GMA’s state and local lobbying efforts continue to move forward at a strong pace. On July 13, a delegation of 12 GMA representatives met in Michigan’s capitol city of Lansing, to lobby on behalf of the industry. This group included myself, two members of our government relations team from D.C., and the following Executive Council member companies: Thrace LINQ, Tensar, TenCate, Crown Resources, Hanes Geo Components, HUESKER, Agru Americas, and Propex.
The day began at the Michigan Department of Transportation. GMA met with seven members of the MDOT staff and the discussions included: state-wide geosynthetics usage, state specifications, and innovative ways our members’ products can be used in the state. Like many states, MDOT is looking to increase the design life of their infrastructure and geosynthetics can be one component that helps achieve that goal.
Next, GMA met with the Office of Strategic Policy for Gov. Rick Snyder. GMA had the opportunity to brief the governor’s office on our members work at the state and federal level. The conversation also focused around the state’s restoration issues pertaining to the Great Lakes shorelines. Gov. Snyder has established a 21st century Infrastructure Commission and GMA intends to stay in contact with our Michigan connections to keep them informed on how best our members’ products can assist in the goal of creating a 21st century infrastructure in the state of Michigan.
GMA ended its lobbying visits by meeting with two offices within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protections, and the Water Resources Division. The discussions addressed: the Michigan Solid Waste Act, coal ash, waste management, turf reinforcement, and permitting. GMA’s Executive Council plans to keep an open dialogue with these offices and also plans to partner with the IGS-North America Chapter to explore educational opportunities with the MDEQ.