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E-M:/ Chester and Kool on indicators report




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2003

DEQ Contact: Patricia Spitzley
(517) 241-7397
DNR Contact: Brad Wurfel
(517) 355-3014

Second Comprehensive Environmental Indicators
Report Released

The second comprehensive report charting Michigan's environmental
trends was released today and continues to follow trends in important
environmental indicators such as land use and cover; mammal, bird, and
fish populations; ambient air pollutant levels; inland lake water
quality; and inland lake sediment contamination among many others.

The State of Michigan's Environment 2003: Second Biennial Report was
prepared by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the
Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  It is required under Public Act
195 of 1999 (the Environmental Indicators Act).  The publication reports
on a series of scientifically based environmental indicators that were
identified by the departments and reviewed by the Michigan Environmental
Science Board.

DNR Director K.L. Cool said: "The report is a valuable tool in our
management process.  By monitoring key environmental indicators and
adjusting our resources management strategies accordingly, we can ensure
the overall health and well being of Michigan's ecosystems."

DEQ Director Steven Chester said,  "This report should stimulate the
development of new and innovative environmental stewardship policies and
compliance programs to further improve the state's overall environmental
quality."

Environmental indicators are scientifically measurable components that
reflect biological, chemical, and physical attributes of the
environment.  The direction of environmental trends can be determined by
tracking changes that occur over time in components such as land cover,
fish populations, ambient air pollutants and stream flow.  It also
allows for the development of corrective measures to ensure optimal
resource conservation and protection.

The report is divided into three sections: environmental measures,
programmatic measures, and emergent contaminants of concern in Michigan.
 The first section delineates the important ecological, physical, and
chemical indicators used to track the overall quality of the state's
environment, which is in keeping with the legislative mandate.  The
second section discusses additional state agency measures that are
tracked to fulfill various state or federal environmental programmatic
requirements.  The third section discusses some newly recognized
contaminants that environmental and public health experts currently have
an incomplete understanding regarding their potential for adverse
environmental and human health effects.

Both directors pointed out that care must be taken in terms of how the
report is interpreted.  The significance of observed changes that may
occur in a given indicator from one reporting period to the next should
not be understated or overstated.  It generally takes several years
worth of monitoring data to properly identify and assess the emergence
of positive or negative trends.

Copies of the report may be obtained by contacting the DEQ either by
email at
DEQ-Special-Projects@michigan.gov or by telephone at (517) 335-3666.
Copies of the report also may be obtained directly from the Internet at
www.michigan.gov/deg.

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