Septic Tank Waste Removal, Transport and Land Application Licenses

Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has responsibility for issuing licenses and permits under the authority of Part 117 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. The purpose of this Part is to regulate the disposal of septage waste by licensing those individuals engaged in the servicing of portable toilets, septic tanks, seepage pits, cesspools, sewage lift stations, or other regulated enclosures; licensing their vehicles; and issuing permits authorizing land application of septage.

The Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division (DWMAD), within the MDEQ, has been delegated the responsibility for the preparation and issuance of septic waste haulers licenses, vehicle licenses, and land application site permits under the authority of Part 117. Part 117 also provides for the inspection of vehicles used to transport septage waste and land application sites.

A. NAME OF PERMIT OR APPROVAL:

Authorization for Land Application of Septage Waste

License to Remove and Transport Septic Tank Waste

B. STATUTORY AUTHORITY:

Part 117, Septage Waste, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended

C. APPLICABLE REGULATION:

No administrative rules

D.  SUMMARY OF PERMIT/APPROVAL PROCESS:

 1.  Applicability (activities that require the permit)
  • Any person engaged in the business of servicing portable toilets, septic tanks, seepage pits, or cesspools, and any vehicle used to transport waste from these enclosures.
  • Any site used for the land application of septage wastes.
  • Any solicitor for any of the aforementioned businesses.
 2.  Pre-Application Requirements
  • All persons engaged in servicing, and vehicles used to transport waste from, portable toilets, septic tanks, seepage pits, cesspools, sewage lift stations, or other regulated enclosures are required to be properly licensed.
  • Licenses expire five years from the date of issuance.
  • An annual fee is assessed to each licensed firm to maintain licenses.
  • Licensed individuals shall deposit all wastes collected from any portable toilet, septic tank, seepage pit, or cesspool into a publicly owned wastewater treatment facility or other Department authorized receiving station, if a facility is available to receive the waste and is located within 15 road miles of the location where the septage waste is received.
  • In the absence of an available facility, septage waste may be disposed of by means of land application to sites approved by either a local health department or the MEQ. The MDEQ issues permits authorizing use of these sites.
  • Licensed individuals shall maintain at all times at his/her place of business a complete record of the amount of septage waste that the individual has transported and disposed of and the location at which any septic waste disposal has occurred.
  • Applications for a new business and vehicle license are available upon request.
  • Applications for reissuance of licenses to businesses are sent to the business approximately 60 days prior to the expiration of the current license.
 3.  Application Submission Requirements

Application for licensing is to be made to the MEQ using form EQP 5836 which requires the following information:

  • Applicant name and mailing address.
  • Business name and mailing address.
  • Description of vehicles to be used for transporting septage waste.

Signatures of superintendents from all wastewater treatment facilities that are available to accept septage waste received by the hauler (in the areas where the licensed hauler collects septage waste).

All applicable fees

If the applicant intends to dispose of septage on land, form EQP 5837 (Authorization for Land Application of Septage Waste) must also be completed. Form EQP 5837 requires the following information:

  • Business name and mailing address.
  • Property Description.
  • Land Owner Agreement.
  • Disposal Site Information.
 4.  Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval
  • Applicant provides all required information on the application form (EQP 5836 and EQP 5837). All septage waste forms are posted on the program website and should be used exclusively when applying for a license or permit.
  • Local health department or MDEQ will contact applicant to arrange for inspection of vehicle(s) and land site to determine if all of the requirements of Part 117 have been met.
  • If the applicant intends to utilize land application as a disposal option, he or she must complete form EQP 5837. All septage waste program applications are mailed to the MDEQ for review. If the application is determined to be complete, the MDEQ contacts the local health department if they are contracted with the MDEQ in administering the requirements of Part 117. The health department is contracted to perform program inspections and make recommendations to the MDEQ Septage Program. The MDEQ takes these recommendations under consideration and is the final decision maker regarding issuance of the licenses or land application permit. For sites located in counties where the local health department does not participate in administering the program, the applicant is required to submit the completed form plus a plat map, soil survey map, and an Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service map to the DWMAD, MDEQ. Each map is required to have the proposed site clearly outlined. Staff of the administering agency reviews the available information to determine if the proposed site meets the requirements of the statute for approval. Approvals are effective for the duration of the applicant's business license (five years maximum) and must be renewed at the time of license expiration for continued use.
  • Application shall simultaneously send a notice of application to the certified health department with jurisdiction, the clerk of the city, village, or township where the site is located, each person who owns a lot, parcel, or tract on which the proposed site is located or that would be contiguous except for the presence of a highway, road or street and who to contact if there is an objection to the proposal. [Applicant includes a copy of the notification and a list of names and addresses that received the notification(s) with his or her application form (EQP 5837).]
  • Applicant obtains signatures from all superintendents of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants (in the areas where the business collects septage waste) and the owners of private septage waste receiving facilities (SWRF) that accept septage waste for treatment. Only MDEQ authorized facilities can accept septage waste for treatment and all have differing service areas than may extend as far as 15 radial miles from the center of that facility (this can extend as far out as 25 radial miles beginning FY 2010). Septage waste pumped from within the service area of an MDEQ authorized SWRF must go to that facility or to another authorized SWRF for treatment. All approved facilities are posted on the program website; www.michigan.gov/septage and can be viewed by clicking on ‘Approved Septage Waste Receiving Facility Operating Plans'. The licensed septage firm should be aware that there may be a more restrictive local county ordinance governing septage waste pumping and disposal.
  • Applicant submits completed form(s) and fees to the MDEQ, DWMAD.
  • The MDEQ staff review the application form(s) for completeness and to determine if the appropriate fees have been submitted.
  • The MDEQ staff return incomplete form(s) or those submitted without the appropriate fees to the business, along with a letter explaining the deficiency. The applicant is instructed to correct the deficiency.
  • If the application is determined to be complete, the MDEQ contacts the local health department if they are contracted with the MDEQ in administering the requirements of Part 117. The health department is contracted to perform program inspections and make recommendations to the MDEQ Septage Program. The MDEQ takes these recommendations under consideration and is the final decision maker regarding issuance of the licenses or land application permit.
  • The MDEQ staff issue appropriate licenses and vehicle decals to the applicant once it has been determined by staff that all of the necessary information has been submitted, fees have been paid, and there is no other reason that a license may not be issued.
  • The new septage business and those requesting a license for new vehicles and land application sites should allow up to 6 weeks.
 5.  Operational Requirements

Licensee must comply with all applicable sections of Part 117 and any stipulations set forth in either the license or the land application permit.

 6.  Fees
  • The septage waste business is required to pay an annual fee to maintain his/her license. The invoice is mailed out the second week of January in a given year.
  • Haulers (business) license – $200.
  • Vehicle license – $480/vehicle if the septage waste firm disposes septage on land and $350/vehicle.
  • New land site - $500 per site. This is a one time payment only.
  • A certified health department that carries out responsibilities under Part 117 may assess a fee to cover the cost of fulfilling its responsibilities under Part 117.
 7.  Appeal Process
  • Administrative Procedures Act, 1969 PA 306, as amended
  • New application - contested case hearing, Judicial Review
  • Existing license - Roger's Hearing, contested case hearing, Judicial Review
 8.  Public Input Opportunities

The decision-maker in this process is the MDEQ Septage Program Coordinator in the DWMAD. Complaints or comments related to a hauler may be filed with the MDEQ at any time. The complaints are investigated and considered in the decision-making process when the hauler applies for renewal or an initial application. In addition, the applicant shall simultaneously send a notice of application to the certified health department with jurisdiction, the clerk of the city, village, or township where the site is located, each person who owns a lot, parcel, or tract on which the proposed site is located or that would be contiguous except for the presence of a highway, road or street and who to contact if there is an objection to the proposal. A list of active land application sites can be found on the MDEQ program web page.

E. ADMINISTERING AGENCY:

Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30273, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7773

  • Program Phone: 517-256-6953

 

Creation/Revision Date:

August 2018