Preserve the Dunes Newsletter                                                                October 29, 2010

  This issue has an update of the Anglers of the AuSable v. MDEQ case. The Supreme Court may conceivably reverse the ruling in our case (PTD v. MDEQ).
   Also, there is a brief introduction to the new Citizen Advisory Councils that the DNRE is establishing.
In This Issue
Supreme Court Update
Citizens Advisory Councils
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PTD needs your financial support. We have filed a friend of the court brief with the Michigan Supreme Court - described in this newsletter. Legal fees were $20,000. This has severely reduced the funds available for other purposes.

We are approaching the time for a renewal of the sand dune mining permit at the Nadeau Site. This may well  require significant expenses on our part.

Donations can be sent to PTD, P.O. Box 164, Riverside, MI 49084 or made with credit card or PayPal by selecting the Donate button below.


Remember we are a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Supreme Court Hears Anglers Case
The Precedents Set in PTD v. MDEQ and TechniSand To Be Reconsidered

Oral arguments in the Anglers of the AuSable v. MDEQ case were heard by the Michigan Supreme Court on October 6. In January, the Court had requested briefing on whether the Michigan Citizens v Nestlé Waters (2007), and Preserve the Dunes v DEQ (2004) were correctly decided. The Court invited others to submit briefs on these prior cases as friends of the court.

Preserve the Dunes filed a brief in this case that specified four key errors that the court made in PTD v. MDEQ:
  1. The majority overlooked the fact that the plaintiff made a 'prima facie showing" under Section 1703(1) of MEPA by presenting evidence that the defendant was miněng sand from a critical dune, contrary to the prohibition found in Section 63702 of the Sand Dune Mining Act.
  2. The majority ignored the plaintiffs "prima facie showing" was not rebuttable without a valid permit from the Michigan DEQ and that the defendant was ineligible for such a permit.
  3. In refusing to consider the invalidity of the permit issued by the DEQ, the majority mistakenly professed to foresee an adverse effect on business investment from finding error in the permit process. But finding such error under the flagrant circumstances of the case at hand would have created no precedent applicable to mere procedural errors in granting permits (as the Court could easily have made clear).
  4. In refusing to consider the validity of the permit issued by the DEQ, the majority departed from this Court's own precedents in the Nemeth and WMEAC cases, in both of which this Court found MEPA violations as a result of improperly issued permits.

During the oral arguments, Justices Markman, Corrigan, and Young, who had been a part of the four justice majority and are now members of a three justice minority, aggressively challenged the attorneys. Through their questions they defined their positions: the current case is moot, MEPA is basically a pollution statute, and that a permit cannot be challenged under MEPA. The other four justices made few comments.

Based on the time it took to reach a decision in PTD v. MDEQ, we do not expect a speedy ruling on this case.

You can watch the hearing online. First, go to the virtual court site. Scroll down to October 6th and then select the Anglers of the AuSable v. MDEQ case. The full hearing, all one hour and eight minutes of it, is an eye-opener to the slow progress and frustrations in pursuit of justice.

Additional information was included in ealier issues of SOS Dunes News and can be found at our website.

Nadeau Site - Hagar Township - March 2010

DNRE To Form Citizens Advisory Councils
New Management Plan Emerges from Merger of DNR and DEQ

The primary roles of the CACs are to offer informed advice to the Department to be used in establishing work priorities at the local level and to participate in honest, open, and respectful dialogue. There will be two CACs. One for the Lake Michigan region and one for Lake Huron.

Citizen advisors will help identify emerging trends and resolve conflicts before they become intractable. Department employees will benefit from having a deeper understanding of public priorities and expectations, and advisors can function as a trusted "sounding board" for ideas and initiatives. CAC members also serve to encourage DNRE employees to become more accessible and responsive to the public. CAC members will benefit from understanding DNRE programs, priorities, administrative processes and limitations in a broader context.

For additional information at the DNRE website
Did you know?

During the storm last week, the level of Lake Michigan in the northern reaches rose by 20 inches due to the strong winds.

"These dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona . . .
once lost, the loss would be irrevocable." Carl Sandburg
Preserve the Dunes