Environmental groups have lined up against legislation at the state Capitol. House Bill 4205 would restrict the ability of state agencies to write regulations more stringent than federal rules.
Under the measure, agencies would not be able to create rules more strict than federal ones unless directed to by state law, or if they could prove a "preponderance of evidence" supports it.
State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) introduced the bill. He told IPR News Radio last month that the legislation added checks and balances to the regulatory system.
But Skip Pruss, a former deputy director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, says the legislation is a contender for the worst Michigan environmental bill of the 21st century. He works as a senior fellow with the consulting group Five Lakes Energy.
"It’s irresponsible … to surrender our authority to regulate and protect these extraordinary resources to the federal government,” Pruss says, “particularly at a time when the current administration has declared proudly that they intend to weaken regulations.”