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E-M:/ H.R. 1534 ALERT-- Same bill, new name

Enviro-Mich message from Vicki Levengood <vlevengood@voyager.net>

H.R.1534, the "takings" legislation that would result in a massive
federal intrusion into local issues of land use, has been REPLACED by
S.2271.  S.2271 is what's called a 'manager's amendment', but is nothing
more than a substitute for H.R. 1534, and contains all of H.R.1534's
objectionable content. Today S.2271 was introdcued and placed on the
calendar, and will be voted on next Monday afternoon, 7-13-98. We
believe the 'manager's amendment' is an attempt to confuse the issue and
gain support for this bill. We urge you to contact Senators Levin
(phone: 202-224-6221, fax: 202-224-1388) and Abraham (phone:
202-224-4822, fax: 202-224-8834) and ask them to OPPOSE the takings bill

For those of you who missed my previous posts on this issue, what
follows are some specific talking points, along with the names of
organizations on record as opposing this legislation.

-- This legislation would impose unnecessary and inappropriate
intervention by the federal courts in matters that are properly handled
by local governments: local land use decisions. If federal judges are
permitted to make decisions about how developers can use parcels of land
in communities, community leaders and elected officials lose their power
to ensure that land use decisions are appropriate for the current and
expected use of nearby properties.

-- This legislation is sponsored by large real estate developers, who
don't care about whether there are liquor stores built next door to
churches or elementary schools.  It is not hard to predict that this
legislation will be used to undermine zoning restrictions which local
communities have adopted.  The developers who want this legislation
don't want to consult with local officials; they would rather take their
complaints to federal judges who are less likely to even know, let alone
take into
account, what the community desires.

-- This legislation can adversely affect existing environmental laws and
regulations. In a letter to their Republican colleagues in the House or
Representatives, Congressmen Castle, Boehlert, and Shays explained:

"This bill would unsettle many areas of environmental law. The bill
overrides the provisions in most environmental statutes that determine
when and where new regulations can be challenged.  As a result, the
regulated community will face an uncertain climate in which courts could
challenge regulations at any time. In addition, the bill greatly expands
the jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims, a court with no
experience or precedents in determining the validity of regulations, a
court with different procedural rules from other federal courts, and a
court that has, at best, a questionable Constitutional claim to expanded

-- This legislation is opposed by the National Governors Association,
U.S. Conference of Mayors, The National League of Cities, 40 state
attorneys general, as well as a number of environmental organizations
nationally and regionally. In Michigan, the following organizations have
all signed a letter urging Levin and Abraham to oppose the legislation: 
the Michigan Environmental Council, N.E.T./Michigan, PIRGIM, EMEAC,
WMEAC, A.L.A. of Michigan, Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Lone Tree
Council, Tipp of the Mitt Watershed, Citizens for Alternatives to
Chemical Contamination, Michigan Ecumenical Consultation on Christianity
and Ecology, and representatives of the Great Lakes Regional Land

Vicki Levengood
National Environmental Trust / Michigan
fax: 517.332.0363

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