By Paul J. Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director
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.
The bill was sent to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee chaired by Representative Laurie Pohutsky. The committee held hearings on June 8 and 22, 2023, sending it out of the committee with a 5-3 vote. As of Wednesday, June 28, 2023 it has passed on the floor of the House at 56-52.
During the house committee hearings, the following organizations announced their position on SB14:
In support of SB 14: Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Sierra Club, City of Ann Arbor MI., Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, For Love of Water, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and Michigan Environmental Council.
In opposition to SB 14: Michigan Waste and Recycling Association, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Chamber, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Ground Water Association, Home Builders Association of Michigan, Michigan Retailers Association, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan Realtors, Michigan Manufacturers Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Michigan Small Business Association.
The bill now awaits signature by the Governor.