Casperson has done enough

EDITOR:

Our “Lame Duck” state Senator, Tom Casperson, has really kicked it into gear during the last weeks of his term in office.

His Senate Bill 1196 will allow other states such as Pennsylvania or Wyoming to truck radioactive fracking waste to Michigan and dump it here. This bill doubles the acceptable levels of radioactivity in “TENORM”— Technologically-Enhanced-Naturally-Occurring-Radioactive-Materials. In certain cases it will allow a 10 fold increase in radioactivity — the highest levels allowable for dumping anywhere east of the Mississippi.

Another measure coming out of the Natural Resources Committee which he chairs will strip protection from half a million acres of wetlands on private property within the state. A boon for loggers, contractors, housing developments and strip mall developers, Senate Bill 1211 says, in effect, “goodbye little pond, hello asphalt parking lot.”

Then there’s Senate Bill 1188 which strikes down local laws requiring property owners to maintain trees and vegetation screens between such noisy, dusty, unsightly places as gravel pits, concrete plants, asphalt factories, recycling facilities, etc. and public spaces. It’s promoted as a “private property rights” act, but it favors business over local governments.

Senate Bill 1197, which Mr. Casperson co-sponsored, will limit the powers of our incoming Governor and Attorney General to do the will of the majority of Michigan voters and shut down Line 5. If this 65-year-old Canadian pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinaw ruptured tomorrow it would cause an unprecedented environmental disaster; far worse than Enbridge’s line 6B wrought in the Kalamazoo River in 2010. (If passed, this bill may be challenged as unconstitutional).

During the Lame Duck session last year, Senator Casperson sponsored a package of bills known by environmentalists as “the fox in the henhouse” acts because they gave control of oversight of natural resources regulations to independent panels representing private business interests, placing Michigan’s lakes, rivers, forests, wetlands, drinking water and wildlife at risk.

Please do something positive for our environment, call Tom Casperson today (517- 373-7840), thank him for his service and tell him that he has done enough. It’s time for Tom to pack up his office in Lansing and retire.

Dan Young

Escanaba