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E-M:/ Drain Code Alert Standby

Enviro-Mich message from Julie Stoneman <juliemec@voyager.net>


There are two session days before the legislature recesses for its two week
Thanksgiving/deer hunting break--and it is House Ag Chair Mike Green's
(R-Mayville) intent to get the drain code bill, HB 4803, out of his
committee either this Tuesday morning or Wednesday afternoon. The bill is
in extremely poor shape and it's unlikely it will get the needed fixes in
such a short time frame.

WHAT'S THE RUSH?   The drive to get the bill to the House floor before
Thanksgiving is to assure that it will get through the Senate before
Christmas, helping to clear the docket of any "controversial" legislation
in January as we swing into the next election cycle.  (Or at least that's
the only reason we can  come up with.)

WHAT'S WRONG:   Of the changes made so far to the code, none have made any
significant improvement in public participation and due process.  Perhaps
the most controversial vote to date has been to allow drain commissioners
to assess DNR lands for drainage projects.  This could mean funds would
have to be diverted from critical resource programs to pay for drains.  In
addition, this provision creates the very real potential of state lands
subsidizing major drain work for new development.

STAND BY:  The Michigan Environmental Council opposes HB 4803 in its
current form.  If the bill is voted out of committee this week with no
significant changes, activists will need to contact their State
Representatives to urge defeat of HB 4803.  We'll keep you informed.


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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