Permits to pollute -- train wreck waiting to happen
SB 252 -- After four and half months conferees finally met and jammed a bad bill out of the conference committee on Tuesday. The bill, working off the House version, transferred about $75,000 (out of a total of $3 million) in the proposed fees onto municipal sources (a $40,000 increase to the Detroit Water Utility). The provision which makes the bill unacceptable to the department (and have resulted in Governor Granholm saying she will veto the bill), requires that the MDEQ receive prior legislative authority before writing any new administrative rules. The Democrats on the committee did not sign the conference report (Brater and Tobocman). The Senate passed it 21-17 (along party lines except that Sen. Sanborn voted against the conference report), that House approved it 55-46 (with five Republicans voting against it -- Brandenburg, Gaffney, LaSata, Hune and Stewart). It has not yet been sent to the Governor.
The bottom line: We elected Jennifer Granholm as Governor -- to run the executive branch and implement the law that are on the books in Michigan. What Senator Sikkema and Speaker Johnson are trying to do is allow special interests to block regulation (or updated regulation) of their facilities -- the loser will be the waters of Michigan.
SB 560 - Groundwater Discharge Fees - The Governor had proposed $3.58 million in fees. The Senate bill included $1.38 million in new groundwater discharge fees. The House amended the bill to provide exemptions to small businesses, non profits, agricultural facilities resulting in the bill only raising $330,000 (an insufficient amount to run the program). This bill is still in conference the the program has no funding.
HB 5154 - clarifies regulation of pesticide use in schools and adds licensed day care facilities
SB 653 - The bill removes the sunset on the baseline environmental assessment fee.
SB 703 -- Expands the types of flotation devices children age 12 and under must wear when riding on or being towed behind a personal watercraft to include type III (lower standard than currently in place in Michigan, making us consistent with U.S. Coast guard standards.
Pending under messages from the House:
SB 506 - Places a two-year moratorium on the construction of new landfill space.
SB 557 - Require landfills to report remaining capacity to the state.
SB 502 - Allows for the establishment and compilation of a list of jurisdictions that ban the same items from landfills that Michigan does. New provisions allow an individual to petition for inclusion of the "approved" list of jurisdictions on behalf of his/her jurisdiction -- ability to enforce must be comparable to our laws. The bills was tie-barred to HB 5234.
SB 57 - Allows the Director of the MDEQ to issue an order limited the movement of solid waste within the state or from outside the state if it poses a "substantial" health risk to Michigan residents
SB 497 - Defines beverage container for purposes of the proposed ban.
SB 498 - Establishes a list of banned items from landfills. On the positive side, the bill was expanded to include solid waste incinerators. Amendments that Michigan Environmental Council opposed include:
1) New de minimis standard for beverage containers, yard waste and scrap tires.
2) An exemption for green glass -- with a task force required to make
3) A provision that allows the director to make a determination that a safe, sanitary alternative disposal methods is not available for medical waste, beverage containers, scrap tires or yard waste -- allowing it to be landfilled.
SB 499 - Provides for an inspection program for Michigan landfills.
SB 500 - Increases the fines and penalties for certain solid waste law violations without the civil infraction authority in the Senate version. The Michigan Environmental Council opposed the removal of civil infraction authority.
SB 715 - Allows for local unit of government to assist the department in enforcement efforts.
On the calendar:
SB 532 and SB 533-- anti-littering legislation
SB 853 -- Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-river program
SB 854 - creates statewide recycling coordinator position
SB 855 - Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-shoreline program
SB 856 - Requires the state to conduct a comprehensive study on littering and create a marketing program to reduce litter
SB 857 - Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-trail program
SB 858 - Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-park program
SB 860 - Establishes a 1-800 number for reporting littering violations
SB 861 - Sets statewide goals for recycling rates (30% by 2009, 50% by 2014)
Senate Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs is scheduled to meet on Tuesday (2/17) at 3:00 PM to take up the following bills:
HB 4098 - Earlier version of a bill to require other states and provinces to meet Michigan standards to have access to our landfills (see SB 502 and HB 5234).
HB 4099 - A different version of a bill to ban the disposal of beverage containers from Michigan landfills (see SB 497 and SB 498).
HB 5235 - Requires that solid waste haulers notify their
HB 5234 - Regulates the disposal of solid waste in landfills to limit waste that does not meet our standards - similar to SB 502 as passed by the Senate -- the bill was amended to replace homogenous with reference to uniform materials or substances. The bill was amended to not require a county to site a new landfill if there was sufficient capacity within 150 miles.
SB 111 - Require state parks to post at park entrances whether or not hunting or firearm usage is allowed within the state park.
SB 759 - Requires the Department of Natural Resources programs to include information on fueling techniques and problems associated with marine fuel spills in marine safety courses.
HB 4352 - Prohibits snowmobiles from using red or blue colored headlight lens caps.
Agriculture, Forestry & Tourism is expected to meet on Thursday (2/26) at 8:00 AM to take up SB 217 - amends to the drain code.
Energy and Technology will meet Wednesday (2/18) at 3:00 pm for a discussions on Public Act 141 of 2000, Electric Restructuring
Senate Appropriation Subcommittees:
Environmental Quality will meet on Wednesdays (2/25, 3/3, 3/10 and 3/17) at 12:00 Noon to take action on the FY 2004-05 Budget for the Department of Environmental Quality Will start this week with 1) Overview of Executive Proposals and 2) Revenue Projections & Fund Balances
Natural Resources will meet on Tuesdays (2/24, 3/2, 3/9 and 3/16)
at 12:00 Noon
HB 5023 -- Allows free access to state parks for individuals who served in the Iraqi Freedom War
HB 5021 - to establish a wildlife violator compact.
On the calendar:
SB 510 -- a bill to establish stormwater fees (could be used to amend the same sections as SB 252 that may be vetoed by the Governor).
HB 4688 - Deletes a provision in law that prohibits the disposal of out-of-county solid waste unless provided for in county solid waste management plan. The U.S. Supreme Court nullified provision as it applies to out-of-state waste. This bill eliminates the requirement to have out-of-county waste in the solid waste management plan. This was the closest vote, coming out 6-4. The Michigan Environmental Council opposes the legislation.
HB 5236 - Requires voter approval for a local unit of government to impose a waste reduction fee or recycling surcharge on its residents. The fee is actually voluntary unless approved by the voters (due to a Michigan Supreme Court decision). The Michigan Environmental Council opposes this legislation.
HB 5237 - Limits the imposition of any recycling or waste reduction fee to actual households and not vacant property. Amended in committee to include commercial facilities in payment of the fee.
HB 5312 -- allows hunters to donate an additional $1.00 when purchasing hunting or fishing licensing to support the sportsmen against hunger program
SB 193 -- Provides for a specialty license plates for ducks unlimited
HB 5427 -- clarify licensing; licensing and inspection requirements
for certain antique firearms.
HB 5429 -- clarify licensing requirements for certain antique firearms
HB 4929 -- Requires privately owned wastewater treatment facilities protection and disclosure procedures for discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage.
Agriculture and Resource Management will meet on Tuesday (2/24) at 10:30 AM to take up HB 5554 -- which calls for sustainable forestry, the creation of forest plans and certification programs. The bills also requires the plan to include annual goals for harvested acres to be established by the forest products industry. HB 552 and HB 553 were also introduced on the topic of forestry.
Great Lakes and Tourism will meet on Tuesday (2/24) at 2:00 PM to take up SB 703 -- Expands the types of flotation devices children age 12 and under must wear when riding on or being towed behind a personal watercraft to include type III (lower standard than currently in place in Michigan, making us consistent with U.S. Coast guard standards.
Appropriation Subcommittee Meetings:
Agriculture will meet on Thursday (2/26) at 8:00 AM for a Department Overview -- Executive Budget Recommendation for the Department of Agriculture FY 2004-05
Transportation will meet on Tuesday (2/24) at 8:00 AM to review the FY 2004-05 Transportation Budget - Department Presentation