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SG-W:/ Fwd: MI Drain Code Alert



>From a friend (with minor edits). Spread the word. I know next to nothing 
about this, so I can't be of any more help beyond sharing this.

Steve

---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date:        11/21  9:03 PM
Received:    11/22  8:07 AM

Your help is needed in defeating the Drain Code which will come up for a
vote on Nov 28 in the Michigan Senate.  Write the Senators at this
address:

Hon. Sen.__, Michgan Senate, PO Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909-7536

This proposed revision HB 4803, must be defeated for many reasons, some
of which are listed below.

1)  Sec. 10 STILL says drains may be laid into wetlands and lakes.  No
qualifiers were added to protect wetland environments.

2) Sec. 3 (F) says all applicable permits must be acquired, but leaves
intact the LOOPHOLE for work involving drains established prior to 1973
(and presumably laterals, "improvements" and additions to all those
drains).  No more than 5% of drain work involves a "new" drain.

3)  Sec. 3 (B) which directs drain commissioners to "avoid, minimize and
mitigate impacts on land..." is superseded by Sec. 55, "The scope of the
project is within the sole authority of the drain commissioner...."
Thus the language leaves the STATUS QUO in effect, and destructive
wetland elimination will continue unless the drain commissioner
personally wants it otherwise.

4)  The bill still PREVENTS ANY APPEAL of the scope or cost or impact of
a drain project by limiting appeal to the procedural aspects of drain
work (ie. were notices sent on time? did the Board of Determination
meeting proceed correctly?).  (See Sec. 161)

5)  Sec. 423 permits sewage in drains and rivers designated as drains.
But in all the code there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY in the office of drain
commissioner for checking to see if reasonable water quality is
maintained.  That is left to DEQ which has a hands-off policy with
respect to drains.  Everyone passes the buck and the lakes fill up with
pollution.

6)  HB 4803  opens the path to accelerated development by reducing the
number of people who can petition to start drain work. This provides
infrastructure for sprawl paid for by the very citizens who are fighting
to maintain their quality of life!

This bill is not in the best interests of Michigan.
It is not true that this bill is better than current law.
When this bill dies, better legislation will be written.

----------------- End Forwarded Message -----------------



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