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E-M:/ Groups Blast Rumored Choice to Head EPA



Title: Groups Blast Rumored Choice to Head EPA
Press Release                                                                          

May 22, 2003
For Immediate Release

Contact:      
Mike Garfield, Ecology Center 734-761-3186 x 104
Dave Dempsey, Michigan Environmental Council 517-487-9539 or 517-402-1148

Michigan Groups Blast Rumored Choice to Head Environmental Protection Agency

Appointment of Former Michigan Governor Would Underscore "Contempt" for Environment

        In the wake of the resignation of EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, twenty seven Michigan environmental groups again warned President George W. Bush not to appoint former Governor John Engler as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying that Engler is "unfit for duty" in the agency.

     Responding to the renewed rumors that Engler was on a short list of candidates for the country's top environmental post, the groups reminded President Bush of a letter sent in December 2002, the first time such rumors were floated, decrying Engler's record on the environment.
The groups, representing tens of thousands of Michiganders,  told Bush that Engler "has demonstrated a consistent contempt for the environmental laws enacted in Michigan and the United States since the 1960s," and pointed out that the Bush Administration has had a difficult time establishing a credible track record on environmental policy.

       They added, "We believe you would be better served by a candidate with strong credentials in conservation and environmental protection. Based on years of poor performance and a disappointing track record, we believe that Governor Engler is unfit for duty in the EPA and must not be considered for any position entrusted with the protection of our nation's environment or the health of our citizens."

        In addition to former Governor Engler's last-minute bid to raise the permissible level of dioxin in soils by nearly ten-fold to benefit Dow Chemical, the groups point out that Engler has previously defied the EPA itself by refusing to warn women of child-bearing age about the risks of PCBs in contaminated Great Lakes sportfish, resisting federal requirements that discharges of polluted water from animal factories be brought under enforceable environmental permits, and by unsuccessfully suing the agency to block tougher clean air standards.

        Groups signing the original letter include the Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Interfaith Coalition for Creation, American Lung Association, Michigan Resource Stewards, Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, Clean Water Action, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, Ecology Center, Lone Tree Council, Hamtramck Environmental Action Team, Cadillac Area Citizens for Clean Air, Friends of the Cedar Watershed Inc., Michigan Citizens Against Toxic Substances, Michigan Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Northwoods Services, Michigan Drain Code Coalition, Friends of the Detroit River, Environmental and Energy Consultants, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation,  Tittabawasee River Watch, Cadillac Area Citizens for Clean Air, Citizens United for Action (CUFA), Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA) and Friends of the Crystal River, Michigan Wildlife Conservancy.
For more information, or a copy of the letter, see http://www.ecocenter.org.

-- 


Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)

www.ecocenter.org