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The following is MTA Executive Director Neil Sheridan’s statement on the passage of MTA-opposed SB 431 from the Senate Transportation & Infrastructure Committee this morning:

Sand and gravel mining bill headed to Senate
is an assault on local control

Senate Bill 431 is a blatant assault on every Michigan community’s right to protect the quality of life for its residents and property owners, and plan its development and land use. The legislation strips away local governments’ already-limited authority over sand and gravel mining operations and location—creating a one-size-fits-all statewide process and telling individual communities that their very real quality-of-life and environmental concerns are simply not relevant. This bill puts profit over people, and caters to special interests over facts. If Senate Bill 431 is enacted, those most affected by aggregate mining operations—the local government representing its neighborhoods, residents, schools and businesses—will have no voice on issues such as truck routes, blasting hours and dust control, all of which impact their property rights and value. MTA has been—and will continue to be—a good-faith partner in working to propose compromises for the legislation. However, the substitute bill adopted by the committee does nothing to resolve our major concerns. We urge senators to vote no on this unnecessary bill, and help keep local communities’ voices present on issues impacting Michigan residents.

Note: MTA is part of an eight-organization coalition of organizations, representing local governments, schools and the environment, opposing Senate Bill 431. Read the coalition letter delivered to the committee this morning.