Environmental Update - Michigan Environmental News November/December 2012

In This Issue:

- Michigan Passes Groundwater Well Dispute Statute - Again

- EPA Pushes Back on Stormwater Discharges from Logging Roads

- Storage Tank Program Undergoes Changes

- Sierra Club Ready to Sue on Alleged Air Quality Violations

- Governor's Message on Energy and the Environment

- Excerpt from Michigan Passes Groundwater Well Dispute Statute Again

The hectic lame-duck session of the Michigan Legislature has resulted in the resurrection of the state's once-and-future groundwater dispute resolution process. Michigan had originally passed similar legislation in 2003, then repealed it in 2009 as a budget cutting measure. Pressure to revive the dispute resolution process mounted as complaints about failing wells increased under the past year's drought conditions, as water use for irrigation increased and water tables lowered. The bill provides a formal process for resolving disputes between high-capacity wells (such as irrigation wells) and residential or other low-capacity wells that allege impacts from the high-capacity withdrawals.

The revived law would allow small-capacity well owners to file complaints with the Director of either the MDEQ or MDARD (if the alleged perpetrator was an agricultural well), if the small-capacity well owners reasonably believe that a high-capacity well has interfered with the operation of their wells. The law gives the Director the authority to investigate the claim and to seek to resolve the complaint among the affected parties.

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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