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Re: E-M:/ DEQ (Developers Eat Quick!)



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Enviro-Mich message from "david zaber" <dzaber@gateway.net>
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The Livonia Office was the same DNR/DEQ office that has failed to deal with
the death of the Palmer drain near Milan.  Perhaps they have been spending
too much time at Cooper Street School.....



David John Zaber
904 Glaizewood Court
Takoma Park, MD 20912
dzaber@gateway.net

----------
> From: Murphwild1@aol.com
> To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> Subject: E-M:/ DEQ (Developers Eat Quick!)
> Date: Thursday, October 22, 1998 10:44 AM
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Greetings,
> 
> 
> In a four year battle against Robertson Brothers Developers (responsible
for
> rapid, reckless development in Oakland-Orion Townships and other places,
this
> greedy outfit literally destroyed the last blue ribbon trout stream in
> southern Michigan--Paint and Trout Creeks) and Orion Township, I, and the
> group founded to fight this development were repeatedly denied wetlands
> hearings and site surveys from DEQ officials Andrew Hart, Barry Horney
and
> Eric Hurdy out of the Livonia DEQ office. 
> Not only were we denied our lawful right to wetlands hearings, amidst
nearly
> one hundred citizen requests, we were also treated as second class
citizens
> and made out to be whiners with nothing better to do than trying to
protect
> officially regulated Federal, State, and Township wetlands. 
> I issued the following letter to EPA after repeated and evasive tactics
by DEQ
> officials to do everything in their power to NOT protect OUR natural
> resources. 
> 
> 
> 
> Stoney Creek Headwaters Protection Council
> P.O. Box 441
> Lake Orion, MI 48361
> 
> U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
> Dave Ullrich
> 77 West Jackson Blvd.
> Chicago, IL 60604
> 
> 
> Dear Mr. Ullrich:                                                       
July
> 10, 1997
> 
> I am writing on behalf of the Stoney Creek Headwaters Protection Council
> (SCHPC), it's members, and many state residents regarding  proposed
> developments in our community. Located in Lake Orion Village and Lake
Orion
> Township, planned Shops on The Shore and The Shores are both going to
have
> profound negative impacts on our natural resources and the Bald Mountain
State
> Park. The two projects planned, one commercial one residential, were
combined
> for rezoning within one consent judgment issued by Judge Barry Howard.
(In bed
> with developers--Judge Howard, Circuit Judge Livingston-Oakland Court)
> (editors addition, not in actuall letter)
> 
> 
> These two developments will utilize clearcutting and removal of all
vegatation
> on the south shore of Long Lake (approx.. 300 acres). Long Lake serves as
the
> headwaters of Stoney Creek. Stoney Creek flows through our Bald Mountain
State
> Park and at least ten lakes and wetlands within the Park. It flows
through
> Lake St. Claire into Great Lake. It is a navigable waterway. There are
two
> state regulated wetlands and a third which serves as a recharge pond
within
> 500 feet of Long Lake in the area of proposed development. (Oakland
County,
> MI. T4N R10E SECTION 1, 2.) The land is currently owned by the Franklin
Wright
> Settlement, a non-profit organization. The developers have an option to
buy.
> 
> We are very concerned the commercial developers are not being required to
> apply for a state or township wetlands permit. We expect that either an
> individual or a general permit would be required of them. They plan to
use a10
> acre regulated wetland from the residential project for storm water
detention.
> They will also be paving a 600 mega mall space parking lot right up to
the
> wetlands and have not addressed how they will deal with cumulative
effects and
> likely toxic run-off from the parking lot into our wetlands.
> 
> We request that both yourself and Mr. Dave Shulenburg formally provide
> oversight of these projects. Our state is not adequately protecting our
> wetlands and natural resources. Our governor and his appointed MDEQ
Director
> Russel Harding have created a political and regulatory environment that
> clearly favors developers and industry over protection and enforcement of
> wetlands protection act.  The DEQ field staff are overworked and subject
to
> supervisory pressure to rubber stamp and issue permits regardless of
their
> often contrary recommendations. 
> 
> Governor Englers decision to divide the Department of Natural resources
into
> natural resources and environmental protection divisions, retaining the
> Natural Resources Commission for the natural resources division, leaves
no
> appellate body to appeal decisions. There is no enforcement of
environmental
> law here. 
> 
> We have been told over and over again by DEQ staff that they will not do
> anything until two criteria are met. 1. a permit is applied for, or 2,
> activities are initiated without a permit. (of which has already
happened.)
> How can an agency protect our resources only after damage is done? Who
> requests a permit is needed if not the agency that approves and processes
> them?  
> 
> We feel that for these and other reasons, the state cannot review
applications
> objectively. We are officially requesting that you (EPA) oversee this
proposed
> project. State implementation and enforcement of federal regulatory
policies
> and law are not working. 
> 
> The impacts the proposed developments  will have on our wetlands, Long
Lake
> and the Bald Mountain State Park will clearly violate laws such as the
Clean
> Water Act, MEPA, and the following:
> 
> Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams of Act 451, P.A. 1994
> 
> Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands of Act 451, P.A. 1994
> 
> Part 303, Wetland Protection of Act 451, P.A. 1994
> 
> I have included a letter by Professor Anton Hough from Wayne State
> University's Biological Services. He has been engaged in the scientific
study
> of this entire ecosystem for twenty years. Our attorney also conducts lab
work
> in the State Park. 
> 
> We look forward to hearing from you soon.
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> Murray Dailey 
> (SCHPC)
> 
> cc.
> cc.
> cc.
> cc.
> 
> 
> PS. From "Setting The Record Straight" regarding the Federal Wetlands
> Destruction Agency, Army Corps of Engineers.
> 
> RUMOR: If you have wetlands on your property, you probably can't build
your
> retirement house, or continue to farm land you've cultivated for years,
much
> less build a shopping center. And if you try to get approval you'll be
caught
> in a bureaucratic maze
> 
> REALITY: Most projects proposed for wetlands are approved, typically in a
> matter of days. The Army Corps of Engineers was notified of 48,000
proposed
> projects in fiscal 1994. Eighty two percent were approved under
streamlined
> procedures, general permits, in an average time of 16 days. Only 10% went
> through the individual permit process, and 4,134 of those projects were
> approved in an average of 127 days. Another 1,590 projects were
withdrawn,
> some of which proceeded in non-wetland areas. ONLY 358 PERMITS WERE
> DENIED--0.7 OF THOSE WHICH WRE SOUGHT.
> 
> In the rare case in which wetlands permit denials affect a constitutional
> taking, the landowners are entitled to compensation. The Administration
has
> recommended easing access to the Courts for consideration of claims
against
> the government for potential takings cases.
> 
> Normal, ongoing agricultural activities, such as plowing, seeding,
> cultivation, and harvesting are specifically exempted from regulation
under
> the Clean Water Act, even if the land in question has wetland
characteristics.
> 
> In addition to exaggerated accounts of problems experienced by
landowners,
> there have been some genuine foul-ups and policies that were not as
flexible
> and fair as they should be. After seeking advice from a broad range of
> interest groups and Members of Congress, the Clinton Administration
adopted a
> wetlands reform program in August 1993. Some 40 improvements have been
taken,
> were administratively implemented, or wre recommended for action by
Congress.
> Many of these actions will completely avoid the circumstances described
in
> both fictional "horror stories" and the grain of truth contained in some
of
> them.
> 
> 
> For more info, contact Bob Waylan, U.S. EPA. 202-260-7166
> 
> 
> Murray Dailey
> 
> PS.  They cut the last Walnut Tree, at least 150 years old, down about
two
> weeks ago.  Yes, Robertson Brothers loves to cut down rare old growth in
> rapidly dwindling natural urban settings. 
> We managed to FORCE the Township to enforce their wetlands ordinance and
saved
> the entire federally regulated shoreline wetlands and the 10 acre
wetlands,
> though the latter will be destroyed by toxic run-off as it will be used
to
> "filter" as a "retention" pond, massive pollutants into Long Lake. 
> It will be difficult to prevent the riparian lot owners along Long Lake
from
> building piers and docks, and from simply turning the wetlands into
beaches.
> One observed bulrushes, water lilies and marsh marigold. These nearshore
> emergent marshes were important as fish spawning and fish nursery
habitats.
> 
> 
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