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E-M:/ Re: Urgent call for signatures, Superfund letter to MI Senators

Hello all, please note that I will take additional signatures on the letter below until noon today.   Send email with your name, title, torganization name, and location -- thanks!
Vicki Levengood, N.E.T./MI
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 3:12 PM
Subject: Urgent call for signatures, Superfund letter to MI Senators

Friends -- as the Sierra Club's Rita Jack explained in a previous post, the Senate could vote as early as Wednesday on an amendment to reinstate the Superfund "polluter pays" tax on industry. Please sign on to the letter below, urging Michigan's Senators to vote for this amendment.   Reply by email no later than early tomorrow morning (by C.O.B. today, if at all possible) with your name, title, organization name, and location.  While we're hoping to garner signatures from leaders of Michigan's environmental organizations, we welcome individuals to sign on as well.  Contact me with questions, or check out N.E.T's website for more in-depth Superfund information:  http://environet.policy.net/superfund/   Thanks in advance!


Vicki Levengood
Michigan Representative
National Environmental Trust
517-333-5786  office
517-256-6789  cell


Letter text:


Dear Senator Levin (Stabenow):


As you know, the Superfund program was designed to clean up the nationís worst toxic waste sites.  There are dozens of Superfund sites in Michigan that pose a serious threat to public health and impede local economic development.  As members of Michiganís environmental community, we urge you to support efforts in Congress to reinstate the polluter pays tax, to ensure the clean up of these sites under the Superfund program.


At Superfund sites throughout Michigan, dangerous substances contaminate nearby wells, rivers, yards and playgrounds, including lead, arsenic, mercury, benzene, asbestos, TCE, PCBs and dioxin. Just two weeks ago, the Associated Press reported that a Superfund site along the Shiawassee River in Livingston County still contains dangerous levels of PCBs. This pollution can have serious consequences for public health, and can lead to real economic hardship for Michigan communities, with restrictions on water use, gardening, recreation, and the economic losses resulting from declining property values and contaminated land left idle. 


A recent report from the Environmental Protection Agencyís Inspector General reveals that in recent years, a funding shortfall has slowed the clean up of many Superfund sites. At the same time, the burden for cleaning up these sites has increasingly shifted from the polluting industries to ordinary taxpayers.


We must make sure Michiganís Superfund sites receive the funds necessary to prevent toxic pollution from threatening the health and well-being of Michigan citizens.  By reinstating the Superfund tax on the petrochemical industry and other large businesses, we can provide for a dedicated source of money to clean up these sites, at no additional cost to Michigan families or small businesses.  Michigan's Superfund sites need attention now, and polluters should pay their fair share.  We urge you to support reinstatement of the Superfund polluter pays tax.