Top Michigan Green Law Stories of 2011

27 Dec 2011

As we race toward the end of the year, we thought we’d look back at what we thought were the big stories of 2011 on, and in no particular order:

  • Solar Suffers / Wind Farms Move Forward – As we reported, due to a lack of incentives and serious foreign competition, solar companies languished this year and many will not make through 2012 – see posts regarding solar’s suffering; however, wind generated energy appears to be going strong- see posts regarding the progress of wind development.
  • Fracking – something that was little heard of before 2011, received a lot of notoriety as Michigan issued new rules for this gas extraction process, New York evaluated doing likewise, the EPA began to study its side effects in earnest and dueling reports began to be released.
  • MDEQ reorganization – in 2010, there was a lot of focus on legislation intended to move more sites toward closure and while the law passed, the MDEQ did little but thumb their collective noses at the change.  Well, the Director shuffled the staff in hopes of shaking some closures loose – Shake Up At MDEQ .  Time will tell.
  • PACE Legislation – Michigan adopted Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation intended to help fund green energy and energy conservation investments in commercial buildings.  Ann Arbor then became the first City to adopt a PACE Ordinance.
  • New Due Diligence Requirements – As we blogged in Buyer Beware buyers may now need to do their own environmental inspections on residential properties which may chill the sales of refurbished industrial lofts. This comes on top of speculation that some due diligence was deficient as it was not well documented – what are developers and buyers to do?
  • Brownfield Credits Done – Governor Snyder, in an effort to get control over tax credits which did not appear on any government budget, decided that he would cap the amount of incentives given out and eliminate the  wildly successful brownfield credit program. While the public’s focus was on the TV and film making credits, the Governor first froze and then significantly downsized this program just when Michigan needed it most.

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