted as long as
Michigan continues to stonewall.  90% of the River problems are from the
Detroit and Michigan side.  DWSD is still the largest municipal polluter on
the Great Lakes.

One optimistic note.  A women from the Detroit Womens Voters League said it
right.  There has been no attempt to involve minorities of Detroit in the
RAP process, there is no access to the river.  Another women said that
outreach to the community has not been forthcoming, she mentioned
Environmental Justice groups, the Black majority in Detroit, low income
groups, Mexicans, and Arabs all need to be a part of the process.  It hasn't
worked in 10 years - how can citizens on both sides of the Detroit River
work around the complacent and bureaucratic agencies?  Four of the six
people in attendence were from Friends of the Detroit River, Detroit
Remedial Action Council, and the Down River Citizens for a Safe Environment.
It is time to do it>  In case I am less then accurate, and have taken too
much licence with comments, a transcript of the meeting should be available
soon.  (we hope) Contact Mary Ginnebaugh at 313-676-1233 for a copy, or
myself at 519-973-1116.  Then decide how we can work together.  

By the way, the Great Lakes Mayors Conference is scheduled for Windsor in
July, both Windsor Mayor Hurst and Detroit's Archer are convening it.  Can
we think of some input??

Rick Coronado
Citizens Environment Alliance of SW Ontario

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