Senate Bill 652 & 653 Action Needed Press Release

Press Release:                                                                                 February 1, 2018
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation
RE: Senate Bills 652 & 653
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation is appalled that Senate bills 652 and 653 would even be introduced in Michigan, let alone be taken seriously. But we do need to take them seriously since they are a part of the increasing attack throughout the country on environmental protections over our water, air and land. They also represent a clear public health threat.
At the national level the Environmental Protection Agency has already been totally gutted and is unable to function except to approve permits for favored industries. This makes it all the more crucial that our state act to increase its role in protecting our environment from predatory industries that view Michigan as a perfect place to dump toxins, increase extraction of resources, sell off our water and endanger the health of our citizens. Turning the rule-making functions of the Department of Environmental Quality over to a committee composed mostly of the very industries being regulated, along with a few token environmental groups, is no different than just selling off the state to polluters and thieves.
We realize this is a national trend but we do not intend to quietly allow our precious waters, air and land to be abused, privatized, polluted and abandoned to give industry further control and greater profits. The health of the people is at stake here. Industries that would dump toxic waste in the middle of our largest city, or would destroy a pristine wetland and the water it supports with a potash mine, or bring toxic fracking waste to Michigan to dump into injection wells, or take our clean water and remove it from the watershed while thousands are without clean water, should not be allowed to write the rules for their own bad behavior.
The people of Michigan should be writing the rules that protect them, and they should expect that anything called a Department of Environmental Quality would be assisting them with that protection. Unfortunately the DEQ already is known to favor industry at every turn, never denying a permit to the oil and gas industry, seldom studying the merits of any industry request beyond looking at industry- provided data, and rarely looking to experts with scientific expertise. There are exceptions. Occasionally the DEQ tries to investigate in real life terms. But they are deliberately understaffed already. To give even more power to industry to make the rules would be criminal negligence.
The constitution requires that government protect us and the environment that sustains us. The public trust doctrine has been available as a guide from the state’s beginning. These proposed laws must be opposed. Laws should be passed which serve the citizens. “Pure Michigan” was never meant to imply pure freedom for industry to write the rules at our expense.
Action:   Please call your State Senator and your State Representative and tell them how you feel about these bills.
Peggy Case
President, Board of Directors
Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

Also published on Medium.

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