Snyder Signs MMA-Supported Legislation on Electrician Ratio
Legislation to improve the state’s current ratio requirement for electrical apprentice supervision was signed into law on Tuesday, 4/5/16, by Governor Rick Snyder. Public Act 73 of 2016 (Representative Amanda Price, R-Holland) amends the Electrical Administrative Act to require a 1:3 ratio of electrical journeymen or master electricians to registered apprentice electricians — an improvement over the previous 1:1 standard. The current ratio for the construction industry is 1:2. The bill passed the Legislature in March.
“This improved worker ratio creates more opportunities for employment and enable manufacturers to focus on important safety training,” said Andy Such, MMA director of environmental and regulatory policy. “Manufacturers already abide by strict safety standards in the workplace environment. Adherence to a 1:1 ratio may unnecessarily force manufacturers to limit the number of skilled apprentices they employ. Reducing that limitation benefits the entire Michigan economy.”
For more information on this new Public Act, contact Andy Such at 517-487-8543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speak Out on Efforts to Revive Control Commissions
Largely in response to the water situation affecting Flint, House and Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to bring back the Air Pollution Control Commission and the Water Pollution Control Commission. These commissions, appointed by the Governor, voted on the approval of all air and water permits during the 1970s and 1980s in Michigan. They were abolished in 1991 by then-Governor Engler after many years of work by MMA and other business groups to get rid of them.
The three-bill package, identical in both the Senate and House, includes:
- Senate Bill 829 (Senator Jim Ananich, D-Flint) and House Bill 5404 (Representative Phil Phelps, D-Flushing) would create the Water Pollution Control Commission and give it authority over the issuance, denial, revocation, suspension or modification of water permits, the promulgation of rules and the development of department policies. The Commission also receive complaints of alleged permit violations and other water quality complaints.
- Senate Bill 830 (Senator Coleman Young II, D-Detroit) and House Bill 5405 (Representative Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint) gives the Water Pollution Control Commission, if created in SB 829, complete authority over the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality regarding drinking water including the issuance, denial, revocation, suspension or modification of drinking water permits, the promulgation of rules and the development of department policies.
- Senate Bill 831 (Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor) and House Bill 5406 (Representative Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit) would create the Air Pollution Control Commission and give it authority over the issuance, denial, revocation, suspension or modification of air permits, the promulgation of rules and the development of department policies. The Commission will also receive complaints of alleged permit violations and other air quality complaints.
MMA is opposed to these bills and will be speaking on the issue with members at the upcoming meetings of the Environmental Policy Committee on 3/15/16, the Mining and Natural Resource Industries Policy Committee on 3/30/16, and the Air Policy Committee on 4/6/16.
New Statewide Recycling Database Impacts Receivers, Not Generators
Michigan’s new proposed statewide recycling database would not negatively impact manufacturers, thanks to legislation the House Natural Resources Committee passed on Tuesday, 2/23/16. Senate Bill 507 (Senator Mike Green, R-Mayville), which passed the Senate 37-1 in December, ensures that the reporting requirements attached to the database will pertain to receivers of recycled materials rather than manufacturers that generate the materials. Many by-products are already reported on through other methods.
SB 507 would continue Governor Snyder’s effort to identify where recyclable materials go and how much is received. Recycling establishments, an establishment engaged in the recycling of, or brokering of, reportable recyclable materials and meeting other key requirements, would be required to submit either annual or quarterly reports.
“SB 507 assures the reporting of curbside recycling in Michigan without requiring manufacturers that generate recyclable materials to add a new reporting requirement,” said Andy Such, MMA director of environmental and regulatory policy.
A vote from the full House on this legislation is expected later this month. Contact Andy Such, at 517-487-8543 or email@example.com, for more information.
SCOTUS Places Stay on Federal Clean Power Plan
Michigan’s energy future is even more uncertain now as the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the federal Clean Power Plan (CPP). The National Association of Manufacturers issued a NAM Briefing Notice that provides useful and digestible information regarding the implications of the stay.
The United States Supreme Court granted a stay of the Administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP) regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electric utility sector. This decision delays the implementation of the rule until the courts have the opportunity to properly weigh in on its legality. This is a noteworthy and rare action taken by the Court, and validates many of the legal concerns raised by the NAM and others in challenging the rule.
We imagine many of you have questions as to what the Supreme Court's most recent action means for the short- and long-term future of the CPP. The team at Sidley Austin LLP developed a short memo explaining the stay and some of its immediate implications. The memo can be viewed by clicking here.
Groundwater Fees Join List of Successful Manufacturing Cost Savings
Fees for some of your water permits are now “frozen” at their current level through 2019 to keep your business competitive, thanks to Governor Snyder signing new legislation on Tuesday, 12/22/15. Groundwater discharge permit fees will remain at last year’s levels for the next four years as the Legislature approved changes to Public Act 247 of 2015 (Senator Mike Green, R-Mayville), thanks in large part to testimony from MMA.
The Legislature changed the original bill to require further cuts to the DEQ water budget rather than increase fees for manufacturers. MMA had testified in opposition to the bill during a Senate hearing and were joined by the Michigan Townships Association and others asking that the fees not be increased on manufacturers and local governments.
“While the cost to our members for these fee increase would have been small, the original bill would have been a clear shift of fees from one stakeholder group to another, and MMA remains opposed to such a shift,” said Andy Such, director of environmental and regulatory policy for MMA. “As we work to keep fees as low as possible we remain opposed to reducing fees for one group and increasing fees on manufacturers to make up the difference.”
The bill joins 14 similar bills supported by MMA and passed earlier this year to maintain environmental fees at last year’s levels for the next four years. Contact Andy Such, at 517-487-8543 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss this bill or other areas of environmental and regulatory policy.
Governor Snyder Signs MMA-Led Legislation Eliminating LIW Manifests
MMA’s effort to cut down your company costs and abolish the liquid industrial waste (LIW) manifest was signed into law on Thursday, 12/7/15.
The MMA-led, legislative package includes Public Act 224 (Senator Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City), Public Act 225 (Senator Jim Stamas, R-Midland) and Public Act 226 (Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton). The legislation drops the LIW manifest and replaces it with the bill of lading already prepared by manufacturers for the transport of these materials.
“The manifest was a duplication of the documents already used by manufacturers and shippers,” said Andy Such, MMA director of environmental and regulatory policy. “Eliminating this paperwork cuts costs and helps make our companies more competitive.”
The elimination of the manifest was recommended in a report by the Office of Regulatory Reinvention on improvements to the regulations in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Contact Andy Such, at 517-487-8543 or email@example.com, to discuss this bill or other areas of environmental and regulatory policy.