Schmidt: Senate approves brownfield redevelopment reforms

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — Bipartisan legislation that would streamline existing laws governing the state’s brownfield redevelopment program was approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bills 908-913 are the result of a nine-month-long workgroup in which lawmakers, officials from state government and members of the business community met to formulate ways to bring consistency and efficiency to the program while ensuring environmental protection and encouraging economic growth.

“This is common sense legislation that would help property owners and developers more quickly complete brownfield redevelopment sites,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, sponsor of SB 908. “It would also help attract more and better jobs to Michigan communities.”

The bills would aid redevelopment projects by more clearly identifying exactly what activities are eligible in what situation. Certain activities are considered eligible depending on where a property is located or based on who owns the property. For example, cleaning up an underground storage tank is considered an environmental activity but not currently eligible for approval by the Department of Environmental Quality. These inconsistencies are confusing and delay projects, Schmidt said.

Importantly, the bills would not result in increased taxation, a decrease in government funding to our schools, or increased local government expenditures.

“These are good reforms that will make a successful program even better,” Schmidt said.

SBs 908-13 advance to the state House of Representatives for consideration.