Michigan eliminates counterproductive environmental rules committee

The Michigan Legislature recently completed action on a bill eliminating the Environmental Rules Review Committee (ERRC). The ERRC gave polluters and developers an avenue for stopping, slowing, or weakening proposed environmental protection rules. Six of the eleven seats on the committee six were designated for industries regulated by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

On Tuesday, February 27 Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the legislation into law ( http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2023-HB-4826 ).

The ERRC was created in the final year of former Governor Rick Snyder’s administration, to allow parties dissatisfied with proposed environmental rules to challenge them. This duplicated processes that were already in place, such as the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

In effect, the ERRC gave opponents of proposed environmental rules an extra bite of the apple. The elimination of the committee will restore the ample review processes that existed before it was created.

“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 Representative Sharon MacDonell (D-Troy). “I’m glad to see this bill make its way to the finish line. We are putting the health and well-being of Michiganders before corporate profit.”

See also:

Michigan Advance: Whitmer signs bills axing controversial environmental rules review committee

Michigan Public: Environmental Rules Review Committee repeal heads to governor