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October 06, 1977 - Image 10

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-06

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October 6, 1977-The Michigan Daily

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Michigan
House
debates
toxins bill
LANSING (UPI) - A House com-
mittee is still wrestling with a
complex and controversial bill -
passed five months ago by the Senate
- which would improve the state's
ability to respond to chemical catas-
trophies like the PBB episode.
House Conservation Committee
Chairman. Thomas Anderson (D-
Southgate), said yesterday his panel
is considering some major changes
in the measure and it may be a month
before a vote is taken.
The bill, which is Backed by Gov
William Milliken, would create a
toxic substance control commission
charged with coordinating the chem-
ical-rela ted activities of the agricul-
ture, 'natural resources and public
health departments.
The commission would aso be
empowered to declare, with the
.concurrence of the governor, a
contamination emergency.
Under the emergency, tcould take
extraordinary steps, including yank-
ing suspected products oft the mar-
ket.
Critics of the state's handling of the
PBB affair frequently claim a lack of
coordination or even communication
among responsible agencies prevent-
ed the state from taking quick and
decisive action.
Those familiar with the House
committee deliberations on the Sen-
ate bill say a number of factors have
delayed action.
Top committee figures are report-
edly not happy with the bill, feeling it
would create a new. bureaucracy
without a clear-cut need to do so.
They also feel its definitions of toxic.
substances and contamination emer-.
gencies are too broad.
Another problem, according to one
source, was a lack of communica-
tion between the House committee
and members of House Speaker
Bobby Crim's staff who were work-
ing on their own chemical control
proposals.
Further, the committee has been
bogged down with major bills of its
own which, have taken longer than
expected to deal with.
Anderson said he is now consider-
ing a substitute( for the Senate bill
which would avoid creating a new
bureaucracy by vesting an existing
agency - the Michigan Environmen-
tal Review Board (MERB) - with
many of the powers, proposed for the
toxic substances commission.
MERB - now merely an advisory
body - would also gain more power
in making environmental assess-
ments of state agency projects.
PLASTIC BOTTLES
NEW YORK (AP)-Non-
biodegradable plastics products make
a very stable material for use in landfill
operations, says the Society of the
Plastics Industry. Old plastic bottles
are sanitary, will not break down into
toxic or explosive gases, and do not
pollute the water table with decaying
matter or chemical residues, the
society says.

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