LANSING — State Rep. Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) introduced legislation this week to give local governments a voice in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality injection well permitting process. Currently, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act pre-empts the authority of local governments to pass ordinances that would affect the permitting of injection wells.
“Local governments should have the ability to influence what sorts of things are being pumped into the ground in their communities. In some regions of the state, there are serious risks of groundwater contamination. I want to make sure that concerned citizens have a voice in the permitting process,” LaVoy said.
The proposed legislation would require that any facility seeking a permit would need to send certified notice to all affected municipal and county governments. The local governments would then have 60 days to review the application and determine if it is conflict with any of their local ordinances. If a conflict exists, then the MDEQ permit could not move forward.