Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Synder Administration inexplicably blocks outdoor burn barrel ban; and it is not an April Fools joke

April 1 was to have been the day Michigan’s ban on burning household garbage in backyard burn barrels took effect. It would have taken Michigan off the dubious list of a handful of states that still allow the practice.

Now Gov. Rick Snyder’s Department of Environmental Quality has halted the ban They say they want to review it and provide more public input.

It sounds like an April Fools Day joke. But it’s not.


It’s appropriate for Snyder, the new sheriff in town, to take a hard look at pending decisions made by his predecessor. New governor, new philosophy. But seriously, who in the administration looked at the medieval practice of outdoor trash burning and thought “hmmmm….maybe we should take a second look at whether it’s not a good idea to spew dioxins, particulate pollution, carbon monoxide, VOC’s, hexachlorobenzene, PAH’s, benzene, toluene, hydrogen cyanide and other dangerous stuff I can’t pronounce into the environment with no safeguards, filters, scrubbers or limits?”


The EPA is unequivocal about the dangers: Many dangerous health conditions can be caused by inhaling or ingesting even small amounts of these pollutants. Small children, the elderly, or people with preexisting respiratory conditions can be especially vulnerable....

It’s a troubling decision on what should be a no-brainer issue. And it reinforces the image that Michigan is an ass backwards Rust Belt state struggling to move into modernity.


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