Records: Gravel lobbying group directed state-funded report

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 4:20 AM EDT
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Records show Michigan transportation officials took direction from a lobbying group for the sand and gravel industry when commissioning a 2016 study that determined the state is running out of gravel to rebuild its roads.

The Detroit Free Press obtained emails and other records under Michigan's open records law that show the Michigan Aggregates Association recommended which consultant the state Department of Transportation hired for the study.

The newspaper also found that lobbyists determined the study's scope, price range and suggested its anticipated findings.

The study is often cited by Michigan gravel companies seeking to open or expand a mine.

Records show the state agency funded the nearly $50,000 study with taxpayer money.

Department spokesman Tim Fischer defended the agency for seeking guidance from an industry group since the study was specialized.