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E-M:/ Senator Peters introduces legislation to toughen medical wasterules

Enviro-Mich message from Tracey Easthope <tracey@ecocenter.org>

May 22, 2000

CONTACT:	Senator Gary Peters
		(517) 373-7888


	(LANSING)ěState Senator Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township) today
announced legislation to tightly regulate medical waste incinerators. He
was joined by Hamtramck City Council President Phil Kwik and Donna
Markowski, a woman affected by a medical waste incinerator near her home.
Peters made his announcement near the City of Hamtramck's medical waste
	"Current Michigan regulations are not adequate.  Too many people
are falling ill in neighborhoods that surround medical waste incinerators,"
said Peters.  "It is government's job to protect its citizens, and my
legislation will do so."
	The Peters legislation would
	*	lower the emission limits for dioxin, mercury, lead, and
other elements
	*	require continuous emission monitors to track releases
including carbon monoxide, and dioxin
	*	require quarterly reports to the local regulatory agency
	*	require training and certification courses for operators
	*	require operators on site when an incinerator is running
	*	require annual independent inspections
	*	require publication of inspection results in local
community newspapers
	*	require the DNR to take public comment and report on
alternative, less harmful methods of dealing with medical waste

	Exposure to high levels of mercury and dioxin could cause learning
disabilities in children.  Dioxin, a known carcinogen, could also
contribute to health problems such as diabetes.  These incinerators also
release compounds contributing to acid rain.
	 "Several incinerators have already closed down," said Peters.  "No
one wants to live near a medical waste incinerator.  We need to protect
people who do live near these facilities by demanding that medical waste
incinerators operate safely in our communities."
	* * * *

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