Rep. Hill responds to Marquette County Board over mining legislation
MARQUETTE — State Rep. Jenn Hill responded with a letter to the Marquette County Board of Commissioners answering a letter sent by the board to Hill last month encouraging her to oppose legislation that would transfer control of sand and gravel mining operations to the state.
The letter was read during Tuesday’s county board meeting and detailed Hill’s opposition to the three bills, HB 4526-28.
“I recognize the validity of your concerns and the need for local governments to retain a certain level of control over aggregate mining activities within their jurisdictions,” said Hill in the letter. “Due in no small part to the opposition expressed by your board, as well as the opposition expressed by other local elected officials and constituents across Michigan’s 109th House District, I stand opposed to the aforementioned bills as they are currently written.”
The proposed legislation would alter the process of aggregate mining permits, which currently are handled by local municipalities’ planning and zoning ordinances. If adopted, the bills would shift the oversight and permit approval processes to state-level organizations like the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
Supporters of the bills bellieve that the legislation would help to aid the supply chain and improve the efficiency of road construction projects around the state by reducing transportation costs and allowing for closer sand and gravel pit locations to project sites.
“As your state representative, it is my intention to elevate the voices of our communities in Lansing,” Hill said. “I believe the guidance of local officials and community members will prove particularly instrumental to the creation of fair and reasonable legislation that addresses the challenges of aggregate mine siting and regulation.”
Hill’s letter is a response to a letter sent by the Marquette County Board on May 9, in which the letter penned by Commissioner Gerald Corkin encouraged Hill to oppose the bills.