Booher DEQ reform bill signed by governor

LANSING— Sens. Darwin Booher, R-Evart; Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba (left); and Mike Kowall, R-White Lake (center back); join Gov. Rick Snyder at the Capitol on Tuesday as he signs Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulatory reform measures dealing with the cleanup of contamination caused by leaking underground storage tanks.

Public Acts 108-113 of 2012 create an independent dispute-resolution process and clarify that the DEQ cannot develop regulations for cleanups that are not specified under law. Booher’s bill, PA 109, allows owners and operators to resolve disputes between themselves and DEQ through the response activity review panel, or let them resolve disputes through the office of administrative hearings within the department.

“These reforms are about promoting job creation and economic development while protecting Michigan’s natural resources at the same time,” Booher said. “Michigan regularly ranks last in the nation in cleaning up contaminated lands. Expediting the cleanup of these sites will protect our natural resources and prepare the properties for redevelopment that could revitalize our communities and create jobs.”