Department of Environmental Quality

Funding for the Department of Environmental Quality supports environmental stewardship programs that restore and enhance Michigan’s environment and preserve our natural resources while supporting economic growth. The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 recommends ongoing funding of $487.9 million, of which $35.4 million is general fund.

Highlights of Governor’s Budget Recommendation

• The fiscal year 2016 Executive Recommendation focuses on ensuring Michigan’s water quality, supporting compliance assistance to minimize environmental risks, and promoting redevelopment of contaminated sites.

• Title V of the federal Clean Air Act requires states to operate a fee-supported permit program for the inspection, monitoring, and enforcement of facilities that are major sources of air pollution. Michigan’s Renewable Operating Permit (ROP) program supports compliance assistance at approximately 800 facilities including manufacturers, chemical and energy companies, and other facilities with large scale air emissions. For fiscal year 2016 the governor proposes to increase the fee supporting the ROP program in an effort to generate an additional $2.2 million in state restricted resources. The additional revenue will support rising costs and additional staff needed to implement new federal requirements.

• The governor’s budget provides funding for the new Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Program created in P.A. 416 of 2014. The program reimburses owners/operators of underground storage tanks for costs necessary to bring leaking tanks into compliance with environmental protection standards. P.A. 416 of 2014 requires that the first $20 million collected from the 7/8 cent environmental protection fee on refined petroleum be deposited into the new Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund. The fiscal year 2016 recommendation appropriates those funds for clean-up activities.

• A $2.9 million general fund savings will be realized in fiscal year 2016 through a reduction to the state match for the federal Drinking Water Revolving Fund Loan Program, which provides local governments with low interest loans to assist with implementing infrastructure improvements to their drinking water systems. The department anticipates utilizing interest and principal payments made on previous loans — in lieu of the general fund — to fully leverage the available federal funding in fiscal year 2016.