Waterloo Township

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Gravel Bills Coming Up in Lansing in House Regulatory Reform CMTE Hearing for House Bills 4526-4528

Gravel Bills are at the House Regulatory Reform Committee and they are the members who will be the ones deciding if HB4528  should go to the House floor for a vote.  The HB  4528 edits/modifies and/or removes city, township ordinances, requirements, permits, control, authority over Gravel Pits in their areas.


High level notes on HB4528 (a list of concerning points)

  1. There is a clause for operations of less than 1 million tons to not go through the state for permitting, but it is the operator’s choice (section 63902), and they will likely go with the state given the details shown below.
  2. If the bill passes, it will pre-empt any control previously granted to local gov’t. Meaning, the state controls permit applications if this bill is passed, period. Local municipalities will have no say in the regulation of sand and gravel mines. (sec 63903)
    • The Township’s Extraction Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance, and Master Plan will all be ignored for the duration of the mining.
  3. All permitting will be managed through EGLE at the state. (sec 63904)
  4. Site plans are not required until AFTER the permit has been approved.
  5. Site plan details I am concerned with (sec 63905)
    1. Mining area shall be located not less than 50 feet from the nearest roadway or adjoining property line (Waterloo’s ordinance today ranges from 100’ to 200’, depending upon zoning of the adjacent parcel).
    2. Equipment used for screening and crushing shall be located as follows:
      1. Not less than 200’ from the nearest public roadway (our ordinance is 500’).
      2. Not less than 300’ from the nearest adjoining property line (our ordinance is 500’).
      3.  Not less than 500’ from the nearest residential building. (Waterloo’s ordinance is 500’ from all property lines, which means more than 500’ to a dwelling).
  1. No real requirement for fencing. This seems like a safety issue. (sec 63905)
  2. Noise level requirements are very high: (sec 63905)
    1. 8 hour weighted time average of 75dBA for residential (85 dBA for commercial)
    2. Up to 133 dBA air blast allowed
  3. Hours of Operation (MINIMUM requirements): (sec 63905)
    • 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 pm M-F – this one creates a major problem with the school bus incident we had several years ago with Agg Industries that prompted us to move our morning hours back from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
      • I included this example in my Cmte Hearing testimony on 5/9/23
    • 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm Saturday
  4. Liability Insurance(sec 63905) – HB4528 only requires a $1million per occurrence. Waterloo’s Ordinance requires a $4 million / occurrence.
  5. Public input (sec 63906) – no real in person public comment allowed. Only written public comment. Then IF EGLE decides a public hearing is required, then they will schedule one.
  6. No notice to residents with 500’ (or any distance) like we have in Waterloo. Only notice will be on EGLE’s website, in the newspaper, and from EGLE to the local municipality.
  7. EGLE permit is valid for the ‘life of the mine’. Permit may be revoked if the operator does not commence within 10 years of the permit issuance (sec 63907).
    • So not even a mention of an estimate of completion date for the residents who have to live with the pit activity for 75 hours per week.
  8. The operator of the mine is responsible for submitting yearly site plans and reclamation plans, but there is no discussion of any type of formal review and certainly nothing saying that the local municipality has any right to this material or input into the process.
  9. The bond amount is set by the operator and can change from year to year. Bond cannot exceed $8k per acre (AI’s bond is ~$14k/acre for reference), and No third party assessment. AND, if the operation can prove the have sufficient financial reserves, they won’t even be req’d to have a bond in place. (sec 63914).

Also, here is a link to the Committee hearing video if you would like to watch. https://www.house.mi.gov/VideoArchivePlayer?video=HREGU-050923.mp4.

Testimony is from Bill Richardson’s (Waterloo Township Extraction Committee Member) is at the 1:50:30 mark.

Please contact all committee members and let them know how you feel. You can use the above High Level Notes above(in red as issues/concerns) in your email.