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E-M:/ Stopping expansion of mining into critical dunes



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Enviro-Mich message from "Charles Davis" <cfd3@daac.com>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUDGE TO RULE ON SAND DUNE MINING CASE

    On Monday May 24, 1999 at 3:00 P.M. a hearing will be held in
Judge Scott Schofield's courtroom at the Berrien County
Courthouse in St. Joseph, MI on Preserve the Dunes, Inc.'s (PTD)
motion for a summary dispostition of its complaint against the
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Techni-
Sand, Inc. of Chardon, Ohio. PTD alleges that the MDEQ without
legal authority amended a permit to expand sand dune mining into a
Critical Dune Area at the "Nadeau Site" in Hagar Township, Berrien
County, MI.
    The 1989 amendments to the sand dune mining statute of
1976 prohibit sand dune mining in Critical Dune Areas. There are
only two exceptions to this otherwise blanket prohibition against
mining critical dunes. Both were intended to allow then current
operators to continue operations and to avoid a "taking" of the
operator's property.  PTD asserts that the law does not allow
expanding from a non-critical into a Critical Dune Area. PTD
further maintains that TechniSand was not the operator in 1989
and therefore has no right to mine this Critical Dune Area. In
addition, an exemption from statutory regulation cannot be
transferred upon sale and it expires when the holder to the
exemption ceases ownership of the property or use of the
exemption.
    The motion asks the court to issue a mandatory injunction
requiring the MDEQ to rescind and revoke the permit to the extent
that it allows TechniSand to mine critical dunes, and to issue an
injunction against TechniSand prohibiting it from mining critical
dunes within the Nadeau Site.
    PTD, a not-for-profit grass roots organization, was formed
in October, 1997, to protect the fragile, irreplaceable and
environmentally sensitive sand dunes of western Michigan from
destruction by strip mining of sand. These are the only tall, fresh
water dunes in the world. PTD is an affiliate of the West Michigan
Environmental Action Council.
    PTD members and supporters number 600. For the full text of
the motion and brief, or for more information about PTD, its
activities and the destruction of the dunes by sand mining visit the
web site at http://www.daac.com/sosdunes/. 

Or contact: 
    Charles F. Davis, President 
    Preserve the Dunes, Inc.
    P.O. Box 38
    Hagar Shores, MI 49039
    cfd3@daac.com
    (312)922-6050


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