Changes to Liquid Waste Regulations

The State of Michigan recently amended several laws that will significantly change the way liquid industrial wastes are regulated. The term “Liquid Industrial Waste” is being replaced by a new term, “Liquid industrial by-product.” The term liquid industrial by-product is defined similar to the former term “liquid industrial waste.” However, the list of specific materials and substances cited in the former definition has been deleted. The new term encompasses liquid materials produced by, that are incident to, or results from industrial, commercial or governmental activity. Manifests and site identification numbers are out. Shipping documents and a response plan are in. The new laws expand the remedies available for enforcement. The former statute contained a somewhat narrow remedy limited to recovery of damages to natural resources. The attorney general is now authorized to commence civil actions for violations of the amended statute including requests for injunctive relief.