There is much happening in Michigan. Several major regulatory updates are in progress; new legislative initiatives have been proposed and are making their way through the House and Senate; and Governor Snyder is promoting a couple measures of his own.
Within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) the Remediation and Redevelopment Division (RRD) is in the process of revising Part 201 Cleanup Criteria. This effort is a comprehensive overhaul of the regulations which will tighten the standards to which cleanup must attain. Early comments and MDEQ responses indicate the environmental community supports the effort, while the business and industry community is concerned with over-regulation that could stifle the emerging growth in brownfield redevelopment. Additional information is available in the redlined markup of the proposed revised Part 201 regulations and an early response to comments document.
The MDEQ implemented new drinking water criteria in January for the environmentally persistent compound classes known as PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances). This class of compounds includes PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid). The new standard is 0.07 µg/L (70 parts per trillion) for the combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS. These materials have been traditionally used in firefighting foams, food packaging and various other products. The new drinking water criteria were set based on the health advisory values presented by the US EPA in its May 2016 Drinking Water Health Advisories for these compounds. Additional details on MDEQ's actions can be found on the MDEQ website.
The Michigan Senate passed Senate Bills 652, 653 and 654 to create an oversight review committee for regulations promulgated by the MDEQ; to establish a permit appeals board; and sets up an environmental science review board to advise the governor regarding emerging issues. The bills are currently in House committee awaiting further action. No word has been received from the Governor's Office indicating whether he is likely to approve these bills if passed.
On January 30, 2018, Governor Snyder proposed an increase in the waste tipping fee from $0.36 to $4.75 per ton. The increase is predicted to generate $79 million annually. The proceeds would be dedicated to clean up contaminated sites throughout the state. The proposal has been named "Renew Michigan." Information published by the Governor's Office can be found on the MDEQ website.