Michigan Township Association

Sand and gravel mining oversight preemption

We need your help! Tell your state representative to support your voice and oppose legislation stripping local oversight over sand and gravel mining operations

Legislation to strip township authority and oversight of sand and gravel mining operations is once again before the Legislature.

Senate Bills 429430 and 431 have passed the Senate and could be taken up by the House at any point during the remainder of this legislative session. It is critically important for you to reach out to your state representative to share your opposition to the bills. Urge your state representative to OPPOSE this preemption assault on local control by the mining industry that would allow state takeover on matters of a local concern—how operated locally, where located locally, how addressed issues locally. These issues are better addressed through local zoning ordinances.
The bills:
  • prohibit a township or county from regulating any aggregate mining—eliminating local jurisdiction over the issuance of a permit, approval or any authorization on the location, operation or reclamation of an aggregate. The only exceptions would be if the mine would produce a limited amount of aggregate over the life of the mine and the mining operator chooses to seek local approval
  • place sole authority with the state – prohibiting any local review or consideration of a sand and gravel mining application
  • do not permit the state department (Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy) to deny an application
  • would not require a public meeting for input from impacted communities – rather, a public meeting would be held only if the state department determines it is warranted
  • would not provide for an annual review to address local concerns but rather permit the state surveillance
  • limit reclamation to $3,000 per acre, regardless of mining operation plan or actual amount needed for reclamation
  • do not address very serious consequences that would be created by the mining operation in the community
  • do not contain any monitoring or control of truck routes
  • permit mining activities to exceed the noise standards for international airports—400 feet from a home, business or school
  • change the nature of a community as existing land uses would no longer be considered – i.e., location of residential neighborhoods or schools, a plat for future development
Share with your senator that:
  • Sand and gravel mining operations are a local issue that impact a community, its residents, its businesses and property owners. These bills remove local authority and move authority to the state for an industry operation that can have far-reaching impacts at the local level.
  • No two communities are alike. The circumstances in one community are very different than in another community and local governments are best equipped to address those issues. Every community should have a voice over issues impacting their neighborhoods and quality of life.
  • State government doesn’t know your community, its interests and concerns, and how best to protect your residents. You do.
  • This legislation would have lasting detrimental consequences in Michigan communities for decades to come. Local government is the most accessible to the people, and your residents come to you with problems, issues and concerns—and they expect you to have answers and solutions. This legislation takes away that opportunity and ties your hands when trying to best advocate for and serve your residents and community.
  • The bills unfairly favor the aggregate industry, putting profit over people, to the detriment of our residents, schools and the environment. Impacted individuals must have a say over safety and health issues such as truck routes, decibel noise levels, hours of operations, and the impact on the environment, including water quality.
If you do not have any aggregate mines in your community, MTA still needs you to contact your state representative. The bills are yet another example of legislative efforts to erode local authority and preempt your township’s ability to best serve your residents and community. Any threat to local control must be met with opposition, with township voices sharing the importance of local democracy by the government closest to the people. Please join MTA in our fight for you.
Local governments must maintain their existing authority regarding mining operations and are best equipped to balance the needs of residents with the impact of mining operations. The majority of Michigan residents agree—more than 78% of residents oppose eliminating local approval.
Let your voice be heard. Contact your state representative today.