LANSING —— Today, the House of Representatives voted out Senate Bills 652-654, which create new panels and gives them new powers to oversee the DEQ and its permitting and rule-making process. In response, state Rep. Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon), who voted against the bills, issued the following statement:

“We refer to our state as ‘Pure Michigan’ but these bills put that beauty and our economic security at risk. These bills still potentially give more to special interests than the people. We should be toughening our environmental standards and laws, not weakening them. We can’t afford to lose any control that we have to protect our waters and natural resources for future generations. We should be protecting the jobs in the shipping industry, in tourism and in watersports recreation that so many of our communities rely on. I voted against these bills because I don’t believe we should cut corners when it comes to protecting our state’s natural resources, and that’s what these bills do."