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Wetland Permits

Contact: Your project's local WRD District Office

According to Part 303, Wetlands Protection, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended, a person may not do any of the following activities in a wetland without a permit from the DEQ: 
 
Activity  Example (Partial List Only) 
Deposit or permit the placing of fill material  Bulldozing, Grading, Dumping 
Dredge, remove, or permit the removal of soil or minerals  Removing tree stumps, Bulldozing, Digging a pond 
Construct, operate, or maintain any use or development  Construction of buildings or structures, Boardwalks, Peat mining, Water treatment 
Drain surface water  Diverting water to another area via ditch, pump or drain 
 
Decisions on wetland permit applications are based on the DEQ's review of the proposed project in light of the criteria in Part 303 and associated administrative rules.  In general, the applicant must show avoidance of wetland resources to the greatest extent possible and minimization of unavoidable wetland impacts.  The DEQ also considers any public comments that have been received prior to making a permit decision.   

The DEQ may approve a permit application, request modification to an application, or deny an application.  Decisions on permit applications can be appealed by contacting the Office of Administrative Hearings in writing within 60 days of the permit decision and requesting a formal hearing. 

A joint state and federal permit process has been established between the DEQ and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for proposed projects in areas which have both state and federal jurisdiction.  The Water Resources Division will determine whether a permit application requires joint state and federal review, and when appropriate, will forward these permit applications to the USACE Detroit office for federal permitting review.

DEQ/USACE Joint Permit Application 

Part 303 authorizes the DEQ to define types of activities that would be expected to have only a minor impact on wetlands and that can, therefore, be reviewed through an expedited permit application process.  Activities that are authorized under a General Permit or Minor Project Category do not require an individual public notice, are often subject to lower application fees, and are generally not subject to mitigation requirements.  A person seeking authorization under a General Permit or Minor Project Category must submit a permit application using the DEQ/USACE Joint Permit Application Form.   

General Permit Categories

Minor Project Categories

Additional Information

You can also contact a WRD district office by sending e-mail to one of the following general email accounts:

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