Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Filler: EGLE should reconsider permitting change to keep jobs, help farmers
RELEASE|December 27, 2023
Contact: Graham Filler

State should make reasonable adjustments to support anaerobic digesters

State Rep. Graham Filler today called upon the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to rethink a permitting change it is imposing on a Fremont area business and make reasonable accommodations to allow it and other anaerobic digesters to operate in Michigan.

Anaerobic digesters keep organic waste like food scraps and manure out of landfills, turning it into biogas that can be used to generate heat, electricity and natural gas. The Fremont Regional Digester handles about 40% of the state’s pre-consumer food waste – taking in 150,000 tons of waste per year and converting it into enough energy to power about 3,500 homes each year. The leftover byproduct, a nutrient-dense fertilizer, is used by local farmers.

“Digestors have proven their worth to our state, our businesses, and the environment,” Filler said. “It’s crucial for our state agencies to find a balanced approach that fosters growth and supports farmers while ensuring responsible practices.”

The Fremont digester always been in compliance with EGLE’s regulations. Unfortunately, the state agency recently ordered the facility to comply with additional regulations aimed at industry polluters – even though state laws classify anaerobic digesters as renewable energy.

Filler recently signed on to a bipartisan letter urging the Whitmer administration to work with Fremont to regulate its facility in a way that both makes sense for the digester industry and protects the state. The letter was signed by 15 legislators from across the state.

“At a time when Michigan is progressing toward ambitious renewable energy standards, one would expect technology capable of converting waste into clean energy, while producing environmentally beneficial byproducts, to be welcomed rather than constrained,” the letter reads.

The letter is available here.


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