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E-M:/ fight to save inkster wetland

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

This message is posted on behalf of Communities United for Action in
Inkster. E-mail replies should go to Darryl Braun at:


The fight to save a beautiful and rare
wetland/woodland in the city of Inkster has entered
the 11th hour. City council is expected to give final approval
for a planned subdivision August 6th. Bulldozers will
begin leveling the site, teeming with beautiful flora
and fauna, shortly thereafter.

Our grassroots environmental organization, CUFA
(Communities United for Action) has committed to
exhaustive efforts to forestall the project, but we
have run out of finances, and as noted, are rapidly
running out of time.

The DEQ evaluated the site (allowing the developer to
contract its own consultants) in the summer of 1999,
and to nobody's surprise, the Agency agreed with the
consultant's determination that the site amounted to
just under the five acre standard for wetland
regulation qualification. CUFA challenged the decision
by petitioning for a Contested Case Hearing, but again
to no ones surprise, the developer successfully
appealed for a dismissal on the basis of two
technicalities, i.e. lack of standing and failure to
petition in a timely manner.

The DEQ acknowledged that it discovered discrepencies
in the contracted dilineator's findings, but that they
would not add up to more than five acres total.
Members of our organization recently met with a DEQ
district supervisor and discovered, to our amazement,
that the DEQ could not accurately assess that the
discrepencies would not compel regulation of the site,
as the supervisor admitted that the DEQ was never
informed of the total wetland acreage by the
consultant; only that it was not five or more acres.

In addition, neither the Agency nor the consultants
assessed offsite properties which appear to be art of
the connected wetlands. Our consultant noted that the
boundaries drawn by the developer's consultant are off
by tens of feet, that six unconnected wetlands in
truth comprise one large wetland (even the DEQ
considered the most substantial break to have been
connected), and performed measurements which calculate
the wetlands mapped by the developer's consultant
(even taking their disputed findings as a given) as
amounting to more than five acres.

The DEQ noted that if we could offer substantial
evidence to warrant a follow up assessment (for a fee,
of course), i.e. having the offsite properties
assessed, proving through topographical maps and
aerial photographs that recent grading had been
performed, having the consultant's map planimetered,
they would comply.

As we have exhausted all finances, we are issuing a
plea for assistance in this matter. In addition to
further advice, we are pleading for a wetlands expert
to offer pro bono service in further assessment and
delineation of this twelve acre treasure. Please
contact the members of CUFA at 313 277-1466. Thank


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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