Government
9:35 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Governor signs wetlands bill

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation designed to fix problems with Michigan's wetland policies. 

Michigan is one of only two states to manage wetlands such as swamps, marshes and bogs. Supporters of the bill signed Tuesday say it will make the permitting process simpler and easier for developers and landowners, while environmentalists say it further loosens state rules rather than just addressing issues raised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Wetlands are critical because they recharge ground water and support diverse ecological populations.

Snyder says he's committed to keeping the state wetlands program.

He also signed bills letting small wine makers buy a permit to hold tastings and sell wine at farmers markets. Another new law lets merchants fill and sell growlers of beer for off-premises consumption.