Townships need more control over drilling operations — Rep Lucido

first_img Lawmaker unveils legislation to address concerns in Shelby TownshipMichigan townships would have the ability to regulate the setback distance between oil drilling operations and residential homes under legislation introduced today by Rep. Peter J. Lucido that updates an archaic state law created in the 1940s.Michigan cities and villages can establish their own rules regarding gas and oil drilling setbacks but townships are regulated by the state.  After hearing ongoing complaints from township residents, the state Department of Environmental Quality recently issued new rules for townships, but Rep. Lucido said the guidelines don’t properly address the setback issue.“Township residents have inherent rights to their safety and well-being, and those rights are not being properly addressed by the DEQ,” said Rep. Lucido, a Republican from Shelby Township. “They’re still taking a 1940s approach to a 21st century reality.  Townships today are much more densely populated, and these municipal governments deserve to properly monitor drilling operations to keep people safe and help maintain their quality of life.”Rep. Lucido said more than 90 percent of all drilling operations in Michigan occur in townships, and it doesn’t make sense that township officials are unable to regulate the operations to best serve residents.  Rep. Lucido’s bill would repeal a portion of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act that prohibits townships from regulating or controlling gas and oil drilling operations within their boundaries.“I fully support drilling because it’s an important way to lessen our dependence on foreign oil and keep costs down, but these companies need to be good neighbors,” said Rep. Lucido. “The state’s current policy is not sufficient to protect the health, safety and well-being of township residents.  My legislation will empower township governments and give residents the rights they deserve. ”Rep. Lucido said Shelby Township residents are concerned about recent drilling operations in the area, but currently have no genuine recourse to address their concerns.  He said giving township governments the opportunity to set their own parameters, especially when it comes to establishing setbacks, will benefit all residents.“Townships make up the largest majority of municipal governments in our state, but because of a 1940s mindset, hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents who live in townships have no real options if an oil rig locates near their homes,” Rep. Lucido said.  “This legislation is about local control and common sense.  It’s about giving township residents the basic rights that are afforded to people who live in cities or villages.”House Bill 4237 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy Policy.### 24Feb Townships need more control over drilling operations — Rep. Lucido Categories: Lucido Newslast_img read more

Rep Rendon votes for budget addressing northern Michigans top needs

first_img24Apr Rep. Rendon votes for budget addressing northern Michigan’s top needs Health care. New doctors would have incentives to work in underserved rural areas. Access to mental health services will be improved so residents can live healthier, happier and more independent lives, reflecting the House CARES initiative. Categories: Daire Rendon News,News Job preparation programs, increased access to health care in rural areas, and record-high investment in schools and roads are part of a budget plan approved today by Rep. Daire Rendon and the Michigan House.“This is a plan that will help the great communities of northern Michigan and make the region an even better place to live and raise a family,” said Rendon, of Lake City. “We’re getting help to where it is needed most while being very careful to eliminate waste and hold down overall spending statewide.”Rendon represents the residents of Crawford, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Roscommon and Ogemaw counties in the Michigan House.The House plan for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 focuses on:More than a quarter of the House’s overall budget proposal goes to K-12 schools. School funding would increase to $14.8 billion, a new state record for K-12 investment, with the largest annual per-student increase in 15 years – ranging from $120 to $240 per student. Early literacy and support for academically at-risk students are priorities. Workforce development. More than $100 million is added to talent development and workforce preparation programs at the K-12 level. Significant investments in other programs such as Going PRO also will help prepare residents for high-demand jobs. Support for families. More money would be invested in child welfare services, foster care and services for seniors. Savings for taxpayers. A prison would be closed, reflecting successful efforts to reduce Michigan’s inmate population. Budgets for several state departments would decline as state government becomes more efficient and eliminates waste. Overall, the House plan spends less money next budget year – continuing a trend of spending less annually while prioritizing what’s most important. Road repairs. Funding will rise to the highest levels in Michigan history as the state addresses one of its biggest needs. Overall, the state will have pumped more than $2 billion in additional funds into roads and bridges over a three-year period by the upcoming budget year – with more money coming in the future. House Bills 5578-9 advance to the Senate as work to finalize the next state budget continues.###last_img read more