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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update 11-27-06

The legislature has returned for lame duck. Among other things, this week they are planning to take up in committee bills to:


-Phase out products containing mercury (SB 123, 124, 186, and 361)

-Revise regulations of billboards (SB 567, 568, and 911)

-Revise the scrap tire program (SB 1418-1424)

-Extend tax credits to cover additional alternative energy technologies (SB 583)




On the calendar:

SB 337 - A bill to create a tax credit for historical buildings renovations. The bill however creates them as SBT credits, which although generated by nonprofit groups would be sold to SBT tax payers. A grant program to the nonprofits could serve the same purpose directly.

Committee Meetings:


Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs will meet on Tuesday (11/28) at 3:00 pm to take up the following bills:


SB 123 – A bill to prohibit the sale or use of blood pressure devices that contain mercury.


SB 124 – A bill to prohibit the sale of thermostat devices containing mercury.


SB 186 – A bill to prohibit the sale of certain medical devices containing mercury.


SB 361 – A bill to require state agencies to avoid purchasing products containing mercury.


SB 1418-1424 – Bills to revise the scrap tire program to, among other things, establish an advisory committee and extend the sunset for tire disposal surcharge.


SB 1481 – A bill to authorize general permits under the Inland Lakes and Streams Act for maintenance, repair or restoration of certain pipeline projects.


HB 5960 – A bill to authorize townships to regulate activities at a public boating access site or an inland lake or stream.


HB 5885 – A bill to shorten the period for a county to review municipal plans.


HB 5886 – A bill to shorten the period for a county to review township plans.





SB 1167 – A bill to create an agricultural roundtable to discuss the commercialization of agricultural products. 


SB 1168 – A bill to establish a grant and revolving loan program for the commercialization of agricultural value-added products, processes, and services.


SB 1169 – A bill to create and administer the agricultural development fund. 


On the calendar:

Public Land/Land Use:
HB 5814 – A bill to make payments in lieu of taxes on certain state lands subject to local governmental approval and to revise payment allocation.


HB 6045 – A bill to allow local governments to partner with private investments to purchase state land. The bill requires that if local government purchases state land and then within one year conveys the property for use other than public purpose, they must pay the state 50% of the net profit gained.


HB 6046 – A bill to allow local government to purchase land under the jurisdiction of DNR.


HB 5294-5296 – Establish grace period and limit fines for zoning ordinance violations for cities and villages, counties, and townships.

HB 5565-5567 – Bills to expressly allow for mixed use zoning in townships, counties, and cities and villages. 


SB 803 – A bill to include alternative energy systems in the definition of personal property, providing it favorable tax treatment.


HB 4647 – Provide for a Single business tax credit for a production tax credit for wind energy from wind turbines.

HB 4648 – Provide for a definition and outline the regulation of wind energy systems by townships.

HB 4649 – Provide for a definition and regulation of wind energy systems by counties.

HB 5711 (H-6) - New broad exemption for sewage discharges that occurs during a rain events.  Factory farms under the MAEAP would have no civil or criminal liability for discharges.

HB 5712 (H-4) – Exempts large CAFOs under the MAEAP program (or even those who have just applied) from having to get Clean Water Act permits. 

HB 5713 (H-4) - Requires the MDEQ to prepare a booklet identifying environmental laws of interest to farming operations. 

HB 5714 (H-4) – Prohibits anonymous complaints regarding factory farms.  If a party puts in three unverified complaints they can be assessed costs for further complaints.  


HB 5715 -16 – Makes some grant or loan money available to factory farms. 


HB 6219 (H-2) – Adds some new definitions, including one for MAEAP.  Some concerns have been raised that this program is not part of state law but is not providing exemptions for permits for enrollees.


HB 6220 – Gives priority for water quality monitoring grants to communities with high concentrations of livestock production facilities


HB 5878 – A bill to require the DEQ to prepare a compliance booklet for agricultural processors.


Public Health:

HB 5851 – A bill to delineate conditions under which civil actions can be brought for damages that include asbestos and silicosis claims. 



SB 248 – A bill to revise procedures to establish and issue vehicle fund-raising registration plates. 

Committee Meetings:


Energy and Technology will meet on Wednesday (11/29) at 9:00 am to take up bills including:


SB 583 – A bill to revise Michigan Next Energy Authority Act to include items related to research, development, and manufacturing of an alternative energy system.


SB 584 – A bill to amend the Michigan Renaissance Zone Act to add requirements for alternative energy zones.


Transportation will meet on Wednesday (11/29) at 9:00 am to take up bills including:


SB 567, 568, and 911 – Bills to revise regulations of billboards, including vegetation removal at those billboards.


Natural Resources, Great Lakes, Land Use, and Environment will meet on Thursday (11/30) at 9:00 am to take up bills including:


HB 6576 – A bill to provide for meeting between permit applicant and MDEQ to review inland lakes and streams permit application.


HB 6577 – A bill to provide expedited permits for waterworks systems.


HB 6636 – A bill to adopt federal exceptions for air emissions standards for automotive cooling operations.


SB 1408 – A bill to clarify the treatment of gas and oil rights in tax foreclosure process.


HR 288 – A resolution to memorialize Congress to increase funding to dredge Michigan’s deep draft Great Lakes ports and waterways.


HR 313 – A resolution to memorialize Congress to approve full federal funding for the barriers designed to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp.




Submitted by:

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