News and Legislation
Bill to improve recycling rate reporting moves forward 12.10.2015
The members of the Michigan Waste & Recycling Association (MWRA) would like to thank the Michigan Senate for moving recycling forward with their approval of Senate Bill 507 today. In particular, the association appreciates the efforts of sponsor Senator Mike Green to advocate for the
legislation. Currently, there are no state requirements related to recycling reporting. Senate Bill 507 creates a simple method of reporting to allow for an annual calculation of the statewide recycling rate. Senate Bill 507 will provide for an accurate account of statewide recycling in a standard, consistent and
MWRA initiated the discussion on recycling reporting and worked with numerous stakeholders to help bring this legislation forward. “This is an important first step to increasing Michigan’s recycling rate,” said Tonia Olson, legislative chair for MWRA and director of governmental and community relations for Granger. Olson serves as a member of the Governor’s Recycling Advisory Council, a group that supports and encourages adoption of the legislation.
In April 2014, Governor Snyder announced a plan designed to increase recycling statewide. A reliable measurement, tracking and reporting system was identified as the first component required for a comprehensive statewide recycling program.
According to the Michigan Recycling Index, a study of extrapolated data based on interviews and questionnaires conducted in 2014, Michigan achieved an estimated MSW recycling rate of 15 -morepercent in 2013. The national average is 35 percent. As a result of Senate Bill 507, we will have actual data that can be used to determine Michigan’s recycling rate, which MWRA expects will be closer to the national average.
MWRA advocates for safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound waste hauling, disposal, recycling, composting and landfill gas-to-energy programs. Its members conduct business throughout Michigan, and include companies and communities that collect and manage trash, recycling and yard waste; equipment manufacturers and distributors; and a variety of related service providers.
Michigan Waste & Recycling Association, Legislative Chair, Tonia Olson
EPA Proposes to Cut Methane Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste Landfills/Cost-effective updates would strengthen requirements for both new and existing landfills.
WASHINGTON – As part of the President’s Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two proposals to further reduce emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. Under today’s proposals, new, modified and existing landfills would begin collecting and controlling landfill gas at emission levels nearly a third lower than current requirements. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/0521851618BFFDE585257EA1005B38A5
House Bill 4783: Part 115 Fines
Sponsor: Rep. Al Pscholka Would amend the Natural Resources and evironmental Protection Act (NREPA) by raising the caps on civil fines charged to violators of Part 115, which concerns solid waste management. Presently these fines are as follows:
Not more than $10,000 for each day of violation, Not more than $25,000 for each day of a second or subsequent violation.
These caps would be raised to $25,000 and $75,000 respectively if HB 4783 becomes law. Civil fines collected for violations of NREPA’s Part 115 are deposited in the Settlement
Fund in the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Each year 25% of these fines are transferred to DEQ’s Environmental Education Fund, with an annual transfer limit of $250,000. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/billintroduced/House/pdf/2015-HIB-4783.pdf
Legislative Leaders Begin Ironing Out Road Plan Details
After participating in one of their longest closed-door meetings yet, House and Senate leaders reported this afternoon that they've begun agreeing to some details of what's expected to be a $1.2-billion road-funding plan. Today's so-called “quadrant” meeting inside the Capitol began at about 2 p.m. It didn't end until about two hours later. Speaker Kevin COTTER (R-Mt. Pleasant) was the first to emerge from the meeting. He called the length of the meeting a “very positive sign.” Both Cotter and Senate Majority Leader Arlan MEEKHOF (R-West Olive) said the quadrant had worked some details of what the ultimate road deal could look like. “We've ironed out a bunch,” Meekhof said. “But there are still some remaining.” He added, “We just keep narrowing in on differences.”
Cotter Said Now To Back $800M New Revenue For Roads
One of the key pieces for legislative leaders to resolve as they negotiate a road funding package appears to have cleared a key marker with several sources telling Gongwer News Service that House Speaker Kevin Cotter supports raising $800 million in new revenue. There is no agreement, no deal, not even a framework, not yet, for the long-sought roads package. But six weeks ago, when the House attempted to pass a plan relying on $600 million in new revenue and $600 million shifted from the General Fund to roads, it was plainly clear - from both House Republican sources and sources among others close to the negotiations - that $800 million in new revenue was not under consideration at that point in the House. Volume #54, Report #194--Wednesday, September 30, 2015
House Bill 4142: Overweight Fines
Sponsor: Rep Goike would increase traffic fines for overwieght and oversized loads.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), an owner of a vehicle or a 22 lessee of the vehicle of an owner-operator, or other person, who 23 causes or allows a vehicle to be loaded and driven or moved on a 24 highway when the weight of that vehicle violates section 722 is 25 responsible for a civil infraction and shall pay a civil fine in an 26 amount equal to 3 cents per pound for each pound of excess load 27 over 1,000 pounds when the excess is 2,000 pounds or less; 6 cents per pound of excess load when the excess is over 2,000 pounds but not over 3,000 pounds; 9 cents per pound for each pound of excess load when the excess is over 3,000 pounds but not over 4,000 pounds; 12 cents per pound for each pound of excess load when the excess is over 4,000 pounds but not over 5,000 pounds; 15 cents per pound for each pound of excess load when the excess is over 5,000 pounds but not over 10,000 pounds; and 20 cents per pound for each pound of excess load when the excess is over 10,000 pounds. If a person operates a vehicle in violation of increased axle loading maximums provided for under section 722(13), the owner or lessee of the vehicle is responsible for a civil infraction and shall pay the civil fine under this subsection that applies to the amount of weight by which the vehicle exceeds the original loading maximum.
House Bill 4257: Sets Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight
Traffic control; traffic regulation; gross vehicle weight limits; modify to 80,000 pounds. Amends secs. 719 & 722 of 1949 PA 300
Sec. 719. (1) A vehicle unloaded or with load shall not exceed a height of 13 feet 6 inches. The owner of a vehicle that collides with a lawfully established bridge or viaduct is liable for all damage and injury resulting from a collision caused by the height of the vehicle, whether the clearance of the bridge or viaduct is posted or not. (2) Lengths described in this subsection shall be known as the normal length maximum. Except as provided in subsection (3), the following vehicles and combinations of vehicles shall not be operated on a highway in this state in excess of these lengths:
W=500[(LN)/(N-1)+12N+36] where W = overall gross weight on a group of 2 or more consecutive axles to the nearest 500 pounds, L = distance in feet between the extreme of a group of 2 or more consecutive axles, and N = number of axles in the group under consideration; except that 2 consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of 34,000 pounds each if the first and last axles of the consecutive sets of tandem axles are not less than 36 feet apart. The gross maximum axle loads application of the formula in this subsection are subject to theor in excess of the vehicle gross weight determined byaxles, vehicles having a gross weight in excess of 80,000 pounds semitrailer combinations having 2 consecutive sets of tandem vehicle weight shall not exceed 80,000 pounds including all enforcement tolerances. Except for 5 axle truck tractor, semitrailer combinations having 2 consecutive sets of tandem axles, vehicles having a gross weight in excess of 80,000 pounds or in excess of the vehicle gross weight determined by
application of the formula in this subsection are subject to the maximum axle loads.
House Bill 4297: Authorizes use of municipal solid waste energy to meet renewable requirement
Sponsored by Rep Nesbitt, House Bill 4297 would amend the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act (MCL 460.1001 et al.). The bill would repeal numerous provisions and references to the energy optimization program and also make numerous revisions and additions to allow for biofuels associated with the process known as pyrolysis to be part of the development of renewable energy. A section-by-section description of the bill follows, with the effective dates of the amendments and repealers at the end.
The bill eliminates from the stated purpose of the act references to energy optimization and a clean, efficient standard. Instead, the stated purpose would be "to promote the development of clean energy and renewable energy through the implementation of a renewable energy standard that will cost-effectively do all" of several listed goals. One of the current goals requires the act to encourage private investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency; the highlight text would be deleted. The bill would also add, as a goal of the act, the removal of unnecessary burdens on the appropriate use of solid waste as a clean energy source.
House Bill 4937: Exempts local units of government that self report violations from fines for violations of the natural resources and environmental act.
Sponsored by Rep. Johnson
SEC. 1513. (1) NOTWITHSTANDING 1 ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ACT, BUT SUBJECT TO SUBSECTION (2), A LOCAL UNIT OF GOVERNMENT IS NOT SUBJECT TO A FINE FOR ANY VIOLATION OF THIS ACT OR A RULE PROMULGATED OR ORDER OR PERMIT ISSUED UNDER THIS ACT IF THE LOCAL UNIT OF GOVERNMENT NOTIFIED THE DEPARTMENT OF THE VIOLATION BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OTHERWISE HAD KNOWLEDGE OF A POTENTIAL VIOLATION AND BEFORE THE LOCAL UNIT OF GOVERNMENT HAD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THE DEPARTMENT WAS ABOUT TO OBTAIN KNOWLEDGE OF A POTENTIAL VIOLATION. (2) SUBSECTION (1) DOES NOT APPLY TO A KNOWING OR INTENTIONAL VIOLATION OF THIS ACT OR A RULE PROMULGATED OR ORDER OR PERMIT ISSUED UNDER THIS ACT.
Senate Bill 507: Establishes registration and reporting requirements for recyclers of material from residential and commercial waste.