Air Emissions Fee Increases Head to Governor
After lengthy negotiations, new air emissions fee legislation is on its way to the Governor’s desk. Although not perfect, the compromise legislation includes a new state appropriation, which ultimately averted the need for an additional $2 million in fee increases on Michigan employers.
Here’s what the legislation does:
- Extends the state’s current Air Quality Fee sunset to October 1, 2023;
- Expands the number of facilities subject to the air fee facility charge;
- Increases the fee amount for emissions for any facility that falls under EPA’s title V air program.
The legislation that passed was supported by the Michigan Chamber and received wide support from the business community. It was the result of lengthy negotiation between the facility owners and the state regulatory agency.
Michigan companies have a great success story to tell about the amount of emissions reductions they’ve achieved over many years. That success has led to a drastic increase in the fees assessed because less emissions means less revenue.
Without the help of the Legislature to secure general fund dollars, Michigan employers would have seen an additional $2 million increase in their fees, which would have been impossible for some companies to absorb. The compromise legislation ensures Michigan employers will not face this devasting fee increase.
The outcome was not perfect, but the best possible solution given the options on the table. If the Legislature failed to properly fund this program, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would have stepped in and set the emissions fees for us.
Recognizing this wasn’t a good option, the Chamber actively participated in these negotiations and ultimately suggested and pursued the expansion of the fee base and the request for general fund support, which led us to this acceptable outcome.