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E-M:/ Dereliction of Duty Report-Mon. 11:15 Press Conf.

Title: Message


For Immediate Release: September 24, 2004


For More Information Contact:  James Clift, Michigan Environmental Council 517-487-9539



Lawmakers Put Michigan’s Water, Economy and Future at Risk


Dereliction of Duty Report Revels Disturbing Trends


Lansing – Too many state lawmakers are not working to protect Michigan’s most valuable natural resource, water.  That’s the conclusion of a new report entitled Dereliction of Duty, compiled from actions of the Michigan legislature and other public records of behind the scenes deals.  It shows a disturbing pattern of the erosion of state programs designed to protect our water, as well as attempts to sacrifice the Great Lakes for short-term gain.


The Michigan Environmental Council (MEC), PIRGIM and the League of Conservation Voters will hold a joint press conference to officially present the report. The press conference will be Monday September 27 at 11:15 AM in the State Capital, room 55, of the west wing on the ground floor. 


Monday also marks the start of a statewide radio ad campaign touting the report on how Michigan’s lawmakers have failed to protect the Great Lakes. The spots will air on almost sixty stations across the state, hitting virtually every media market with extra emphasis on Metro Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing.


 “Too many of our lawmakers have not safeguarded Michigan’s most valuable natural resource,” said James Clift, MEC Policy Director.  “This report will give folks information they can use to ask lawmakers some hard, but important, questions—and hopefully get them working on behalf of Michigan’s natural resources.”


No one disputes the fact that Michigan’s economy and quality of life depends largely on the health of the Great Lakes.  From the billions of dollars generated by tourism and recreation to the quality of our drinking water, the need to keep the Lakes and all the water in Michigan clean and safe is paramount. 


 “Anglers, hunters and folks who just like to splash around, Michigan residents from every walk of life are united when it comes to protecting the Great Lakes,” said Brian Imus of PIRGIM.  “The question is why more lawmakers aren’t standing up for Michigan’s water and other natural resources.”


“With so much going on in the media, it may be hard for anyone to be aware of how some lawmakers have gutted the department that protects our water,” said Libby Harris of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council.  “How can the Department of Environmental Quality protect anything when general support for their budget has been slashed from $101 million in 2001 to $28 million this year?”


Copies of the Dereliction of Duty report can be downloaded Monday from the Michigan Environmental Council’s website at www.mecprotects.org or received via mail by calling (517) 498-9539. [KH1] 

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