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Re: E-M:/ deq budget needs fixin'



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Enviro-Mich message from "Jeff Surfus" <jeffsurfus@email.msn.com>
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Hi all,

MEC's call for more DEQ inspectors is right on the money.  DEQ inspects very
few loads of out of state waste coming in.  If you don't think we need to
inspect these loads, consider what happened in Virginia in mid-February.
Inspectors found medical waste in Waste Management garbage trucks coming
from NYC to Virginia for disposal.  Read the whole interesting story in the
following link:

http://www.gatewayva.com/rtd/special/trashwars/waste121.shtml

We need to stay on top of this--we can't allow the waste management
companies to police themselves!

Jeff Surfus
NO WASTE of Michigan
-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Date: Wednesday, March 03, 1999 4:29 PM
Subject: E-M:/ deq budget needs fixin'


>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>MEC today called today for changes in the proposed year 2000 DEQ budget to
>protect water, track out-of-state waste, and safeguard children's health.
>The Senate DEQ subcommittee will make decisions on these and other issues
>next week.  Concerned citizens may contact committee members Sens. Loren
>Bennett, Harry Gast, Walter North, Alma Wheeler Smith, and Ken
>Debeaussaert.  Contact information can be found on the MEC website at the
>address listed at the end of this message.
>
>Following are our comments on the DEQ proposed budget:
>
>Proposed Environmental Investments
>S.B. 364
>March 3, 1999
>
>The executive recommendation for DEQ appropriations for fiscal 2000, while
>a useful start, lacks several critical elements necessary to protect our
>water, track out-of-state solid waste, and guard public health.  MEC
>respectfully recommends the following initiatives:
>
>St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Watershed Initiative: Funding is needed to
>assist both St. Clair County and Macomb County to implement water pollution
>identification, control, and public health protection programs.  We
>recommend $100,000 be made available to each county for a total of
>$200,000, for these local water protection efforts.
>
>Beach Monitoring:  Michigan's beach monitoring programs depend on the
>capacity and funding of local health departments.  Matching funding should
>be made available from the Surface Water Quality Division to close gaps and
>create a statewide public beach monitoring system to protect public health.
>
>Pollution Prevention Assistance:  Several higher education institutions
>have agreed to offer internship programs, with low overhead costs, to
>conduct P2 audits of small and medium-sized businesses. DEQ agreed to this
>initiative in 1998 but it was vetoed.  Funding should come from $300,000
>from the waste reduction fee restricted account. Further, the Community
>Pollution Prevention Fund created by a 1996 act now has over $50,000
>available to make grants to local units of government.  We urge you to
>appropriate these monies.
>
>Environmental Ombudsman:  State government has a business ombudsman and DEQ
>has a small business clean air ombudsman.  Citizens seeking information on,
>or to comment on DEQ permits and rules have no such help.  A $100,000 line
>item should be created within the Environmental Assistance Division for an
>ombudsman to assist in response to citizen inquiries.
>
>Environmental Enforcement-Out of State Waste:  There are 20 FTEs in DEQ
>environmental enforcement, more than 200 in DNR conservation enforcement.
>An increase of six FTES ($420,000) should be appropriated to DEQ's criminal
>investigations and earmarked for activities including, but not limited to,
>spot checks of out-of-state waste entering Michigan for landfilling, and
>wetlands enforcement.
>
>Children's Health Protection:  The Legislature has requested the DEQ review
>the adequacy of current pollution standards to protect children's health.
>The Governor referred this to the Michigan Environmental Science Board with
>a report due June 30, 1999.  The fiscal 1999 earmarking of $100,000 from
>the Great Lakes Protection Fund should be continued in fiscal 2000 to
>implement the Board's recommendations.
>
>Boilerplate Items: We encourage you to consider boilerplate language for
>the following issues:
>
> Public notice and comment on Great Lakes diversion proposals;
> Implementation by DEQ of the community right to know initiative;
> DEQ development of a list of jurisdictions sending waste to Michigan
>whose disposal standards are less stringent than Michigan's;
> Require DEQ to promulgate rules for the $90 million Clean Water Fund
>created by Proposal C that provide for funding of diverse water resources
>(impaired urban waters, inland lakes, high-quality rivers and streams in
>northern Michigan, Lake Superior).
>
>
>Dave Dempsey
>Policy Director
>Michigan Environmental Council
>119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
>Lansing, MI 48912
>davemec@voyager.net
>http://www.mienv.org
>
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enviro-mich"
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