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E-M:/ Release: Governor / House Dems Anti-trash Bill Signings

Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <Dfarough@house.mi.gov>

Friday, March 26, 2004	                                     Contact:
Dan Farough 
                                     Phone: (517) 373-2093
  	                                  Cell: ( 517) 303-5270

Gov. Granholm Signs Anti-Trash Bills; Credits Gieleghem, Law for
Leading the Fight
Trash-O-Meter Takes a Bow

SUMPTER TOWNSHIP/CLINTON TOWNSHIP ---- At ceremonies today, Governor
Jennifer Granholm signed a legislative package of anti-trash bills that
House Democrats, led by Rep. Paul Gieleghem (D-Clinton Township) and
Rep. Kathleen Law (D-Gibraltar), have championed for more than a year.
The bills, which closely mirror legislation penned by Gieleghem, are
designed to ensure tough standards and curb the flow of Canadian and
out-of-state waste that enters Michigan.
"I commend Representative Gieleghem for his steady leadership on this
issue and for making it one of his top priorities since being elected in
1998," Granholm said. "The laws I am signing today were largely
modeled after legislation that Paul first introduced five years ago.
These laws will give our state needed leverage to deal with the problems
of Canadian trash."
Granholm also praised Law for her leadership on the issue.
"Representative Law has been a tireless advocate for new regulation
and restrictions on the flow of out-of-state and Canadian trash since
first stepping foot on the floor of the Michigan House of
Representatives," Granholm said. "Her effectiveness in fighting for
these new laws will help improve the quality of life for the residents
of her district who have been impacted by the 1.55 million tons of trash
that came into Sumpter Township in 2003."
The 11-bill package would ban pop cans, beer bottles and old tires from
Michigan landfills.  It also gives the DEQ the ability to close
Michigan's border to out-of-state trash shipments that pose a
substantial threat to public health and safety.
"Everyone said this couldn't be done, but House Democrats proved
that when the people of Michigan make their voices heard we can pass
important legislation despite opposition," Gieleghem said.
"Together, we proved the cynics wrong and now we have laws in place
that will ensure that the Great Lakes State doesn't turn into the
Great Waste State."
	Law characterized the victory as "a milestone for those who
are committed to the protection of our natural resources."
	"It is fitting that Governor Granholm chose a park across from
the Carleton Farms Landfill in Sumpter Township to sign these bills,"
Law said. "Today, we have taken a giant leap forward in our ongoing
stewardship of the outdoors. With this legislation, we can all continue
to stay true to our state motto: 'If you seek a pleasant peninsula,
look about you.'" 
 From the beginning, the anti-trash bills earned bipartisan support.
However, the bills were stalled by House Republican leaders since they
were introduced on January 29, 2003.
In the last 14 months, House Democrats have held 15 Town Hall meetings
across the state; introduced a Trash-O-Meter device to measure in real
time the amount of imported waste coming into Michigan; held more than a
dozen press conferences; and launched a yard sign campaign and petition
drive (on-line and door-to-door) to force action on the bills.
Added pressure came when a grassroots campaign, spearheaded by local
Democratic Party organizations in places stretching from Monroe County
near the Ohio border all the way to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula,
picked up steam as citizens rallied in support of the anti-trash
"For the record, we're not quite ready to unplug the
Trash-O-Meter," Gieleghem said. "We will continue to fight for
federal legislation giving us the expressed authority to ban imported
waste and protect the beauty of our state."


Dan Farough
Press Secretary
House Democratic Communications

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