Pohutsky Calls for Hearing on Environmental Oversight Bill

Legislative majority has not acted on bill since March introduction
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

LANSING — In recognition of National Water Quality Month, state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) called on House Republicans today to put partisan politics aside and take up her House Bill 4386 to restore the state’s ability to address the health and environmental crises facing Michigan families. Pohutsky’s bill would repeal the “no stricter than federal” lame duck law that prohibits state agencies from enacting rules or guidelines more stringent that the relevant federal standard. Since the bill’s introduction in March, the legislative majority has refused to hold a committee hearing to discuss it.

“Preventing the state from enacting individualized standards doesn’t just strip us of the ability to protect everyday Michiganders; it keeps us from being able to hold those who violate our standards accountable,” said Pohutsky. “To stand around and wait for federal departments to recognize problems unique to our state and change their rules accordingly is lazy government, and it puts our families at risk. Michigan problems deserve Michigan solutions, and my bill will ensure we have the space and authority to create them.”

Despite strong bipartisan opposition from residents and lawmakers, P.A. 602 of 2018 law was signed by Gov. Snyder in the waning hours of his last term, tying the hands of the state in the midst of a number of ongoing environmental crises. Despite the ramp up over the last few years in efforts to address water contamination issues across the state, lax federal regulation — particularly in the case of PFAS — has meant Michigan is often able to do little beyond identifying contamination sources and providing temporary alternative water options to families. Pohutsky’s bill would remove the barriers erected by P.A. 602, restoring the state’s freedom to enact the standards that make sense for Michigan.

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