Legislative efforts to strip local government authority and oversight of sand and gravel mining operations have again been introduced, threatening your community’s ability to regulate aspects of operations that impact your residents and the environment.
A coalition of organizations representing local governments and supporting Michigan communities and residents strongly opposes this preemption assault on local control by the mining industry, which seeks to silence all local voices on matters that are of a local concern—how mines operate, where they locate, and how issues are addressed. We need your help to ask lawmakers to oppose this harmful legislation!
MTA thanks all members who have reached out to their legislators to share their opposition to House Bills 4526, 4527 and 4528—legislation that would completely preempt all local authority over sand and gravel mining operations in all Michigan communities. The bills that will eliminate ALL local authority over sand and gravel mines is before the House Regulatory Reform Committee, and could be discharged to the full House. MTA needs you to engage with your state representative now! If you have contacted your state representative previously, thank you—we need you to reach out again to ask them to support Michigan communities and residents and oppose this legislation. Please continue conversations with your legislators on the importance of retaining local authority (truck route, hours of operation, blasting hours, noise levels, dust, etc.) and a local voice in the permitting process.
House Bills 4526, 4527 and 4528, sponsored by Reps. Pat Outman (R-Belvidere Twp.), Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) and Angela Witwer (D-Delta Chtr. Twp.), would usurp all local authority and allow a sand and gravel mine, crushing facility or storage facility to operate anywhere in a community—regardless of zoning—undermining the ability of local officials to balance the needs of all property owners in the borders of their jurisdiction. Under the three-bill package, no local regulations could apply to operation issues that are inherently local in nature, including hours of operation, truck routes, noise, dust control and fencing. If your community currently has aggregate mining operations permitted, this legislation would also allow the operator to move from your locally approved permit to one approved by the state—leaving your township with no authority on an operation already in existence in your community.
Local zoning is intended to protect local residents, and local officials understand the importance of building strong communities, protecting public health and safety and improving quality of life. Local leaders can best balance the responsibility of being good stewards of public resources, the needs of residents and the businesses that support the local economy. We support access to aggregate materials necessary to fix Michigan’s roads. However, the current process allows for local governments to balance those needs along with those of their community.
The far-reaching legislation also jeopardizes existing relationships between mine operators and local governments, shifting all new and expanding operations to state oversight—under a to-be-created permitting and regulatory system within the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). This includes existing local government-permitted operations to move under state oversight without any consent of the local unit that approved and oversees the original permit.
If aggregate mines don’t operate in your community, these efforts are still a threat to all local governments—and are yet another example of legislative efforts to erode local authority and preempt your municipality’s ability to best serve your residents and community.
Contact your state representative today to oppose this legislative attack and ask them to stand with Michigan communities and oppose House Bills 4526, 4527 and 4528.