Whitmer nixes GOP-backed panels given role in rules, permits

Published 02-04-2019

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has abolished three panels that Republicans created to give business groups more say in environmental regulators' rule-making and permit decisions.

The Democratic governor on Monday eliminated the commissions in an executive order that also restructured and renamed the state environmental department , effective in April.

Last year, former Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted laws forming the Environmental Rules Review Committee, the Environmental Permit Review Commission and the Environmental Science Board.

Whitmer says the panels, including one where half of the members represent industries and have the power to approve, reject or change proposed new regulations, "created more bureaucracy." She says it "makes a lot more sense to have people who truly are accountable to the public making the decisions."

Business groups, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, are urging the Republican-led Legislature to reject Whitmer's order. They say key stakeholders should not be silenced.

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Online:

Executive order: http://bit.ly/2MM4Leu

Online:

Executive order: http://bit.ly/2MM4Leu

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