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E-M:/ Fwd: FW: Legislative Alert-Michigan, please respond within 24 hours
Ken, Has the MDA commented?
If you are not aware of this legislation, please read and respond to your
Thought you Michiganders might be interested in this message posted to the
North American "Lakes-L" list today...
[mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of Ann St. Amand
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 1:34 PM
To: LAKES-L List
Subject: Legislative Alert-Michigan, please respond within 24 hours
Please find below a letter that I am sending on behalf of the Michigan
Chapter of NALMS to the legislators in our state strongly opposing current
pending legislation in Michigan. This legislation will essentially stop the
permitting process for the application of herbicides and pesticides in
aquatic systems and leave DEQ little recourse to control any applications.
If you are a Michigan resident or can offer any insight into preventing
these bills from passing tomorrow, it would be greatly appreciated. Please
feel free to use the text of the letter below. Ann St. Amand.
We would like to draw your attention to legislation that is currently coming
up for vote in the Michigan House of Representatives: House Bill 5958, House
Bill 5959 and House Bill 5960.
This legislation is targeted at lowering the requirements for applying
herbicides and pesticides in our lakes and streams, essentially removing the
permitting process for specific applications. We are strongly opposed to
this legislation given the critical nature of herbicide and pesticide
applications in our Michigan waters. Herbicide and pesticide applications,
if not safely regulated, can affect virtually all life within the waters
treated, and hence represent the potential for irreparable harm to the
Our DEQ staff spends a considerable amount of time reviewing and issuing
permits because the process is absolutely mandatory if we are to adequately
manage and protect our water resources in this state. This legislation
provides the DEQ no authority to control the size or intent of applications.
It also provided the DEQ little if any authority to protest treatments for
the purposes of protecting fisheries or other critical aspects of our
lakes. The legislation allows DEQ to protest treatments based only on
economic, human health or recreational reasons, NOT environmental reasons.
We would argue that the potential for environmental harm MUST be considered,
because the environmental impact of excessive or ill-planned herbicide or
pesticide treatments is intricately connected to economic, human health and
recreational factors. In addition, the proposed legislation contains no
specifications or benchmarks by which to determine hazard or damage, making
evaluation, enforcement or protest by the DEQ nearly impossible.
Other states and municipalities have completed studies which clearly link
property values with water quality. Our state is heavily dependent on
tourism dollars directly related to our water resources. Indiana, for
example, is currently going through the process of legislatively INCREASING
the requirements of their permit process. Many of the surrounding states
either currently have, or have recently put into place, stricter
requirements on the permitting process because of the high potential for
harm. It would extremely unwise to relax or decrease the requirements of
the permitting process in Michigan because it would be counter to the
long-term protection and value of our water resources.
Ann St. Amand, Ph.D.
Past President, North American Lake Management Society, Michigan Chapter
Region V Director, North American Lake Management Society
President, PhycoTech, Inc.