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Re: E-M:/ Mercury report is out



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Enviro-Mich message from "Chris Grubb" <Grubbc@nwf.org>
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E-M, Zoe Lipman tried to post this earlier, here's a note and the press release distributed on Mondayabout the report:

No doubt the test is, indeed,  in what action the state takes on these recommendations, and this document certainly represents considerable compromise.  However a multiparty consensus that "greater than 90% mercury control should be technically feasible" for the state and that Michigan can and should acheive mercury reductions beyond the federal mercury rule - is not insignificant and provides a sound foundation for rulemaking.

FYI see coalition press release on this issue, below.  Apologies for not getting this up to Enviro-Mich earlier.  

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For immediate release: June 20, 2005
Contacts:	Zoe Lipman, NWF (734) 769-3351 x34
Kate Madigan, PIRGIM (517) 664-2600
Paul Zugger, MUCC (517) 371-7456
James Clift, MEC (517) 487-9539

Workgroup Report Says 
Mercury Reductions Feasible, Necessary
Public Expects Swift Action by Gov. Granholm to Reduce Mercury by 90%

Lansing - The final report and recommendations from the Michigan Mercury Utility Workgroup were released to the public today after nearly two years of analysis and debate.  The long anticipated report details how Michigan can deeply cut toxic mercury pollution from our power plants. 

The utility industry and environmental stakeholders in the workgroup reached significant agreement on the need for mercury reductions and the potential for achieving them.  Today their recommendations were sent officially to MDEQ Director Steve Chester and Governor Granholm.  

"These findings clearly support the need for action. Mercury exposure, which is linked to lowered IQs, learning disabilities, and other health problems, impacts hundreds of thousands of children born each year." said Dr. William Weil, Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University. " By stepping forward to enact protective mercury standards,  Governor Granholm would be taking a huge step forward for children's health."

"Cleaning up mercury pollution is critical to protecting our fishing heritage, restoring the Great Lakes, and promoting fishing, tourism and other industries," said Paul Zugger, Michigan United Conservation Club's Environmental Policy Advisor.  "This report documents that mercury control works:  Reducing mercury pollution means reducing mercury in fish.  This report shows a clear path forward. Lets get moving."

The nearly 300-page report thoroughly documents the sources of mercury, its many impacts on public health and the environment, mercury emissions and deposition in Michigan, federal regulations of mercury, and other states' actions to reduce mercury emissions. The report goes into detail about the types of control technologies available to reduce mercury, the costs associated with available mercury controls, and mechanisms that could provide flexibility and make controls most cost-effective. 

The report and recommendations found significant common ground between industry and public interest stakeholders. Among the recommendations, the workgroup members agreed that: 
*	Michigan's coal-fired power plants will be controlled for mercury.
*	Michigan can achieve greater mercury reductions than those required under the federal rule.
*	New generation, new control technologies, efficiency, and alternative energy are key to continued environmental improvements.

 "Our workgroup report confirms that 90 percent mercury reductions are achievable, affordable and absolutely necessary to protect Michigan's children," said PIRGIM Environmental Advocate Kate Madigan, member of the workgroup. "Ninety percent mercury reductions can be achieved by 2013 in Michigan, and to protect our children's health the Governor should require nothing less."

While significant consensus was reached on certain general principles, industry representatives failed to agree to required reductions, instead opting for voluntary programs alone to move beyond the weak federal mercury rule.

"This is not a matter of waiting for industry to agree to be regulated. This is a matter of Governor Granholm seeing the need and opportunity to reduce toxic mercury from the State's largest source and taking action," said David Gard, Energy Policy Specialist for the Michigan Environmental Council.

"The federal rule does not protect Michigan," said Zoe Lipman, Program Manager at the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes office, and workgroup member. "Not only doesn't it 
protect our children's health or the health of the Great Lakes which we depend on, but it leaves proven innovative new energy technologies on the shelf, and it undermines the Midwest industries that would supply and  modernize our energy infrastructure. It is also under legal challenge by 13 other states.  We need healthy families, restored Great Lakes, and vibrant modern industries.  We need a rule that meets Michigan's needs."

"The facts about mercury are clear. Mercury is a serious threat to public health and our way of life, and our economy, we have cost-effective technology to solve the problem - and other states are already doing so," Lipman added, "This is an investment in our future, an investment we need to make."

During her campaign in 2002, Gov. Granholm promised to phase-out and eliminate mercury emissions from Michigan's coal-fired power plants. She convened the Michigan Mercury Utility Workgroup in August 2003 with the charge of recommending a strategy to achieve "significant emissions reductions and phase-out of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants in Michigan." In a letter to Michigan citizens in 2004, the Governor wrote that the Workgroup was charged with a plan to achieve 90 percent reductions. 

Originally slated to take six months, the Workgroup ultimately met for almost two years, and carried out an exhaustive review of mercury control options and opportunities. The Workgroup held its final meeting on May 19, and its report was released by DEQ today. The Governor has put off action to reduce mercury until the Workgroup's recommendations were completed.  With the exhaustive report in hand, Governor Granholm can now move forward swiftly, with the DEQ, to put out draft rules identifying mercury reduction requirements.

 "This is an exciting moment," said Dr. Weil, "Governor Granholm has a unique opportunity to protect our children's health and contribute to a brighter future for Michigan's citizens for generations to come. We look forward to action by the Governor this summer, and to a rapid phaseout of mercury pollution statewide."

      

###


Zoe Lipman
Program Manager, Clean the Rain
National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Office
213 W. Liberty St., Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1398
Tel:734-769-3351 x34
lipman@nwf.org 


Zoe Lipman
Program Manager, Clean the Rain
National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Office
213 W. Liberty St., Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1398
Tel:734-769-3351 x34
lipman@nwf.org

>>> "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com> 6/23/2005 1:13 PM >>>
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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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The MDEQ advisory panel mercury report is out.

It goes on for 240 pages, but doesn't seem to advocate 
much beyond implementing federal rules with long delayed
timelines here in Michigan.

That isn't the kind of approach that once...long ago....made Michigan 
a leader in environmental protection.

On one level, it can be interpreted as Jennifer Granholm 
supporting the Bush Administration approach to mercury.

http://www.deq.state.mi.us/documents/deq-aqd-air-aqe-mercury-report.pdf 


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Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
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Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf 

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