Over the past year, the Environmental Policy Committee has helped advocate for the passage of positive reforms to the State's brownfield redevelopment program, resulting in a faster, more flexible process for developers and local governments alike. Other tax incentives, such as the Commercial Redevelopment Act, have also been improved to supplement the economic development tools for developing in mature, built-out, or urban communities. The committee will continue to work, with the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources and the Legislature to look for creative ways to make program improvements while minimizing red tape and bureaucratic waste so that both business and the environment will benefit from the regulatory and cleanup processes.
Through our continued work with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ], we will push to ensure that Michigan businesses are treated fairly by new Federal ozone regulations. Despite the fact that air quality in Michigan is improving, had publicity that comes with non-attainment of new regulations negatively effects the attraction and retention of businesses at a time when we can least afford it. The new EPA ozone standard will serve to drive new manufacturing to less dense regions with a weaker concentration of industrial sites. When regulatory standards exceed prevailing environmental technologies, they drive up the costs of doing business in the same high density areas promoted by "smart growth" conservation policies.
Also in the past year, Michigan passed its version on the Great Lakes Compact, a joint effort by all eight states in the Great Lakes basin, (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan), to collectively leverage control over our defining resource. Legislation drafted to reform Michigan's water withdrawal permitting policy accompanied the bills adopting the Compact. The Detroit Regional Chamber supported an effort by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Manufacturers Association to use a science-based approach to...