Sny­der wants fees for en­vi­ron­men­tal cleanup

Term-limited gover­nor said he ex­pects a ‘busy’ lame-duck ses­sion

The Detroit News - - Metro - BY DAVID EGGERT As­so­ci­ated Press Gov. Rick Sny­der af­ter meet­ing with state Se­nate and House Repub­li­cans

Lans­ing – Out­go­ing Gov. Rick Sny­der said Thurs­day that his top re­main­ing leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties in­clude push­ing through trash and wa­ter fee in­creases to pay for en­vi­ron­men­tal cleanup, in­fra­struc­ture and re­cy­cling needs.

The term-limited gover­nor, who met sep­a­rately with state Se­nate and House Repub­li­cans, said he ex­pects a “busy” lame­duck ses­sion – the post-elec­tion pe­riod be­fore new law­mak­ers and, in this case, a new gover­nor takes over in Jan­uary.

At the top of his list is rais­ing the land­fill dump­ing fee and im­pos­ing a new state fee on wa­ter cus­tomers. Two key busi­ness groups got be­hind the pro­pos­als in the sum­mer, but they could be dif­fi­cult to pass in the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture.

The ad­di­tional rev­enue would be used to clean up con­tam­i­nated sites, ad­dress per­flu­o­roalkyl and polyflu­o­roalkyl sub­stances – known as PFAS – that have tainted drink­ing wa­ter sup­plies, boost as­bestos re­moval and pro­vide re­cy­cling grants. The “tip­ping” fee would re­place the Clean Michi­gan Ini­tia­tive, a 20-year-old voter-ap­proved bond is­sue that is dry­ing up.

Sny­der has said the land­fill fee would cost house­holds no more than about $4 a year, while the wa­ter fee would be capped at no more than $20 an­nu­ally per house­hold and $400 per busi­ness.

He said he also wants to en­act a sup­ple­men­tal spend­ing bill, de­clin­ing to elab­o­rate ex­cept to say he could seek to spend more on the PFAS con­tam­i­na­tion. He did not men­tion re­cently en­acted laws to raise the min­i­mum wage and re­quire earned sick leave, which busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tions want to scale back.

“I’ve al­ways had a list,” Sny­der told re­porters. “So at this point, I’m wait­ing to see what their pri­or­i­ties are, and let’s merge them to­gether to see what we can ac­com­plish.”

An­other leg­isla­tive is­sue that could come up be­fore year’s end might be the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an agree­ment be­tween Sny­der’s ad­min­is­tra­tion and Cana­dian pipe­line gi­ant En­bridge to re­place twin 65year-old crude oil pipes that crit­ics have long de­scribed as an en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen in a cru­cial Great Lakes chan­nel. The plan calls for de­com­mis­sion­ing the pipes af­ter in­stalling a new line in a tun­nel to be drilled be­neath the Straits of Mack­inac.

Dale G. Young / The Detroit News

“At this point, I’m wait­ing to see what their pri­or­i­ties are, and let’smerge them to­gether to see what we can ac­com­plish.”

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