close print view
ORR Issues Recommendations for Reducing Environmental Red Tape
The Office of Regulatory Reinvention Presents 77 Recommendations to Governor Snyder on How to Improve Michigan's Environmental Regulations, While Maintaining Critical Protections
February 21, 2012 - Today, the Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) released its report to Governor Snyder containing 77 recommendations for improving Michigan's environmental regulations while continuing to protect Michigan's citizens and environment.
The ORR formed recommendations after a comprehensive review process, including convening an Advisory Rules Committee of stakeholders that included representatives from utilities, environmental groups, local government, and manufacturers, as well as environmental lawyers and senior officials from the state's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
"Since my first day as Michigan's Chief Regulatory Officer, an overwhelming amount of the feedback I have received was that we needed to review Michigan's environmental regulations," said Steven H. Hilfinger, Chief Regulatory Officer and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director. "The Governor tasked us with reinventing Michigan's regulatory system so that it is simple, fair, efficient and transparent, and conducive to business growth and job creation. I believe these recommendations go a long way toward meeting that objective. The ORR's recommendations, developed in partnership with the DEQ, will make Michigan more competitive, while keeping in place the necessary protections to Michigan's environment."
The ORR recommended the rescission of 330 Department of Environmental Quality rules that were obsolete or overly-burdensome. This represents the elimination of 11 percent of the DEQ's current administrative rules.
The ORR worked closely with the DEQ in reviewing existing administrative rules and developing the recommendations through the Environmental Advisory Rules Committee.
"Regulatory reform speaks to the heart of the Governor's goal of helping Michigan produce more and better jobs," said DEQ Director Dan Wyant. "We believe the recommendations in this report will help businesses by providing clarity and consistency in our regulations while protecting Michigan's environment."
The ORR made several other recommendations in order to streamline government, allow for innovation, make Michigan more competitive, eliminate unnecessary/costly reporting, and to create a predictable, simplified regulatory environment.
"These recommendations significantly reduce the cost of doing business in Michigan," said Troy Cummings, an attorney at Warner Norcross & Judd, who served as Chair of the Remediation Subcommittee for the Environmental Advisory Rules Committee. "We believe these recommendations make Michigan a more attractive destination for businesses, while maintaining the key protections to Michigan's environment."
"It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of Governor Snyder's efforts to reform Michigan's onerous regulatory structure. My subcommittee was tasked with reviewing a myriad of environmental regulations to determine which ones should be preserved and which ones could be streamlined or eliminated to reduce the costs of doing business without compromising Michigan's environmental integrity," said Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner John McCulloch. Mr. McCulloch served as Chair of the Water Subcommittee. "These recommendations will make Michigan a more inviting and friendly place in which businesses are afforded the opportunity to grow and prosper without being burdened by redundant and costly regulations."
Highlights from the recommendations include:
- Allow for Innovation: Michigan should develop a new comprehensive Beneficial Reuse Act. Many suitable by-products are treated as waste under current regulations. Michigan should be a leader in beneficial reuse of by-products from the manufacturing industries in our state.
- Making Michigan More Competitive: Eliminating the Michigan‐specific amendments to the rules that exceed federal standards will result in less complex and more efficient regulations and will make Michigan more competitive in attracting and growing businesses. In some cases, Michigan has made amendments to national code that no one else in the Great Lakes region has adopted.
- Assisting in Michigan's Economic Recovery: The DEQ will create an expedited period for reviews of due‐care plans as required to get SBA loans. By ensuring the timing and technical review issues are addressed, small and medium‐sized businesses deploying SBA‐backed loans to meet their business needs will continue to help the state move forward in its economic recovery.
- Eliminating Unnecessary, Costly Reporting: There are number of unanimous recommendations that seek the elimination of reporting that is not of any benefit to the public. These reports add significant costs to the employers.
- Improving the Transparency of Government: The ORR identified methods for improving the accessibility and uniformity of the DEQ's policy and procedures. A new Web site will organize all of the DEQ documents used in implementing the regulations.
To view the complete recommendations, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/ORR_-_Environmental_Recommendations_377252_7.pdf
For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/michiganORR, "Like" us on Facebook or find us on YouTube www.youtube.com/michiganLARA.