Senate Bill 1244 passed in the House on Tuesday, December 18, by a narrow vote of 56-53. The bill, which passed in the Senate on December 19, is on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
The bill will amend Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) and would allow a person to file a No Further Action (NFA) report before completing remedial actions as long as the person has documented that the remedial actions will sufficiently address any threat to the public health and environment posed by any environmental contamination. Prior to this amendment, persons found liable for environmental contamination needed to complete remedial action that fulfilled requirements set in Part 201 before completing an NFA.
“This will allow us, as the Environmental Risk Managers, to use practical solutions based upon universally accepted science. Not only will this amendment be satisfactory and protective to the public by following EPA standards, but it will also make Michigan more competitive with a lower cost to comply with environmental regulations,” said Mike Kulka, CEO and Co-Founder at PM Environmental.
The bill will modify the circumstances and requirements according to which the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) may carry out environmental remediation, and include the development of and promulgation of cleanup criteria. The new amendment will also allow a person to handle a potential contamination of the quality of indoor air by a hazardous substance through a variety of methods outlined in the bill.
SB 1244 will require the use of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final toxicity values for every hazardous substance. This cost saving step uses thoroughly vetted toxicity values instead of requiring the DEQ to develop these values internally without peer review or public comment. For hazardous substances that do not have an existing EPA toxicity value, the new law prescribes a process for developing toxicity values that use the best relevant experimentally measured data created either by other states, the World Health Organization (WHO), Canada, or the European Union (EU).
The new bill will have immediate effect once the Governor signs it into law.