Michigan's environmental oversight agency will now have its own private industry panel.
On Friday, outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law creating a rules committee within the state Department of Environmental Quality. He also approved a permit appeal panel and an advisory board of scientific experts.
The panel will be comprised of private industry representatives who would be able to weigh in during the DEQ's rule-making process. More than half of the voting stakeholders would hail from industries such as oil and gas, agriculture and manufacturing. The governor will retain final veto power in the process.
Supporters of the panel say the DEQ has long been unsympathetic to the interests of small businesses. Democrats and conservationists chastised it for furthering environmental deregulation even after Flint's lead-tainted water crisis.