- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan regulators plan to reduce the number of pollutants automatically regulated when companies seek air-pollution permits.

The Department of Environmental Quality released rules Thursday. It says defining fewer low-toxicity substances as toxins reduces “unnecessary red tape.”

Environmentalists worry about the impact on public health. The Michigan Environmental Council’s Sean Hammond says it’s better to assume contaminants are unsafe so companies limit exposure.

Michigan would have 756 automatically regulated contaminants under the rules, down from more than 1,200.

DEQ Air Quality Chief Lynn Fiedler says Michigan regulations would remain stronger than federal and other states’ rules. The DEQ wants to regulate pollutants of “most concern” and says substances no longer on the list could still be reviewed.

The rules go to a regulatory office and then a legislative committee for consideration.

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