Zorn, Sheppard working to stop deep well injection in Monroe County

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn announced on Wednesday that he is drafting legislation to prevent deep well injection of brine waste products in the karst topography of Monroe County.

Karst topography is a subsurface landscape formed by soluble rock, such as limestone. These formations allow easy movement of underground fluids, including injection materials that could return to the groundwater level and contaminate drinking water sources.

“The protection of Michigan’s water is of the utmost concern, especially in areas where residents depend on wells for their drinking water,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “My bill would protect residents in karst areas throughout Monroe County and along Lake Erie and major waterways. The uncertainty of karst formations when pressure and heat is applied is concerning to me and should be to any regulatory agency.

“I will take every action possible to protect the drinking water of Summerfield Township and Monroe County.”

Current law requires both a federal and a state permit to inject brine into underground wells. Zorn’s bill will target state law to effectively rule out siting such a well in these sensitive underground settings.

Under Zorn’s legislation, deep well injection would be prohibited in Monroe County, where karst topography exists and is within 25 miles of a major body of water.

Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, will offer concurrent legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives.

“Residents of Monroe County have spoken loud and clear about their concerns with the proposed injection well in Summerfield Township,” Sheppard said. “Senator Zorn and I will pursue all avenues to make sure all concerns are addressed and that our natural resources, such as groundwater, are safe today and for generations to come.”

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Senate passes Zorn, Pavlov anti-poaching bills

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate passed measures on Wednesday to increase restitution and toughen penalties for individuals convicted of the illegal killing, possessing, purchasing or selling of certain animals in Michigan.

Sen. Dale Zorn is the sponsor of two of the bills in the package, Senate Bills 245 and 246.

“With the Senate passage of this legislation, we are sending a strong message that Michigan will not tolerate poaching,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Michigan residents are committed to protecting our natural resources, which includes our diverse types of wild game. The illegal taking of game is not a harmless crime. It’s a threat to animal populations, our ecosystem and our economy.”

Under SBs 245 and 246, an individual convicted of illegally killing, possessing, purchasing or selling moose or elk would lose their license for 15 calendar years for a first offense and for lifetime for a second offense. If the animal were a bear or antlered white-tailed deer, the individual would lose their license for five calendar years for a first offense and for ten years for a second offense.

Senate Bill 244, sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, would increase existing fines for these crimes. The new fines would be as follows:
•    Elk: $5,000 per animal (with additional fines for antlered elk);
•    Moose: $5,000 per animal  (with additional fines for antlered moose);
•    Bear: $3,500 per animal;
•    Eagle: $1,500 per animal;
•    Bearded turkey: $1,000 per animal; and
•    Waterfowl: $500 per animal.

“Michigan has seen a number of appalling incidents of poaching over the past few years,” said Pavlov, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “Criminals have used rifles, golf clubs, baseball bats, and other means to illegally take wild animals, sometimes selling their parts overseas. These bills will help protect our wild resources and preserve the integrity of Michigan’s hunting heritage.”

SBs 244, 245 and 246 now head to the Michigan House for further consideration.

**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Zorn named Michigan Community Action Legislator of the Year

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, was named Legislator of the Year by Michigan Community Action during the organization’s Community Action Awards ceremony at the state Capitol on April 30.

Zorn was honored for his work on legislation to assist low income residents with weatherizing their homes, which can provide significant energy savings.

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The above photographs are available by clicking on the images or by visiting Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

 

Sen. Dale Zorn secures funds for MIS traffic control in Senate budget plan

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn succeeded in securing more than $800,000 for Michigan International Speedway (MIS) traffic control in the budget plan approved on Tuesday by the state Senate.

“The Michigan International Speedway is a major economic driver and tourist draw – attracting twice as many fans as a Super Bowl. Many of these fans are tourists from other states,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This funding will help ensure that our roads are safe and traffic is moving on race days. It is about doing what we can to make sure that visitors to MIS are able to get to and from the track and that they will be talking about the fantastic racing and not the traffic.”

Zorn’s amendment was adopted to Senate Bill 133 and would dedicate $831,900 to the Michigan State Police for traffic control at MIS.

SB 133 is the Senate’s omnibus budget bill for Fiscal Year 2016, which begins on Oct. 1. SB 134 is the Senate’s omnibus FY 2016 budget for school aid, higher education and community colleges. Both measures have been sent to the House for consideration.

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