63
      Monday
      85 / 65
      Tuesday
      89 / 70
      Wednesday
      87 / 68

      New effort to clear up wetland protection law

      Gov. Snyder signed SB 163 Tuesday, designed to clear up confusion surrounding permit requirements in the state's wetland protection law.

      There is a new effort to clarify Michigan's policies regarding wetland protection.

      Gov. Snyder signed Senate Bill 163 Tuesday, designed to clear up confusion surrounding permit requirements in the state's wetland protection law.

      "Michigan is best served when people right here in Michigan make decisions regarding our resources," Snyder said. "We committed early in this administration to keep the state wetlands program. That requires us to make changes to address the federal audit, and ensure we provide clarity and workable, protective solutions for all kinds of Michiganders who interact with wetlands - be they farmers, utilities, local road managers or homeowners."

      The federal Clean Water Act was amended in 1977 to allow states to establish their own wetland management programs, and in 1984 Michigan became one of only two states to manage its own wetlands.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2008 issued an audit of Michigan's program, citing numerous areas where the state was inconsistent with federal law. A Wetlands Advisory Council was established in 2009 to review the state program and recommend changes.

      The council issued its recommendations in 2012, creating the foundation for a series of changes included in SB 163.

      SB 163 is now Public Act 98 of 2013.

      You can learn more about wetlands here .