By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director

On June 15, 2023, House Bills 4824 through 4826 were presented to abolish the Environmental Rules Review Committee (ERRC). The sponsors were Representative Donovan McKinney (HB 4824), Representative Jenn Hill (HB 4825) and Representative Sharon MacDonell (HB 4826).

The Environmental Rules Review Committee was established during the 2018 Lame Duck session to allow stakeholder input on the state’s environmental rulemaking process. The legislation worked its way through the Michigan House and Senate, and was signed into law by the Governor on February 27, 2024.

Since 2018, opponents of the ERRC have criticized the committee for allowing business interests a direct say in environmental regulations, with six of the 11 seats on the board designated for industries regulated by EGLE. The ERRC in 2019 voted to halt stricter PFAS standards for drinking water that EGLE said were needed. Opponents of the ERRC sometimes referred to it as a potential “polluter panel.” The Michigan Advance news source provides this quote: “I’ve always been an advocate for protecting our environment. By removing the Environmental Rules Review Committee — a committee mostly made up of corporate polluters — from statute, we are able to ensure that the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy can fulfill its mission of protecting our air, water, land and people, said state Rep. Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy), who sponsored one of the bills in the package.”

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