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MTA asks senators to put people over profit and vote no on sand and gravel mining legislation

The following statement from MTA Executive Director Neil Sheridan is in response to today’s Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on an MTA-opposed substitute version of Senate Bill 431, which virtually eliminates local government zoning and oversight authority over sand and gravel mining operations in Michigan. A letter to committee members from a coalition opposing SB 431 is also attached to this email.

The current substitute for Senate Bill 431 does nothing to alleviate local government concerns about this egregious and unnecessary overreach into the local planning and zoning process. MTA—with a coalition of organizations representing local government, schools and the environment—had put forth a compromise as a good-faith effort to resolve issues, but those provisions were not included in the substitute. It should go without saying that locally elected leaders can best respond to residents’ concerns and desires for what is right for their communities, and have a duty to balance protecting their residents against impacts on their quality of life with the need for access to aggregate. This bill is a betrayal of the zoning process and could result in detrimental effects to Michigan communities for decades to come. MTA urges senators to place people over profit, vote no on this bill, and allow communities to continue to have a voice in sand and gravel mining operations in their borders. We, along with the coalition, remain ready and willing to work with lawmakers on this issue that impacts residents and communities across the entire state.