September 05, 2023, Introduced by Rep. Morgan and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.

A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled

"Natural resources and environmental protection act,"

by amending sections 1701 and 3103 (MCL 324.1701 and 324.3103), section 3103 as amended by 2005 PA 33, and by adding part 4.

the people of the state of michigan enact:


Sec. 401. (1) The natural resources of this state are of paramount public concern in the interest of the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state and shall be managed and protected for the benefit of the people of this state. The air, water, soil, and other natural resources of this state shall be protected from pollution, impairment, and destruction for the benefit of current and future generations.

(2) The obligation to manage natural resources in the public interest is the express duty of the legislature under section 52 of article IV of the state constitution of 1963 and shall not be ceded to any other entity. This subsection does not prohibit the legislative delegation of authority to manage natural resources to a public entity consistent with the requirements of the state constitution of 1963.

(3) The waters of this state, including groundwater, are held in the public trust by this state. The public trust in the waters of this state applies to the quantity and quality of the water. Within 180 days after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section, the department of natural resources and the department of environment, Great Lakes, and energy shall review rules administered by the respective departments under this act to ascertain whether the rules sufficiently ensure the protection of the public trust in the waters of this state. If the department of natural resources or the department of environment, Great Lakes, and energy determines that new or revised rules are necessary to sufficiently ensure the protection of the public trust in the waters of this state, that department shall promulgate new or revised rules within 1 year after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section.

Sec. 1701. (1) The attorney general or any other person may maintain an action in the circuit court having jurisdiction where the alleged violation occurred or is likely to occur for declaratory and equitable relief and any other appropriate remedy against any person for the protection of the air, water, and other natural resources and the public trust in these resources from pollution, impairment, or destruction.

(2) In granting relief provided by subsection (1), if there is a standard for pollution or for an antipollution device or procedure, fixed by rule or otherwise, by the this state or an instrumentality, agency, or political subdivision of the this state, the court may:

(a) Determine the validity, applicability, and reasonableness of the standard.

(b) If a court finds a standard to be deficient, direct the adoption of a standard approved and specified by the court.

Sec. 3103. (1) The department shall protect and conserve the water resources waters of the state and shall have control of the pollution and impairment, attributable to changes in water quality or quantity, of surface or underground waters of the state and the Great Lakes, which are or may be affected by waste disposal of or other direct or indirect discharge or release by any person.

(2) The department may make or cause to be made surveys, studies, and investigations of the uses of waters of the state, both surface and underground, and cooperate with other governments and governmental units and agencies in making the surveys, studies, and investigations.

(3) The department shall assist in an advisory capacity a flood control district that may be authorized by the legislature. state law. The department, in the public interest, shall appear and present evidence, reports, and other testimony during the hearings involving the creation and organization of flood control districts. The department shall advise and consult with the legislature on the obligation of the this state to participate in the costs of construction and maintenance as provided for in the official plans of a flood control district or intercounty drainage district.

(4) (2) The department shall enforce this part and may promulgate rules as that it considers necessary to carry out its duties under this part. However, notwithstanding any rule-promulgation authority that is provided in this part, except for rules authorized under section 3112(6), the department shall not promulgate any additional rules under this part after December 31, 2006.

(5) (3) The department may promulgate rules and take other actions as may be necessary to comply with the federal water pollution control act, 33 USC 1251 to 1387, 1389, and to expend funds available under such law that act for extension or improvement of the state or interstate program for prevention and control of water pollution. This part shall does not be construed as authorizing authorize the department to expend or to incur any an obligation to expend any state funds for such purpose in excess of any amount that is appropriated by the legislature.

(4) Notwithstanding the limitations on rule promulgation under subsection (2), rules promulgated under this part before January 1, 2007 shall remain in effect unless rescinded.