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E-M:/ MEC Capitol Update



House of Representative

HB 4072 (Rep. Clark Bisbee) - Detroit Metropolitan Transportation Authority - DARTA

The bill passed the House on Thursday on a vote of 58-48.  Included in the final version were provisions opposed by a number of stakeholders that allow the individual communities to opt-out of the authority and any related funding mechanism. The version which Governor Engler vetoed in December allowed only certain counties to opt-out of the system. Governor Granholm has stated she cannot support the legislation with the current opt-out provision.  Critic point out that the checkerboard impact of such opt-outs could make a regional system unworkable.

For more information, see:

http://www.MichiganLegislature.org/mileg.asp?page=getObject&objName=2003-HB-4072&userid=

HB 4087  (Rep. John Moolenaar) - Groundwater Users - Impacts of High-Capacity Wells

The House Land Use and Environmental Committee reported this legislation that establishes a mechanism for resolving conflicts between high-capacity well operators and smaller wells in the area.  The process includes an investigation by the Departments of Environmental Quality or Agriculture, with the high-capacity well operator being required to compensate the affected smaller well owner under certain circumstances.

Some proponents argued that this statute would negate the need for groundwater withdrawal legislation.  Representatives of the National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and the Michigan Environmental Council all opposed this interpretation, viewing this as a reactive statute, versus one designed to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Concerns have been raised about the fiscal impact and whether any funds are available to run the proposed program.

For more information, see:

http://www.MichiganLegislature.org/mileg.asp?page=getObject&objName=2003-HB-4087&userid=

Submitted by:

James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539
www.mecprotects.com