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E-M:/ Honor Pollution Prevention Week - Stop Raid on Funds

Enviro-Mich message from jamesmec@voyager.net

The Michigan Environmental Council calls on Governor Engler to
celebrate Pollution Prevention Week by calling off his attempt to raid
millions of dollars from a fund dedicated for pollution prevention.

Waste reduction fees are generated through a tipping fee on hazardous
waste disposed of in Michigan.  Those fees are dedicated toward
pollution prevention efforts.  In the past few years, the department
has increased its use of the money, but demand still exceeds supply in
the various grant programs funding pollution prevention activities.
HB 4626 (passed by the House, and pending before the Senate Natural
Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee) authorizes that waste
reduction fees be used for purposes other than pollution prevention,
such as permitting and data processing.

Michigan's Toxic Release Inventory shows Michigan facilities generate
over 460 million pounds of toxic chemicals per year as by-products of
the production process.  Even the EPA admits that of the 3000
chemicals that the United States produces or imports at more than 1
million pounds per year, 43% have no testing data on toxicity and only
7% have a been adequately tested for effects on human health. These
figures demonstrate the need for greater effort to reduce the
generation of hazardous waste and their release into our environment.

The fees that originally funded the waste management program were
eliminated in September of 1998.   Since that time the department has
been funding its activities through remaining fund balances.  The fees
included in this bill are delayed until October of 2002, providing the
regulated community with another eighteen months of minimal
contributions to this program.

The Michigan Environmental Council urges the Governor to stop his raid
on pollution prevention funds and institute the new fees beginning in
October of 2001 to make up for any budget shortfall.

Submitted by:

James Clift, Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539

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