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E-M:/ quotes from deq employees in peer survey



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Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
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The PEER survey of DEQ employees released today is worthwhile reading.
After seeing the press release, I requested a copy of the detailed results
and quotes from the employees.  PEER can make these available upon request.
 Any citizen concerned about the future of Michigan's environment and
natural resources should consider what DEQ employees are saying so
passionately.

>From a manager:

"This agency was created by a pro-business governor by executive order...A
natural resources protection agency created in this way and run by
pro-business political appointees will never gain the trust of employees
that have dedicated their lives and careers to protecting natural resources
and the environment."

>From another manager:

"...the pattern of substituting political agendas for professional
scientific evaluation.  This is best evidenced by the Office of
Administrative Hearings, which has constantly reinterpreted wetland laws in
favor of those wishing to dredge, fill, drain or otherwise destroy wetlands
for profit and overruling professional staff's evaluation and
interpretation of clear law.  This Office works directly under Director
Harding's control and he works directly under the Governor's control, thus
reflecting their policies."

Others:

"Savvy 'regulated' parties violate laws with the knowledge that the odds
are in their favor.  It truly is easier to ask forgiveness rather than
permission.  Chances of restoration being required are very low -- no
penalty."

"I have seen a Division Chief removed from his position because he was a
strong environmentalist and certain industry reps didn't like him.  The
Director's Office has had secret meetings with industry and granted them
illegal permits and immunity from enforcement."

"Our number one priority is providing our customer with good service. How
can we get them their permits faster and friendlier?  Protection of the
environment is sacrificed for greater efficiency and productivity;  we are
here to serve the business community, not protect the resource."


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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