Wastewater expansion grants available for first time

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced a new wastewater grant program to help businesses meet additional regulations.

Director Tim Boring tells Brownfield the $30 million available will support economic development while protecting the environment.

“We’re working with livestock processors across the state to become compliant with wastewater discharge requirements.”

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy finalized an updated groundwater discharge permit for meat processors and slaughter facilities at the end of last year.  The agency has said it will work with facilities as they come into compliance with the new permit.

Boring says a robust state budget is strengthening business investment.

“We have a lot of capacity right now to help be investing in businesses, and for us, the department is going to be focusing on implementing systems consistent with our values that improve resiliency and diversity, and working with companies on how they can continue to expand what their businesses looks like to hit on these marks,” he says.

Michigan Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations have expressed concerns that the permits will extend to more small-to-midsized food processors in the future.

The Michigan Meat Association is also in an ongoing lawsuit with EGLE and claims the permits overstep authority.

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