State House Considers Positive Changes to Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool

March 12, 2018

The House Natural Resources Committee recently heard testimony on HB 5638, which would make changes to how the DEQ handles a site-specific review under Michigan’s water withdrawal assessment tool. The water withdrawal assessment tool is used to determine if a withdrawal will have an adverse impact on water resources.  

House Bill 5638 would place into law a specific process for how the site-specific review will work and what options you will have to find a path to compliance. The proposed changes to the water withdrawal assessment tool would move us closer to a self-implemented approval process. The criteria for compliance are clearly set in the law and the individual applicants do the work and provide it to DEQ for final approval. A similar process is currently used for cleaning up contaminated sites and underground storage tanks and has been proven to be very effective at speeding up the process and saving money for all parties. 

The Chamber supports this legislation because it will greatly improve the site-specific review process which currently offers little direction or clarity for applicants. It also introduces more science-based decision making to the process. A second committee hearing is expected but has yet to be scheduled. 

For more information, contact contact Jason Geer at or at 517-371-2100.