Permitting delays at packing facilities are creating concern for Michigan specialty crop growers. The delays are the result of conflicting regulations.

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires facilities to use water treatment additives as part of food safety protocols. These additives have been questioned by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), which handles groundwater discharge permit renewals.

The impasse offers no clear path forward for the packing facilities. Growers have reached out to state lawmakers to intervene. State Representative Pauline Wendzel and Senator Aric Nesbitt say agency officials have contradicted themselves and provided no straight answers on what the delay is, why permits have been refused or a timeline on when actions may be taken.

Read more about the regulations impacting Michigan specialty crop growers here.