LANSING – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters today blasted House Bill 5423, legislation that would alter Michigan’s bottle deposit laws and strip $21 million away from funds dedicated to contaminated site cleanup from unreturned bottle deposits. The legislation — anticipated to be voted on tomorrow in the House Regulatory Reform Committee — is being pushed while the number of contaminated sites in Michigan explodes across the state, going from an officially reported 7,300 in 2018 to now exceeding 24,000 in total.
“The growing number of contaminated sites threatening the health of Michigan communities should set off alarm bells and demand that we’re putting more money into cleanup, not gutting the very fund designated for it,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Michiganders enacted the bottle bill with broad, bipartisan support as a way of cleaning up our water and reducing litter. House Bill 5423 goes directly against the spirit of the bottle bill and strips $21 million away from cleanup of contaminated sites that threaten our waterways and drinking water — right at a time when there are more known sites than ever before.”
During Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2021 budget presentation on Feb. 6, state Budget Director Chris Kolb stated there are 24,000 contaminated sites across the state and only 10,000 of those have parties responsible for cleanup costs. Just two years earlier, in Jan. 2018, the Snyder Administration told Bridge Magazine there were 7,300 contaminated sites in the state with some 3,000 orphaned. House Bill 5423 would take money away from cleanup of this growing number of contaminated sites across Michigan.
Click here to view a fact sheet created by Michigan LCV on House Bill 5423.