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

Enviro-Mich message from David Allen <dallen@nmu.edu>


I feel I must rise (slightly) in defense of (urk) C^3.  WEPCO is well on
its way towards being ISO 14000 certified (they are completing their
internal review - no outside review yet).  But in my opinion they are
getting the procedures in place that will allow assessment by others as to
whether they are in compliance with their environmental management plan.

And they have taken steps in the past two years (1997 and 1998) to change
operating practices on their units - with salutary, if not perfectly clean,
results.  They are in the process of installing bag houses for their four
oldest, and dirtiest, units.  Preliminary results give some indication that
an equipment modification is having very good results in mercury reduction.
 WEPCO is spending big bucks in an attempt to clean up the plant.  They
easily comply with the C^3 program.

In other words, lets remember who to beat up on when a WEPCO gets approved
- namely, those who call a program CLEAN Corporate Citizen when CLEAN is
NOT part of the requirement - other than in the street sense of not being
caught for a crime.  While WEPCO should be embarrassed by the pollution
results of the Presque Isle plant, it is the Engler administration (DEQ)
that should be pilloried for calling the program Clean Corporate Citizen.
I personally think that relaxation of permitting requirements should be
based on a) ISO 14000 certification and b) DEQ approval of the firms Env.
Mgt. Plan., rather than having a separate, woefully weak, and mis-named C^3
program.  Other than pillorying WEPCO, I generally agree with Dave Dempsey.

Dave A.

At 03:58 PM 1/7/99 -0500, Dave Dempsey wrote:
>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
>ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
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