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E-M:/ deq proposes new breaks for "clean corporate citizens"

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

Do you think Michigan's DEQ is too aggressive in monitoring Michigan's
lakes, streams and groundwater?

Do you think Michigan's DEQ is too tough in enforcing water quality laws?

Do you think it would be better to let companies that say they are doing a
good job of preventing pollution, and haven't been recently penalized by
the state, police themselves?

If so, you'll love the new rules DEQ has proposed for expansion of the
so-called Clean Corporate Citizen program. A hearing on the rules is
scheduled for Wednesday, January 13 at 3 p.m. in DEQ's Storage Tank
Division conference room in Lansing.  A copy of the rules and hearing
notice can be viewed at:


The program already gives preferential treatment to C3s for air permitting;
 the new rules would expand this to surface water and groundwater programs.
 C3s could use their own best professional judgement in determining permit
standards, get permission for reduced monitoring, and get a virtual
guarantee of no more than 1 inspection every five years. 

A proud example of Clean Corporate Citizenship is the designation given by
DEQ last month to the Presque Isle Power Plant operated by Wisconsin
Electric Power Company in Marquette.  This facility ranks among the worst
sources in the state of pollutants that contribute to smog, contaminate
sportfish, and harm the respiratory health of children and the elderly.  In
1996 the plant ranked 6th highest among Michigan's coal-fired power plants
for emissions of nitrogen oxides (10,898 tons) and 7th highest for releases
of both sulfur dioxide (19,056 tons) and carbon monoxide (3,778,670 tons),
according to DEQ records.  Before granting extraordinary permit benefits to
companies, DEQ should determine the applicants are exemplary in pollution
prevention and are going beyond mere compliance with environmental laws to
demonstrate stewardship.  These rules won't do that.

Citizens interested in making written comments by the January 15 deadline
or appearing at the hearing are encouraged to contact MEC if they would
like further information.

Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912

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