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E-M:/ Important...Clean Michigan Bond Expenditure Criteria



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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With true-to-form arrogant Engler Administration "we don't need
to hear from the public" approach, the Environmental
Response Division published the following final notice without the opportunity 
for public comment in the current issue of the LDEQ Calendar.

Folks should pay attention to how these moneys will be spent because
the focus on economic development over concerns for environmental 
protection and public health may end up having tax dollars spent for 
construction grading and site preparation work masquerading as
"environmental projects."


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CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING AND RECOMMENDING PROJECTS FOR FUNDING UNDER
19608(1)(A) OF PART 196, CLEAN MICHIGAN INITIATIVE

IMPLEMENTATION, OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL
PROTECTION ACT, 1994 PA 451, AS AMENDED (NREPA)

ENVIRONMENTAL
RESPONSE DIVISION
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING AND RECOMMENDING PROJECTS 

FOR FUNDING UNDER 19608(1)(A) OF PART 196, CLEAN MICHIGAN
INITIATIVE IMPLEMENTATION, OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES AND
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1994 PA 451, AS AMENDED (NREPA)

In November 1998, voters approved the Clean Michigan Initiative
(CMI). This initiative authorized the sale of $675 million in tax
exempt bonds for various public health, environmental protection, and
recreation purposes. In July of 1998, the Legislature passed
implementing legislation for the CMI, 1998 PA 288, which set forth
how the $675 million would be allocated if approved by the voters.

This law indicates that $335 million of the $675 million will be used
for:

response actions at contaminated properties to promote
redevelopment; 

response actions at contaminated properties to address public
health and environmental problems; 

assessment activities to determine if a property is
contaminated; 

grants and loans to local units of government for environmental
response activities at properties with redevelopment potential; 

grants to local units of government which owned or operated a
municipal solid waste landfill on, or nominated for, the federal
Superfund National Priorities List.

Section 19608(7) of 1998 PA 288 states that before submitting the
first cycle of projects under these categories to the Legislature for
funding, the Department of Environmental Quality shall publish and
disseminate the criteria it will use in evaluating and recommending
these projects for funding.

The following criteria are being published to fulfill the previously
described statutory requirement.

A. Projects Undertaken Pursuant to Part 213, Leaking
Underground Storage Tanks, and Part 201, Environmental
Remediation, of the NREPA to Promote Redevelopment 

Community Priority:

Many communities have recommended sites to the DEQ
for CMI funding to conduct response actions necessary
to facilitate redevelopment. Significant consideration will
be given to the sites recommended by communities and, if
multiple sites were recommended, to the priority assigned
by the community.

Job Creation/Investment Potential:

Sites will be evaluated on their potential to create jobs,
the nature of the jobs likely to be created, and the
amount of private investment likely to occur once
remediation is complete. The primary factors used to
evaluate these criteria will be site size and zoning. Larger
sites will generally be viewed more favorably than
smaller sites because they are capable of accommodating
more investment. Industrially zoned property will
generally be ranked higher than commercial because
industrial jobs are usually higher paying than commercial,
and commercially zoned property will generally be ranked
higher than residential because residential development
usually does not create permanent jobs.

Cost of Response Activity:

The estimated cost to complete the response activities
necessary to facilitate redevelopment will be evaluated in
relation to the job creation and private investment likely
to occur on the site. Sites with favorable cost-benefit
ratios will generally be given preference over sites with
lower cost-benefit ratios.

Ability to Implement: 

The DEQ's goal is to generally only request funds for
response actions which can be initiated or completed
within 18 months of receiving an appropriation from the
Legislature. Therefore, initially, sites owned by the State
of Michigan or a local unit of government will be given a
higher priority than privately owned sites. Privately
owned sites often have access and liability issues that
must be resolved before work can commence. Once these
issues have been thoroughly evaluated and resolved, a
privately owned site will receive the same consideration
as a publicly owned site.

Geographic Distribution of Projects:

The DEQ will strive to assure all areas of the state
benefit from the program. Cost-benefit and likely
redevelopment, however, will be the controlling factor in
site selection. Sites will not be selected or funds allocated
exclusively on the basis of population density or
geographic distribution.

B. Projects to Address Public Health and Environmental Problems

The nature and extent of the human health problem, the nature
and extent of the environmental problem, and response cost
versus expected benefit will be evaluated. Response action and
funding priorities will be based on the degree of risk reduction
that can be accomplished by a project. Projects that provide
greater risk reduction per dollar expended will have higher
priority. All unacceptable contamination-related exposures at a
site will not necessarily be remediated. The goals of this
programmatic element will be: (1) accomplish the greatest
amount of public health and environmental benefit with each
dollar expended; and (2) assure if response actions are
terminated at a site short of completing a comprehensive
remedy, the environmental and public health benefits derived
from the response actions taken will not be lost.

Sites with extremely high response activity costs may be
nominated to the federal Superfund program for action to
optimize the benefit of available state resources.

C. Assessments to Determine if Property is Contaminated

Three types of assessments will be recommended for funding.
The first is an assessment where the presence of a release
would pose a serious threat to public health (i.e., a suspected
release on property in a municipal well head protection area).

The second is an evaluation of a suspected release which could
impact an important, sensitive natural resource (i.e., a
suspected toxicant release in close proximity to a high-quality
trout stream). The third is an assessment to facilitate a
significant redevelopment project.

D. Grants and Loans

Grants for response actions at contaminated properties with
redevelopment potential will be evaluated and issued using the
same criteria currently being used for site reclamation and site
assessment grants under the 1988 Environmental Bond
program. Loans for response activities at properties with
redevelopment potential will be evaluated and issued using the
same criteria as is currently being used under the
Revitalization Revolving Loan program established under
Section 108b of Part 201 of the NREPA.

E. Municipal Landfill Cost Share Grants

The CMI funds for this purpose will be allocated using the
criteria established under Section 9a of Part 201 of the NREPA
and policies adopted by the Brownfield Redevelopment Board.

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Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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