Whine and win

Jun 20, 2001 at 12:00 am

Truth be told, News Hits has had it with complainers. Week after week we are bombarded by a bunch of crybabies begging us to publish a few words about how the system is screwing the little guy. For instance, Rob Cedar — a chronic crank — contacted us after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality initially refused to provide the public ample time to review a proposed permit for Detroit Minergy LLC.

The company wants to build a $100 million solid-waste incinerator in a poor, Hispanic community on Detroit’s southwest side. But some, including environmental activist Cedar, say that the Minergy plant will release too much dioxin, one of the most harmful substances known.

Cedar, along with Diane Lickfelt, asked DEQ to hold a meeting where the public could query the agency about the project. The DEQ agreed — but insisted that it occur just hours before the public hearing on the permit. Lickfelt — another whiner, and project engineer for Michigan State University’s Technical Outreach Services for Communities — complained that didn’t give the public time to digest and investigate a lot of complicated information.

Lickfelt and Cedar then pushed the DEQ to postpone the permit hearing 30 days. What they got was a compromise. The DEQ’s Randy Telesz told News Hits an additional two weeks will be allowed for the submission of written testimony.

The permit hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at 7 p.m. at the Delray United Action Council Center, 7914 W. Jefferson in Detroit; the information meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., the same day and place. Written comments are due by July 13. Send them to the Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, P.O. Box 30260, Lansing, MI 48909.

“It’s not as much as we want, but we’ll take what we can get,” says Lickfelt.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]