Michigan Senate Caps Regulation

On Thursday, May 5, the Michigan Senate passed a series of bills that will affect how the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) operates.

Senate Bill 277 puts the DEQ through process improvement, reviewing its programs to make them work better or more cost effectively. Senate Bill 279 aims to have the DEQ establish a “fair and equitable sampling process” for inspections. The biggest change however came in Senate Bill 272, which states, “An agency shall not promulgate or adopt a rule more stringent than the applicable federal standard unless specifically authorized by statute.” This bill would prevent the DEQ from having stronger restrictions on pollution unless legislation was passed allowing it to do so.

The bills’ supporters say they will make Michigan more appealing to small businesses that would otherwise go elsewhere due to extensive regulations while opponents see it as a severe limitation to protecting Michigan’s citizens and environment.

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