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Re: E-M:/ Broad Backlash Prompts Bush Reversal on Misguided Water Rule



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Enviro-Mich message from "Bill Tobler" <williamtobler@critterswoods.org>
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This is very good news.
In my successful citizen's suit under the Clean Water Act against the 
London Aggregates quarry in Monroe County, a key part of our strategy 
was to have the EPA participate in a cooperative way.  This was after 
years (1993-1998) of failure in trying to get the MDEQ to enforce the 
basic regulations, where they had the prime responsibility of 
enforcement.

The quarry was discharging into a minor watershed stream (Palmer Drain) 
which emptied into Stony Creek a mile or so downstream. Here is a 
photograph illustrating the kind of discharge we were talking about:
http://CrittersWoods.org/lsa4.jpg

London Aggregates and the Michigan Aggregate Association complained 
that attempts at regulation indicated that quarries should be made 
exempt.

As a result of this point source discharge, the entire twenty some 
miles of Stony Creek from the entry point of the quarry discharge to 
Lake Erie was placed on the 303(d) non attainment list.  

As I understood it, with Bush's proposed changes, the EPA would not 
have had the authority to be involved with a discharge into a minor 
tributory, and hence EPA could not have participated in our successful 
lawsuit for 2,700 violations.


> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
---
> Enviro-Mich message from "Anne M. Woiwode" 
<anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
---
> 
> THANK YOU TO ALL MICHIGANDERS WHO PROTESTED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S
> PROPOSED UNDERCUTTING OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT PROTECTION FOR WETLANDS!!
> 
> 
> Subject: Broad Backlash Prompts Bush Reversal on Misguided Water Rule
> 
> 
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
> December 16, 2003
> 
> CONTACT:
> Eric Antebi    415-977-5747
> 
> 
>        BROAD BACKLASH PROMPTS BUSH REVERSAL ON MISGUIDED WATER RULE
> 
> Administration Fails to Rescind Guidance Discouraging Enforcement of
> Clean
>                              Water Protections
> 
> 
>                 Statement of Carl Pope, Executive Director
> 
> 
> "One year ago, the Bush administration made a gross miscalculation by
> proposing a rule change to remove Clean Water Act protections from 20
> million acres of wetlands and a majority of the nation's streams.  A
> strong
> and growing backlash from states, sportsmen, and even a strongly
> bipartisan
> majority of Congressmen left the Bush administration with little 
choice
> but
> to rescind its misguided proposal, as it quietly did with an
> announcement
> today at 5:00PM EST.
> 
> "Today's reversal is a telling reminder of how listening only to 
special
> corporate interests leaves the Bush administration wildly out of touch
> with
> a broad range of public opinion, not to mention sound science.
> 
> "Continuing to protect small streams and wetlands is essential to 
filter
> pollution from our drinking water sources, maintain water quality in 
our
> lakes and rivers, and provide habitat to fish, waterfowl and other
> wildlife.  The Bush administration's efforts to remove protection from
> small streams and wetlands would have reversed thirty years of 
progress
> in
> cleaning up our lakes, rivers and coastal waters.
> 
> "Mining companies, developers and oil companies sought this change in
> clean
> water rules because it would have been easier for them to dispose of
> their
> waste and fill in wetlands if there were no government oversight.  But
> polluting these small streams and wetlands would have inevitably meant
> dirtier water downstream, more flooding, and fewer recreational
> opportunities for hunters, anglers and others who depend upon clean
> water.
> Once again the Bush administration was on track to allow polluters to
> benefit at our expense.
> 
> "In addition to reversing its proposed rule change on wetlands, the
> Sierra
> Club also calls on the Bush administration to remove its guidance
> discouraging enforcement of clean water protections for wetlands and
> small
> streams.  On January 15 of this year, the Bush administration 
instructed
> Army Corps of Engineers and EPA staff not to enforce rules governing
> small
> wetlands and streams without first obtaining permission from
> headquarters.
> Putting the environmental cop back on the beat is especially critical
> given
> broader concerns about environmental enforcement, which, according to 
a
> recent Knight Ridder analysis, has 'plummeted' under the current
> administration. Today's EPA press release did not indicate whether the
> guidance would be rescinded."
> 
>                                     ###
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ==============================================================
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