Permit Categories for Wetlands, Inland Lakes and Streams, Great Lakes, and FloodplainsContact: Amy Berry BerryA2@michigan.gov
The Joint Permit Application (JPA) is for construction activities where the land meets the water covering permit requirements derived from state and federal rules and regulations. The JPA operates under three-tiers of permitting categories for regulated activities under NRPEPA Parts 301, 303, and 325. Additional categories also exist for floodplains under the authority of Part 31. The permit category you apply under is dependent on the type and scope of activities you are undertaking. These categories generally meet specific Best Management Practices criteria that have been shown to minimize impacts to these resources if followed correctly. These categories are updated at minimum every five years to incorporate new technologies and science as well as the needs of the public and program stakeholders. While these categories represent activities that typically require minimal review if criteria are met, they do not define projects that necessarily will be issued.
The choices of permit application categories for the Joint Permit Application are:
- General Permit, $50 fee
- Minor Project, $100 fee
- Individual Permit - Public Notice project, typically $500 application fee, but could be $2,000 if the project is a Major Project as listed in the individual statutes. Additional additive fees may be applied for some special project requirements such as hydraulic analysis, dam projects, and critical dune or high-risk erosion areas. See Fee Schedule on website for more information.
Knowing the type of permit category your project qualifies for is not required in order to submit the permit application. However, identifying this will help you properly fill out the proposed activities, submit the right permit application fee, minimize project impacts, and avoid processing delays. Fees are not additive for projects that include activities meeting multiple categories; the maximum category fee will apply.
General Permit (GP) Categories cover activities that are generally considered the least impactful to the resources and exemplify Best Management Practices for a specific list of activities. These categories define specific activities that would be expected to cause no more than minimal impacts and that can, therefore, be reviewed through an expedited permit application process. If all activities for a project meets a GP category then it may be processed as such and no public notice, no site visit, and no mitigation is required for the permit application. The specific criteria listed for each GP category must be identified as being met in the permit application in order to qualify for this type of permit. If the JPA information does not reflect the category criteria, then a notice will be sent to the applicant that additional information and fees are required. This will delay the permit application process. In addition, there are several "kick-out' provisions that are identified during the application screening process that would preclude the use of these categories.
- View the individual General Permit Categories including the kick-out provisions.
Minor Project (MP) Categories represent the next permitting tier and consists of slightly more complicated activities. These categories still contain criteria that exemplify Best Management Practices for common projects expected to have only minor impacts. However, these may need slightly more review than the GP Categories and may include a site visit and mitigation if appropriate. No public notice is required for projects with all activities meeting the MP Categories. The specific criteria listed for each MP category must be identified as being met in the permit application in order to qualify for this type of permit. If the JPA information does not reflect the category criteria, then a notice will be sent to the applicant that additional information and fees are required. This will delay the permit application process. In addition, there are several "kick-out' provisions that are identified during the application screening process that would preclude the use of these categories.
- View the individual Minor Project Categories for wetlands, lakes, and streams, and the Great Lakes including the kick-out provisions.
All projects that do not meet a GP or MP category are considered Individual Permits. These projects are also called Public Notice Projects because certain statutes require adjacent landowners be notified and given the chance to comment or request a Public Hearing on the project. Adjacent landowners include any parcels touching the project parcel and parcels across the street. Projects impacting only floodplains do not require a public notice regardless of permit category. It should be noted that there are additional projects that constitute a more extensive review process. These are either Major Projects as defined by EGLE or projects requiring concurrent federal review as defined in the state and federal Clean Water Act Section 404 Program Memorandum of Agreement.
EGLE defined Major Projects are those projects as listed in Parts 301, 303, or 325 as follows:
- Dredging of 10,000 cubic yards or more (wetlands excepted)
- New dredging or upland boat basin excavation in suspected contamination areas
- Seawalls, bulkheads, or revetments of 500 feet or more in length
- Filling or draining of 1 acre or more of contiguous coastal or inland wetland
- New commercial docks or wharves of 300 feet or more in length
- Stream enclosures of 100 feet or more in length
- Stream relocations of 500 feet or more in length
- Subdivisions, condominiums, or new golf courses
- Filling of 10,000 cubic yards or more (wetlands included)
- Shore projection that extends 150 feet or more into a lake or stream