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Controversial Mining Bills Await Gov. Snyder's Signature

Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder (R) Michigan

Environmental groups want Governor Rick Snyder to say “no” to legislation on his desk. They’re concerned about bills that would change some oversight requirements for state mines.

Sean Hammond is with the Michigan Environmental Council.


He said they’re especially worried about a bill that would let mines amend their permits without a public hearing.


Instead, the mine would just have to give written notification to the Department of Environmental Quality.


Hammond says the mines need to be accountable to the public.


“These are world class streams, world-class forests that everyone in Michigan and people outside of Michigan can enjoy," said Hammond. “We want to make sure that everyone is really keeping an eye on everybody else in these cases. So we’re making sure that we’re not putting those precious natural resources at risk unnecessarily. We’re making sure that the mining operations are doing what they’re supposed to in a transparent way.”


But advocates said they’re not hurting the environment.  They claimed the bills are meant to simplify the permit process – but there is still plenty of oversight.          


Republican Senator Tom Casperson is a bill sponsor.


“It’s not like we’re trying to get around something, we’re just trying to simplify the permit process with this activity and the duplication between the feds and the state," said Sen. Casperson.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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