In a message dated 12/29/2005 5:13:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org writes:
Governor Granholm has shot down one of the most outrageous bills to come out of the Legislature in a long time. HB 4617, erroneously labeled by its proponents the Homeowner Protection Act, was vetoed by the Governor on Tuesday (DEQ press release at http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135--133138--,00.html). The bill, pushed hard by legislators from the Midland area, became worse as it moved through the Legislature, and would have gutted key portions of both the process and the standards for clean up of contaminated sites all over Michigan, both letting responsible parties off the hook for clean up AND leaving many homeowners unable to get any clean up of their contaminated property. Many communities in
Happy New Year to all. Special thanks and best wishes to Governor Granholm for her veto of HB 4617, the alleged Homeowners Fairness Act. As Anne articulates so well, this bill is disastrous. In paragraph three of her press release the Governor states:
.....In addition to these deficiencies, House Bill 4617 is poorly drafted, containing incomplete citations to administrative rules. These technical problems were identified by the Department of Environmental Quality yet were ignored during the legislative process. These technical omissions have consequences. By referencing the incorrect rules, this legislation would foreclose the ability of the state to protect surface water from contamination, increasing health risks for homeowners and Michigan's environment.
The consequences of this bill's incomplete citations and omissions would have resulted in the elimination of dioxin standards ( 90ppt) for soil and sediments along with a lengthy list of other chemicals and toxics including lead, arsenic, chromium, mercury and others. Can anyone imagine Michigan not having toxic standards for soils or sediments that feed into our Great Lakes? These omissions were repeatedly ignored by the bills sponsors with no apparent regard for the reckless outcome or the affect on public health, our lakes and rivers, fishing, swimming, tourism or property values.
To think that legislators of the Great Lakes State could support such horrific legislation is mind boggling and unsettling. Kudos to the Governor for standing tall and to Director Chester for fighting the good fight.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council