by Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director
Senate Bill 14 passed the Michigan Senate on May 17, 2023, by 20-18 vote. It has now advanced to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Committee chaired by Representative Laurie Pohutsky. With the legislature now focusing on 2024 budget preparation, the bill might not receive a speedy hearing.
SB14, introduced on January 17, 2023, is a bill seeking to amend the Administrative Procedures Act to delete provisions that prohibit Michigan agencies from adopting or promulgating a rule more stringent than the applicable federally mandated standards, except for in rare specified circumstances.
During the Lame Duck session in late 2018, Public Act 602 was enacted to prohibit the State from adopting more stringent rules than federally mandated standards. Some environmental groups believe the federal standards are many times only minimum requirements that are not strong enough to protect Michigan’s unique natural resources. A recent example of that is the May 2023 SCOTUS 5-4 ruling that eliminated protections of certain wetlands under the Federal Clean Water Act.