LANSING, Mich.—Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Directive 2023-04, which aims to make state permitting processes more predictable, transparent, and efficient and require state government to reimburse applicants for missed deadlines, where possible. It will lower costs and ensure permits for more projects of all kinds—housing, community revitalization, manufacturing, clean energy, and water protection—get done on time while protecting our air, land, and water.
“Permitting delays can increase costs and uncertainty for communities and businesses,” said Gov. Whitmer. “That’s why today, I am signing an executive order aimed at speeding up state permitting and refunding permit application fees for missed deadlines whenever possible. Those applying for a state permit must know how long the process will take and that when the state commits to a deadline, we will meet it. The bipartisan budget I recently signed also included resources to further reduce permitting wait times and improve the permitting process. I will keep working hard to lower the cost of doing business and make Michigan more competitive for projects that create good-paying jobs and transform communities.”
“We must work together to grow Michigan’s economy and make it easier to do business, create jobs, and get things done,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. “Executive Directive 2023-04 will help make our permitting process more efficient and effective while balancing the important need to protect clean air, land, and water for every Michigander. Governor Whitmer and I will continue our work to lower costs for Michiganders, grow our economy, and build prosperity in our communities.”
“Increasing project certainty and reducing delays through an efficient permitting process will support critical investments and improve community vibrancy, quality of life and the attraction in West Michigan,” said Rick Baker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. “Each week a permit is delayed is anticipated to increase the cost of a project by at least 1%. We applaud the Governor and her Administration for taking on this important work.”
“Speed to market is a critical business element. A barrier to business expansion and attraction in Michigan is cumbersome and overlapping regulatory processes,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Regional Chamber. “The Chamber supports a serious examination – and changes – to regulatory processes to foster job creation and economic growth.”
Permitting Executive Directive
The executive directive will bring an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensuring state government is responsive, efficient, and effective in responding to permit applicants and getting projects done on time while protecting our environment, maintaining rigorous standards of permit review, and putting science and Michiganders first. It directs state departments and agencies to assess what permits and licenses they issue and the statutory authorities governing application fees and response times. They will then report that information to the governor, who will establish recommended times for the efficient processing of each type of permit or license. When state departments or agencies exceed the recommended time, they must waive or refund the full application fee to the extent permitted by law. The agencies are also required to identify what permits can be eliminated.