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E-M:/ MI Clean Water Corps Concerns

Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund staff just learned about this new MI Clean Water Corps initiative today.  While we wish we had known about this in advance, we think that projects getting more citizens involved in environmental activities is fantastic.

We also have to express our concern that this MI Clean Water Corps could be used to argue against adequate funding for a state run program. 

Michigan has continually under-funded compliance and ambient water quality monitoring activities, just as currently, the state legislature is attempting to under-fund the DEQ's water pollution permit program. 

With bare-bones funding, as is currently proposed, the DEQ can do little more than process the permits and permit information that gives permission slips for facilities to continue legally dumping one million pounds of toxics like arsenic, cyanide, DDT, lead and mercury into MI's waterways each year.  Enough is enough. 

We need adequate, earmarked funding for pollution prevention, and serious monitoring and enforcement. 

Taxpayers should not be required to subsidize this permitting process.

The 106 major industrial polluters should pay more than is included in the proposed legislation.  Incrementally increasing the fees for these polluters over the next three years would provide funds to help responsible facilities reduce (and eventually, eliminate) their toxic discharges. 

The latest draft of this legislation, SB 252 H3, slashed the reporting requirement for the Critical Materials Registry.  This registry tracks the 64 most hazardous chemicals used and dumped in our waterways.  THIS REQUIREMENT NEEDS TO BE REINSTATED.

We hope everyone contacts their elected officials before it is too late to fix this bill.  They'll be voting on it any day now.