Department of Environmental Quality

  • Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) case types include contested cases covering permitting and licensing provisions of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), 1994 PA 451, as amended, including:

    • Part 31, Water Resources Protection, including issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits;
    • Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams;
    • Part 303, Wetlands Protection;
    • Part 325, Great Lakes Submerged Lands; and
    • Part 353, Sand Dunes Protection and Management.

How do DEQ matters come to MAHS?

  • Typically, a Petition for Contested Case Hearing must be filed with the Michigan Administrative Hearing System (MAHS) within sixty (60) days of an agency action. That action can be the denial of an Application for a permit challenged by the applicant, or the issuance of a permit challenged by a person with standing. A case may also originate by a Petition filed by the DEQ that seeks to revoke or modify an existing license.

What types of DEQ hearings does MAHS hold on this subject area?

  • The contested case before the MAHS Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is a de novo review of the application for a permit.

What authority does MAHS have in this process?

  • A Proposal for Decision (PFD) is issued by the MAHS ALJ, to which the parties may file Exceptions and Responses to Exceptions. The Director of DEQ, upon a review of the record, including the PFD, Exceptions and Responses, issues a Final Determination and Order (FDO). The FDO may then be appealed to Circuit Court.


  • Q. How do I determine when the 60 days for filing the Petition have expired?

    A. The computation of time is controlled by MCL 8.6. Under that statute, the first day (i.e.., the date the Application was denied or the date the permit was issued) is excluded and the last day is included. For example, if a letter denying an Application is dated June 1, the 60th day (the date of filing) is July 25th.

    Q. If the Petition for Contested Case Hearing is merely placed in the mail by the 60th day, is it timely filed?

    A. The Petition for Contested Case Hearing must be received by MAHS by the 60th day.