February 27th, 2024

Governor Whitmer signed HBs 4824-4826 to eliminate the Environmental Rules Review Committee (ERRC) within Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The previous statute gave appointed individuals the ability to subvert the executive rule-making authority embodied in EGLE and inappropriately undermined the consensus of staff scientists and subject matter experts. The ERRC added an unnecessary and ineffective layer of checks and balances for environmental rule review. 

The board was made up of 12 members, including multiple representatives of industries regulated by EGLE: oil and gas, solid waste, and manufacturing. With only 7 votes needed to amend or reject a rule, the ERRC had empowered those polluting-industries to have power to benefit from the delay and revision of the environmental rule-making process which they are supposed to be regulated by. 

By signing the legislation to remove authority of the ERRC, Governor Whitmer is ensuring the environmental rulemaking and review process will become more streamlined and effective in protecting our air, land, and water.