Environmental Rules Review Committee Takes First Action; Process Working, Chamber Reports

March 25, 2019

The Environmental Rules Review Committee (ERRC) met last week to consider its first rule. It was clear stakeholders had been consulted and their points of view were considered. 

The ERRC is an environmental rules oversight committee made up of 12 stakeholders that review all proposed rules by the Department of Environmental Quality to ensure all stakeholders have been properly consulted and that the agency followed the law. The ERRC’s role is advisory; it's purpose is to review and make a recommendation to the Governor on whether a rule should move forward. The 12 stakeholders are made up of six individuals from varying business sectors, and 6 non-business or public representatives. 

The ERRC's first rule set was from the DEQ Oil & Gas Division; it included minor definitional changes to the rules to help the state comply better with federal requirements. The department needs these changes made so they can take over some program responsibilities from the EPA. Committee members heard a presentation from the department and asked several clarifying questions. It was clear stakeholders had been consulted and their points of view were considered in the final development of the proposed rules. The ERRC concluded that the department had done its job and voted to allow the rule set to move forward under the traditional rulemaking process, bypassing further review by the committee.

The Michigan Chamber believes the review process worked as intended. Taking the time get a rule right and making sure every voice is heard is exactly what government is supposed to do. Everyone benefits from a more robust review and understanding of a proposed rule.   

The Michigan Chamber played a leadership role in the passage of legislation to create the Environmental Rules Review Committee last session.