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E-M:/ CORRECTION to the Legislature's Greatest Hits list



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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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Enviro-Mich folks:

My apologies -- Julie Stoneman of MEC caught an error in our list of Greatest
Hits -- we'll do our best to correct this in the press as well.  Anne Woiwode


Anne--the full House kept both Byl's and Godchaux's language in, Byl lost in
conference committee, Godchaux's stayed but with one unfortunate
change.--Julie


LEGISLATORS SAY YES TO URBAN SPRAWL!  Representative William Byl proposed that
the Legislature direct the DEQ to consider impacts of grants and technical
assistance on urban redevelopment and existing infrastructure through
boilerplate language in the budget (SB 364).  It was the first, highly
visible policy action on the implications of state spending on land use and if
it had passed, would be the first time "a state agency would have to think
about whether its actions promoted wise land use--or financed expensive
sprawl." (Detroit Free Press editorial, 6/9/99). Instead, bowing to
tremendous pressure from lobbyists for development interests statewide, the
full House dropped the language not once, but twice, as Representative Pan
Godchaux also tried to add the language.






At 12:28 PM 6/22/99 -0800, you wrote:
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>Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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>
>
>News from the Sierra Club
>300 N. Washington Square, Suite 411, Lansing, MI 48933   Phone:
517/484-2372   F
>ax: 517/484-3108
>
>For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 22, 1999                       
>Contact: Alison Horton or Anne Woiwode   (517) 484-2372
>
> Legislature Leaves Trail of Environmental Roadkill Behind at Summer Recess
> Sierra Club Responds with Roadkill License Plate Contest
>
>LANSING -- At the State Capitol, today, the Michigan Sierra Club announced
the
>winners of its Michigan Roadkill License Plate Design contest.  They also
>unveiled Greatest "Hits" On Michigan's Legislative Highway: Environmental
>Roadkill in the 1999 Legislative Session.  The Sierra Club, collaborating
with
>the Michigan Environmental Council, identified more than a dozen times in the
>first six months of 1999 that this legislature moved to do real harm to the
>environment.
>
>"The Legislature has lost touch with what the people of Michigan value,"
>charged Alison Horton, director of the Sierra Club's Mackinac Chapter.
>"Passage of a roadkill license plate bill while pro-environment legislation
>was being bumped off all along the way this session signals just how absurd
>and how deeply disappointing the legislature's performance has been."  The
>Sierra Club's license plate design contest gave outraged citizens an outlet
>for their frustration with the legislature's agenda on the environment.
>
>With the help of Roger the Roadkill Deer, the Sierra Club presented first
>prize in the contest to Bob and Joyce Woolever of Au Gres and Honorable
>Mention to Thom Peterson of Grand Haven for their colorful, if unappealing,
>entries for a new states peciality plate design.
>
>The Sierra Club contest and the entries submitted by contestants were a
>commentary on the deplorable track record of the 1999 Michigan Legislature on
>environmental and conservation issues.  "Somehow the State House saw fit to
>pass 85 to 18 a bill to establish a special license plate to fund roadkill
>cleanup on our highways while the Legislature turned its back in vote after
>vote and committee after committee on protection of wildlife and natural
>areas, cleanup of dirty lakes and dirty air, and the funding citizens wanted
>when they voted for the Clean Michigan Initiative last year," observed Sierra
>Club's Horton.
>
>"It's a travesty, asking Michiganders for extra money to shovel up roadkill
>while special license plate proposals to protect our natural heritage and for
>clean water go nowhere in this legislature," commented Anne Woiwode, program
>director.  "We are calling on legislators to listen carefully to the
>environmental concerns of their constituents while they are at home this
>summer.  When they return to Lansing in September they need to clean up their
>act on the environment."
>
>For instance, they have yet to find a dollar of the new environmental bond
>money to appropriate for clean up of Lake St. Clair.  They gave the timber
>industry priority among all the other users of our state forests.  They
>refused to take steps to assure that health warning about eating fish are
>properly distributed with fishing licenses.  (A list of 15 assaults on the
>environment launched in the 1999 legislature to date is attached.)
>
>"Removing roadkill from our highways, like fixing potholes, is a basic
>service taxpayers should be able to expect from their state," observed Sierra
>Club's Roadkill Roger.  "When people buy a special piece of Michigan's
future,
>they deserve to be investing in a future where open space is not all lost to
>sprawl, where wildlife has a place to live, where forests are healthy, where
>the air and water are clean and fresh.  You would think the Michigan
>Legislature could do better than this."
>
>The winning contestants in the Sierra Club's roadkill plate contest will
>receive a copy of the Michigan Roadkill Cookbook and the tire-treaded T-shirt
>off the back of Roger the Roadkill Deer.  The Sierra Club's Mackinac Chapter,
>with over 16,000 members in Michigan is committed to protecting our
>environment for our families and for our future -- and to holding our public
>officials accountable for environmental stewardship.
>
>####
>
>
>GREATEST "HITS" ON MICHIGAN'S LEGISLATIVE HIGHWAY: ENVIRONMENTAL ROADKILL IN
>THE 1999 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
>
>$10,000,000 FOR FURNITURE -- $ 0 FOR LAKE ST. CLAIR Michigan Legislators will
>enjoy brand new office furniture when they move into the new Legislative
>offices later this year as a result of a supplemental appropriation (HB
>4075),  but they didn't have time to appropriate any funds from the voter
>supported Clean Michigan Initiative (HB 4065) to go to clean-up of Lake St.
>Clair or any other Michigan waterways.  With the first beach closings of the
>season already behind us, Michigan citizens can stand on the shoreline
>pondering that the Legislature is poised to approve funds to monitor
>contamination so we will know just how much clean up is needed but not being
>done.
>
>STATE FORESTS OR STATE TREE FARMS?  For the third year in a row, the Michigan
>Legislature put the timber industry ahead of all other forest users by
>mandating a minimum level of timber to be marked for timber harvest (855,000
>cords in FY 2000) on our State Forests in the Department of Natural Resources
>appropriations bill (SB 370). While throwing a bone to those concerned about
>wildlife and recreation in the forests, the budget won't have the needed
>funding to make sure the mandated timber levels aren't hurting other forest
>uses.  This mandated level is suited to help keep the deer numbers at
>abnormally high levels so that the taking of deer with trucks, cars and other
>vehicles will continue to be a major pastime on Michigan roadways.
>
>CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TRUMP HABITAT PROTECTION Senator Loren Bennett
>evidently concluded that the Michigan Natural Features Inventory was doing
>too aggressive a job of trying to protect rare and sensitive species when a
>major contributor to the Senator's campaigns had his permits to build a golf
>course brought under scrutiny for threatened and endangered species. Senator
>Bennett pushed through amendments in the Senate to the Department of
>Environmental Quality appropriations bill (SB 364) and the Department of
>Natural Resources appropriations bill (SB 370) which threatened the survival
>of the program.  House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Representative
>William Byl and the members of his committee brought reason back into the
>discussion in the House, and in the end prevailed with a common sense
>resolution of concerns.
>
>DEQ LUST LAXITY LEADS TO LEGALIZED LEAKS IN LAKES There is more than one way
>for an agency to correct it's failure to properly implement laws, as the
>Michigan Department of Environmental Quality taught us this year.  The DEQ
>erred a few years ago in their understanding of a law that allowed the flow
>of contaminated groundwater into lakes and streams without Clean Water Act
>permits.  DEQ employees thought that meant gasoline from leaking underground
>storage tanks (LUST) could also flow freely into lakes and streams without
>any permits as well.  Instead of asking for funding for enforcement to
>correct this error, the DEQ asked that the law be "fixed" to make their
>failure to enforce the law the new standard (HB 4471).
>
>DIRTY AIR GETS THE VOTE OF THE HOUSE Maybe if the five straight days of
>violations of the smog standard in most Michigan cities in the Lower
>Peninsula had happened BEFORE the vote, Michigan Legislators would have voted
>the other way.  As it was, on June 1st 78 members of the House decided to
>support a resolution opposing the implementation of federal air quality
>standards designed to reduce emissions of smog causing air pollutants.
>
>HOUSE SAYS DON'T TELL ANGLERS AND FAMILIES ABOUT TOXIC FISH When an editor
for
>the Detroit Free Press wrote about visiting six stores where fishing permits
>are sold and only one of them giving her the required public health
>advisories on eating and preparing fish, Representative Laura Baird thought
>the Legislature needed to provide clear direction that fish advisories
must be
>d istributed to anglers by vendors of fishing permits. The requirement would
>cost nothing, and the DNR would conduct random audits to see how well
>compliance was occurring. While half of her colleagues agreed, the Baird
>amendment to the DNR Appropriation bill (SB 370) failed by one vote to become
>part of the law.
>
>BUSINESS SAYS PUBLIC CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT Senator Ken
>Sikkema proposed that the Department of Environmental Quality be required to
>annually report on the status and trends related to the State's environment
>and natural resources (SB 462).  Representatives of the business community
>considered this legislation potentially dangerous, saying that members of
>public who had access to such information could not be trusted to use the
>information without causing hysteria.
>
>HOUSE GIVES OIL INDUSTRY THE ONLY WORD ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE Maybe
>Representative Larry DeVuyst, chairman of the House Conservation and Outdoor
>Recreation Committee didn't notice those five individuals who had submitted
>cards to testify in opposition to HR 98, a resolution asking the US Senate
not
>to support implementation of the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions.
>After allowing the representative of the American Petroleum Institute to
>speak on behalf of the DEQ, the Chairman dispensed with following the Open
>Meetings Act and moved immediately to a vote of the committee on the
>resolution without allowing the opponents to speak. Among those blocked from
>speaking were members of the faith community who had traveled from throughout
>the state specifically to attend the hearing.
>
>LONE RANGER GUARDING MICHIGAN FROM OUT OF STATE WASTE Representative Liz
>Brater proposed an amendment to the Department of Environmental Quality
>appropriations bill (SB 364) to put eight Conservation Officers on staff to
>police the out of state waste being imported into Michigan.  Her amendment
>was downsized, giving just one full-time-equivalent DEQ CO to police all of
>Michigan's borders for violations on our laws regarding out of state waste.
>
>TOO CHEAP TO ADOPT*A*STREAM What do you do with a very popular  program that
>doesn't cost much and encourages thousands of citizens to participate in
>cleaning up our rivers and streams?  If you are the Michigan Legislature you
>tube it.  A mere $50,000 cut from the DEQ budget, with ripple effects
knocking
>out funding for effective voluntary action all over the state.
>
>LEGISLATORS SAY YES TO URBAN SPRAWL!  Representative William Byl proposed
that
>the Legislature direct the DEQ to consider impacts of grants and technical
>assistance on urban redevelopment and existing infrastructure through
>boilerplate language in the budget (SB 364).  It was the first, highly
>visible policy action on the implications of state spending on land use
and if
>it had passed, would be the first time "a state agency would have to think
>about whether its actions promoted wise land use--or financed expensive
>sprawl." (Detroit Free Press editorial, 6/9/99). Instead, bowing to
>tremendous pressure from lobbyists for development interests statewide, the
>full House dropped the language not once, but twice, as Representative Pan
>Godchaux also tried to add the language.
>
>LEGISLATORS JUST SAY NO TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE Representative Derrick Hale
>proposed that the Legislature direct the DEQ to convene a Task Force on
>Environmental Equity and Justice (SB 364).  The purpose would be to determine
>if state government environmental policies, permits or other actions unduly
>burden economically disadvantaged or low-income communities. Evidently most
>House members just don't want to know, because they just said no to this task
>force.
>
>MICHIGAN OKAYS MORE TOXIC WASTE INJECTION WELLS Representative Ray Basham
>proposed that the state not issue any permits in the next fiscal year to
>allow a multi-source commercial hazardous waste disposal well in Michigan (SB
>364).  His proposed amendment was shot down, opening the way for a permitting
>a well that is expected to receive significant amounts of toxic waste from
>out of state.
>
>MICHIGAN'S IMAGE ON THE NATION'S HIGHWAYS: ROADKILL ACCELERATES; NATURAL
>HERITAGE AND CLEAN WATER STALLED Your opportunity to buy a license plate that
>would partially fund the cleanup of roadkill along Michigan's highways (HB
>4081 & 4082) moved one step closer to becoming a reality, while license
>plates which would allow Michigan citizens to support grossly underfunded
>natural heritage programs (SB 179 & 180) and protect clean water (HB 4163 &
>4164, SB 84 & 85) languish in committee this first six months of the 1999
>Legislative Session.  Both highway funds and game management funds could go
>to remove carcasses from the roadways since state policies to increase the
>number of roads and the number of game animals have greatly contributed to
>the escalation of roadkill during the last several decades.  At a time when
>the Legislature is happy to debate how to give back a "surplus" in our
>state's budget, they are forcing environmental interests to fight over
>relatively small sources of funds like the specialty license plates to
provide
>funding to critically underfunded programs.
>
>Prepared by the Mackinac Chapter of the Sierra Club 300 N. Washington Square,
>Suite 411 Lansing, MI  48933 (571)-484-2372 June 22, 1999
>
>
>
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*****************************************
www.mienv.org/lsi.htm

Julie Stoneman
Director of Land Programs
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
Ph:        517-487-9539
Fax:        517-487-9541
Email:        juliemec@voyager.net



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