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E-M:/ house adds $200 million to bond

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

The State House of Representatives began work on the proposed Clean
Michigan Initiative Wednesday, adding $200 million to the proposal for
drinking water and wastewater treatment loans to communities and making
several other significant changes.  Debate will probably continue Thursday.

With the changes, the bond strikes a better balance between economic
development and environmental needs, but it faces challenges in both the
House and Senate.  Totaling $750 million after the amendments, it will
likely go to a conference committee before a final vote of both houses of
the Legislature.

The House voted 57-39 in favor of an amendment offered by Rep. William
Callahan to add $100 million to the bond for the state's revolving loan
fund for drinking water system upgrades.

The House approved 57-44 an amendment offered by Rep. David Gubow adding
$100 million to the bond for the state's revolving loan fund for wastewater
treatment systems.

Backers of both amendments, strongly supported by environmental groups,
said they would help correct water problems plaguing Lake St. Clair as well
as other lakes and streams across Michigan.

The House also voice voted an amendment offered by Rep. Liz Brater
specifying that a minimum of $40 million, and a maximum of $60 million of
the proposed $325 million for brownfield development would be spent on
sites that pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public
health, safety or welfare or to the environment.

The House voted 97-0 to allow up to $20 million of the money in the bond to
be allocated to lead abatement to protect children and senior citizens.

The House voted 71-34 to require that the DEQ consult with local public
advisory commitees before spending bond proceeds in any of the 14 Great
Lakes Areas of Concern, pollution hotspots designated pursuant to the
U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912

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