House votes to create private industry panel to advise DEQ

May 23, 2018

A Senate bill to bring private business stakeholders into the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's rule-making process has passed the Republican-controlled state House.

Lawmakers voted Tuesday on a three-bill package to create an environmental rules review committee stacked with private industry representatives able to weigh in during the DEQ's rule-making process.

The bills also would establish a permit appeal panel and an advisory board of scientific experts. The first bill passed 57-51.

It originally granted the committee veto power over the DEQ but now states the department director can seek final rulings from the governor. The legislation now returns to the Senate.

It was criticized on the House floor by Democrats evoking past disasters such as Flint's 2014 lead-poisoning crisis.