DEQ Senate Bills Aimed at Better Government Move from House Vote to Senate Concurrence
Senate Bills 652-654 proposed by the Michigan House Competitiveness Committee have now been approved by the Senate with the changes made by the House during the House vote earlier this year. The bill now moves on to the governor for final approval.
At its core, the bill is aimed at improving administrative rulemaking by providing for increased transparency and accountability in the DEQ. The proposal is intended to address faulty processes in DEQ's regulation in the following ways:
- SB 654 reestablishes an Environmental Science Advisory Board to hear scientific evidence and provide recommendation to the governor.
- SB 652 would create an 11-member stakeholder committee to review, amend, deny and approve DEQ rule promulgation.
- SB 653 would establish an appeals board that, upon request, would serve as a scientific permit review panel to hear an appeal by a permit applicant that has been denied by the DEQ.
Opposition to the bill is centered around concerns about SB 654's creation of an advisory body made up of members of companies with vested interests in DEQ decisions. Nonetheless, the bill has received wide support from various groups, including the Michigan Chambers which praises the "openness and accountability and transparency in DEQ rule-making" the bill will bring.
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