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E-M:/ Everybody look what's going down

Enviro-Mich message from Sue Julian <benj@tir.com>

This is for all of you with a memory that reaches back twenty to thirty
years, to a time when the water resources of Michigan were considered
important enough to pass the Inland Lakes and Streams Act and the Wetland
Protection Act.  And to the Milliken Era when the governor was almost
successful in transferring watershed management from the Department of
Agriculture to the DNR.  Well folks, the reverse is happening now.  This
governor is promoting HB 4803 which is scheduled for vote TOMORROW on the
House floor.

"... Itís time we stop now, whatís that sound? Everybody look whatís going
down" (apologies to Buffalo Springfield)

Remember the Michigan Environmental Code Commission and the shuffle of
statutes lumped together under NREPA that sent veteran environmentalists
scurrying to figure out the consequences of the re-write?  Itís happened
again.  The drain commissionersí association sponsored by the Department of
Agriculture has written a bill of, by and for drain commissioners to
"manage" water under the ditch and dredge guidelines of the Drain Code.
Chapters have been combined, sections re-written and authority concentrated
in the hands of these little-known county officials.  That nice sounding
name, "Watershed Management," is given to what is actually a shift away
from the STATEíS responsibility to follow through on the Federal Clean
Water Act, on the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act, on the Water
Resources Protection Act and on Wetland Protection Act.

"..What it is ainít exactly clear..."
unless youíve read and reread this 283 page bill.  But then the brilliant
Engler strategy comes out.   (Didnít he tell us, "I know how to handle
environmentalists"?)  Grab all the Federal dollars linked to watersheds,
turn the administration over to non-professional non-environmentalists,
slice out any DEQ enforcement, substitute Depít of Ag priorities
and--listen  to this one--place it in an unfettered taxing authority that
raises millions of dollars of funds without spending a state dime!  

Are you paying attention to how other governors are trying to gut the TMDL
provisions of Phase II Stormwater guidelines?  Well, Michigan is about to
get snookered.  Our chance at leaving clean waters and great lakes to
posterity is going to disappear with a crummy sounding bill called the
drain code.  And most people wonít be even paying attention.

Kill the bill.  Call now - call your rep, call Perricone (517-373-1774),
call DeGrow (517-373-7708) and call Engler (517-373-3400).

P.S.  Weíve identified a close to 200 problems with the bill but the "Donít
vote for a tax hike" refrain is the only one that will probably connect
with legislators who havenít read and arenít going to read the bill. If,
however, you want to cite specifics, check out the web site
<http:/members.tripod.com/Michigan_Drain_Code>.  We will add a complete
bill analysis as soon as possible.

* Sue Julian                                                    *
* Michigan Drain Code Coalition                                 *
* Phone: (248) 634-3513                                         *
* Phone: (517) 324-9664 (ans. mach.)                            *
* P.O. Box 304                                                  *
* Holly, MI 48442                                               *
* email: benj@tir.com                                           *
* MDCC Homepage: http://members.tripod.com/Michigan_Drain_Code/ *

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