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Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
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Thanks to Tracy Mehan for his posting on enviro-mich.  He is one of the
outstanding public servants in state government.

By "community water cleanup," MEC means combined sewage overflow
correction, stormwater runoff control, and other measures that will help
communities reduce the pollution of lakes and streams affordably.

Tracy's argument that it is unfair to increase the state revolving fund to
provide for these needs could be used against any loan or grant program
when any community has done something on its own initiative. The bottom
line is, we need to fulfill the Clean Water Act promise of fishable and
swimmable waters (by 1985, I remind you) by whatever means necessary.

The Administration's position (sorry Tracy) on earmarking funding for
public health and environmental cleanups is misleading, and that's a kind
word.  First, the bill on the House floor says NO MORE THAN $60 million can
be spent on these cleanups, meaning it could be zero.

Second, the $20 (not $25) million supposedly available for this purpose
annually from the general fund is far from guaranteed.  It is vulnerable to
the annual appropriations process and could be reduced at will by future
Governors (or this one) and the Legislature.

What the Administration is saying about this issue is that it wants money
for building demolition and industrial development locked into the bond, it
wants the $15 million for DNR and DEQ staff locked into the bond, and it
wants public health and environmental needs to compete with every other
state need in the annual appropriations process.  That's like putting a new
coat of paint on the Titanic while it's sinking.
Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
davemec@voyager.net
www.mienv.org

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