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E-M:/ Thanks to Congressman Stupak on Sewage Amendments!



Enviro-Michers -- Be sure to THANK Congressman BART STUPAK for his leadership in an amendment adopted today by the US House as part of the Interior Appropriation to head off any possible EPA decision in the future to allow "sewage blending"! See below on both a bad outcome for the Tongass National Forest and a GOOD outcome on Sewage Blending!! Anne Woiwode

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 19, 2005

CONTACT:
Eric Antebi 415-977-5747

SIERRA CLUB STATEMENTS ON APPROPRIATIONS FOR INTERIOR AND ENVIRONMENTAL
QUALITY

** Pombo's Stunt Places Costly Roadbuilding Burden on Taxpayers **

Today House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo derailed a vote to
stop taxpayer-subsidized logging road construction in the Tongass National
Forest. An amendment to the FY06 Interior Appropriations bill sponsored by
Rep. Steve Chabot and Rep. Robert Andrews would have restricted any tax
dollars from being spent on new logging roads.

Rep. Pombo, a longtime champion of the timber, oil, gas and mining
industries, used a parliamentary maneuver to block the Tongass amendment,
which passed last year by a vote of 222-205. Despite the fact that the
House parliamentarian had approved the amendment before it had been
introduced, acting Speaker Tom Foley accepted a bizarre "point of order"
challenge from Pombo before a vote could be held on the floor. Earlier
this week, Pombo had also asked the House Rules Committee to allow him to
eliminate funding for the entire Endangered Species Act, Historic
Preservation Act, and National Park Service construction, among other
programs, by raising a similar point of order. The Rules Committee denied
that request before it could get to the floor of the House.

In response, the Sierra Club issued the following statement by Sean
Cosgrove, Senior Washington Representative:

"It is a great concern that this abuse of parliamentary tactics would be
used to stop a vote to protect the rare temperate rainforests of Alaska and
continue to waste tax dollars on subsidizing logging roads that benefit
only a very small segment of the job base in southeast Alaska. At the
current rate of spending, each single job connected to logging in the
Tongass rainforest is subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of $163,000. Rep.
Pombo has outdone even himself in his effort to serve the timber industry
at the expense of the environment, the public trust and fiscal
responsibility.

"There are currently already over 5,000 miles of logging roads in the
Tongass National Forest. Logging roads in the Tongass National Forest and
across the National Forest System are highly subsidized with taxpayer funds
and lead to damage of clean water, wildlife habitat and, since little
funding is available for maintenance, can cause great public safety risks.
Now, only 18% of the existing National Forest roads can be used by regular
passenger cars and 80% of the existing roads receive very little or no
maintenance. Nation-wide there are a total of 440,000 miles of roads in the
National Forests, most are single lane dirt roads built for the timber
industry and paid for by American taxpayers."

** House Cuts Funding for Proposed Sewage Dumping Program **

Today, in a victory for public health, Representatives Bart Stupak, Clay
Shaw, Frank Pallone and Jeff Miller presented their Anti-Sewage Dumping
amendment, which passed in the House floor. The amendment eliminates
funding for the Environmental Protection Agency?s (EPA) misguided sewage
blending plan that would leave Americans at risk of contracting waterborne
illnesses.

In response, the Sierra Club issued the following statement from Ed
Hopkins, Director of Environmental Quality:

"In the face of over 98,000 public comments, objection from state agencies,
public health officials, shellfish growers, religious organizations, and
Congress, the EPA announced earlier today that it was backing down from
finalizing its blending policy. We applaud Congress for taking a position
against the EPA's proposal and putting public health first."

###

^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^
Anne Woiwode, State Director * Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
109 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48906
517-484-2372 ph * 517-484-3108 * anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
Visit the Michigan Sierra Club at: http://michigan.sierraclub.org


*************************************************************************
Tom and Anne Woiwode
5088 Powell Road
Okemos, MI 48864
517-349-7182
woiwode@voyager.net