Contact: Jim Milne
House Bill 4554 was enacted on November 10, 2011 as 2011 PA 211 and took immediate effect. This bill amended Parts 13, Permitting; 301, Inland Lakes and Streams; and 326, Great Lakes Submerged Logs Recovery, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA). Key changes include:
- Submerged log recovery permit applications under Parts 301 and 326 have a 30-day Application Period where the DEQ conducts an administrative completeness review. The DEQ notifies the applicant if there are any missing fees and/or information. This notification pauses the 30-day clock, which resumes when the applicant submits all of the missing fees and/or information.
- After Day 30 of the Application Period (or sooner, if the application is administratively complete), the DEQ places the application on public notice for 20 days. Interested parties can request a public hearing during the public notice period.
- Under Part 326, the DEQ has 90 days from the close of the public notice period or from the date of the public hearing (if one is held) to make its permit decision.
- Under Part 326, if the DEQ doesn't make its permit decision within the 90-day Processing Period, the permit is issued by operation of law.
- Submerged log recovery permit applications under Part 326 must be submitted prior to February 1 of the same calendar year as the commencement of log recovery operations. Applications received on or after February 1 will be returned, unless the applicant is proposing to begin log recovery operations during the following calendar year or later.
- The Part 326 permit application fee is reduced from $3,500 to $500.
- Once a Part 326 permit application is issued, the permit holder cannot begin log recovery operations until:
o A federal permit has been issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
o The permit holder pays a $3,000 log recovery fee to the State of Michigan;
o The permit holder provides the DEQ with either a performance bond from a surety company or irrevocable letter of credit in favor of the DEQ of at least $10,000 but no more than $100,000, as specified in the permit conditions. The performance bond or irrevocable letter of credit must be valid for one (1) year after the permit expiration date.
- A Part 326 submerged log recovery permit issued after November 10, 2011 is valid for five (5) years from the issue date.
- The permit holder must pay the State of Michigan 15% of the sawlog stumpage value, which is defined as the price received from the recovered submerged logs.