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Re: E-M:/ Romulus and DEQ's overriding of citizen input

Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Sun, 21 Jan 2001, Timberland RC&D wrote:

> While I understand the concerns people have expressed about metal detectors 
> at public meetings, I think we need not to get sidetracked from the main 
> issues, which I see as twofold: the actual substance of the Romulus matter, 
> and the violation of an overwhelmingly important principle of democracy in 
> DEQ's politically appointed director deciding to ignore the input of a 
> group of taxpaying citizens charged with studying it.
> As far as the technology involved in the deepwell injection, I would indeed 
> like to know more. But beyond the fact that it sounds like a terrible idea, 
> we have the 9 points against it determined by the citizen panel who 
> actually does know a lot about it. It would seem prudent to pay attention 
> to those.

In regard to the first issue:

The record shows that on the first vote on the motion to deny the permit,
the Site Review Board split 4 in favor, 3 opposed, and 1 abstained (one
appointed board member had quit and a replacement was not appointed).  
Five votes were required to adopt the motion, so it failed. After further
discussion, the abstainer was persuaded to change his vote, and he voted
in favor of the denial, making the 5 required for it to pass.  The 3
opposed and the 1 abstention constituted all the scientists appointed to
the board.

It is also important to understand that the board never considered the
question of deep well injection for disposal of wastes. This had already
been approved by the EPA and the SRB did not discuss it. The issues
discussed were such as possible surface pollution, traffic, utilities,
wetland questions, need, and qualifications of EDS to operate the

--Rane L. Curl

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