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E-M:/ HB 4305 - Clean Michigan Initiative House Action

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

The House Appropriation Subcommittee on the Department of Environmental
Quality reported a substitute bill including the next round of
authorized spending from the Clean Michigan Initiative bond program
approved by the voters last November.

The Michigan Environmental Council was pleased that the committee
significantly increased funding for water cleanup programs (details
below, authorized for a two-year period) and included the following
changes from the administration recommendations:

Water Quality Monitoring  The committee decided to use 50% bond money
and 50% general fund money to support this $3,000,000 line item (the
administration wants all bond money, $45 million over 15 years).  MEC
had argued that water quality monitoring is an ongoing responsibility of
the department and thus should be funded by sources other than bond
money.  This decision will allow an additional $1.5 million of bond
money to be used for cleanup activities as envisioned by the voters.

Beach monitoring  The bill requires the DEQ to start monitoring beaches
at State Parks and recreation areas and to make health advisories
available on the internet.  MEC will continue to seek greater support
for local efforts in this area.

Pollution prevention  The subcommittee removed the $1.5 million
small-engine / lawnmower trade-in program.  MEC did not believe that the
lawnmower program would have resulted in significant emission
reductions.  In its place, MEC has advocated for an Energy Bank to make
zero-interest loans available for energy efficiency programs.

Volunteer river, stream and creek cleanup program  The committee
included $100,000 for a match program for this important program.

The bill is currently on the House calendar.  After the Thanksgiving
break it will be voted on by the entire House and sent to the Senate for
action in the first two weeks of December. The Michigan Environmental
Council urges Michigan residents to contact their legislators to support
the above decisions so they are not removed from the bill.  Critical
decisions will be made in the Senate Appropriation Subcommittee on the
DEQ, chaired by Sen. Loren Bennett (P:517-373-7350, fax:517-373-9228,

More details:

The bill includes over $80,000,000 in authorized spending, in the
following categories:

Clean Water:
Water quality monitoring    $3,000,000
Contaminated lake and sediment cleanup $5,220,000
Voluntary stormwater permit grants  $3,000,000
Failing on-site septic    $5,000,000
Protecting high-quality   $3,000,000
Illicit storm water connection grants  $5,000,000
RAPs and LAPs implementation grant $5,000,000
Conservation reserve enhancement  $3,000,000
Abandoned well management grants  $1,200,000
Volunteer river, stream cleanup  $   100,000
Sub-total     $33,520,000

Environmental Response
Brownfield grants and loans    $13,000,000
Waterfront development     $30,000,000
Sub-total      $43,000,000

Pollution Prevention
Environmental Education   $1,000,000
Household hazardous waste collection $1,000,000
Regional pollution prevention grants  $1,000,000
Retired engineers technical assistance $   500,000
Sub-total     $3,500,000

Administration     $   600,000

Prepared by:
James Clift, Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539

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