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Expansion of Michigan's Brownfield Redevelopment Act

Paul Bohn, Esq.

On January 4th, Governor Snyder signed into law Public Act 471 of 2016, the first major amendment to Michigan's Brownfield Redevelopment Act (the "Act") in four years. These changes to the statute streamline, simplify, and expand the activities that can be paid for under the Act. The amendment is a product of two years of collaboration between Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and a committee of brownfield stakeholders.

There are many new eligible environmental activities:

  • Removal and closure of underground storage tanks (USTs): UST removal and remediation activities now fall under MDEQ's purview. These activities were previously considered non-environmental demolition activities that were to be permitted by MEDC.
  • Disposal of solid waste: Expands the Act to allow remediation of landfills not covered by Part 201.
  • Dust Control: Dust control related to construction activities has been covered in the past, but now formally acknowledged as a reimbursable activity.
  • Dredging and disposal of contaminated lake and river sediments associated with an economic development project. With a lot of Port rehabilitation and dredging planned in the State, dredging will be a hot topic. The eligible activity includes initial cleanup in cases where contamination in a waterbody has been a barrier to channel improvement, but not channel maintenance. The amendments allow disposal of sediments to be covered as an eligible activity if it can be demonstrated that the sediments contain contaminants exceeding MDEQ criteria.
  • Sheeting and Shoring: Associated with contamination removal.
  • Industrial Cleaning: Is identified as an eligible cost to prepare existing facilities for safe reuse.
  • Lead, Mold, and Asbestos abatement: Were considered a non-environmental for authorization by MEDC, but are now classified as environmental. Mold was added to the abatement section.
  • Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Now qualify as brownfield eligible.
  • Resetting Taxable Value of Eligible Property: Eligible property's initial taxable value can be adjusted once during the life of the brownfield plan if the property is unable to generate sufficient tax increment revenue after construction.

If you have any questions about the new Brownfield Redevelopment amendments, contact Fausone Bohn, LLP and Paul Bohn at (248) 380-9988 or [email protected] Paul has extensive experience with brownfield redevelopment and can provide you with the knowledge and expertise to assist you in your redevelopment project.

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