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State Wants Control of Michigan's Groundwater

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posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 01:15 PM
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Finally put in twenty post replies. Now I can post my own.

Michigan has a bill to place our groundwater into a state trust. The people of our state must voice their opinion on this. The following is a copy of the letter I sent to my state representatives and a few local media outlets.

I'm am writing to voice my opposition to Michigan House Bill 5319. I do not want my groundwater to be placed in trust with the State of Michigan and I do not offer my consent to do so. We have local ordinances at the township, village, city, county and state level that already regulate and protect our ground water. These ordinances normally follow recommendations from the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program and include the following . . .

* Zoning ordinances
* Occupancy permit requirements
* Groundwater compliance inspections
* Land use planning
* Public education programs
* Public information about government requirements and legal liability for contamination
* Purchase of land vulnerable to contamination
* Environmental audits and operational plans for municipal facilities

We have state laws like the Groundwater Quality Control Rules, Part 127 of Act 368 of the Public Acts of 1978 and a state Department of Environmental Quality with water programs that establish quality standards, assess and monitors water quality, provide regulatory oversight for all public water supplies, issue permits to regulate the discharge of industrial and municipal waste waters, monitor the quantity and quality of aquatic habitat, determine the health of aquatic communities, and enforce compliance with state laws.

There is the federal Environmental Protection Agency and federal groundwater laws and regulations including the following . . .

Safe Drinking Water Act
* Sets primary and secondary drinking water standards.
* Regulates well-injection of liquids and liquid wastes into the ground.
* Establishes monitoring and reporting requirements for drinking water.
* Establishes a wellhead protection program.

The sponsors of this bill are outside of my district and they do not represent my concerns. Five of the seven sponsors are in the Detroit area where wells for drinking water are almost unknown. Mary Valentine (D), 91st House District was quoted as saying that "Residential use is exempt and we will build in protections for agriculture...", however, there is nothing in the bill that states that. This bill merely takes property rights from landowners and authority from local governments and gives it to the state. Rather than "build in protections" someday, in a few years they will be changing the law to create fees and taxes for using a resource they took from us without a vote. It is extremely doubtful any new state bureaucracy will be more effective in protecting our groundwater and this will ultimately add to our tax burden. Why not create a program to help our state DEQ and local communities enforce the current laws and put that money in the community's hands. These representatives should leave my groundwater alone and let our local governments handle it.




posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 02:04 PM
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Excellent topic for a first thread! Well done!


The usurpation of our first and last resource (water) is the next frontier in government control extension. While not a citizen of your state, I share your concerns for this initiative.

Most don't realize how powerless we would be as a people if we were suddenly to lose access to the most important natural resource in the world.

Imagine going to the tap, and.... nothing.

Too bad you couldn't link a source for the quote about assurances that it won't affect your drinking water... you could have thrown that back in the local politician's face and demanded to know why she said it... was it that she had no idea of what was in the proposal, or just saying what the party told her to say?

Fight the good fight.

Your water is yours.



posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Dan Scripps is the primary sponsor of this bill, however Mary Valentine had another bill that passed a while back that put all the surface water of Michigan into state trust. The bottled water industry has something to do with this bill, ie. the Ice Mountain facility in Mecosta County. Although I don't want to draw party lines here, all the sponsors of this bill are Democrats. This quote from her was from WZZM Channel 13 news in Grand Rapids. I'll find the link and edit this post to put it in. My district representatives are against it, they happen to be Republicans.



posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by MichiganSwampBuck
 


Seems like kind of a weird bill to pass. What issue or problem is this legislation trying to solve? What benefits have they listed as a result of this being passed?

It kinds of reminds me when Bechtel gained control of all water-rights in Equador (or Uraguay??) in the 90's and we all know what happened there.


(hint - restrictions and controls led to rioting and coup-led overthrows)


[edit on 26-3-2010 by TXRabbit]



posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 02:35 PM
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Here is the link

www.wzzm13.com...

Quote, "Valentine says some opposed to the bill are falsely misleading Michigan residents. She believes the bill protects groundwater for future generations and it would not mean people using it would have to pay fees."

"I would be totally against that and I can not think of any legislator who would ever promote such a thing. This is something to protect our water for future generations," Valentine said. "Residential use is exempt and we will build in protections for agriculture...Anytime there is change, people are afraid."

This bill says nothing about protecting residential use . . .

HOUSE BILL No. 5319
September 9, 2009, Introduced by Reps. Scripps, Roberts, Valentine, Geiss, Warren, Smith and Bledsoe and referred to the Committee on Great Lakes and Environment.

A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled
"Natural resources and environmental protection act,"
(MCL 324.101 to 324.90106) by adding part 4.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
PART 4. 1 PUBLIC TRUST RESOURCES
2 SEC. 401. (1) THE CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATURAL
3 RESOURCES OF THE STATE ARE OF PARAMOUNT PUBLIC CONCERN IN THE
4 INTEREST OF THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND GENERAL WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE,
5 AND THE AIR, WATER, AND OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE STATE SHALL
6 BE PROTECTED FROM POLLUTION, IMPAIRMENT, AND DESTRUCTION.
7 (2) THE WATERS OF THE STATE, INCLUDING GROUNDWATER, ARE HELD
8 IN TRUST BY THE STATE. THE STATE SHALL PROTECT THESE WATERS AND
9 OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THE PUBLIC TRUST FOR

THE BENEFIT OF 1 PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS.
2 (3) THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ON BEHALF OF THE STATE, OR ANY OTHER
3 PERSON MAY MAINTAIN AN ACTION IN THE CIRCUIT COURT HAVING
4 JURISDICTION TO ENFORCE THE PUBLIC TRUST IN THE STATE'S NATURAL
5 RESOURCES, EITHER ALONE OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER PROVISIONS OF
6 THIS ACT OR OTHER LEGAL REMEDIES THAT ARE APPROPRIATE. THE CIRCUIT
7 COURT MAY APPORTION COSTS, INCLUDING ATTORNEY FEES, IF THE
8 INTERESTS OF JUSTICE REQUIRE.



posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 04:27 PM
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www.flowforwater.org...

This website explains the purpose of the bill which is to stop the current attack on Michigan's groundwater from the bottling water industry.

Do you want your groundwater pumped dry?

That's why the water is to be owned by the people -- because currently there's a loop hole in the law which would enable a water bottling company to steal Michigan's water.

Coca cola is doing this in India right now -- it's a huge problem. Bechtel was already mentioned --

the privatization of public water is a huge problem so you have to make sure the water is commonly owned by the people.

The link has a video giving further details.

BTW -- there's amazing documentary called FLOW which details this water crisis -- of corporate-STATE privatization of public water supply commons -- on a global scale.

video.google.com...#

You can watch it in full there -- so you're not alone -- not only is Michigan under attack -- there's been an explosion in water privatization.



[edit on 26-3-2010 by drew hempel]



posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 04:38 PM
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Here's an op-ed I wrote on this subject back when I was a paid writer for the University of Minnesota Daily, serving 50,000 readers:

Water Crisis Sucks Us into Revolution:

April, 2000 MN Daily

The Great Lakes will be at record lows because of lack of snow that feeds 40 percent of their annual water supply. This disturbing situation has been attributed to global warming, and according to the United Nations, the influence of major transnational corporations extends over about 50 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. What's received less attention is that large corporations are also attempting to raid the Great Lakes. One government agency already gave permission for 600 million liters of Great Lakes water to be filled into tankers and sent to Asia over the next five years. A temporary moratorium was achieved, but the move to conserve water will be brought to the World Trade Organization as a violation of the supposed rights of corporate rule.

Through Reaganite corporate-state subsidies, California ironically has become the new dairy state at the expense of rural Wisconsin family livelihood -- including their future ability to drink water. California recently attempted to pipe water from Wisconsin. According to the Worldwatch Institute, agriculture accounts for two-thirds of all irrigated fresh water use while industrial production in general accounts for 50 to 80 percent of fresh water demand. But it's not just corporate-state water use in California; it's also the corporate pollution of water. Silicon "computer" Valley has more Superfund sites -- most of them affecting groundwater -- than any other area its size in the country. And 60 percent of the United States' liquid hazardous wastes -- 34 billion liters of solvents, heavy metals and radioactive materials -- is directly injected into the ground, the main source for fresh water.

In 1996, the journal Science reported that the global supply of fresh water will be used up in 30 years at current usage rates. According to the Stanford researchers who authored the study, there is no "hidden water," and current foreseeable technologies, like desalinization, were factored into their findings. But greed-driven corporations are tapping into that grim projection to maximize profits for their own pea-brained drive to extinction. In just a few short years, through more than 130 acquisitions, American Toxic Control has been transformed into U.S. Filter Inc., with $5 billion in annual revenues, making it 10 times the size of its nearest competitor.

As controller at U.S. Filter, Richard Heckmann states, "How could it be that there is no Intel, I.B.M., General Motors or Toys 'R' Us in the water business?" he asked. "You can live without all those things. Five days without water, you're dead." Apparently Dan Quayle agrees since he sits on the U.S. Filter Inc. board, joined by the Bass brother finance speculators who threw in a cool, refreshing $250 million. The time is right to create a giant corporation that transforms the public right to water into a scarce luxury item for those privy to the secret magic of money. Based on a 1998 water study by Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, "To avoid catastrophe ... it is important to act now."
Our clear answer to the water crisis, according to the scientific researchers, can be summed up in one word: conservation.

Secret global corporate rule, though, blocks environmental issues, labeling them barriers to corporate WTO trade. U.S. corporate-state rule has been consistent in its priorities ever since the founding aristocrats, like John Jay, planned to keep the rich in power against the threat of democracy. George Kennan, as head of the State Department, authored a top-secret document that reflects these elite goals on a global scale: "We have about 50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population ... Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity ... We should cease to talk about vague and -- for the Far East -- unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards and democratization ... The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better." Similarly, now declassified U.S. National Security Council documents clearly outline policies to support destructive regimes in order to maintain wealth for the corporate-state elite. In fact, after World War II, the U.S. corporate-state elite attacked democracy movements worldwide and reinstated fascist regimes, brutally promoting power to a few.

There's an interesting hidden history to undemocratic, destructive corporate rule. Did colonists plead for a more "socially responsible" king? The colonists demanded their inalienable, natural right to sovereignty. The king, though, was the only sovereign of the land and the king was also the only source of corporate charters. Most of the 13 colonies were actually crown charters (i.e. the Massachusetts Bay Trading Company). The list of grievances attached to the Declaration of Independence stemmed from the corporate rule of the king.

After democracy was achieved, corporate charters were deliberately put into the hands of the state legislatures, were issued for only special purposes and had extremely limited powers. Corporate charters were routinely revoked and the corporate assets reinvested by the public. President Lincoln warned, though, shortly after the Civil War, that the growing threat of corporate rule was worse than the war and would, unless stopped, destroy the republic. Just as he predicted in 1886, a bought-out robber-baron judge declared that corporations are protected by the Bill of Rights and have legal "personhood" -- thus subverting our democracy. That same year 230 state laws controlling corporations were overturned in district courts. Between 1890 and 1910, 307 cases went to the Supreme Court based on the anti-slavery 14th Amendment. But only 19 cases were from African-Americans, while 288 were corporations seeking their new constitutional personhood "right to due process."

The Bill of Rights ironically continues to be the main vehicle for destructive undemocratic corporate rule. Most state constitutions still require the attorney general to revoke the charter of any corporation that continuously violates the public good. With the knowledge of this hidden history exposed, in the last few years the public has rescinded two corporate charters. The global sovereignty movement grows increasingly thirsty for democratic revolution. The future of water depends on declaring independence from corporate rule.



posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by drew hempel
 


Lets see, its my water, its my property (which I happen to own the mineral rights to as well), the same as any other land owner in the water rich state of Michigan. The state has laws to govern this, they should enforce those, not take my water rights away. That is my point. I have this, don't take it from me and then charge me for it.

Edit to add:

I must at least thank Drew for leading me into the camp of the enemy. I looked at the link for flow for water. Here's a quote . . .

"Scripps said that his legislation would also ban phosphorus in lawn fertilizer, restore funding to the state program that cleans up leaking underground storage tanks, eliminate the Freedom of Information Act exemptions for large scale water withdrawals, and restore citizen standing under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act so that all citizens can sue to stop environmental damage."

Look at the bill, it says nothing about banning phosphorus on lawns, restoring funds for clean ups, or FIA exemptions, or citizens being able to sue for environmental damages. All it does is take water rights away from citizens and lets the state have them. If there is a local problem with a bottling plant, let the local government, voted for by the people, make the determinations. What do they call it when people make false claims? They call them lies.


[edit on 27-3-2010 by MichiganSwampBuck]



posted on Mar, 26 2010 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by drew hempel
 


Wow, a freshly opened can of worms. Think I'll use them to go fishing. I guess most of these folks don't believe my township or county or state can handle the ground water with current laws. I paid, the bottled water industry paid, nobody has come close to draining my swamp. I can't believe people could react like this when I only wanted my fellow Michiganders to know they were coming for our groundwater. I like my well water, it tastes good, like deer or whale meat, yum.

Edit to add:

Who should I trust with MY (emphasis on MY) groundwater Drew? A greedy heartless corporation? A greedy overbearing government? or can I trust myself and my neighbors to do the right thing? I place trust in myself and my neighbors.

[edit on 27-3-2010 by MichiganSwampBuck]



posted on Mar, 27 2010 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by TXRabbit
 


Thanks for the reply TXrabbit.

I looked into Bechtel's operations and where do you suppose they got the rights to the water? They have water rights because governments leased them the rights. Would this happen if the government didn't have the water rights to lease? It seems unlikely. Will the economically crippled state of Michigan like to make money by taking my water rights away and leasing them to Bechtel or Nestles? They would do it in a heartbeat. Its all about making money and putting it into the general fund so they can misappropriate it for something else.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:11 AM
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Well, this was a dead post almost since I posted it. Anyhow, I have an update on this bill. This information is from replies to emails I sent to my State Representatives that I received between July 16th and 19th.

From Michigan State Senator Gerald Van Woerkom's Legislative Aide,

"Thank you for following up on HB 5319. The bill is still in the House
of Representatives and we do not anticipate it coming up for a vote.
Most likely this bill will just die at the end of the term."

And from Michigan Congressman Goeff Hansen,

"I'm not aware of any movement on this bill by the sponsor, Rep. Dan Scripps."

It looks like enough people and other interests have expressed their concerns against this bill to kill it before it comes to a vote.

Even a whole county opposed the bill. This is from the Michigan Messenger published on 4/16/10.

"Oakland County board opposes water protection bill. Fears that proposed water protection legislation will limit the rights of homeowners and farmers led an Oakland County board to recommend a resolution opposing HB 5319, . . .

The resolution that passed the Oakland County committee on government last week with a 6-5 vote split along party lines, however, claims that the public trust legislation would interfere with traditional uses of water, and would limit the ability of lakeside homeowners to use water."

I hope this bill dies and stays dead. I don't want it come back in the form of some other bill.



posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by drew hempel
 


Don't be ridiculous.

The water will not be pumped dry and is in absolutely no danger of running dry. The aquifers are naturally replenished.

This is nothing more than a bunch of control freaks trying to suck the profits out of the bottled water industry.

Michigan has more freshwater water sources than God, such "protections" (*cough* looting *cough*) are completely uncalled for.

The democrats are essentially claiming that if they don't tax the bottle water distributors, the Great Lakes will dry up into a desert.



[edit on 23-7-2010 by mnemeth1]



posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 03:09 AM
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Perhaps this new information ties into the State of Michigan's water grab. Keeping in mind that the State already has our surface waters in trust it may be possible that the July 19, 2010 EXECUTIVE ORDER "STEWARDSHIP OF THE OCEAN, OUR COASTS, AND THE GREAT LAKES", recently posted here on ATS, was anticipated ahead of time. Maybe the sponsors of this bill, and the previous bill concerning surface waters, had advanced knowledge of this executive order. I guess our President has now made water laws in Michigan meaningless. If this is outcome then this thread now has no meaning.


[edit on 22-8-2010 by MichiganSwampBuck]



posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 03:36 AM
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well.. as far as I know, every state OWNS all the water in the state.. I know Oregon does. It's just another way of how they get their $$$$$



posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by Komodo
 


State ownership of water resources may now be meaningless. Every state has it own water use laws and traditional uses, but if this new executive order gets put into use and enforced, no state will have their own water resources they can regulate without federal approval and oversight. That goes for land owners who's property has the potential to affect a local body of water and that can be almost anyone's property. So my well for drinking water and my household septic system, already approved my my state and local authorities, will be under federal control now. This issue of surface, or ground water, rights of the individual going into a state trust (like here in Michigan) may now be a non-issue when the overall plan of this order goes into full gear.

Please see this post called "Federal Govt assumes control over Great Lakes, by executive order"

www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 22-8-2010 by MichiganSwampBuck]




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