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E-M:/ Stupak bill aims to stop EPA from allowing more sewage in our waters

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from Jason Barbose ------------------------------------------------------------------------- For immediate release:                                                              Contact: Mike Shriberg
March 3, 2005                                                                                     (734) 662-6597
Bipartisan Bill Aims to Stop EPA from Allowing
More Sewage in Our Waters
“Save Our Waters from Sewage Act” Introduced Today
Washington, DC—A group of bipartisan lawmakers – led by Representative Bart Stupak (MI-01) – introduced a bill today that will protect the public health from the dangers of inadequately treated sewage.  The “Save Our Waters from Sewage Act” would stop the EPA from promulgating its proposed “blending” guidance, which would allow sewer operators to discharge inadequately treated sewage into our waterways. PIRGIM strongly supports the bill and looks forward to working with lawmakers to pass this important legislation.
“The EPA’s irresponsible sewage dumping proposal would allow dangerous sewage releases and put all of our waterways and Michiganders at risk,” said Mike Shriberg, PIRGIM’s Great Lakes Advocate.  “That is why this legislation is so important.  The bipartisan ‘Save Our Waters from Sewage Act’ protects Michiganders from more Great Lakes beach closings and exposure to unsafe bacteria, viruses and other pathogens,” Shriberg continued.
Sewage “blending” is dangerous because it allows sewage to be discharged without removing most of the pathogenic organisms and other pollutants.  In fact, a recent study at Michigan State University revealed that releases of blended sewage pose over 100 times the health risk of fully treated sewage.  Currently, the Clean Water Act requires full treatment of sewage except in extreme circumstances when there are no feasible alternatives.  However, EPA’s proposal would change current law to allow “blending” during any rain event or snow melt.    
EPA’s proposed blending guidance is a major rollback of the Clean Water Act; today’s legislation would prevent this.  “Passing this bill will put the federal government on record as being opposed to treating the Great Lakes as sewers.”  Concluded Shriberg, “We commend Representative Stupak for his leadership on this issue and we hope all of Michigan’s delegation supports this critical bill.” ============================================================== ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/ Postings to: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net For info, send email to majordomo@great-lakes.net with a one-line message body of "info enviro-mich" ==============================================================