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Wetland Permits

Contact: District Permit Staff

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 EGLE:

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 EGLE'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. EGLE also considers any public comments that have been received prior to making a permit decision.

EGLE 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 EGLE 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.

EGLE/USACE Joint Permit Application 

Part 303 authorizes EGLE 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 EGLE/USACE Joint Permit Application Form.