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E-M:/ Floor Vote on Drain Code Today?

Enviro-Mich message from Julie Stoneman <juliemec@voyager.net>

There's a possibility that today the House will take up HB 4337, Rep.
Howard Wetters' drain code bill.  MEC, MUCC, League of Women Voters, Sierra
Club, Michigan Land Use Institute and others oppose 4337 because:

 State owned lands would be assessed for perpetual maintenance of active
 There are no codified criteria for determining how landowners are taxed
(assessed) for drain work
 Drain activities such as deepening, widening, and straightening are
exempt from MDEQ permits
 There is no mandate for drain commissioners to protect water quality or
 No protection for protected natural areas and preserves, even for those
with legal conservation easements
 No special provisions for streams and rivers that are designated drains
and so are subject to cleanouts and
other potentially damaging activities without MDEQ review
 Decisions to proceed with major drain work do not have to be based on an
environmental analysis
 Citizens cannot review and comment on the full scope of proposed
projects, including final route and
course, size of drainage district and total cost.  The decision to proceed
with the work is made before
these factors are known.
 Appeals processes are extremely limited

Rep. Karen Willard has a viable alternative, HB 6095,which addresses many
of these concerns.  Please call your state representative today and ask
them to vote no on the Wetters' bill.
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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