Gov. Rick Snyder signs bill enhancing stream, lake management

Also signs game salvage, hazardous waste, teacher evaluation bills

Monday, June 30, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation allowing for better management of invasive and native nuisance plants in lakes, ponds and streams.

“Our lakes and streams are some of Michigan’s greatest resources,” Snyder said. “This legislation will help ensure we are keeping them healthy and well-managed in the most efficient way possible.”

Senate Bill 444, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, improves the Aquatic Nuisance Control permit process. The bill streamlines the permitting process by making control permits valid for three years instead of one year, and providing for electronic permit submittal and payments. The bills moves the yearly application deadline from May 1 to April 15 allowing more time for property owners to effectively treat lakes, ponds and streams in time for summer.

Importantly, the legislation establishes registry of water bodies infested by aquatic invasive species and which species are in those lakes. This allows for better monitoring and management of aquatic invasive species.

The bill is now Public Act 253 of 2014.

The governor also signed five other bills:

SB 20, sponsored by state Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, updates requirements to obtain hazardous waste management facility operating licenses. Currently an applicant must provide a list of environmental law violations. The bill expands the list of criminal convictions that must be reported to include any misdemeanors that occur while working to obtain a license. It is now PA 254.

SB 613, sponsored by state Sen. Darwin Booher, allows for the legal possession of game killed as a result of a motor vehicle collision. The bill outlines the guidelines for maintaining possession of the game animal, stipulates which game animals may be taken and requires the Department of Natural Resources to issue a yearly report on the number of game animals taken by motorists. It is now PA 255.

SB 644, sponsored by state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, creates an enrollment plan for students who are eligible to attend a strict discipline academy from a high or medium-security juvenile, mental health or child caring facility operated by a private agency. It is now PA 256.

SB 817, sponsored by state Sen. John Pappageorge, amends various provisions of the law requiring teacher and school administrator performance evaluations. The bill revises the way in which student growth must be measured for the 2014-2015 school year and delays implementation of the related evaluation system until the 2015-2016 school year. It is now PA 257.

SB 872, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson, defines “stamp sands” as finely grained or crushed rock resulting from mining, milling or smelting of copper ore containing naturally occurring metals identified as hazardous to the environment when in other forms. The changes allow for properties where stamp sands were historically deposited to not be regulate3d as contaminated sites. This change will help with the redevelopment and increase property values in the Upper Peninsula, while still maintaining important environmental protections through other regulatory programs. It is now PA 258.

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