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E-M:/ URGENT - Anti-Environment Water Pollution Bill

Rep. Koetje’s ANTI-Environment Bill
URGENT Water Pollution Legislation UPDATE  

This morning State Representative James Koetje, passed a new water pollution bill out of his committee that removes a critical protection for Michigan’s water, as well as for public health and safety.

Senate Bill 252, as passed by the Senate, helped reduce taxpayer subsidies for our pollution discharge program by switching some of the burden to parties responsible for the discharges.  It was a weak bill, but a step in the right direction. 

When that bill moved to Koetje’s committee, he made a dramatic, damaging change.

Representative Koetje’s (H-2) version of the bill eliminates the public’s right to know about the 64 most dangerous chemicals that businesses use. A major step in the wrong direction.

·       Designed to help the state identify and track users of particularly hazardous materials, the Critical Materials Registry / annual wastewater reporting requirement* was originally known as the "truth in pollution" law, and was signed into law by former Gov. Milliken in 1970 after the mercury contamination crisis.

·       During the Engler Administration, the number of toxic materials to be reported on the Critical Materials Registry went from over 300 to just 64.

·       We are now facing a complete elimination of this reporting requirement.

This bill could be voted on tomorrow.  Please call or send a message to your State Representative to let him/her know that unless this bill is amended, they should VOTE NO if they care about the environment.

To fix this bill:

1-      amend the bill to re-instate the annual wastewater reporting requirement;
2-      incrementally increase fees for the 106 major industrial polluters in 2005 and 2006; and
3-      earmark funding for pollution prevention and for serious monitoring and enforcement.

Michigan needs laws that reflect our commitment to long-term protection of our Great Lakes and other waterways.  We expect our legislators to act accordingly.  

THANK YOU for helping keep our elected officials accountable.

-Kym Spring, Community Organizer
Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund
959 Wealthy ST. SE, #2
Grand Rapids, MI  49506
Ph- 616-742-4084

* The annual wastewater reporting requirement does NOT duplicate the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) -- it covers storage, not just release, and it includes some substances not on the (TRI) list.