Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Filler introduces plan to support anaerobic digesters
RELEASE|June 6, 2024
Contact: Graham Filler

State Rep. Graham Filler today introduced a bipartisan plan to ensure the continued operation and success of anaerobic digesters in Michigan.

Filler said he drafted the legislation with Rep. Joey Andrews (D-St. Joseph) in response to recent regulatory changes by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) that have significantly impacted the viability of these important renewable energy facilities.

“The new regulations have severely affected our anaerobic digesters, which are vital for managing waste and producing renewable energy,” Filler said, R-Clinton County. “We need practical regulations that support these facilities. My plan provides a clear framework for their registration and operation, allowing them to continue benefiting our communities and the environment.”

Anaerobic digesters divert organic waste from landfills and convert it into biogas for heat, electricity, and natural gas. EGLE’s new regulations, which treat digesters as wastewater treatment facilities, have placed heavy burdens on their operation. This has led to significant economic and environmental setbacks, including the shutdown of the Fremont Regional Digester. The Fremont facility handled about 40% of Michigan’s pre-consumer food waste and produced enough energy to power around 3,500 homes annually. Its closure has resulted in job losses and the waste of valuable nutrients.

Digesters are particularly important to farmers as they provide a sustainable source of fertilizer. The Fremont Regional Digester alone saved local farmers collectively about half a million dollars annually by supplying nutrient-rich by-products that enhance soil health and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.

House Bills 5789-5790 would clearly define anaerobic digesters in state law and set commonsense procedures for registering and operating such facilities in Michigan.

“Anaerobic digesters are a valuable renewable energy source and a critical asset for our farmers and the broader communities at large,” Filler said. “By adopting new, commonsense regulations, we can support these facilities, enhance our environmental efforts, and promote economic growth in Michigan.”

House Bills 5789-5790 were referred to the House Agriculture Committee for consideration.


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