Michigan DEQ Updates Permitting Rules, Continues Oversight of Pollutant Emissions

December 29, 2016                                                                                                               

For More Information:
Lynn Fiedler, 517-284-6773, fiedlerl@michigan.gov
Michael Shore, 517-388-9211, shorem2@michigan.gov

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced today the formal update of air program rules that provide strong protection of public health by regulating toxic chemicals in industrial air emissions. These updates make the rules clearer and less burdensome for companies with emissions that do not pose a danger to the public, and make the agency’s chemical toxicity assessments more transparent.

This action finalizes a review of Michigan’s air permitting rules that began with Governor Snyder’s Environmental Advisory Rules Committee in 2011. The MDEQ formed additional stakeholder workgroups to develop recommended changes to the rules, and underwent a public review and comment process which resulted in several thousand comments. Significant public concerns were expressed during the public comment period urging the MDEQ to retain the broad authority to review the health effects of all chemicals released into our air from new and modified facilities. These final rules include updates and clarifications, yet keep in place the strong emphasis on protection of health the MDEQ has employed in the air program for the last 25 years.

“Environmental regulations need not be a cacophony of nuance and complexity,” says MDEQ Air Quality Division Chief Lynn Fiedler. “Here, we and our stakeholders have taken one of our strongest regulations and made it more transparent.”

Originally established in 1992, the air toxics rules require a review and analysis of toxic air contaminant (TAC) from new and modified sources Permit to Install. Updates to the rules include new public review opportunities on toxic screening levels, removal of obsolete dates in the Renewable Operation Permit rules, and minor changes to the rules identifying small air pollution sources not required to obtain a Permit to Install.

The MDEQ is dedicated to respect for Michigan’s citizens, stewardship of the environment, and support for a sustainable economy.