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E-M:/ News Release: Granholm Water Proposal Needs Help


News Release

For Immediate Release                                             More Information:
Monday, January 26, 2004                                       Cyndi Roper

 Governor Should Strengthen Proposal

Clean Water Action Urges Pollution Prevention Focus

Lansing, MI—Michigan’s leading water protection group today called on Governor Granholm to create a special task force and embrace proposals to strengthen pollution prevention in the Great Lakes and other state waterways.  Clean Water Action, the state’s largest environmental organization, praised the governor’s water initiative proposal announced last week but urged Granholm to focus more attention on pollution prevention to achieve the goal of protecting Michigan’s water legacy.

 “For years, Michigan residents have paid the price in lost recreational opportunities, health-threatening exposures, and tax dollars subsidizing the pollution that enters the state’s waterways,” said Cyndi Roper, Clean Water Action state director. “We believe the governor should launch a landmark pollution prevention initiative that would shift the focus from devastatingly expensive cleanups toward keeping toxins from our waters in the first place.  This would be a win-win solution for businesses, municipalities, and the public while making investments in a cleaner, healthier future for all Michiganders.”

 Roper called on the governor to create a pollution prevention task force charged with reviewing state programs that currently force taxpayers to subsidize water pollution. The task force, she said, should chart a course toward a comprehensive program of preventing pollution from entering our waterways.  The task force should represent business, environmental and other groups with an interest in Michigan’s water, said Roper.

 Roper applauded the governor for taking an important step in proposing the Michigan Water Legacy Act and other initiatives that address water diversion, wetlands protection, invasive species and proposed dumping by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into the Great Lakes.  But Roper said Granholm’s proposal for regulating water withdrawals by corporations and others fell short of addressing the problem. She also noted that none of the governor’s proposals appear to focus on preventing widespread industrial and other pollution of the state’s waters.

 “The same leadership the governor is showing on banning dumping from barges into the Great Lakes is needed to end widespread pollution of our waters from industry and other polluters under the state’s Clean Water Act permit program,” Roper said.  “We are encouraged by Granholm’s proposals and want to help improve them.”

   Clean Water Action is a national citizens' organization working for clean, safe and affordable water, prevention of health-threatening pollution, creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses, and empowerment of people to make democracy work.  With 100,000 members in Michigan, Clean Water Action is headquartered in East Lansing, Grand Rapids and Macomb County.