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Environmentalists concerned about lame duck legislative session agenda

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Environmentalists are warning that state lawmakers leaving office in December may act on a wide range of legislation affecting water quality and other issues during theirlame duck session.

Legislation on renewable energytaxation, PFAS and other environmental issues are among the bills on the lame duck session fast track. Michigan lawmakers are expected to act on bills related to buildinga tunnel for an oil pipeline in the Mackinac Straits.

Sean Hammond is the deputy policy director for the Michigan Environmental Council. He says many of the bills are tied to lawmakers leaving Lansing, either because they are term-limited or because they lost elections.

“With all the term-limited folks in Lansing, I don’t know if it’s very surprising to see a lot of these last-minute priorities go in,” says Hammond.

Other legislation lawmakers are expected to act on during the compressed lame duck session includes regulation of coal ash, wetlands and even tree removal.

Environmentalists are concerned that many of these bills will have a negative effect on Michigan’s environment.  

“The legislature in terms of what they got on their agenda for lame duck is really putting forward a lot of proposals that would weaken protections across the board for lakes, rivers and streams … and our groundwater,” says Charlotte Jameson, with the Michigan Environmental Council.  

The lame duck session ends December 20. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.