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Re: E-M:/ Michigan Environmental History

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

At 12:54 PM 7/22/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from "Andrew Guy" <sanborna@pilot.msu.edu>
>My name is andrew sanborn and I am a graduate student at Michigan State
>University.  This summer I am working on a project with regard to
>environmental issues in the media.
>I was wondering if some enviro-michers out there might respond with the top
>5-10 environmental happenings in the state over the past 30 years.  The
>event, news, disaster, etc. can be national or local but should somehow have
>had a sizeable impact on the Michigan/Great Lakes environmental arena.
>Please respond to "sanborna@pilot.msu.edu"

Your work is important and I hope you share it with the list when completed....

Here's my personal preliminary "top list"  of  events, news, disasters, both
good and bad......
.... with a particular view to the magnitude of changes presented.....  no
value should be ascribed to the order of presentation......actually I could not
figure out a way to pick out only 5-10....but I think these are the most 
signficant environmental developments that I can think of over the last 30

1.   Early 1970's passage of Michigan Environmental Protection Act, Natural
Rivers Act, 
Inland Lakes and Streams Act, Shorelines Protection and Management Act, Soil
and Sedimentation Act, mostly shepherded by the late Rep. Tom Anderson,
Rep. Warren
Goemaere and the Milliken Administration..   Regulations to control dumping
of private boat sewage in the Great Lakes and Michigan inland waterways.

2.   The consolidation of environmental and resource programs in Michigan in
1972 in
the Department of Natural Resources under executive orders by Gov. William

3.   The Michigan Chemical Company/ Michigan Farm Bureau contamination of
agricultural feed system with poly brominated biphenyls (PBBs).

4.   Decision by Federal Judge Miles Lord to prevent further taconite mine
tailings discharge
to Lake Superior by Reserve Mining Company of Silver Bay, Minnesota

5.   Michigan's mid-1970's efforts to prohibit further disposal of liquid
hazardous industrial
wastes to municipal solid waste landfills.

6.   Progress made under court order to clean up the Detroit Sewage
treatment plant and 
other metro detroit sewage plants enabling the cleanup of Lake Erie, along
with cleanup
efforts in Detroit area river systems.

7.  Late 1970's and early 1980's MDNR efforts to clean up the most seriously
hazardous waste problems in Michigan  (i.e.  Hooker Chemical, Story, Ott,
Berlin and Farro, 
Lakeway Chemical, Liquid Disposal and others.

8.   Emergence and resurgence of Great Lakes fisheries programs in the late
1970's and 1980's

9.   The reign and then retirement of anti-environmental legislators, Sen.
Joseph Mack, Rep. Dominic 
Jacobetti, Rep. Ernie Nash and Rep. Tom Alley.

10.  The gubernatorial  election of John Engler followed by the abolition of
environmental boards and commissions 
and Michigan's 60 year tradition of natural resource management by volunteer
and commissions; the Engler initiated splitting of MDNR and the subsequent
the selection of Russell Harding as MDEQ Director.

11.   The passage of the initiated referendum in 1976 for the Michigan
beverage container
deposition legislation.

12.  The enactment of legislation relaxing Michigan's requirements for the
disposal of 
municipal incinerator ash as hazardous waste.   The decline of municipal
waste incineration, followed
by its 1980's ressurgence, and then the rise of curb-side recycling
throughout Michigan.   The ten year
struggle over the Detroit Incinerator and the citizen campaign over waste
incineration in Madison
Heights and Inkster.

13.   Michigan's enforcement in the late 1970's through mid 1980's of
requirements to limit sulfur dioxide
emissions from power plants by greater than then-existing federal
requirements, and 1970's 
era controls to reduce hazardous airborne particle emissions from industrial

14.   Emergence of environmental justice movements in the 1990's in
communities of color and poverty
in Michigan.

15.   The rise of International cooperation and great lakes leadership with
the Great Lakes Water Quality 
Agreement and Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative.

16.   The establishment of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured
Rocks National Lakeshore,
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

17.  The passage of the Federal Michigan Wilderness Act,  with the
protection of the Nordhouse Dunes
and 13 other federally designated Michigan wilderness areas.

18.   Continued erosion and evisceration of Michigan environmental
protection act provisions of the NREPA
by Michigan Trial and Appellate courts.

19.   The thirty year effort by Michigan agriculture to exempt itself from
state environmental laws, along with the rise
of serious pollution problems by confined animal operations throughout the

20    Enactment of Michigan bans on DDT and PCBs in the 1970s.

21.   Michigan's 1980's effort establishing airborne toxicant controls on
new and modified sources of toxic
air contaminants.

22.   Emergence in the late 1990's of the strong citizen push to reform
Michigan's drain code.

23.   Emergence of non-native species invading Michigan's waters and land in
the 1990s.

24.   Final resolution concerning disputes regarding Indian fishing in the
Great Lakes.

25    Emergence of strong agency and public responses concerning
contamination of Great Lakes
and inland lake fish by multi-media contamination sources.

26.   Major cleanup of emissions from the Midland Dow Chemical/Dow Corning
complex and downriver
Wayne County over the last 25 years.

27.   Emergence of the use of the internet in Michigan environmental
communications (i.e. 
MDEQ, MDNR robust web activities, enviro-mich, League of Conservation Voters
citizen letter project, and several other web-based citizen efforts).

28.   Emergence of Michigan as a target destination for out of state
and international municipal and hazardous waste disposal.

29.  The loss of environmental review of major state actions 
in the early 1990s and the Engler Administration failure
to do anything on comprehensive environmental review of state decisions.

30.  The resolution of the fish kill issue concerning the Ludington Pump
Storage Plant.

31.   Recent efforts at environmental restoration in the Saginaw River, the
River, the Kalamazoo River, the Pine River and Rouge River and other sites of 
contaminated sediments (also including recent efforts affecting Lake 
Michigan in the Green Bay area for PCBs).

32.  The fight over pollution from the White Pine smelter, the fight
to prevent underground acid solution/leach mining, its closure and 
environmental remediation of the White Pine mine and tailings basin.

33.  The demise of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and
its political review of agency environmental rulemaking.

34.  The defeat of winter navigation proposals for the Great Lakes.

35.  The opening of new kraft mills in Escanaba and Quinnessec and
the effects of such mills on Michigan's hardwood forest resources.   The
strong emergence of pulpwood and fuel wood as important/primary 
forest management objectives.

36.  The 1990's re-emergence of eagles and ospreys in Michigan's wild country.

37.   The dispute over oil drilling in the Pigeon River Country State Forest
and the enactment of legislation and a constitutional amendment
allocating revenues from hydrocarbon resource extraction for state
recreational lands aquisition.

38.   The trends away from new freeway construction;  the recent battle
over the US 23 freeway and the abandonment of SEMCOG's
early freeway plants for Southeastern Michigan; and the failure of 
Southeast Michigan politicians to agree on light rail/subway development
and the subsequent failure of metro-Detroit to develop an 
effective regional non-highway transportation system.

39.   The loss of farmlands, open space, as well as threats
to surface and groundwater quality, and air quality, from 
metro-detroit area urban sprawl.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

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