The Water Resources Division (WRD) within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) issues permits for activities that impact land and water features. Applications in US Section 10 Waters are forwarded to the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) for additional permitting.
A. NAME OF PERMIT OR APPROVAL:
The Joint Permit Application process provides coverage for the following permit programs:
B. STATUTORY AUTHORITY:
Public Act 451 of 1994, Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), as amended.
Each permit program identified above is fully summarized per each heading within this summary, including statutory authority.
Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 prohibits the obstruction or alteration of navigable waters of the United States without a permit from the USACE.
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of dredged or fill material into all waters of the United States, including wetlands, both adjacent and isolated, without a permit. The state of Michigan has assumed from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the authority to regulate the placement of fill material in waterways and wetlands under provisions of Section 404 g (1) of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (Applicable Regulations). However, since Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act does not provide for similar transfer to states, the USACE retains Section 404 jurisdiction within those waters that are navigable waters of the U.S. and their adjacent wetlands. The discharge of any fill materials must comply with state water quality standards consistent with Sections 301, 307, and 401 of the Clean Water Act.
C. APPLICABLE REGULATION:
In addition, each permit program identified above is fully summarized per each heading within this summary, including applicable regulation.
D. SUMMARY OF PERMIT/APPROVAL PROCESS:
The EGLE/USACE Joint Permit Application (JPA) package covers permit requirements pursuant to state and federal rules and regulations for construction activities where the land meets the water and including wetlands, often referred to as the land/water interface. It is intended to prevent duplication of state and federal regulations. The application covers activities on or for: Wetlands, Inland Lakes and Streams, Floodplains, Great Lakes Bottom Lands, Marinas, Critical Dunes, Dams, and High Risk Erosion Areas.
See also the applicability decision tree.
Optional pre-application meetings are available for a fee. Learn more on the preapplication meeting website.
Contractors are also available to assist with wetland determinations, see the Wetland Identification Program webpage.
The application is titled Joint Permit Application (EQP 2731) and a fee is required with submission. Submission requirements and guidance documents can be found online at www.michigan.gov/jointpermit.
Permit processing can take anywhere between 2 and 4 months. A permit processing flowchart is available.
Applicants must comply with all applicable statutes, rules, permit conditions, and stipulations set forth in the application.
If an application is denied for a proposed activity, the landowner may appeal the decision to the EGLE Director requesting a contested case hearing pursuant to the State Administrative Procedures Act, Public Act 306 of 1969, as amended (a decision from this process can be appealed to the courts).
Information regarding contested case hearings can be obtained from the Administrative Procedures Website.
The decision makers in this program are district staff. Substantial or unresolved issues may be reviewed by the EGLE deputy directory or the WRD division director. The WRD has many mechanisms for public notice of pending permit decisions. A record of applications received is available on an online searchable permitting and compliance system called MiWaters. This online system allows queries related to public hearings, public notices, year, county, township, range, section, water body, file number or applicant name. The WRD district contact can be found through MiWaters. The best opportunity for public input is during the 20 day public review and comment period, available for some permits applications. If the proposed project impacts regulated wetlands under the jurisdiction of Part 303 then the local units of government (village, city, township or county) have 45 days to submit comment. If a hearing is requested, then all previously notified groups and individuals are notified by mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
F. ADMINISTERING AGENCY:
EGLE, Water Resources Division, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7958