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Environmentalists hope Snyder will veto bill letting lawmakers intervene in lawsuits

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan environmentalists are urging Governor Rick Snyder to veto a bill that would give the Legislature the ability to intervene in state lawsuits.

House Bill 6553 passed during the final week of the Lame Duck session.

Peggy Case is the president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation. She doesn’t think the state government has done enough to protect the environment while Republicans have held top offices in Lansing.

Case fears, if the governor signs the bill into law, Republicans will be able to obstruct lawsuits aimed at protecting Michigan’s environment, and undercut incoming Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel.

“It could affect any number of situations related to wetlands, related to toxic waste, related to water withdrawals or people like Nestle, related to the tunnel under the (Mackinac) Straits,” says Case. “It could affect a number of situations that we consider threats to water … where we are expecting the attorney general to uphold the law.”

Supporters insist the bill is necessary to give the legislature a voice in the courts, where many state laws are eventually decided.

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.