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E-M:/ Sen. Peters Bill to Protect Wetlands



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Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2000

CONTACT: Senator Gary Peters
  (517) 373-7888

PETERS BILL PROTECTS SMALL WETLANDS

 (LANSING) - In honor of Earth Day, State Senator Gary Peters
(D-Bloomfield Twp.) will introduce legislation which will require
Michigan to protect smaller wetlands on public lands that are not
currently being protected by the Department of Environmental Quality
(DEQ).
  “Large or small, wetlands are valuable not just as natural features,
but also because they provide vital benefits to society with essential
value,” said Peters.  “Because of the significant impact on fishing,
wildlife and the Great Lakes, our wetlands can play a vital role in the
economy in Michigan.”
 Senate Bill 1235 closes a loophole from legislation passed in 1980 that
exempts small “noncontiguous” wetlands from state protection.  According
to a 1996 Department of Natural Resources scientific study, Michigan has
well over 350 small wetlands which are not under protection of the DEQ.
The DEQ has failed to act on the 1996 study. Peters fears that if not
protected, road-building and other publically-funded projects may harm
these small but valuable wetlands.
 The bill is supported by the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC).
“This bill is an important step in protecting more than 100 of
Michigan’s valuable wetlands,” said Lana Pollack, President of the MEC.
“We commend Senator Peters for his leadership.  His bill reflects the
best science we have on areas that are important for clean water, flood
control, and biological diversity.”
 “In terms of environmental policy, protecting all of Michigan’s
wetlands must be one of our top priorities,” said Peters.  “This
legislation will ensure the protection of some of Michigan’s most
valuable resources for years to come.”



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