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2009 Senate Bill 436: Establish expedited environmental permit application process
  1. Introduced by Sen. Jud Gilbert (R) on April 2, 2009, to establish a system of expedited review for permits and “remediation action plan” approvals required under state environmental laws. Under the bill, if a permit applicant hired an independent engineer who has been certified as competent by the Department of Environmental Quality, and submitted a determination by that engineer attesting that the application or approval request meets relevant standards, the department would have to process the application within 21 days (with some exceptions), and if it did not the application would be considered approved.
    • Referred to the Senate Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee on April 2, 2009.
      • Reported in the Senate on June 9, 2009, with the recommendation that the bill pass.
    • Substitute offered in the Senate on June 16, 2009, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance of the bill as previously described. The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on June 16, 2009.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Liz Brater (D) on June 17, 2009, to ban Canadian trash from Michigan landfills. The amendment passed because Lt. Gov. John Cherry broke the 18-18 tie with a vote in favor. It was reconsidered the next day and defeated. Note: Such a ban may be prohibited by international trade treaties. The amendment passed 18 to 18 in the Senate on June 17, 2009.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

    • Motion by Sen. Alan L. Cropsey (R) on June 17, 2009, to postpone further consideration of the bill temporarily. The motion passed 20 to 16 in the Senate on June 17, 2009.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

    • Moved to reconsider by Sen. Alan L. Cropsey (R) on June 18, 2009, to reconsider the Brater amendment to ban Canadian trash from Michigan landfills. The motion passed 20 to 16 in the Senate on June 18, 2009.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

      • Amendment offered in the Senate on June 18, 2009, to ban Canadian trash from Michigan landfills. Although a majority of those present voted in favor, the amendment failed because it was not supported by the required majority of Senators "elected and serving". The amendment failed 18 to 17 in the Senate on June 18, 2009.
        Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  2. Passed 19 to 17 in the Senate on June 18, 2009.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on June 18, 2009.
    • Referred to the House Great Lakes and Environment Committee on June 18, 2009.

Comments

Re: 2009 Senate Bill 436 (Establish expedited environmental permit application process )  by Admin003 on June 19, 2009 

 


Senator Thomas, under his constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the passage of Senate Bill No. 436 and moved that the statement he made during the discussion of the bill be printed as his reasons for voting “no.”


The motion prevailed.


Senator Thomas’ statement is as follows:


I rise in opposition, very strong opposition, to this so-called environmental reform package of bills. If I may speak to Senate Bill Nos. 436, 438, and 439 all at once.


These bills manage to both undermine DEQ’s ability to protect the resources of our state while, at the same time, reducing their already insufficient funding. A frequent complaint heard in committee testimony, in the Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee, was that the department takes too long to process permits, particularly compared to other states. Statistics, those that we independently have sought, seem to refute this allegation. DEQ has produced a report which shows quite specifically that 97 percent of DEQ’s permit decisions were made within the required processing period. Of those, 98 percent were ultimately approved. In anybody’s measure, that’s an A-plus.


As for specifics, Senate Bill No. 436 reduces DEQ fees by half when licensed profession engineers prepare and submit permit applications. The 21-day time period given to DEQ to review these applications is unreasonably short and very hard to attain. Senate Bill No. 438 would require the use of stratified random sampling. Doing so would place several of the departments dedicated programs in conflict with federal regulations, guidance, and grant reports. Presumably, that is an inconsistency with legislation that is later going to come as a part of your reform package.


The efforts to structure a common method and procedure to evaluate environmental programs through benchmark analysis and peer reviews required under Senate Bill No. 439 fail to recognize the complexity and differences among those programs. This would create duplicative workloads already being done. Repeat—this would duplicate work already being done by the department.


These bills, quite frankly, are a solution in search of a problem. My colleagues should reject them, and we should go forward to more important legislative matters. I would ask that my colleagues vote “no.”



Re: 2009 Senate Bill 436 (Establish expedited environmental permit application process )  by Admin003 on June 19, 2009 

 


Senator Kahn, under his constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the adoption of the amendment offered by Senator Brater to Senate Bill No. 436.


Senator Kahn’s statement is as follows:


I voted “no” on this amendment, although I have to say the issue of Canadian trash is important in my district and, most certainly, would like to see it eliminated. The reason I voted “no” is that the amendment was technically flawed. I refer specifically to its being initiated with this statement: “Subject to subsection (3),” and then subsequently within the amendment, subsection (3) is deleted. So the amendment needs to be redone and recast.



Re: 2009 Senate Bill 436 (Establish expedited environmental permit application process )  by shearwater on June 10, 2009 

This legislation reminds me of the Environmental Protection Agency's attempt to implemwent wetland laws.  They enacted the legislation and then had to secure consultants to do the work.  It was an unnatural process.



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