JPA Frequently Asked Questions

Contact: For additional information, please contact your local district office.

1. What can I use as a time guide in planning and scheduling my project? 

Generally it will take from 30 to 90 days from the time we receive a complete application until a decision is made on your permit. Other factors include: 

  • The size and complexity of your project. 
  • The number of corrections and additional information that are required for your original application to be administratively complete. 
  • If the project requires a Public Notice or a Public Hearing. 
  • The season of the year, with spring and summer being the busiest. 
  • Correct application fee paid by check made out to the State of Michigan or by credit card within MiWaters.  Refer to Permit Application Payment Options.

2. How do I apply for a permit? 

EGLE's Water Resources Division has transitioned to MiWaters, a web-based permitting and compliance database.  As of 8/17/15, applications began to be accepted in MiWaters. In 2019, the application process became fully electronic and the application is a form in MiWaters and will be submitted through the system. You will also pay application fees online using MiWaters.

Applications will be assigned in the system to District staff based on geographic location and project type (ex: Hydrologic Studies and Dam Safety Unit (HSDSU) and Transportation Review Unit (TRU)). Projects crossing District boundaries will typically be assigned to the District in which the majority of the work will be performed.

3. How can I know if my application has been received and is being processed? 

EGLE's Water Resources Division has transitioned to MiWaters, a web-based permitting and compliance database.  MiWaters replaces CIWPIS and can be used to check the status of your application. MiWaters will send you notices when deadlines are approaching or information is required.

4. How soon will WRD staff begin working on my application? 

Application processing begins when the application is received.  Typically, review for administrative completeness begins within 0 to 14 days of receipt.  The completeness review time ranges from 0 to 45 days, depending on how complete the application is when submitted, and the need for additional information, clarification, or fees.  Once the necessary information is received, the application is processed as expeditiously as possible.  Some projects may be posted for a 20-45 day public notice period.

5. What items must be submitted with an application so it can be determined "complete" as submitted, without requiring additional information? 

  • READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY! Check all the items on the instructions list prior to starting submission of the application. Click here for the JPA online application submittal instructions.
  • Fully complete all required Sections. The application requires certain questions to be answered and will not allow submittal if not completed.
  • Provide the correct application fee determined in MiWaters. The scope of the project you are applying for in your application will determine your fees and will be calculated by the application form. Payment must be submitted online using MiWaters. 

6. Why and when would I receive a letter that requests more information? 

If during the application review process your application is determined to be incomplete, you will receive notification in MiWaters and be contacted by phone, email or letter requesting clarification, amplification, or correction of the application or additional fees, if necessary.  More information may be required if the additional information provided is unclear inconsistent, or incomplete. You have a maximum of 30 days to provide all requested information to make the file complete, or the file will be closed due to administrative incompleteness.  Fees are not refundable. In some instances extension requests are available and you will be notified if this is the case. 

7. Once complete, how will my file be processed? 

Technical review time usually ranges from 1 to 90 days.  Processing times may be longer if a public notice is required or if a public hearing is held.  Staff will begin the technical review and conduct a site inspection once the application is determined to be administratively complete.  During the field inspection staff may determine that the application does not fully represent the proposed project and may contact you for additional information prior to making a permit decision.  Decision extension requests are available, if requested by the applicant.

8. What if a federal permit is also required? 

If the proposed activity is in Section 10 Waters (Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, large navigable waters) a copy of the permit application will be sent to the Detroit District Office, US Army Corps of Engineers for processing at the federal level.  (www.lre.usace.army.mil/ or call 313-226-2218). Outside of Section 10 Waters, if the permit application requires federal review due to impact, it will be sent to the US Environmental Protection Agency for comment. 

9. Is there other information available to assist me in putting together a complete application? 

Guidance and information is available on line at www.michigan.gov/jointpermit.  Additionally, pre-application meetings are available.  You may contact your district office to make arrangements. 

Additional Questions? 

If you have any questions about the permitting process please contact the appropriate district office. Questions regarding MiWaters should be directed to MiWaters staff.