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Michigan Legislature Spares Most Wetlands in Lame-Duck Bill

Michigan Legislature Spares Most Wetlands in Lame-Duck Bill

JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer
Created: December 21, 2018 02:25 PM

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers have rejected drastic cutbacks in legal protections for wetlands and other waterways.

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The Legislature approved a scaled-back version of a bill that could have left 550,000 acres of wetlands and 4,200 lakes vulnerable to development.

The original measure previously cleared the state Senate. But the House passed a version overnight Thursday that keeps existing protections mostly intact.

Instead, it rewords the definition of wetlands requiring a permit for the owner to degrade them. It also requires the Department of Environmental Quality to take additional steps when denying a permit application or sanctioning violators.

A spokesman says the Michigan Farm Bureau supported the bill.

The Michigan Environmental Council says the final measure was better than the original, although some environmental groups called for Gov. Rick Snyder to veto it.

Credits

JOHN FLESHER, AP Environmental Writer

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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