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Saving digesters Last week, a bipartisan plan was introduced in the House to ensure the continued operation and success of anaerobic digesters in Michigan. Recently, bureaucrats at DEGLE have create


Last week, a bipartisan plan was introduced in the House to ensure the continued operation and success of anaerobic digesters in Michigan.

Recently, bureaucrats at DEGLE have created new regulations that have severely impacted the viability of our digesters, which are important for managing waste and producing energy. Rather than burdensome, nonsensical regulations passed by individuals who don’t have real-world experience operating these machines, we need commonsense proposals that support these facilities. The bipartisan plan provides a clear framework for ongoing operations, allowing these digesters to continue benefiting our local farmers and communities.

Anaerobic digesters divert organic waste from landfills and convert it into biogas for heat, electricity, and natural gas. DEGLE’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.

In addition to Fremont, these digesters operate right here in Southwest Michigan too. This plan will allow our local farmers to continue operating these machines while saving them thousands of dollars. The bipartisan plan was referred to the House Agriculture Committee, and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.

Serving you is an honor, and I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of Southwest Michigan residents. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or need help with any state agencies please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 517-373-1799 or at paulinewendzel@

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