The Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division (OGMD), within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), has responsibility for issuing permits to engage in sand dune mining within the designated sand dune areas defined under the authority of Part 637, Sand Dune Mining, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA). The purpose of this permit is to protect sand dunes within the Great Lakes sand dune areas.
A. NAME OF PERMIT OR APPROVAL:
Permit to Engage in Sand Dune Mining Within Great Lakes Sand Dune Areas
B. STATUTORY AUTHORITY:
Part 637, Sand Dune Mining, Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended
C. APPLICABLE REGULATION:
Sand Dune Areas (R 281.401 - 281.413)
D. SUMMARY OF PERMIT/APPROVAL PROCESS:
1. Applicability (activities that require the permit)
Any person, or operator, wishing to remove sand from a designated sand dune area for commercial or industrial purposes.
2. Pre-Application Requirements
Permit is valid for no more than five years and may be renewed if operations have been carried out in compliance with the Act, the rules promulgated thereby, and permit conditions.
3. Application Submission Requirements
- Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed activity
- Progressive cell-unit mining and reclamation plan
4. Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval
- Applicant submits eight copies of preliminary application and supplemental materials to OGMD.
- The OGMD reviews materials to determine if application is complete; requests revisions if needed.
- If application is acceptable, OGMD distributes copies to other pertinent Michigan Department of Natural Resources and MDEQ divisions for evaluation and solicits comments, criticisms, or recommendations.
- The OGMD reviews comments received from other divisions and determines whether further revisions are needed.
- If the preliminary application is accepted by the department, it is considered administratively complete and is designated as a "Draft Sand Dune Mining Proposal" which begins a 120-day period within which the MDEQ must issue or deny the permit.
- The MDEQ publishes a public notice of the application for a sand dune mining permit.
- If the proposed action lies within a barrier dune formation or the department determines it to be significant or controversial, or a specific request is received, a public hearing will be held by OGMD staff.
- The OGMD staff reviews all information received and makes a recommendation to the Chief of the OGMD to issue or deny the permit.
- The OGMD Chief issues or denies the permit.
5. Operational Requirements
- Applicant must comply with all applicable rules and regulations and any stipulations set forth in the permit.
- On-site inspections are made.
- Before sand is removed from permitted area, a conformance bond in the amount of $20,000/cell-unit, or $2,000/acre (whichever is greater) must be filed with the state.
- Sand dune mining operators are assessed a fee of not more than 10 cents per ton of sand mined per calendar year to cover cost of surveillance, monitoring, administration, and enforcement of the Act.
7. Appeal Process
- The appeal of the agency determination by the applicant is provided in the form of an administrative hearing with the final department decision being adopted by the director of MDEQ.
- Subsequent appeal may be taken to a circuit court of relevant jurisdiction.
8. Public Input Opportunities
The decision maker in this process is the State Geologist, (who is also the Chief of the OGMD). There is a formal public notice process, which includes notice in the DEQ Calendar and local newspapers. In addition, interested parties may request to be notified of the public comment period through e-mail. The 30-day public comment period is the best opportunity for public comment; public comment can be in the form of a telephone call, an e-mail, or a letter.
E. ADMINISTERING AGENCY:
Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30256, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7756
- Program Phone: 517-284-6826
Sand Dune Mining Program Overview