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E-M:/ campaign cash boosts chances for toxic waste injection well

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

For Immediate Release                           Contact: Mary Beth Doyle, 
January 18, 2001                                        Kathy Aterno, 
                                                         James Clift, Dave 
Dempsey, 517-487-9539


Groups Question Influence of Money
On Siting of Hazardous Waste “Magnet” in Romulus

         Environmental groups today said proponents of a hazardous waste 
deep injection well in Romulus have contributed more than $20,000 to 
Governor Engler and Republican candidates. The facility is expected to 
attract hazardous wastes from throughout the region, including Canadian wastes.
         The groups said the campaign cash raises questions about the 
decision by Department of Environmental Quality Director Russell Harding to 
overrule recommendations of a citizen site review board that called for 
rejection of the well proposal.  Environmental Disposal Systems, Inc. (EDS) 
proposes to treat up to 400,000 gallons per day of hazardous wastes 
containing toxic chemicals and heavy metals for injection into a well 4,000 
feet below Romulus.
         The citizen review board rejected the application in March of 
2000, citing nine reasons why the facility posed unacceptable risks. 
Harding has overruled the board.
         “DEQ Director Harding has already made Michigan a magnet for 
out-of-state trash. Now he wants to make us a magnet for hazardous waste as 
well. The Great Lakes State is fast becoming the ‘Great Wastes State,” said 
Mary Beth Doyle of the Ecology Center.
         A public hearing on the permit was held Wednesday evening in Romulus.
         “It's clear that special interest campaign contributors have an 
open door to top Michigan decision-makers.  The Governor and his 
lieutenants have been successful in disregarding what is in the best 
interest of the citizens of Romulus and the state,” said Kathy Aterno, 
Michigan Director, Clean Water Action.
         A search of state campaign finance records shows:
·       Michael Timmis, who has a financial interest in the proposed EDS 
facility, contributed the maximum $6800 to Engler’s 1998 re-election 
campaign. Timmis also contributed over $9000 to other Republican candidates 
in the 1998 election cycle. Timmis also served as an honorary chairman of 
Engler’s June 23, 1997 “Governor’s Gala” fundraiser.
·       Nancy Timmis, listed at the same home address as Michael Timmis, 
gave Engler $3400 in 1997 and $4400 to other Republican candidates.
·       Members of a law firm that also has a financial interest in the EDS 
project, Beier Howlett, gave Engler $2600 in 1997 and over $1000 to other 
Republican candidates.
·       Douglas Wicklund, president of EDS, gave $1,100 to Engler’s 
campaign committee in May of 1999.
·       Anthony Soave, whose City Management Company has a financial 
interest in the facility, contributed $500 to Engler’s committee in 1998.
         Michigan Environmental Council has obtained documents showing that 
Beier Howlett, Timmis and Inman, and City Management stand to reap hundreds 
of thousands of dollars in profits if EDS receives its deep well injection 
         The EDS case is the latest in a string of actions by DEQ 
management in defiance of public opinion and state law.  Michigan 
environmental groups compiled previous examples of DEQ’s failure to protect 
the environment in a report released last fall entitled “Dereliction of 
Duty.” The report is available on line at http://www.mecprotects.org.

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912

517-487-9539 (phone)
517-487-9541 (fax)


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