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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update 3-4-08

The Senate Natural resources and Environmental Affairs Committees reported three bills designed to implement the proposed Great Lakes Compact.  The Great Lakes, Great Michigan is opposing the package because it:

1.     Only requires permits for new or expanded water withdrawals if they exceed 2 million gallons a day (regardless of the location).

2.     Gives less protection to cold water streams and small rivers that are the backbone of the tourism industry for many Northern Michigan communities.

3.     Fails to require the state to exercise its “public trust” authority over all waters of the state including groundwater.

Action is expected on a completing set of House bills which are scheduled for action in the Great Lakes and Environment Committee on Wednesday.



HB 5384 – Allows municipal electric companies to enter into joint ventures with a wide variety of new partners and protect some of the information from disclosure.

On the floor:

SB 727, SB 858, 859 and SB 860 – Bills to implement water use regulation required under the proposed Great Lakes Compact.


SB 212 – A bill to have Michigan ratify the proposed Great lakes Compact.


SB 1037 - A bill to provide for the sale of certain municipal forest prime lands and allow for the relinquishment of reverter


1078-1083 – Bills to revise procedures to approve annexation petition for cities, villages, and townships. (SB 379-384 as passed the Senate in 2003)


HB 5032 - Consolidates the Township, Municipal and County Planning Acts into one Enabling Act. 

HB 5100 - A bill to include agricultural crops in definition of renewable energy facility for renaissance zones purposes.

HB 4597 - A bill to provide for hunting on Department of Natural Resources controlled land.

SB 427 – A bill to provide a process for utilities to follow before building new facilities or entering into purchase power agreements, and to provide competitive bidding in that process.  (Discharged from Committee)

SB 947 - A comprehensive energy bill that would set a renewable energy standard, establish an energy efficiency program and set forth a process for building new energy capacity. (Discharged from Committee)

SB 1000 – A bill to require that the state purchase a certain portion of its energy from renewable facilities – growing from 3% in 2009 to 25% by 2020. (Discharged from Committee)

SB 1040 – A bill to provide an income tax credit of up to $200 for people that enrolled in voluntary renewable energy programs. (Discharged from Committee)

SB 1041 – A bill to require all utilities to offer renewable energy programs. (Discharged from Committee)

SB 385 – A bill to require that utilities provide a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources – starting at 7% by 2009, up to 20% by 2020.

In committees:

Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee will meet at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday (3/5) to take up:


SB 723 – A bill to define the scope of the Water Resources Conservation Committee moving forward.  

SCR 27 - A concurrent resolution to urge the Great Lakes states to resist changes to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and to adopt the compact as presented in December 2005.

SR 154 - A resolution to urge the Great Lakes states to resist changes to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and to adopt the compact as presented in December 2005.


Energy Policy and Public Utilities will meet on Wednesday at 1:00 pm to:


- Continued discussion of energy issues by General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and   Chrysler LLC.

- Presentation by the Michigan Public Service Commission on winter shut off protections.

 - Presentation by NextEnergy on their efforts to develop renewable energy in Michigan

 - Presentation by Lazard on renewable energy investment.

 - General discussion of renewables.

 - Discussion of long range energy plan for Michigan.

 - Discussion of Renewable Fuels Commission Report.



Local, Urban and State Affairs will meet on Tuesday (3/4) at 3:00 pm to take up:


HB 4868 - A bill to include in the definition of blight signage in right-of-ways without proper permits.


HB 5319 – A bill Local government expand to include right-of-way signage violations as blight violation under certain circumstances subject to penalties.



Appropriations: Department of Environmental Quality will meet on Wednesday (3/5) at 12:30 pm to take public comments on the MDEQ budget.


Appropriations: Natural Resources Department will meet Tuesday (3/11) at noon to make recommendation on the FY 2008-09 Department of Natural Resources Budget.




HB 5459 – A bill to expand eligibility requirements for commercial redevelopment as it relates to certain vacant or blighted properties.

On the floor:

HB 4703 – A bill to designate the northern spring peeper as the official state amphibian


HB 4820- A bill to exempt from permit requirements under certain circumstances application of oil field brine to county roads.


HB 5677- A bill to include in the definition of agricultural use maple syrup production.

HB 5678- A bill to exempt from personal property tax maple syrup equipment.

HB 5679- A bill to designate maple syrup producers as food processing plants.

HB 5680- A bill to classify maple syrup production areas as agricultural property.


HB 5589 prohibits land locking cemeteries by requiring a municipality to reject a plat division if it renders a cemetery inaccessible.


HB 4247 adds “foundation, easement, or right of way associated with a tower” to “wind system” definition for purposes of personal property tax exemption.


SB 47 – a bill to create water improvement tax increment financing authorities. 

SB 338 – A bill to expand the use of gift cards issued by department of natural resources.

HB 5331 – A bill to eliminate participation licenses for bear and bobcat hunting.

HB 5630 - A bill to clarify the procedure for dissolution of a lake board.

SB 206 Consolidates the Township, Municipal and County Planning Acts into one Enabling Act. 

HB 5031 - a bill to designate deer hunting season for certain disabled veterans to correspond with the special youth hunt.

HB 4052 – This bill would exempt from the Land Division Act property that would remain perpetually in an undeveloped state undeveloped under a conservation easement.

HB 4981 - A bill which requires the state to grant easements for parcels that have no other means to access except for across state lands. 

HB 4905 – Allows methane digesters to be used in the process of considered composting dead animals.  

HB 4685 – Requires the MDEQ and MDA to prepare a booklet explaining environmental statute requirements that apply to farming operations. 

HB 4343 – A bill which would adopt the proposed Great Lakes Compact in Michigan.

HB 4222 – A bill that would provide a formula for the distribution of any trash surcharge fees authorized by the legislature.

HB 4484 – A bill to amend the Solid Waste planning process for counties.

HB 5383 –  Allows the establishment of member-regulated electric co-ops reducing the oversight by the Public service commissions over rates and terms of service.  

HB 5525 – This bill establishes an energy efficiency program in Michigan.  Utilities would be required to implement programs that would reduce energy use over time, or contribute to a fund which would be used for the same purpose.

HB 5548/5549 – These bills establish a renewable energy program that requires utilities to provide 10% of their energy from renewable sources by 2015.  

HB 5798 – A bill to provide for steam cost recovery.

In committee:

House Great Lakes and the Environment Committee will meet at on Wednesday (3/5) at noon to take up the package to implement the proposed Great Lakes Compact in Michigan – HB 5065-5073.


Appropriations: Transportation will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 28 to take up:


FY 2008-09 Transportation Budget
-Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association
-MBE Program
-Follow up to Rubberized Asphalt Presentation
-Rails to the Future


Submitted by:

James Clift

Michigan Environmental Council

119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A

Lansing, MI 48912

(517) 487-9539