Advocacy News – June 22, 2022
On Tuesday, the Chamber went before the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee to testify in support of SB 429, SB 430 and SB 431, bipartisan legislation designed to expand local access to the needed raw materials in abundance across Michigan and uphold private property rights – all while advancing smart, critical infrastructure repairs.
The Michigan Chamber and other business groups have worked collaboratively with labor unions on this package that places aggregate mining permit authority in the hands of the state’s environmental protection agency, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
By moving the permitting authority for new aggregate mining locations out of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act and numerous local governments and into EGLE, the legislation will help break the statewide stalemate on new sand and gravel mine permits. This change also follows the precedent of other major extractive industries to ensure similar and high standards along with a predictable process. This includes sectors such as copper, nickel and iron ore mining as well as the oil and gas industry.
It is no secret that Michigan’s roads and infrastructure are in dire condition. This challenge is exacerbated under current Michigan law, as local control around permitting for aggregate material within the state further constrains the market, resulting in an inefficient and costly approach to sourcing this much-needed material. Before billions of additional funding are spent on our roads, let’s first make sure we are doing so the most common sense, cost-effective way possible. This legislation will help ensure tax dollars meant for roads and infrastructure are spent on paving or repairing more miles of road instead of simply being lost to higher prices.
For more information or questions, contact Mike Alaimo at MAlaimo@michamber.com.