Governor Whitmer has extended the "Stay Home. Stay Safe Order" by issuing a new Executive Order, 2020-42. Effective through April 30th.
Governor Whitmer has extended the "Stay Home. Stay Safe Order" by issuing a new Executive Order, 2020-42. This Order re-affirms the measures set forth in Executive Order 2020-21 (and replaces the Order), extending the "stay home, stay safe" measures through April 30, 2020.
In the Governor's press release, she says "The measures put in place by Executive Order 2020-21 have been effective, but this virus is both aggressive and persistent: on April 8, 2020, Michigan reported 20,346 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 959 deaths from it. To win this fight, and to protect the health and safety of our state and each other, we must be just as aggressive and persistent. Though we have all made sacrifices, we must be steadfast. Accordingly, with this order, I find it reasonable and necessary to reaffirm the measures set forth in Executive Order 2020-21, clarify them, and extend their duration to April 30, 2020. This order takes effect on April 9, 2020 at 11:59 pm. When this order takes effect, Executive Order 2020-21 is rescinded".
The order will continue to prohibit public and private gatherings among people outside a single household, and orders individuals to stay home unless their work or activity is deemed essential.
Notable changes from the original "Stay Safe, Stay Home" Order include limiting travel between two residences in the state. People will have through April 10 to travel to another residence in the state, after which point the travel will be deemed unnecessary until the order expires.
Another new addition to the order requires large stores to limit the number of people in the store at one time to no more than 4 customers for every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. Small stores must limit capacity to 25 percent of the total occupancy limits, including employees, under fire codes.Stores will be required to establish lines with markings to ensure six feet of social distancing while customers wait to enter the store. Areas of the store dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries or paint must close or remain closed.
U.P. Energy Task Force to begin next phase of energy analysis, hosting virtual public meeting on April 13th Monday
U.P. Energy Task Force to begin next phase
of energy analysis
Public urged to participate in Monday's meeting
With recommendations on propane availability in the Upper Peninsula being finalized for submission to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the U.P. Energy Task Force is launching the second phase of its analysis of the U.P.’s energy needs now and in the future.
The Task Force will meet 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, April 13, using Microsoft Teams video conferencing. The Task Force meeting is being held in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Monday’s meeting is open to the public. To participate, go to Michigan.gov/UPEnergyTaskForce for the Microsoft Teams meeting link or, if participating by phone, a dial-in number and conference ID.
The Task Force on Monday will finalize its propane recommendations with a deadline of April 17 to submit the report to the Governor. More than 800 public comments were received. The final recommendations, technical document and appendices will be posted to Michigan.gov/UPEnergyTaskForce.
The Task Force next will begin its discussions about how to fulfill the Governor’s request in her Executive Order to formulate alternative solutions for meeting the U.P.’s energy needs, with a focus on security, reliability, affordability and environmental soundness. The Governor also asked the Task Force to identify and evaluate potential changes that could occur to energy supply and distribution in the U.P.; the economic, environmental and other impacts of such changes; and alternatives for meeting the U.P.’s energy needs due to such changes.
Public feedback is encouraged in a number of ways: comment at Monday’s meeting and future meetings, emailed to EGLE-UPEnergy@Michigan.gov or mailed to U.P. Energy Task Force, c/o Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Attn. James Clift, Deputy Director, P.O. Box 30473, Lansing, MI 48909.
A report on overall U.P. energy issues and alternatives is due by March 31, 2021.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Senator Ken Horn (F-Frankenmuth) announced on Tuesday, April 7th, the formation of the “Safe Behavior for Safe Workplaces” Senate workgroup which will work together with business leaders, medical professionals and citizens to develop a plan to bring more workplaces back online when it is safe to do so.
“Our goal is to have recommendations to the Governor by April 17. This is an aggressive goal, but we feel it is important to have solid recommendations in place to be ready when the risk level in our state decreases,” said Shirkey.
Horn said the panel will put forth a set of recommendations to Whitmer on protocols the state may want to require businesses to follow in terms of workplace sanitization and continued social distancing.
"We're bringing a bottom-up look at this instead of a top-down look," said Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, who is chairing the workgroup.
The other senators on the workgroup will include Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City; Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington; Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit; Sen. Sylvia Santana, D-Detroit; and Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield.
Enbridge has filed environmental permitting applications for the Great Lakes Tunnel project with Michigan Dept. of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
The permit filing will keep the project on schedule and moving forward. While the tunnel is constructed, the safe and continued operation of the existing Line 5 pipeline, is essential to Michigan's oil and gas industry and the small, local businesses who depend on consistent access to the pipeline to ship their product.
The design of the tunnel hasn’t been finalized, but the permit application outlines an 18-foot to 21-foot diameter tunnel running 60 to 250 feet below the lake bed. Work will begin on about 25 acres in the Lower Peninsula and move north to an about 16-acre Enbridge-owned parcel in the Upper Peninsula.
Livonia-based Jay Dee Contractors Inc. and Obayashi Corp. will construct the tunnel, while Arup will handle engineering and design.
Given the importance of Line 5 to Michigan’s communities, our economy, and the survival of our businesses, its encouraging to see that the tunnel project is on schedule and that Enbridge anticipates construction to be underway as early as the end of 2021.
Additionally, Enbridge has created more fact sheets on the tunnel project:
The Minerals Management Section (MMS) of the DNR is now able to accept electronic payments via ACH or EFT for royalty, shut-in, and rent payments
The Minerals Management Section (MMS) of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is pleased to announce that they are now able to accept electronic payments via ACH or EFT for royalty, shut-in and rent payments. Please email Heidi Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like to pay via ACH or EFT. She will walk you through the set up and can answer any questions. MMS has also recently updated their payment forms. The new forms can be found on the MMS website.
Attorney General Nessel Comments on UP Energy Task Force Report on Propane, Urges Prompt Planning to Prepare for Shutdown of Enbridge Line 5
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel submitted comments on the draft report recently released by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s UP Energy Task Force, in which she urges prompt planning to prepare for a shutdown of Line 5.
“It is imperative that our state is prepared to implement a cost-effective replacement of propane supplies currently provided by the natural gas liquids the Line 5 pipeline transports,” said Nessel. “The Governor's UP Energy Task Force is focusing on the steps necessary to ensure we meet the energy needs of all Michiganders for generations to come and I commend the task force for their prompt work on this issue.”
In her comments, the Attorney General argues that the technical report shows that shutting down Line 5 need not cause propane shortages or large price spikes, because of the identification of a number of robust and diverse alternative supply options for delivery to the Michigan market such as transporting propane by rail from other supply hubs. Additionally she notes that supply disruptions will likely result in only modest wholesale price increases.
The Michigan Oil and Gas Association has submitted comments on the The U.P. Energy Task Force's draft recommendations related to the U.P.'s propane supply. The Task Force's 14 draft recommendations to the Governor on propane availability in the Upper Peninsula can be found here, in addition to the technical report prepared by Public Sector Consultants on propane supply and possible impacts if delivery were to be interrupted.
According to the U.P. Energy Task Force, the draft recommendations suggest actions the Governor, Legislature, and state agencies can take to better track and anticipate supply and distribution, increase storage capacity, bolster supply infrastructure, minimize disruption impact, consumer protections, and provide a more cohesive plan for those who are disproportionately affected by high energy costs in the U.P.
The public comments comments will be shared with U.P. Energy Task Force members for possible inclusion into the final report, which is due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by April 17.
A full report on overall U.P. energy issues and alternatives is due to Gov. Whitmer by March 31, 2021.
EGLE's Air Quality Division has issued additional guidance for permitting and testing in the wake of Covid-19. The Guidance can be found below.
Submitting Permit to Install Applications:
Please submit an electronic copy of your application to Annette Switzer, Permit Section Manager at SwitzerA2@Michigan.gov and mail three hard copies of your application, with original signature, to Attn: Annette Switzer, Permit Section Manager, EGLE, AQD, 525 W. Allegan Street, Constitution Hall 2S, Lansing, Michigan 48933.
The AQD will work to log in the application and assign it to a Permit Engineer for review as soon as possible. It is our goal to continue to provide excellent customer service through this time. We are continuing work to review and make decisions on Permit to Install Applications. If you have questions, contact Annette Switzer, Permit Section Manager.
Submitting Test Protocols and Stack Test Reports to the Technical Programs Unit
Please submit an electronic copy of your Test Protocols and Stack Test Reports (large reports may have to be sent in several emails) to Karen Kajiya-Mills, Technical Programs Unit Supervisor, at Kajiya-MillsK@Michigan.gov. Then mail signed hard copies to Attn: Karen Kajiya-Mills, Technical Programs Unit Supervisor, EGLE, AQD, 525 West Allegan Street, Constitution Hall 2S, Lansing, Michigan 48933 and the respective district office.
All Other Information Required to be submitted to District Offices
- Renewable Operating Permit Report Certifications and Deviation Reports, Stack Test/Sampling Reports, Test Protocols, any other reports, notifications or correspondence required to demonstrate compliance with applicable rules and regulations.
- Permit to Install waiver requests, Permit to install compliance notifications and data submittals, etc.
Please submit an electronic copy of your report or other information to the contact person listed for the appropriate district office District Office Contact List. The reports and other information will be forwarded to the appropriate district staff and supervisor daily. NOTE: You are still required to mail a hard copy with an original signature to the district office as soon as available.
Renewable Operating Permit Applications
Renewable Operating Permit Applications will continue to be submitted to EGLE-ROP@Michigan.gov and the hard copies with an original signature are still required to be sent to the appropriate district office as soon as possible. However, for now, applications will be processed using the electronic submission.
Renewable Operating Permit Changes - Notifications, Amendments, and Modifications
- For Rule 215 requests, please see the above instructions for submitting to the appropriate district office.
- For Rule 216 requests, please continue to send to Caryn Owens at OwensC1@Michigan.gov and mail your hard copy with an original signature to EGLE, AQD, Cadillac District Office, 120 West Chapin Street, Cadillac, Michigan 49601-2158.
The state House and Senate have voted to extend the state's emergency declaration an additional 23 days. With the passing Senate Concurrent Resolution 24 of 2020, the declaration is now set to expire on April 30, 2020.
This action comes after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-33, expanding the current COVID-19 Emergency Declaration into mid-June. The Governor needed a concurrent resolution from the State House and Senate to extend the state of emergency and disaster declared in EO 2020-33 by 70 days from the date of the resolution. The Legislature, however, approved a shorter extension of 23 days as opposed to 70 days.
In a statement made last week, responding to Whitmer’s request to extend the current state of emergency another 70 days, Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, said Senate Republicans are prepared to support a “reasonable” extension. But because the circumstances surrounding the virus have changed so rapidly, “we feel a much shorter extension is logical to help protect our citizens and support our health systems,” he said. “We agree that emergency circumstances persist in our state and are prepared to support an extension of the Governor’s emergency declaration, but feel a 70-day extension is too long," he said.
On April 2nd, 2020 the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that state election officials were wrong to reject the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan's (CBFM) petition in 2018, despite referring to the wrong election date.
In 2018, the Michigan Director of Elections refused to accept the petition because the front page summary stated that it was to be voted on at the November 8, 2016 general election that had already passed. Last week, however, the appeal court ruled that referring to the wrong date on the proposal was irrelevant.
“In sum, plaintiffs submitted an initiative petition that was facially compliant with all statutory requirements. The Secretary was required to pass it on to the Board for the Board to determine the validity of the petition and canvass the signatures. If the Board rejects the petition, plaintiff may seek review before the Supreme Court. See MCL 168.479.”
The Board of State Canvassers now must judge the petition and the signatures to certify if the CBFM gathered enough valid signatures within the 180-day window required by statute. We will keep you updated as this continues to develop.