Richardville testifies on bill allowing local law enforcement to remove hazards from state waterways
LANSING — Sen. Randy Richardville today testified at a Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee in support of legislation that would help make Michigan waterways safer for boaters by allowing local law enforcement officials to remove items that would make navigation hazardous to boaters.
“This legislation will help prevent tragedies, such as the one that occurred in my district last summer,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “It gives local law enforcement agencies additional tools to help keep our waterways safe so that Michigan’s many lakes and rivers can continue to be enjoyed by residents and visitors.”
In 2009, 27-year-old Chad Edmonds died on the River Raisin in Monroe County when he was ejected from his 20-foot 1988 Aerocraft after it struck a large I-beam protruding from the shore.
Senate Bill 1117, sponsored by Sen. Patty Birkholz, would allow local law enforcement officials, who have jurisdiction over a body of water, to remove or order the removal or relocation of items that might cause a potential hazard for navigation. Currently, only the Department of Natural Resources is allowed to remove these items.
“I am pleased to work with Senator Richardville in moving this important legislation in the hope that we will have a new law in place for this year’s boating season to help avoid hazards,” said Birkholz, chair of the committee.
Richardville said: “Local law enforcement officials and boaters across the state have expressed concerns over the mounting number of navigational hazards in state waterways. It makes sense to give local law enforcement officials the authority to have the hazards removed, rather than relying on a state agency to do so.”
Approved by the committee, the measure has been sent to the full Senate for further consideration.
Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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