House just passed HB5068. This bill is tie barred to the Great Lakes Compact. This bill would lower the groundwater use threshold that would require a new commercial or industrial user to undergo extensive permitting procedures. The threshold would go from 2,000,000 gallons to 1,000,000 gallons per day for waters other than the Great Lakes, and from 5,000,000 gallons to 2,000,000 gallons per day for Great Lakes and tributary waters. Among the extensive permit requirements would be the need to perform rigorous hydro-geological, water source, natural features, and soil studies. The bill would also increase permit application fees, lengthen from 120 days to 180 days the time the Department of Environmental Quality has to act on a permit request (once it determines that the application is “administratively complete”), and require a public comment period. The bill is part of a legislative package consisting of House Bills 5065 to 5073 that would restrict and subject to extensive regulation the use of groundwater by industrial and commercial businesses.
How much water is one million gallons? If Michigan receives 1" of rain in one day, that equals 1.7 BILLION gallons. (170,000 million gallons).
Large manufacturers like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automobiles use large amounts of water; they have been doing so for decades in this state. There has been no negative effect on ground water levels. Lakes rise and fall, it has been happening for thousands of years. This legislation is nothing less than government taking away private property rights.