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E-M:/ DEQ Seeks Cooperation on Canadian Oil Spills



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Enviro-Mich message from "Patricia Spitzley" <spitzlep@michigan.gov>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               Contact:  Patricia
Spitzley
April 5, 2004	                        		       (517)
241-7397

                   DEQ Seeks Cooperation on Canadian Oil Spills

The Department of Environmental Quality Director Steven E. Chester sent
a letter to the Honorable Leona Dombrowsky, Minster of Environment in
Ontario, Canada, requesting cooperation in protecting international
waters.  The letter calls for action to improve the notification process
when spills and illegal discharges into the water occur across the
border.
Recent spills in Canada have increased public concern that the lack of
notification could delay emergency response in Michigan, creating
potential risks to the environment and public health if these spills
reach our waters.  While these spills were eventually contained without
incident, officials from both sides of the border see a need to improve
the notification process.

In his letter, Director Chester suggested meetings to discuss how each
agency can improve its response time in notifying officials of a spill,
and informing those in the affected area in a timely manner.  This will
minimize potential hazards when these spills and illegal discharges do
occur.
While the DEQ is committed to providing the best possible emergency
response, Director Chester also expressed his resolve to seek permanent
remedies that prevent these spills and discharges from occurring.  



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