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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update - 9/7/04

Legislature Ready to Return to Work

Conference Committees

MDEQ Budget - Conference Committee on SB 1066 will meet on Wednesday (9/8) at 8:30 AM  to take up the MDEQ budget for FY 2004-05.

MDEQ Budget - fiscal year 2004-05, the House approved a budget for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) that reinstated the Hazardous Waste Management Program, but retained reductions in staffing levels by 8%, and reduces general fund support for the department by 15%. 

The bill also includes $800,000 to pay for a dioxin bio-availability study using Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI) funding (1998 bond approved by the voters for contamination cleanups). 

The authorizing language for spending CMI  (MCLA 324.20102) states:

(e) That the responsibility for the cost of response activities pertaining to a release or threat of release and repairing injury, destruction, or loss to natural resources caused by a release or threat of release should not be placed upon the public except when funds cannot be collected from, or a response activity cannot be undertaken by, a person liable under this part.

(f) That liability for response activities to address environmental contamination should be imposed upon those persons who are responsible for the environmental contamination.

The use of CMI money to pay for a study to benefit the Dow Chemical Company is an inappropriate use of those funds - and breaks a promise to voters who supported the CMI bonds.

At the same time, no new sites of environmental contamination are being addressed by the state due to budget shortfalls.

MDEQ Budget Conference Committee Named - Senate - Senators McManus, Goschka, Barcia -
House - Representatives Pastor, Moolenaar, Brown

MDNR Budget - Conference Committee on SB 1068 will meet on Wednesday (9/8) at 8:45 AM  to take up the MDEQ budget for FY 2004-05.

MDNR Budget for fiscal year 2004-05 - The House version removes travel cuts made by the Senate, removed timber cut mandate language and returned to a version closer to that recommended by the administration. Senate conferees: Sens.McManus, Johnson, Barcia - House conferees - Reps. Pastor, Walker and Brown


In committee:

Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs
will meet on Tuesday (9/7) at 3:00 PM for a briefing on Annex 2001 Draft Agreements given by Ken DeBeaussaert, Director of the Office of the Greal Lakes, Noah Hall, National Wildlife Federation and Jon Allan, Consumers Energy and for a briefing on the current status of the NSWMA v. Granholm (solid waste litigation) given by Robert Reichel, Assistant Attorney General.


On the calendar:

SB 757 -
This bill places penalties on landlords that fail to remediate known lead paint hazards in rental units.

SB 722/723 - Expands the eligible businesses for pollution prevention loans and increases the size of the available loans.

HB 5441 – a bill to clarify when "feasible and prudent" alternatives should be considered to a project that will impact wetlands.  An amendment was added in committee regarding when the MDEQ must issue a permit that may jeopardize Michigan's delegation of the Clean Water Act - section 404 program. 

HB 4106
-- Provide for state real estate transfer tax on transfer of certain manufactured homes.

HB 4879 -- Provide for exemption from sales tax on used manufactured homes.

HB 4882 -- Eliminate use tax on manufactured home sales.

HB 4880 -- Create and implement a manufactured housing specific tax.

HB 5844 -- Include for homestead property tax credit calculation amounts paid for Michigan manufactured housing specific tax.

HB 4111 -- Exempt from property taxes manufactured housing subject to specific tax.

HB 4868 -- Create a mobile homes manufactured home owners residency act.

HB 4869 -- Establish and clarify owners rights under the manufactured home owners association act.

HB 5035 -- Revise membership of the mobile home commission.

HB 5034 -- a bill to access mobile homes as real property.

HB 4358 -- To increase the length limit for trucks to 65 feet.

SB 510 -- a bill to establish stormwater fees.

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

In committee:

Land Use and Environment will meet on Wednesday (9/8) at 9:30 AM to take up:

HB 5771 – A bill to increase and revise regulation of land disposal of septage.

HB 5772 – Amend sentencing guidelines for crime of knowingly making false report in domestic septage licensing application.

Agriculture and Resource Management will meet on Wednesday (9/8) at 8:30 AM to take up:

SB 953 - State; funds; loans to certain farmers for qualified agricultural energy production; provide for.

SB 955 - Property tax; exemptions; methane digester and methane digester electric generating system; exempt.

HB 6122 – Provide grants to certain sugar beet cooperatives

Energy and Technology: Alternative Energy will meet at the Ottawa County Administrative Building, West Olive on Tuesday (9/7) at 1:30 PM  to take testimony from:
Chuck Pistis, Overview
Rod Frazier, Proposed West Michigan Co Gen Project
Charles Gould, Overview Of What Other States Are Doing
Jon Dewitte, Whats Happening with Green Power on the Fed Side
Ken Rizzio, Necessary Economic Development Tools
Bill Bickert, Toward a Michigan Technology Policy that supports
Green Power
Imad Mahawili, On Farm Production of Energy from Animal Waste

Submitted by:

James Clift
Brad Garmon
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539