Snyder Signs Michigan’s “Polluter Panels” Into Law

Michigan’s Governor Snyder has signed a pair of bills that will allow polluters to sit on panels with the power to override policy and pollution permitting decisions made by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Following is reaction from Cyndi Roper, Michigan Senior Policy Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

“The people of Michigan deserve better than polluter panels making decisions about the quality of their air, water and health.

“Weeks after Michigan was rightly celebrated for putting the nation’s strongest protections in place against lead contamination of drinking water, Governor Snyder is signing off on a system that would make similar improvements nearly impossible in the future. It is highly unlikely the new polluter panels would have signed off on Michigan’s Lead and Copper Rule reforms if they’d been given the chance—or, for that matter, any strong policies on toxic waste cleanups, sewage and toxic chemical dumping, clean air or protection of the Great Lakes.

“The MDEQ Scorecard on Governor Snyder’s Dashboard shows the Agency denied less than one-half of one percent of pollution permit requests last year. That apparently wasn’t business friendly enough, so the polluter panels will ensure profits are put ahead of Michiganders’ health. The fox isn’t even pretending like it will guard the henhouse…”

Additional Resources:


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​