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E-M:/ Environmental Permits

The simplest way to describe a permit is a license to pollute. The permit is supposed to set the amount that a facility canl pollute. We here in Alpena have watched every permit exceed its limits. We have videos and photographs to prove so. Overwork and understaffing and a permitting process that does not have teeth to it is our main concern. Past penalties for violations have just been a tap on the fingers. We have a document where  proposed penalties that could have been near 22 million were knocked down to $700,000,00 when finished. It was around 1.2 million but a storage dome for the Canadian fly ash, our main source of our mercury emissions,  qualified as an environmental improvements for Lafarge. Kind of like us paving their roads to keep the dust down as they have asked for in a class action settlement now pending.
Permits to pollute cost the polluter little or nothing. We even told the MDEQ that we would take up a collection out of our own pockets to have them deny a permit once in awhile. It would be healthier for us and they would make a couple of bucks.
Bill Freese, Director
Huron Environmental Activist League