Rehashed House bill aims to make Michigan mediocre again
Legislation approved Thursday by a House panel would put the Great Lakes and public health at risk by blocking state leaders from doing anything more than the bare minimum to protect Michigan's environment and natural resources, the Michigan Environmental Council said.
The House Oversight Committee approved House Bill 4205, which bars Michigan from passing any rule stricter than a federal standard unless the state can demonstrate there are "exceptional circumstances" that justify a more stringent rule. It is just the latest version of a proposal that Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed in 2011 and which cleared the House but died in the Senate last year.
"Federal standards often provide only bare-minimum, one-size-fits-all environmental safeguards and not the strong protections our Great Lakes and other unique resources deserve," said Chris Kolb, MEC president. "Time and again, our state leaders have gone beyond the federal minimum to make our state truly worthy of its Pure Michigan label. This bill would end that tradition by taking away our voice in regulations that directly impact our health, our quality of life and the legacy we leave for future generations."
The legislation would undermine the state's major investments in the Pure Michigan brand by broadcasting the message that protecting our one-of-a-kind natural assets is not a priority for policymakers, Kolb said.
"Instead of wasting more time making it harder for residents to shape our state's future and protect what we love, lawmakers should work to make Michigan more attractive to families and entrepreneurs who want to live in a place where they can enjoy forests, lakes, streams and other natural treasures that we have here in incredible abundance," he said.
Michigan Environmental Council