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Senator Patrick Colbeck’s Newsletter
 

SERVING THE STATE SENATE 7TH DISTRICT

ELECTRIC SERVICE EDITION

HEADLINES FROM THIS EDITION

- DTE electric service letter of apology
- New DTE shut-off notices issued for August
- Federal tax cuts result in only modest ratepayer savings
- DEQ public meeting on Ford plant (Livonia) spill
- Colbeck receives acknowledgement for support of small business
- Wayne County special trash/waste drop-off is August 11th

DTE OFFERS LETTER OF APOLOGY

In what has been a hot topic depending on where you live in the 7th District, it will come as no surprise to many that DTE has felt compelled to offer a letter of apology for poor service after previous efforts to fix problems have failed. The brunt of the problems were in the greater Plymouth area, you can read the letter by clicking HERE.

Senator Colbeck welcomes the announced service changes, but also feels they are long overdue and that past practices were a result of DTE violating its legal “obligation to serve”.

People in the affected area have asked if they will be receiving any direct compensation as a result of the frequent brown outs and other problems that they experienced. Senator Colbeck has written a letter to the MPSC asking if the company will have to pay fines under MCL 460.55, and if people will be getting directly compensated.

The fine amounts can be calculated on a per-affected ratepayer basis, but have not been adjusted or increased in nearly 100 years. Sen. Colbeck will be introducing legislation to update these amounts so that they are large enough to once again serve as a real deterrent. In a hearing on inappropriate shut-offs, representatives from DTE acknowledged they had not paid a financial penalty, saying: “the biggest penalty that we pay is detriment to our customer [satisfaction].”

DTE ISSUES LATEST WAVE OF SHUT-OFF NOTICES

Despite an ongoing investigation into DTE’s inability to guarantee they are only shutting power off to people in proper and authorized ways, the company has sent out another wave of shut-off notices telling some customers they may lose their power in the month of August. DTE had blamed the past inappropriate shut-offs, sometimes with people not getting proper notice, on a new computer system that was causing errors and hampering the ability for effective communication within the company.

Senator Colbeck finds the latest wave of shut-off letters incredulous given the ongoing investigation and has asked the MPSC to have to specifically approve on a case by case basis all DTE shut-offs while the investigation is ongoing to guarantee that people are not inappropriately being deprived of power. He also continued his call that no customer lose power over matters related to meter choice, as letting customers keep an analog meter does not create a safety issue as the utilities contend.

“The real danger comes from people being cut from power during times of extreme temperatures or when medical equipment like oxygen or C-PAP machines can’t be used,” said Colbeck. “Our utilities have a legal obligation to serve customers who are paying their bills, and needs to reasonably accommodate them. I can’t think of a more reasonable accommodation than letting people choose to continue using the same type of meters that have served us perfectly well for decades.”

ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS TO SEE SAVINGS FROM FEDERAL TAX CUT

Because of the recently passed federal tax cuts, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) recently announced nearly $270 million in savings that will be passed on to DTE and Consumers Energy customers. The savings are being currently estimated at roughly $2 a month for these utility customers being impacted by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Senator Colbeck is analyzing the calculations to make sure ratepayers will be receiving everything they're owed.

“While this is good news, $2 a month is still not a lot of money in light of the large rate increases that the MPSC is granting the utilities,” said Colbeck. “We still have some of the highest rates in the Midwest, and we need to make sure that 100% of these tax savings are being passed onto ratepayers, and also not being spread out over too many years. Given their monopoly status, we need to make sure that our utility rates are appropriate and not excessive.”

PUBLIC MEETING ON FORD PLANT (LIVONIA)
TO BE HELD AUGUST 20th

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comment regarding contamination issues surrounding portions of the Ford Plant in Livonia, which will include a public meeting on August 20th in Livonia at the Burton Manor (6-9 PM).

The meeting will review Ford’s response activity plans to the chemical spill. Parts of the activity plan are quite large and technical in nature, but can be viewed in advance at the Livonia Public Library or the MDEQ district office in Warren. Interested people can also contact Brandon Alger, Project Manager, DEQ, Remediation and Redevelopment Division, at 586-753-3826 or by email: algerb@michigan.gov.

It is believed at this time that the contamination came from trichloroethylene, a solvent used at the plant as a parts degreaser until the 1980s. That chemical breaks down into hazardous vinyl chloride, which according to Ford was found in groundwater at the plant while doing upgrades. Sen. Colbeck has been working closely with the DEQ on this issue, and he personally invites all residents in the affected Alden Village neighborhood and related areas to attend this important meeting.

The official public notice for the public comment period, as well as other details can be found below:

PUBLIC COMMENT ON A RESPONSE ACTIVITY PLAN FOR THE LIVONIA TRANSMISSION PLANT, 36200 PLYMOUTH ROAD, LIVONIA, WAYNE COUNTY
Written comments are being accepted on two Response Activity Plans (Plans) for the Livonia Transmission Plant, a facility of environmental contamination located at 36200 Plymouth Road, Livonia, Michigan and adjacent properties along Belden Ct, Rosati Ave, and the Alden Village subdivision due to off-site migration of contaminants. The Plans propose investigating the contamination associated with the use of chlorinated solvents at the Livonia Transmission Plant by collecting soil-gas samples from beneath impacted structures both on and off-site and installing monitoring wells to delineate the groundwater plume. The Plans and draft Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) response comments are available for review at the DEQ Southeast Michigan District Office located at 27700 Donald Court, Warren, Michigan and the Livonia Public Library, 32777 Five Mile Road, Livonia. Written comments should be mailed prior to August 21, 2018 to Brandon Alger, Project Manager, DEQ, Remediation and Redevelopment Division, 27700 Donald Court, Warren, Michigan 48092-2793. A public meeting will also be held on August 20, 2018 at Burton Manor located at 27777 Schoolcraft, Livonia, from 6 to 9 PM.

COLBECK RECEIVES RECOGNITION FROM NFIB

Sen. Colbeck is being recognized for his support of small-businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), an advocacy group representing America’s small and independent business owners.

NFIB maintains a record of votes on issues relevant to small businesses, such as governmental red tape, regulatory burdens and tax policy. Sen. Colbeck scored a 90 percent positive record for the 2017-2018 session, one of only 38 House and Senate members to score 90 percent or above.

“I’m honored to be acknowledged by NFIB for my small business voting record,” said Sen. Colbeck. “The independent business owners of our state are the backbone of our economy as well as a huge source of job growth and technological innovation. Creating a policy environment where these job providers can prosper is a part of my duty as a representative for the people of Michigan.”

The full 2017-2018 NFIB Voting Record will be posted to the NFIB website in August. For more information on the specific votes that were considered go to the Michigan page on www.nfib.com.

WAYNE COUNTY SPECIAL WASTE DROP-OFF

Wayne County will be conducting a Household Hazardous Waste & Electronic Waste Drop-Off event on Saturday, August 11th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

This event is your opportunity to rid your garage, basement or shed of items such as paints, stains, fertilizer, lawn & garden chemicals, antifreeze, gasoline, etc. In addition, electronic waste will be accepted including computers, monitors, printers, scanners, cell phones, fax machines, televisions, etc. Items that will not be accepted include any commercial or industrial waste, or items such as ammunition, kitchen appliances, tires, or home building materials. For a full list of items please contact the Wayne County Resource Recovery Coordinator at 734-326-3936.

Download images to view this graphic

The drop-off is for Wayne County residents only, which includes all people in the Senate 7th District. The flyer for the event location is also available online by clicking here.

LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT? VISIT OUR WEBSITE

www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com

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THE MICHIGAN STATE SENATE
7th DISTRICT

Michigan’s 7th Senate District
 

The 7th State Senate District proudly serves the following areas: Canton Township, city of Livonia, city or Northville & Northville Township, city of Plymouth & Plymouth Township, and the City of Wayne.

Senator Patrick Colbeck
201 Townsend St., Suite #3400
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: (517) 373-7350

Email: SenPColbeck@senate.michigan.gov
Please include name, address, and phone number.
Our website: www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com
 

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