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E-M:/ NEWS RELEASE: Posthumus ' Way 'Out of Touch W/ MI Environmental Values'

Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <daniel.farough@sierraclub.org>


For immediate Release					Contact: Dan Farough, Sierra Club (517) 484-2372
Wednesday August 28, 2002 	 				 Cyndi Roper, Clean Water Action



Lansing, MI – Characterizing the Posthumus-Bennett record on the environment
as ‘Way Out of Touch with Michigan Values,’ and extreme, The Sierra Club and
Clean Water Action blasted the Posthumus–Bennett Gubernatorial ticket for
harming communities across Michigan with pro-polluter votes and positions.
The groups presented an in-depth vote chart of rollbacks of air, land and
water protections spearheaded by Posthumus and Bennett during their tenures
in the State Senate and Posthumus’ role as Lt. Governor under John Engler.
“Posthumus and Bennett are directly or indirectly responsible for so many of
the State’s environmental problems, it is no wonder they are running from
their records, said Dan Farough, Political Director of the Sierra Club in
Michigan.  “They sure have a lot of explaining to do in communities across
Michigan.  Communities like Romulus, Midland, Detroit and those along Lake
St. Clair, and the Tittabawassee.”

The group’s analysis of the record covered a span of votes from the mid 90s’
to the present (see attached vote chart for details).  Among the votes and
actions cited were the roll back of Michigan’s landmark polluter pay law
making it easier for polluters to keep illegal discharges secret, the
splitting of the DNR and DEQ, the stripping of local control over animal
factories and votes to block efforts to stem the flood of out-of-state and
hazardous waste into Michigan.  “Voting to let polluters off the hook or
making Michigan a magnet for out-of-state and hazardous waste does nothing
to help communities, only polluters, said Farough

“A decade of anti-environmental extremism has taken its toll on Michigan
communities,” said Cyndi Roper, Director of Clean Water Action in Michigan.
“Look at Lake St. Clair, the Tittabawassee, Romulus or the Greendale
community in Detroit.  Its truly terrifying the impact Posthumus and Bennett
have had on the environment and public health of communities across the
State.  But equally terrifying is the total disregard for taking
responsibility for people impacted by their actions.”

Midland/Saginaw and the Tittabawassee Watershed - The Harding DEQ management
team, appointed by Engler concealed for nearly two years the presence of
high levels of dioxin in the floodplain of the Tittabawassee River and
continue to gag field staff from talking to citizen groups and media. In
Midland and along the Tittabawasee, dioxin levels at elementary schools,
intermediate schools, a High School and parks exceed the residential clean
up standard.  Posthumus and Bennett's position supporting the Harding DEQ
management style adds to the problem.  Votes to roll back public health
protections to 1 in 100,000 chemical cancer deaths from 1 in 1 million, and
support of audit privilege and polluter secrecy compounds the problem.
LOCAL CONTACT: Terry Miller, Lone Tree Council (989) 686-6386

Macomb County and Lake St. Clair
As the drinking water source for roughly half (4.4 million) of Michigan’s
residents, Lake St. Clair is quite possibly Michigan’s most vital public
health resource. Further, it is a gem for the area’s economy, and it
provides extensive recreational opportunities for millions of boaters,
anglers, beach-goers, and others annually.  Unfortunately, the lake’s long
term health is in serious jeopardy.  Lake St. Clair continues to be a major
recipient of billions of gallons of raw and partially treated sewage
annually. The lake is also listed as an impaired waterbody under the Clean
Water Act for reasons including high levels of PCBs, mercury and pathogens.
Sewage overflows and other adverse conditions, resulted in 17 public beaches
being closed on the lake in 2001, many of which lasted for several days.

As leaders in the state legislature, both Posthumus and Bennett have failed
to make the protection and restoration of nearly half of Michigan’s drinking
water supply a priority.  Their failures include Posthumus’s absence in
calling for quick clean up of the extremely high levels of PCBs recently
discovered in the canals leading into Lake St. Clair.  Not once has
Posthumus or Bennett joined with the local community to get answers on why
extremely high levels of PCBs have been found in local waterways. Instead,
they have voted against measures designed to address the lake’s many
LOCAL CONTACT Brad Wilson, Clean Water Fund (586) 783-8900

Rural Michigan: Lenawee, Newaygo, Kalamazoo and Ionia Counties - Animal
factories are a growing problem in rural communities all over Michigan.
Water and air problems recently attained such a high intensity that the US
EPA threaten the State DEQ with a take over of its clean water program if it
failed to issue clean water protection permits as required by law.  State
foot-dragging and the stripping of local control over animal factories
compounds the pollution problems faced by these communities by making
Michigan more attractive to animal factories looking for states with weak
environmental laws.  Posthumus and Bennett support the Stripping of local
control and resistance to compliance with the Clean Water Act.
LOCAL CONTACTS: Lenawee County: Lynn Henning (517) 445-2450  or  Janet
Kaufman (517) 448-4973
Newaygo and Muskegon County: Natasha Gill (231) 924-3162 or 231-924-0641 ext
Ionia County: Jim Patrick (616) 761-3475 or (517) 374-6282
Kalamazoo County: Dave Matturen(616) 649-2211

Romulus - The community of Romulus is threatened with the first commercially
run deep injection hazardous waste well in Michigan as the result of the
current administration, reorganization at the DNR/DEQ and previous
legislation that makes Michigan attractive to hazardous waste haulers.  The
Romulus site will be open to all types of hazardous waste, except nuclear,
from other states and Canada.  In March of 2000, a state-appointed Site
Review Board voted to deny the necessary permit, but later that year the DEQ
acted to override the Boards recommendation.  Such an override would not
have been possible prior to DNR/DEQ reorganization which Posthumus and
Bennett supported.  Bennett and Posthumus also supported capping the
Perpetual Care Trust Fund and acted against restrictions on out-of-state
LOCAL CONTACT: R.P. Lilly (734) 753-4320

Greendale Neighborhood, Detroit - Industrial wastewater from a Canadian
company, CANFLOW, is being directly pumped into the neighborhood sewer
system of the Greendale community in Detroit.  The company has had numerous
violations of its permit by discharging mercury, silver and phosphates and
other illegal materials into the drain.  Community members complain that
waste enters their homes and floods their basements and of increased
illness, cancer and miscarriages.  Despite well-documented problems, the DEQ
reissued the CANFLOW permit in March, 2002.  Posthumus-Bennett support for
DEQ management and votes to make Michigan more attractive to out of state
waste add to this community's troubles.
LOCAL CONTACT: Vickki Burton, (313) 869-8900

“When it comes to Michigan’s values of environmental stewardship, Posthumus
and Bennett are not the ticket,” said Farough.  “Talking about the
environment in an election year is no substitute for action.  The public
will see past the platitudes and to a record out of step with Michigan
values.”  “Its as though these guys were living in an ivory tower,” added
Roper.  “They seem totally disconnected from the real stories of real people
and their struggles.  Being connected to real people is what Michigan values
are all about.”


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