WHITEFISH POINT FEDERAL POLITICS

Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]

Another apparent cover up ...

The EPA issued an Administrative Order to GLSHS in 1991 for an unreported mercury spill that occurred inside the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point in 1989. The EPA failed to ensure the safety of the public and GLSHS employees by allowing GLSHS to keep 217 pounds of mercury at Whitefish Point until 2002. The EPA walked away from the mercury stockpile at Whitefish Point without ensuring that local emergency personnel were notified of its existence. GLSHS did not adhere to the Community Right-To-Know Act until after a citizen filed a complaint in 2005. GLSHS belatedly filed the required notice of a mercury stockpile at least 16 years late. 

GLSHS and EPA failed to protect the public and employees from exposure to mercury vapor for more than 11 years. Mercury vapor levels remained unexpectedly high inside the Shipwreck Museum and the fog signal building in 2004, 3 years after the stockpiled mercury was removed from Whitefish Point. A seemingly disproportionate number of long-term employees of the Shipwreck Museum have suffered from dementia. An EPA Office of Inspector General 2006 -2007 investigation ignored that EPA failed to protect the public from mercury exposure at Whitefish Point.

 


You Tube Video:
Not in My Backyard

See 2006 citizen complaint and response from the EPA Office of Inspector General about Whitefish Point mercury.

For more on Whitefish Point mercury see, Environment, Local Politics, & State Politics.

See You Tube Video:
Congressman Stupak’s Special Interest

See You Tube Video: The Edmund Fitzgerald Bell Transfer Ceremony

See You Tube Video:
Defeat HR 2121

See You Tube Video:
Do Me a Favor


See Historic Light Station for more on Stupak's role with Whitefish Point Light Station

See Letters to the Editor about the controversy surrounding H.R. 2121.

 

Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D - MI) special interest in GLSHS

 

Congressman Stupak started his relationship with GLSHS very early in his career and he continued his sponsorship of GLSHS through the years. As recently as September 20, 2005, Stupak issued a press release announcing a grant awarded to GLSHS even while they were under the gun for misusing more than $124,000 of Federal grant funds.

Around the same time that Stupak participated in a ceremony to transfer the Fitzgerald Bell to the GLSHS in 1994, he introduced special legislation that transferred the Whitefish Point Light Station from the United States Coast Guard to the GLSHS. Stupak got the Whitefish Point Light Station transferred to the GLSHS with legislation that included language objected to by Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Office, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the Michigan Audubon Society. Stupak sponsored the transfer of the Whitefish Point Light Station in spite of the GLSHS’s established pattern of law bending that included allowing the public to walk through mercury for more than two years and systematically, illegally removing artifacts from the Great Lakes bottomlands.

Stupak introduced special legislation (H.R. 3606) for the GLSHS in 2005 to change their federal land patent for the Whitefish Point Light Station. Many people believed that the GLSHS was trying to get around the land patent's restrictions on commercialization and over-development of the Whitefish Point Light Station and a grass roots protest helped kill Stupak's bill in committee.  In September of 2006, Stupak tried to sneak the very same bill through Congress exclusively for the GLSHS in spite of its controversy. Stupak mentioned the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald when claiming his bill was straight forward and non-controversial.

Stupak got his perennial legislation for GLSHS pass the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007 by tacking on a different bill number (H.R. 2121) and making false claims that the bill was noncontroversial. H.R. 2121 still sat in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources by the end of 2007. See “How You Can Help” to help stop H.R. 2121.

The reasons for Congressman’s Stupak’s inappropriate support for the GLSHS are not known. However, Tom Farnquist, Executive Director of the GLSHS, is a contributor to Stupak’s political campaign fund as a private citizen.

(See www.campaignfinancemoney.com and www.opensecrets.com for details on Farnquist’s contributions to Stupak’s political campaign funds.)

GLSHS’s Federal Lobby …

In spite the Federal Tax Code prohibition against non-profits lobbying government to influence legislation, GLSHS has a history of lobbying governmental units and asking their membership to lobby Stupak and Senators Levin & Stabenow for special appropriations from Congress to use for even more commercialization and overdevelopment of the Whitefish Point Light Station.
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