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E-M:/ SENATE TAKINGS BILL ON JUNE LIST



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Enviro-Mich message from juliemec@voyager.net (Julie Stoneman)
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>Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 12:43:47 -0400
>From: GLENN SUGAMELI <SUGAMELI@nwf.org>
>Subject: SENATE TAKINGS BILL ON JUNE LIST
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Apparently-To: <juliemec@voyager.net>
>
>U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER TRENT LOTT (R-MS) HAS INCLUDED A DANGEROUS
>HOUSE- PASSED TAKINGS BILL ON HIS LIST OF LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR FLOOR
>VOTES IN JUNE.  THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HAS ALREADY APPROVED THE
>BILL UNDER ITS HOUSE NUMBER, H.R. 1534.
>
>PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND REPORT ANY FEEDBACK FROM SENATE OFFICES.
>
>THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS DRAFTED THE BILL AND IS LOBBYING
>HARD TO FAVOR DEVELOPERS BY RADICALLY ALTERING THE PROCEDURES FOR
>"TAKINGS" PROPERTY RIGHTS CHALLENGES TO LOCAL AND FEDERAL PROTECTIONS FOR
>PEOPLE, PROPERTY AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
>
>LIKELY SENATE ALLIES NEED ENCOURAGEMENT TO JOIN IN A LIKELY FILIBUSTER,
>WHILE THE BILL'S TARGETING OF LOCAL ZONING MEANS THAT IT IS WORTHWHILE
>URGING EVERY SENATOR TO AVOID A FLOOR VOTE.
>
>WRITE:
>
>           The Honorable
>        United States Senate
>        Washington, DC   20510
>
>        Or, call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
>
>PLEASE DISTRIBUTE TO YOUR MEMBERS AND COLLEAGUES THE ACTION ALERT AND
>SIGN-ON LETTER BELOW (copies are also included as attachments).
>
>After the letter was hand-delivered to all U.S. Senate offices more groups
>have signed-on.
>ADDITIONAL GROUPS ARE WELCOME TO SIGN ON BY SENDING ME YOUR CONTACT NAME,
>GROUP NAME AND CITY (the updated version will be useful for the Committee
>Report, selected Senate offices, media, etc.).
>
>Thanks again, keep up the good work and please let me know of any news on
>state or federal takings bills, media reports, and court cases.
>
>Glenn Sugameli
>Senior Counsel
>Office of Federal and International Affairs
>National Wildlife Federation
>1400 16th Street, N.W., Suite 501
>Washington, D.C. 20036-2266
>202-797-6865
>FAX 202-797-6646
>sugameli@nwf.org
>
>_________________
>        A dangerous House-passed bill would grant developers special
>rights and endanger basic environmental protections for your family and
>property.  Senate action may take place by the end of June. Will you
>contact your Senators and urge them to oppose H.R. 1534 before it reaches
>final passage?
>
>May 25, 1998
>
>Dear Member:
>
>        Industry forces that wish to pursue profits at the expense of
>health, environment and safety protections have failed in their attempts
>over the last few years to overturn our most fundamental environmental
>laws.  Your protests made that possible.  But backdoor efforts to
>undermine these laws in the name of *speed* and *efficiency* pose their
>own threat to our air, water and wildlife.
>
>        The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a takings bill under
>its House number, H.R. 1534.  The bill would give developers and industry
>new avenues to undermine a wide variety of local, state and federal
>safeguards.  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) helped draft
>the bill to advance its development-at-any-cost agenda.
>
>Senate bill paves a *by-pass* around local community protections
>
>        H.R. 1534 would radically alter the procedures for private
>property-based court challenges to protections for people, property and
>the environment.  The result would favor developers at the expense of the
>property rights of neighboring homeowners and the well-being of
>communities.  While the bill targets  *procedure,* the real-world threat
>posed by these radical changes is very real.
>
>        H.R. 1534 would give developers powerful legal weapons to
>challenge local, state and federal environmental laws.  Here*s what would
>result:
>
>*       Weaker environmental protections -- This bill would radically
>undermine the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other basic
>environmental laws by allowing the Court of Federal Claims to re-open
>settled issues and to strike down federal statutes and regulations
>nationwide.  This would create conflicting court rulings and major legal
>uncertainty, as well as ample opportunities for industry lawyers to create
>favorable new precedents.  As a result,  neighboring homeowners could no
>longer rely on the protection of prior court rulings upholding limits on
>mining damage or pollution.
>
>*       Intimidation of local governments -- The bill would also allow
>developers to bypass local zoning appeals and state courts by filing
>takings claims against local governments directly in federal court.  This
>would undercut public influence in local land use decisions.  And, as Vice
>President Gore has said, *this bill would give developers a new club to
>wield in their negotiations with local officials and citizens groups --
>the threat of premature and costly litigation in federal court ....*
>Especially for small towns and counties, this would exert powerful
>pressure to approve inappropriate proposals such as toxic waste dumps and
>adult businesses in residential areas.
>
>*       Unnecessary litigation and bad court decisions -- Under the bill,
>developers could sue in federal court without adequately seeking to
>resolve their disputes with local officials through local procedures.  The
>result would be far more litigation and far less incentive for developers
>to work with local planning officials to achieve workable compromises.
>Further, judges would lack sufficient information about acceptable
>alternative development proposals and would be unable to make informed
>decisions.
>
>        For all of these reasons, H.R. 1534 would subvert laws that
>protect neighbors, the environment and the public.
>
>How you can help
>
>        On February 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted for a version
>of H.R. 1534, which has already been approved by the House of
>Representatives.  The National Association of Home Builders is pushing
>hard for a full Senate vote on H.R. 1534, and Senate Majority Leader Trent
>Lott (R-MS) has placed H.R. 1534 on the list of bills the Senate may vote
>on by the end of June.  Your Senators need to hear from you now, if we are
>to stop this bad bill.
>
>        Please ask your Senators to oppose any consideration of H.R. 1534
>or any similar property rights bills.  Remind them that the bill would
>benefit large developers at the expense of average property owners and
>would threaten local zoning and weaken federal environmental and public
>health safeguards.
>
>        Here*s where to write:
>
>        The Honorable
>        United States Senate
>        Washington, DC   20510
>
>        Or, call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
>
>                                                Thank you for your help,
>
>
>
>                                                Mark Van Putten
>                                                President and CEO
>
>MVP:gs
>
>P.S.  Takings bills like H.R. 1534 attack environmental safeguards and
>threaten the property rights of all of us.  Please contact your Senators
>today!
>____________________________________________
>
>        Oppose Takings Bills That Would Harm People and Property
>
>April 28, 1998
>
>Dear Senator:
>
>The more than 100 conservation, planning, civil rights, labor, historic
>preservation, religious, local government, and citizens' organizations
>listed below urge you to oppose pending "takings" proposals.  The House of
>Representatives has passed, over bi-partisan opposition, two bills (H.R.
>1534 and H.R. 992) that would give industry and others new avenues to
>undermine a wide variety of local, state and federal safeguards.  On
>February 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved substitute language
>for H.R. 1534 that combines far reaching and destructive versions of these
>two bills.
>
>H.R. 1534 as reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee would radically
>alter the procedures for private property-based lawsuits that challenge
>protections for people, property and the environment.  The result would
>favor developers and polluters at the expense of neighbors' property
>rights and of the community as a whole.
>
>The bill would unjustifiably enhance the authority of certain federal
>judges, apparently to promote challenges to public health, safety, and
>environmental laws.  It would grant the Court of Federal Claims (CFC) and
>the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit enormously expanded
>jurisdiction.  Under the bill, these courts, which previously have decided
>issues of compensation, could invalidate federal statutes and regulations
>nationwide.  Serious Constitutional problems would be caused by the bill's
>attempt to authorize the CFC to exercise judicial powers that can only be
>granted to judges with lifetime tenure and salary protection.
>
>The bill would undermine the Clean Water Act, Occupational Safety and
>Health Act, Consumer Product Safety Act and many other laws, by allowing
>the CFC and Federal Circuit to re-open settled issues and to invalidate
>regulations and actions that had been upheld by other federal courts.  The
>CFC and Federal Circuit have no experience or precedent in determining the
>validity of health, safety and environmental regulations and could ignore
>decisions by regional federal courts of appeals, creating conflicting
>court rulings and major legal uncertainty.  For example, neighboring
>homeowners could no longer rely on prior court rulings upholding a
>site-specific or national limit on mining practices or pollution.
>
>Other provisions of the bill would overturn established Supreme Court
>precedent by literally turning local zoning disputes into federal cases.
>These provisions would allow developers to bypass local zoning appeals and
>state courts by filing takings claims against local governments directly
>in federal court.  This would undercut public participation in local land
>use decisions.  In addition, developers and others could use the threat of
>premature, expensive federal court lawsuits as a club to force towns and
>counties to approve inappropriate proposals, such as toxic waste dumps and
>adult businesses in residential areas.
>
>In sum, both portions of H.R. 1534 as reported by the Judiciary Committee
>are equally misguided and destructive of laws that protect our homes, our
>health, our communities and our environment.  We strongly urge you to
>oppose any effort to consider or approve the current Senate bill or either
>of the House-passed takings bills.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Mark Van Putten
>President and CEO
>National Wildlife Federation
>Vienna, Virginia
>
>
>Bill Klinefelter
>Legislative Director
>United Steelworkers of America
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Sharon Buccino
>Legislative Counsel
>Natural Resources Defense Council
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Debbie Sease
>Legislative Director
>Sierra Club
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Michael P. Senatore
>Legislative Counsel
>Defenders of Wildlife
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Kim Delfino
>U.S. Public Interest Research Group
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Stephan Kline
>Legislative Counsel
>Alliance for Justice
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Charles M. Loveless
>Director of Legislation
>American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Richard Moe
>President
>National Trust for Historic Preservation
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Robert J. Watson, President
>International Municipal Lawyers Association
>City Attorney
>Overland Park, Kansas
>
>Hank Dittmar
>Executive Director
>Surface Transportation Policy Project
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Eric Damian Kelly, Ph.D, AICP
>President
>American Planning Association
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Douglas Kendall
>Community Rights Council
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Lori Williams
>Vice President for Programs
>Center for Marine Conservation
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Kathy R. Wascom
>President
>Louisiana Wildlife Federation
>Baton Rouge, Louisiana
>
>Nathalie Walker
>Managing Attorney
>Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund
>New Orleans, Louisiana
>
>Margaret Wooster
>Executive Director
>Great Lakes United
>Buffalo, New York
>
>Duane Lee
>Chair
>Western Organization of Resource Councils
>Oldham, South Dakota
>
>Marti Bridges
>Water Policy Director
>Idaho Rivers United
>Boise, Idaho
>
>Patricia McCoy
>President
>Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association
>Imperial Beach, California
>
>Debbie Ortman
>Coordinator
>Regional Environmental Action League
>Duluth, Minnesota
>
>Duane Hovorka
>Executive Director
>Nebraska Wildlife Federation
>Elmwood, Nebraska
>
>
>Cynthia Sarthou
>Campaign Director
>Gulf Restoration Network
>New Orleans, Louisiana
>
>Michael F. Hirshfield, Ph.D.
>Vice President, Resource Protection
>Chesapeake Bay Foundation
>Annapolis, Maryland
>
>Alysia S. Constine
>National Environmental Law Center
>Boston, Massachusetts
>
>
>Whitty Sanford
>Associate Executive Director
>The Connecticut River Watershed Council
>Easthampton, Massachusetts
>
>Ron Scott
>Conservation Associate
>Izaak Walton League of America
>Gaithersburg, Maryland
>
>Leslie H. Lowe
>Executive Director
>The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
>New York, NY
>
>Tom Steinbach
>Director of Conservation
>Appalachian Mountain Club
>Boston, Massachusetts
>
>Brownie Carson
>Executive Director
>Natural Resources Council of Maine
>Augusta, Maine
>
>
>Stan Frasier
>President
>Montana Wildlife Federation
>Helena, Montana
>
>Gary A. Patton
>General Counsel
>Planning and Conservation League
>Sacramento, California
>
>Donald B. Clark
>United Church of Christ
>Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility
>Pleasant Hill, Tennessee
>
>The Rev. Joseph R. Parrish, Jr.
>St. John's Church
>Elizabeth, New Jersey
>
>Patrick O'Bannon
>American Cultural Resources Association
>Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
>
>
>Ann Rothe
>Executive Director
>Trustees For Alaska
>Anchorage, Alaska
>
>Bill Smith
>Executive Director
>Fish Unlimited
>Shelter Island, New York
>
>Tom Throop
>Executive Director
>Wyoming Outdoor Council
>Lander, Wyoming
>
>Frances Guminga
>Bottineau Citizens In Action
>Minneapolis, MNManley Fuller
>President
>Florida Wildlife Federation
>Tallahassee, Florida
>
>Randy Kouri
>Home Owners on the Mississippi for the Ecosystem
>Minneapolis, Minnesota
>
>Bud Nagelvoort
>President
>Clark County Citizens Council
>Clark County, Virginia
>
>Lee Sonne
>President
>Healthy Crones Healthy Earth
>Faber, Virginia
>
>William R. Neil
>Director of Conservation
>New Jersey Audubon Society
>Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
>
>Jonathan Poisner
>Executive Director
>Oregon League of Conservation Voters
>Portland, Oregon
>
>Ernie Reed
>President
>Virginians For Wilderness
>Staunton, Virginia
>
>Danny de Vries
>Coordinator
>Foundation for Global Sustainability
>Knoxville, Tennessee
>
>Jim Lynch
>President
>The Arkansas Public Policy Panel Brownie W. Ledbetter
>President
>The Arkansas Fairness Council
>Little Rock, Arkansas
>
>Jim Troy
>Chair
>Blue Ridge Group Of The Sierra Club
>Shipman, Virginia
>
>Bruce McMath
>Chair
>Sierra Club, Arkansas Chapter
>
>Anne Hedges
>Montana Environmental Information Center
>Helena, Montana
>
>Cristi Bozora
>Program Coordinator
>Sierra Nevada Alliance
>South Lake Tahoe, California
>
>T. Logan Russell
>President
>Delta Land Trust
>Jackson, Mississippi
>
>Lana Pollack
>President
>Michigan Environmental Council
>Lansing, Michigan
>
>Caroline S. DuBois
>Water Quality Coordinator
>Action for Long Island
>Huntington, New York
>
>Sarah Faulkner Leff
>Executive Director
>Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, Inc.
>Collinsville, Connecticut
>Thomas Leonard
>Executive Director
>West Michigan Environmental Action Council
>Grand Rapids, Michigan
>
>Dr. Bill Lindstrom
>Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice
>Pleasant Hill, Tennessee
>
>Mark Hughes
>Earthlaw
>Denver, Colorado
>
>Al Brooks
>Green Party of Arkansas
>
>
>E.M.T. O'Nan
>Director
>Protect All Children's Environment
>Marion, North Carolina
>
>Thomas J. FitzGerald
>Director
>Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
>Frankfort, Kentucky
>
>Florence M. LaRiviere
>Chairperson
>Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
>Palo Alto, California
>
>Thomas R. Anderson
>Executive Director
>Save the Dunes Council
>Michigan City, Indiana
>
>Terry Shistar
>Pesticides and Toxics Chair
>Sierra Club, Kansas Chapter
>Lawrence, Kansas
>Mary Jamin Mguire
>Mississippi Corridor Neighborhood Coalition
>Minneapolis, Minnesota
>
>David Pringle
>Campaign Director
>New Jersey Environmental Federation
>Trenton, New Jersey
>
>Sandra J. Weston
>President
>Fulton Safe Drinking Water Action Committee for Environmental
>Concerns, Inc.
>Fulton, New York
>
>
>Nan DeVries
>Chair
>Arkansas Watershed Alliance
>Mountain View, Arkansas
>
>Charles Phillips
>Coordinator
>Ozark Watch League
>Boonville, Missouri
>
>Kirk Cunningham
>Conservation and Water Quality Chair
>Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter
>Boulder, Colorado
>
>Jay Kardan
>Conservation Chair
>Sierra Club, Virginia Chapter
>Palmyra, Virginia
>
>Richard Hill
>President
>Save the Valley, Inc.
>Madison, Indiana
>
>
>Sarah P. Faulconer
>Legislative Chairperson
>Friends of the North Fork Shenandoah River
>Woodstock, Virginia
>
>Mark Solomon
>Executive Director
>The Lands Council
>Spokane, Washington
>
>Barbara Vlamis
>Butte Environmental Council
>Chico, California
>
>Andrew Straw
>Indiana University Progressive Society   Bloomington, Indiana
>
>Linda Appelgate
>Executive Director
>Iowa Environmental Council
>Des Moines, Iowa
>
>Kate Pilacky
>Vice President
>Friends of Wetlands (FOWL)
>Northeast Ohio
>
>Felice Pace
>Executive Director
>Klamath Forest Alliance
>Etna, California
>
>Dan Silver
>Coordinator
>Endangered Habitats League
>Los Angeles, California
>
>Sage Rockermann
>National Director
>Sierra Student Coalition
>Providence, Rhode Island
>
>
>Aimee Tavares
>Rhode Island Director
>Clean Water Action
>Providence, Rhode Island
>
>R. Roger Pryor
>Senior Policy Director
>Missouri Coalition for the Environment
>St. Louis, Missouri
>
>Kirsten Bryant
>The Alabama Environmental Council
>Birmingham, Alabama
>
>Dennis Schvejda
>Chapter Conservation Chair
>Sierra Club, New Jersey Chapter
>North Haledon, New Jersey
>
>Lynne Stone
>Executive Director
>Boulder-White Clouds Council
>Ketchum, Idaho
>
>Terry Spence
>Family Farms for the Future
>Unionville, Missouri
>
>Steve Glazer
>Water Quality Program Coordinator
>High Country Citizens' Alliance
>Crested Butte, Colorado
>
>Dana Beach
>Director
>South Carolina Coastal Conservation League
>Charleston, South Carolina
>
>Jeff Allen
>Executive Director
>Oregon Environmental Coucil
>Portland, Oregon
>
>Chris Mabey
>Chair
>Upper Valley Group Sierra Club
>Hanover, New Hampshire
>
>Michael J. Deering
>Executive Director
>Friends of the Bay
>Oyster Bay, New York
>
>Scott McEwen
>Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
>Conway, Michigan
>
>Cheryl Seavey
>Associate Director
>Friends of Casco Bay/BayKeeper
>South Portland, Maine
>
>Vernon Bates
>Chair
>Ouachita Watch League
>Nashville, Tennessee
>
>Alan Jones and Mary Liz Knish
>Tennessee Environmental Council
>Nashville, Tennessee
>
>Arthur Feinstein
>Executive Director
>Golden Gate Audubon Society
>Berkeley, California
>
>Patricia Kenworthy
>Vice President
>Government Affairs
>National Environmental Trust
>Washington, D.C.
>
>Scott Dye
>Missouri Stream Team #714
>Columbia, Missouri
>
>
>
>
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Julie Stoneman
Director of Land Programs
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
ph:     517-487-9539
fax:    517-487-9541
email:  juliemec@voyager.net





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