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E-M:/ Re: Some neat examples of Engler's environmental policies.

Enviro-Mich message from "david zaber" <dzaber@gateway.net>


To see first hand the effects of Engler's policies on the environment, take
a short trip down towards Milan, MI and then go east to the Palmer Drain. 
This stream drains the lake plain and is a tributary of Stoney Creek, which
eventually flows into Lake Erie.  The drain has received polluted waste
waters from a quarry for several years and much of the stream is dead.  I
often took aquatic ecology students to the site to show the effects of
water pollution on aquatic organisms.  We found nothing but some pollution
tolerant worms when we did some sampling.  The DNR/DEQ had done nothing as
of mid-1997 to stop the pollution.  The stream destruction persists for
miles and the stream itself stinks like sulfer.  This is a very real
example of the failure of the Engler Administration to protect Michigan's
environment and the Great Lakes.  You can see the Palmer drain pollution
from Grames road just east of Milan, MI.

I am of the understanding that Michigan PIRG has done some work on this
situation over the past year.  Readers should also know that my minimal
ruckus regarding this pollution was met by DNR employees contacting my
major advisor at the University of Michigan back in early 1997.  Attack the
messenger is clearly the Engler Administration's modus operandi. 

For another example, go to the Waterloo Recreation Area in Jackson County
and visit the new effluent discharge pipe draining overflowing sewage from
the Waterloo prison site on Maute Rd., which is accesible from Clear Lake
Road between Jackson and Ann Arbor, north of I-94.  This stream was a high
quality stream that now receives overflow from the prison's inadequate
sewage treatment plant.  

Or, you can go  to the Grand River in Jackson and see what Jackson's
recycling facilities have done to the Grand River.  The site is a hop, skip
and a jump from downtown Jackson and is accessible from Route 50.  Stop on
the bridge and take a long look at the water, you should be able to see the
slow discharge of oils and greases from the river bed at the site. Why is
this Enlger's fault?  No cleanup, no enforcment, no progress, no *&%# !

For more fun in the sun, head north to the Mackinaw State Forest and exit
I-75 at Wolverine, MI.  Head west on C-58 (Wolverine rd) to the Weber Lake
campground.  Take Prue Rd. to Weber Lake Rd which turns into Spring Valley
Rd.  Take Spring Valley Rd to Peet rd. or Wilderness Rd (I am not sure) and
then go east on Wilderness Rd. You'll see a great area (the Chandler Hills)
that has been mismanaged to the point of ecosystem collapse in some areas. 
The ORV problem here is mind-boggling for those of you who care.  The sink
holes in the region have been utterly destroyed by the ORVs and now consist
of nothing more then open pits with eroding sides.  A tragedy that often is
overlooked due to its remote location.

While you are in the region, check out the clearcuts the DNR has made. 
Many of my students were treated to personal experiences with clearcuts on
streams, directly on seeps and springs and to the industrial forest
practices of the Engler Administration. Try the headwaters of Berry Creek,
the Bear River, Marl Creek or Minnehaha Creek.  For some really neat
examples of Engler's forest destruction policies, one cannot go wrong in
the general vicinity of the Charlevoix/Cheboygan/Emmet County area.

Or, you can head east to the Ausable state forest in the headwaters of the
Tittabawassee River.  Total environmental devastation with no interior
forest left in many spots is the name of the game here.  Watch out for the
illegal ORV use as you step over the illegal beaver traps on your way to
the destructive clearcuts.  

On your way, stop at Hartwick Pines state park and visit the Weyerhauser
sponsored info center.  Ask where the virgin trees that were cut to make
way for the new center are.  Then walk through the woods and note the maple
trees growing in the remnant ancient trees and ponder the loss of fire in
the ecosystem.

Had enough? Too bad, there is much, much more.  

David John Zaber
Takoma Park, MD 20912

> From: Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
> To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> Subject: E-M:/ groups ask for probe of charges against deq wetlands
> Date: Monday, October 12, 1998 8:57 AM
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> For immediate release	Contacts:  Lana Pollack, MEC, 517-487-9539
> Monday, October 12, 1998	Alison Horton, Sierra Club, 517-484-2372
> 				Terry Miller, Lone Tree Council, 517-686-6386
> 	Three Michigan environmental groups today asked the U.S. EPA to
> investigate charges made by state Department of Environmental Quality
> employees that enforcement of Michigan's wetland law has been gutted and
> political intervention has resulted in the illegal issuance of permits to
> destroy wetlands.
> 	The groups are also asking the chairs of the State House and Senate
> committees on environmental affairs to hold oversight hearings on the
> wetland program.
> 	The charges were made in a report written by DEQ employees and released
> September 24 by the Washington, D.C.-based Public Employees for
> Environmental Responsibility, an organization which defends the legal
> rights of public employees to speak out about abuses of the public trust.
> 	The Michigan Environmental Council, Sierra Club, and Lone Tree Council
> wrote Region V EPA Administrator David Ullrich asking for the EPA review.
> Under the federal Clean Water Act, EPA has oversight of state wetland
> permitting programs.
> 	"These are serious charges," said Lana Pollack, MEC President.  "If they
> are true, EPA has an obligation to insist on reforms in Michigan's
> program.  Our wetland resources are too valuable to be sacrificed to
> politics."
> 	"The Engler Administration has dismissed the charges in this report the
> way they routinely dismiss criticisms of their environmental track record
> with assertions that the environment is cleaner and healthier than it
> has been.  But, as usual, they fail to back up their claims with a full
> honest representation of the facts," said Alison Horton, director for the
> Michigan Sierra Club.  "Clearly, the U.S. EPA has to step in if citizens
> are to get the truth about what's really happening to our wetlands and
> to get the kind of protection of wetlands resources that the law
> 	Terry Miller, Chair of the Bay City-based Lone Tree Council, said:  "In
> 1997, we found similar evidence of political interference, and tampering
> with decisions of DEQ field staff by DEQ management -- the very people
> to protect Michigan's wetlands.  We asked then, and we ask again -- that
> these practices be investigated and stopped. Failure to do so encourages
> the continued rape of Michigan's natural heritage."
> 	Michigan has lost 5.5 million acres, or about 50% of its original
> base, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
> 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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