New DEQ oversight committees announced | Michigan Farm News

New DEQ oversight committees announced

Category: Politics

by Nicole Sevrey, Michigan Farm Bureau


Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced appointments to the state’s new Environmental Rules Review Committee and Environmental Science Advisory Board. Among the appointees is Tyler Ernst, assistant general counsel for Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB).

Snyder’s announcement follows last month’s Environmental Permit Review Commission appointments that included Farm Bureau members Matt Germane and Evan Pratt.

All three bodies are a direct result of legislation advocated for and supported by Farm Bureau to increase transparency and accountability within the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as well as strengthen stakeholder involvement.

Environmental Rules Review Committee

The Environmental Rules Review Committee is an independent body within the Office of Performance and Transformation, designed to oversee all DEQ rule-making. It is comprised of four ex-officio department heads and 12 members who represent different industries and organizations outlined in statute.

“The appointees each have different roles in the environmental field, and I am confident they will use their experiences to ensure the DEQ is creating rules that will benefit and protect Michigan’s environment and natural resources,” Snyder said.

For terms expiring Oct. 4, 2020:

  • Janet Barlow, of Clio, is the owner and manager of Jan's Professional Dry Cleaners, Inc.
  • James Clift, of Lansing, is a policy director for the Michigan Environmental Council and was previously an environmental policy analyst for the Michigan Senate.
  • Eric Pessell, of Delton, is the health officer for the Calhoun County Public Health Department and previously served as the environmental health director for Kent County.
  • Nicholas Ramos is the manager of environmental policy for General Motors.

For terms expiring Oct. 4, 2021:

  • Tyler Ernst, of Lansing, is assistant general counsel for Michigan Farm Bureau.
  • Mark Fowler, of East Jordan, is the superintendent of water / wastewater for Boyne City.
  • John Myers, of Northville, is a licensed professional engineer, serving as director of innovation and business optimization for Waste Management of Michigan.
  • Grant Trigger, of West Bloomfield, is the Michigan cleanup manager for the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust.

For terms expiring Oct. 4, 2022:

  • Helen Taylor, of Okemos, is Michigan state director for The Nature Conservancy and currently serves on the Great Lakes Commission.
  • David Maness, of Midland, is the president of Maness Petroleum, chairman of the Isabella Bank Corporation and serves on the board of directors for the Michigan Oil and Gas Association.
  • Fadi Mourad, of Farmington Hills, is a licensed professional engineer and the director of environmental strategy for DTE Energy.
  • Robert Nederhood, of Grosse Pointe Park, is senior counsel for Foley and Lardner, LLP and previously served as deputy director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs - Office of Regulatory Reinvention.

After initial appointments, members serve four-year terms subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Environmental Science Advisory Board

The Environmental Science Advisory Board was created within the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and will advise the governor and the state of Michigan on issues affecting the protection of the environment and the management of natural resources. It is comprised of nine members with expertise in a scientific field or other discipline.

“Each individual has a unique skillset that gives me confidence they will work well together to ensure Michigan’s natural resources and environment are preserved and protected," Snyder said.

For terms expiring Oct. 4, 2019:

  • Kimberlee Kearfott, of Ann Arbor, is a professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, biomedical engineering and applied physics at the University of Michigan.
  • Dianne McCormick, of Howell, is director/health officer of the Livingston County Health Department, where she previously served as director of environmental health.
  • Ashley Moerke, of Sault Ste. Marie, is director of the Center for Freshwater Research and Education and a professor for the School of Natural Resources and Environment at Lake Superior State University.

For terms expiring Oct. 4, 2020:

  • Lawrence Lemke, of Mt. Pleasant, is a professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Central Michigan University.
  • Steven Pernecky, of Ann Arbor, is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for Eastern Michigan University.
  • George Wolff, of Farmington Hills, is a principal scientist for the environmental consulting firm Air Improvement Resource, Inc.

For terms expiring Oct. 4, 2021:

  • Lauren Brown, of Ann Arbor, is an associate and scientist for Abt Associates with experience in chemical risk assessment.
  • John Matonich, of Marenisco, is a retired CEO, board chair for Rowe Professional Services Company, Inc. and previously served as chair of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.
  • Joan Rose, of Williamston, is the Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair for Water Research and co-director for the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment at Michigan State University.

After initial appointments, members serve three-year terms.