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Billion dollar sewage boggle

August 31, 2011

In 2002 Michigan voters passed a $1 billion dollar
Great Lakes Water Quality Bond

Warren is Michigan’s 3rd largest city and the Red Run waterway
has a distinct impact on the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-ess-mfs-SWQIF-SWBond_249310_7.pdf
http://www.senate.michigan.gov/sfa/publications/ballotprops/ballot02-2a.pdf

The bond was meant to provide low-interest loans to municipalities
for sewer pollution control projects through a revolving fund.
Apparently many cash strapped municipalities are reluctant
to repay even low-interest loans from the state revolving fund.

Instead of creating jobs from projects to improve water quality;
Michigan raided the bond to plug “other” budget holes.
Over the years Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) continually
dump billions of gallons of sewage into Michigan’s waters.
Perhaps the bond language needs to be structured to allow
for grants to communities instead of loans.

The government does not protect us from harmful
chemicals and pollutants in our water.
It never has and never will.
Only those citizens/residents who actively participate,
lobby and demand change truly make a
“government for the people by the people”.
Apathetic bystanders merely, get what they get ,
and suffer from the antiquated stagnant status quo
and or mediocre degraded resources.
Water touches everything in the air and in the ground.

The residents of Michigan who want to recreate
on the riverbanks, the beaches and lakes
need to force funding for environmental programs.
Over the past few years direct funding in Michigan has
dropped from $100 million to about $25 million.
Whose fault is this ?
It lies directly with the residents of Michigan.
Until ordinary people actually make a fuss and
chew the ears off politicians making their wants,
desires, and intention clearly known, nothing will change.
Funding shortages have led to decreased monitoring.
The top industries of Michigan suffer :
– tourism, recreation, and water resources.

No one should be patted on the back
for meeting current water standards.
Industry and municipalities need to consistently strive
to be better each year, not just make do.
Tax subsidies are actually given to polluting entities
just for meeting the requirements of law.
This nonsense has to stop in order for Michigan to evolve forward.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports show that
Michigan has a $7 billion need for wastewater treatment,
stormwater management and pollution control.

If you, your family and your neighbors don’t rattle the cages
of local, county, state and federal politicians, – no one will.
If the beaches are closed, the fish can’t be eaten, and
no one wants to be in the water, what happens to Michigan ?
FRESH water is a limited resource, it is finite, it can disappear.

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