Introduced by Rep. Terry Brown (D) on July 25, 2007 To give the Department of Environmental Quality the duty to determine that a commercial or industrial groundwater withdrawal does not “impair the waters of the state or other natural resources of the state or the public trust in those natural resources,” and with the other bills in this package, give the department broad regulatory authority to impose new regulations on commercial and industrial groundwater users, and broad discretion in how and when to exercise that authority over commercial and industrial groundwater users. The bill would also authorize “interested parties” and county prosecutors to sue businesses when they believe a violation has occurred. Civil fines for most violations of water withdrawal regulations written and enforced by the DEQ would increase from $1,000 to $10,000. The bill is part of a legislative package consisting of House Bills 5065 to 5073 that would restrict and subject to extensive regulation the use of groundwater by industrial and commercial businesses. Official Text and Analysis.
Referred to the House Great Lakes and Environment Committee on July 25, 2007
Reported in the House on March 5, 2008 With the recommendation that the substitute (H-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
Substitute offered in the House on May 14, 2008 To replace the previous version of the bill with one that would not give county prosecutors and persons "affected by large water withdrawals" to bring civil enforcement actions; and does not contain the "public trust" language.
The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on May 14, 2008
Amendment offered by Rep. Martin Griffin (D) on May 14, 2008 To remove the tie-bar to other bills in the House groundwater withdrawal regulation package, meaning those bills do not have to become law before this one can.
The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on May 14, 2008
Passed 101 to 7 in the House on May 14, 2008. See Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No". To increase the penalty for certain ground or surface water withdrawal regulation violations from $5,000 per day to $10,000 per day, and make falsifying a record submitted under those regulations subject to the penalties.
Received in the Senate on May 15, 2008
Referred to the Senate Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Committee on May 15, 2008
Reported in the Senate on June 25, 2008 With the recommendation that the substitute (S-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
Substitute offered in the Senate on June 25, 2008 To replace the fine-increase provisions that constituted the House-passed version of the bill with a substitute into which some of the provisions of Senate Bill 860 have been transferred.
The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on June 25, 2008
Passed 36 to 0 in the Senate on June 25, 2008. See Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No". To prohibit groundwater withdrawals of more than 1 million gallons per day by industrial or commercial users if these affect various types of surface water resources in ways defined by the bill, as determined by a computer program "assessment tool" using factors such as fish populations and water flow levels. The Department of Environmental Quality would only be authorized to enforce provisions or impose fees contained in statutes actually passed by the legislature, rather than being empowered to impose regulations it promulgates independently. See Senate Bill 212, which places in Michigan statute the proposed Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.