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E-M:/ Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control



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Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@pop.voyager.net>
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Enviro-mich:

The Michigan Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs
Committee met today on SB 651 which would amend the Soil Erosion and
Sedimentation Control section of the Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection Act.  The bill sponsor and committee chair, Sen. Ken Sikkema
appears ready to make some changes to this law to better protect the
waters of the state.

The extent he is willing to change the statute will be based, in part,
on how big of problem soil erosion and sedimentation is to our water
resources.  At the hearing, the following points were raised to
demonstrate the need for greater control:

1)  fish habitat destruction,

2) sedimentation leading to more dredging of sometimes highly
contaminated sediments,

3) sedimentation of combined sewer systems resulting in diminished
capacity and more overflow situations.

Sen. Sikkema would like copies of any reports or studies which document
these or other problems caused by soil erosion and sedimentation.  You
can send them directly to his office at the following address, or get
them to me and I will deliver them:

Sen. Ken Sikkema
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909

The bill, as introduced, would have required the state to issue permits
on any earth change project that was within 500 feet of one of the Great
Lakes, in a critical dune area or other designated high erosion area, or
larger than 50 acres in size.  The DEQ does not want to take on this
responsibility.  The bill also increases penalties.  Permits are
currently issued by one of several possible local entities.  Other
suggestions for changes or improvements included:

1) Allowing counties to promulgate regulation more restrictive than the
state.

2) Including projects which have direct impacts on regulated wetland
areas.

3) Requiring greater assistance from the state on monitoring and
enforcement issues.

4) Allowing local permitting agencies to request state involvement when
necessary.

A substitute for the bill will be prepared this fall and another public
hearing held on the issue.  Any other suggestions for changes can also
be forwarded to the sponsor or myself.


James Clift, Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539
jamesmec@voyager.net


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