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Apply for EGLE Permits Before Shoreline Rebuilding on Wixom, Sanford Lakes after Midland Flooding

No. 013 – June 10, 2020
For more information contact: 

LANSING, MICH. Property owners dealing with the impacts of the Midland floods are reminded that some post-flood construction may require permits from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). It is important to go through the state and local permitting process to ensure that repairs and other regulated work will meet state regulations for health and safety, and help prevent future damages.

EGLE staff is prioritizing and expediting post-flooding permitting if a home, building or critical infrastructure is under the immediate threat of failure. Property owners are urged to coordinate with EGLE’s Saginaw Bay District Office if dealing with an emergency situation.

Work being done within regulated areas such as floodplains, streams, lakes, and wetlands generally requires permits from EGLE. For example, replacing an existing or damaged structure, such as a home, garage or commercial building, within a stream or river are activities that need regulatory approval.

Other activities within the 100-year floodplain that would require a permit:
• Building a new structure such as a home, garage or commercial building.
• Additions that alter a building’s existing footprint.
• New or replacement decks, stairs, porches, patios.
• Filling or grading.
• Reconstruction or replacement of a failed bridge or culvert, shoreline protection, or filling or grading in low areas, such as bottomland or wetlands.

Activities for flood-damaged areas outside the 100-year floodplain do not require an EGLE floodplain
permit. Examples include:
• Elevating an existing residence (no fill or grading or increase in the structure’s footprint).
• Interior repairs to existing structures including elevating structures.
• New or replacement septic systems below grade.
• Replacing utilities with no change in grade.
• Tree and vegetation planting (with no fill added).

It is important to contact a community’s building official if repairing or replacing a damaged structure. Starting repairs without proper permits may be in violation of local codes and ordinances. Depending on how much damage a building has sustained, the permitting and repair requirements may differ.

For shoreline work on Wixom and Sanford Lakes, the following activities generally require a permit from EGLE:
• Dredging, filling or grading on the bottom lands in front of the seawall. Authorization from the landowner (Four Lakes Task Force/Boyce Hydro) must accompany the application.
• Replacing a seawall or installing a new one.
• Installing new rock riprap.

These shoreline activities generally do not need a permit from EGLE:
• Filling or installing tiebacks behind an existing seawall (landward of the seawall).
• Repairing a seawall where the repairs are less than 25 percent of the existing seawall with the same material and with the existing design.
• Rock riprap that has been displaced by erosion can be reset or reinstalled.

For emergency shoreline permits, contact Brian Rudolph of EGLE’s Saginaw District Office at 989-439-6065 or For floodplain permits, contact Joy Brooks at 989-280-1632 or

To apply for a permit, use EGLE’s MiWaters portal. General information, including sample drawings, is also available.

Residents should also check with their county Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control office for soil erosion permit requirements:

• Midland City:
• Arenac County:
• Gladwin County:
• Midland County:
• Saginaw County:


NR013 - Apply for EGLE Permits Before Shoreline Rebuilding on Wixom, Sanford Lakes after Midland Flooding (PDF)