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E-M:/ Carl Pope Inspires Environmental Editoral in Macomb Daily

Enviro-Mich message from daniel.farough@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

An editoral appeared this Sunday, June 4 as a result of Carl Pope, National 
Executive Director of Sierra Club, visit to the Macomb Daily editoral Board on 
Wednesday of last week.  The editoral that covers a range of the issues of 
importance to Macomb County and the universal concern of having public officals 
who lead on the environment. 

Dan Farough

In Our Opinion
Jun 4 2000 12:00AM  By Macomb Daily Editorial Board  

Carl Pope, executive director of the 600,000-member Sierra Club, speaks with 
authority on issues that effect land, water and air = pollution, and he believes
the public must demand their elected = officials recognize and seek solutions to
environmental problems.  Visiting Michigan last week, Pope poked holes in U.S. 
Sen. Spencer Abraham's voting record, claiming the senator's environmental 
report = card is "dismal."

Pope admits the Sierra Club normally backs Democrats. Abraham, an Auburn Hills 
Republican, is seeking re-election to a second Senate term.  Aside from its role
in partisan politics, the Sierra Club delivers an important message for 
protecting and preserving our threatened environment.

The club is not a gathering place for environmental kooks. The organization 
represents above average-educated Americans who want to make sure the 
environment passed along to the next generation does not harm the air and water 
nor contain hidden toxic waste landfills.

While in Macomb County last week, Pope addressed the pollution problems plaguing
the Lake St. Clair shoreline and portions of Bear = Creek, the Red Run Drain and
the Clinton River.  Pope said the continuing problems of high E. coli bacteria 
levels and the finger-pointing by local, county and state governmental agencies 
= must stop. "You need political leadership at all those levels of = government 
to clean our water supplies," he said. "But that takes = political courage."

He said California's regional water quality boards have the authority to seek 
out and penalize polluters, whether they are private = individuals, businesses 
or local units of government.

Pope said the disastrous E. coli bacteria outbreak in Canada where at last count
seven lives have been lost to the killer bacteria is not an isolated water 
contamination incident.  Several years ago, a parasite - known as 
cryptosperidium - invaded the Milwaukee water supply, killing 104 and sickening 

Pope warned that many U.S. communities are not adequately testing their water 

Realizing it will take billions of dollars to raise the nation's =
water supplies to accepted health standards, Pope said, "We need to = elect 
officials who will take the issue of safe drinking water as a = serious health 
issue for America."

He cited the efforts of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who,
as a supervisor in San Francisco, rallied regional and state support to get the 
city's antiquated, combined storm and sewage system separated. It took billions 
of dollars in local, state and federal funding to complete the separation that 
now serves 15 communities in San = Francisco's suburbs.

He believes that kind of political leadership is needed here to protect the 
water supply that metropolitan Detroit's population uses on a daily basis.  With
60 percent of that drinking water coming from Lake St. Clair, it becomes even 
more important that this region and the state must prevent an environmental 
disaster waiting to happen.

Until now, the threat of contaminated water in our region has been limited to 
closed beaches, polluted streams and rivers.

We don't need a repeat here of the deadly tragedy that occurred in Walkerton, 

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