Michigan legislators pass harbor dredging bills

The Republican-led Michigan House and Senate have approved a series of bills designed to aid the state's water-starved harbors.
AP Wire
Mar 14, 2013

The bills passed Thursday would lower fees for some dredging projects and let emergency projects bypass a waiting period.

Dredging is the removal of sediments so water is deep enough for boats and barges.

The House passed a bill to let the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issue emergency permits when property or residents' safety is at risk. Currently, permits can't be issued until after a 20-day objection period.

Another bill would reduce some dredging permit fees from $1,500 to $50.

A bill approved in the Senate would let marinas pay low interest rates for loans for emergency dredging projects.

Each bill now goes to the other chamber for consideration.

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