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E-M:/ deq public notices wetlands rules

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

Beating a hasty retreat after being challenged by the Attorney General and
monitored by EPA, the state DEQ is proposing rules to prevent the giveaway
of wetlands.

DEQ's proposed rules would clarify terms of the state wetlands act
including "wetland dependent activity," "feasible and prudent alternatives"
and "mitigation."  The wetland-dependent issue became the subject of an
action filed by former Attorney General Frank Kelley last November, after a
DEQ administrative law judge made the incredible finding that housing is a
wetland-dependent activity.  It was the latest in a series of ALJ rulings
patently inconsistent with the law.

The new rules explicitly state that "a residential development does not
require a location in a wetland and wetland conditions in order to fulfill
its basic purpose of sheltering people.  Therefore, it is not wetland

The rules would help DEQ assure EPA it remains competent to administer the
Clean Water Act Section 404 wetland permits program on behalf of the
federal government.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, April 1, 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. a the
Holiday Inn South/Convention Center in Lansing.  The deadline for written
comments is April 5.  

The rules are expected to be posted electronically and can then be
downloaded from:  http://www.migov.state.mi.us/rules/orr.  The rules are
identified as ORR 99-003EQ.

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

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