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Re: E-M:/ April 1 DEQ meeting in lansing



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Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@biology.lsa.umich.edu>
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A hearty "Amen!" to Murray Dailey's comments (below) on the use of
wetlands as sewage-treatment and sediment-retention ponds.  Such uses of
wetlands generally cause terrible degradation of the
wetland--eutrophication, loss of species, etc.  Some DEQ agents even
encourage this practice.  Kirtland Community College (near Roscommon)
recently needed to deal with the excess effluent from their septic system,
and the local DEQ agent encouraged them to use the small bog owned by the
college as a tertiary-treatment system.  The college finally decided to go
ahead and do so, over the strenuous objections of their science faculty,
who have long used the bog as a priceless teaching resource.  Those same
science faculty are going to study the effect of the septic effluent on
the bog, so they will be adding to the data showing that such practices
have serious impacts on natural ecosystems.  

	Dumping nutrient- and sediment-laden water into natural wetlands
can be an even more serious impact than some dredging and filling
operations; it is high time that this fact was recognized by the law.

	--B.J. Madsen



On Tue, 16 Mar 1999 Murphwild1@aol.com wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Robert,
> 
> The "use" of wetlands as retention ponds to "contain" and "filter" effluents
> such as phosphates, nitrates, lawn care chemicals, salt, oil, etc., for
> subdivisions and other types of development are not included under current
> law, (Goemaere-Anderson Wetland Protection Act, Act No. 203 of the Public Acts
> of 1979, as amended in 1993), as being uses or activities which require a
> permit or public hearing. 
> 
> The Harding DEQ's interpretation of 'use" is much like Clinton and the word
> "is."  Bogus! 
> 
> Currently, only dredging, filling (with soil-not pollutants), or draining is a
> "use" of a regulated wetland that requires a permit, or public hearing
> (although these are routinely dismissed without good reason).
> 
> The word "use" as in "use of a wetlands" has been twisted by ENgler/Harding
> mandate specifically to exclude wetland protection for wetlands in just such
> instances as "use" of wetlands for retention ponds for development.
> 
> 
> In other words, while the DEQ is not busy rubber stamping wetlands destruction
> permits for industry and developers,  denying wetlands public hearings because
> the "USE" of a wetland as a sewer is not the same as filling, draining or
> dredging it (according to Harding), they are busy doing WHAT??? 
> 
> I would demand inclusion of use of wetlands to include anything that impairs,
> pollutes or otherwise degrades a wetland, including using them for storm water
> retention that contains all of our pollutants. Go for another amendment of
> Goemaere-Anderson!
> 
> 
> This would also provide greater protection against sprawl in general. If
> wetlands were unavailable for "use" as sewers, you would have much greater
> restrictions on development in general.
> 
> Of course we will still have the problem/mandate of lack of law enforcement
> under the current regime no matter how good the laws are.
> 
> 
> murray Dailey
> 
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