Permits on Public Notice
All permits proposed for issuance are subject to a 30-day public notice period. This gives the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed discharge and inform the DEQ of any relevant surface water concerns. If the DEQ determines that there are relevant, unresolved surface water concerns, the Department will choose to hold a public meeting or public hearing.
The Water Resources Division is announcing a change in the public notice process for wastewater discharge permits issued pursuant to Part 31 of Act 451. These permits are commonly referred to as NPDES, Stormwater, and Groundwater permits. Public notice requirements for draft permits are identified in Rule 323.2117, and provide for three options, which include posting the draft permit in a post office or other public building near the wastewater discharge, posting the draft permit at the entrance of the applicant's premises, or publishing notice in a local newspaper. The Water Resources Division has historically relied on publishing notice in a local newspaper. However, this practice has been found to have limited success in reaching the public. The Water Resources Division has found that use of electronic means, such as publishing notice on the MDEQ website, has been more effective. In light of this, and the ability to conserve fiscal resources, the Water Resources Division is changing the required public notice process to use options other than publishing notice in a local newspaper as a first preference. The Water Resources Division will continue to work to effectively involve the public in this process, and will track the public participation process to ensure there is no decrease in public participation over time as a result of this change.
Any interested party can be placed on the public notice list for a specific facility. Individuals on the public notice list will receive notification by the Department via e-mail. To be placed on a public notice list, contact:
Pam Studebaker, Secretary
Permits and supporting documents placed on public notice are available via MiWaters, our new web-based permitting and compliance database.
The draft permit and public notice document are available for each facility. A fact sheet is available for facilities which discharge over 500,000 gallons per day, and facilities classified as "major" by the Environmental Protection Agency. An antidegradation demonstration is available for facilities which propose a new or increased discharge as required by Rule 323.1098.
Comments or objections to the draft permit received by the response date, indicated on the public notice, will be considered in the final decision to issue the permit. Persons desiring information regarding the draft permit, and procedures for commenting, or requesting a hearing should contact the individual listed on public notice.
Electronic comments may be submitted to the permit processor within MiWaters. Phone numbers can be found on the Permit Section Staff phone list. Written comments should be mailed to: Permits Section, Water Resources Division, DEQ, Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909.
Persons desiring additional information regarding public involvement opportunities within the DEQ should download a copy of the DEQ Public Involvement Handbook.