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E-M:/ New Toxic Chemical Release Information Released - What does it mean?



Unfortunately, the latest release of information (for 2005) regarding toxic chemical releases in Michigan is not good news.

 

Consider the following categories:

 

Land disposal of toxic chemicals – A 50% increase over 2004 levels at 7,462,814 pounds

 

Releases of toxic chemicals into our air – A 9% increase over 2004 levels to 52,587,293 pounds

 

Releases by publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities into our water – up 6% over 2004 to 11,128,368 pounds

 

Note, releases from wastewater treatment facilities can be especially problematic in that whenever facilities experiences sewage overflows due to storm events, the toxic chemicals flow untreated into our lakes, rivers and streams.

 

Total on and off site releases – Up 3.5 % over 2004 levels to 102,445,146 pounds.

 

While conclusions are hard to draw from any one year worth of data – trends seem to indicate progress in toxic chemicals reductions efforts seem to be stalling.

 

For more information regarding your community go to:

 

http://www.deq.state.mi.us/tri/

 

 

What can you do?

 

The Michigan legislature is currently considering two fee packages to increase funding for pollution prevention and hazardous waste oversight:

 

1)       Pollution Prevention Program fees – have not been increased since 1987 – gives technical assistance to businesses to reduce toxic chemical releases and therefore become more competitive.

 

2)       Hazardous Waste User Charge fees – funds activities related to oversight at facilities that generate, treat, and dispose of hazardous waste – and cleanup activities at those sites where illegal releases have occurred.

 

Contact your legislators and ask them to support these and other fees critical to supporting efforts to protect our environmental and public health in Michigan.

 

Find your legislator at:

 

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(sji2qg55gpsiky45opykfeja))/mileg.aspx?page=SponsorSearch

 

 

Submitted by:

 

James Clift

Michigan Environmental Council