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Floodplain Permit (Part 31)

The Water Resources Division (WRD), within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), has responsibility for reviewing permit applications to occupy, fill, or grade lands in a floodplain under the provisions of Part 31, Water Resources Protection, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA). The purpose of this permit is to assure that channels and floodways are not inhabited and that the capacity of the floodway is not unduly restricted.


Floodplain Permit


Part 31, Water Resources Protection, Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended (formerly Public Act 245 of 1929, as amended)

  • No title specified in the Act, commonly referred to as the "Floodplain Regulatory Authority"


Floodways and Floodplains R 323.1311 - 323.1329


 1.  Applicability (activities that require the permit)

Any occupation, construction, filling, or grade change within the floodplain of a river, stream, or drain, including bridge and culvert construction

 2.  Pre-Application Requirements
  • No work within the floodplain may begin until the permit is issued
  • Currently, Floodplain permits are valid for up to five years
 3.  Application Submission Requirements
  • Completed application including appropriate fee
  • Site development plans
  • Topographical maps, stream valley cross-sections, a hydraulic engineering report, and other materials may be requested for review
  • Activities which require a permit under Part 301 ( Inland Lakes and Streams), Part 31 (Floodplains), or Part 303 (Wetlands Protection) do not require separate permits
 4.  Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval
  • Notice is sent for comment to the community in which the proposed project is located
  • Community is given 15 days in which to comment on or object to the issuance of the permit
  • All other required EGLE permits for the project must be issuable before a permit is issued covering all statutes
  • Total estimated processing time varies with the difficulty of assessing the impact of the project on the floodplain (goal of 90 days)
 5.  Operational Requirements
  • Applicant must comply with all applicable rules and regulations and stipulations set forth in the permit
  • Site inspections may be made
 6.  Fees
  • $100 to $500 plus $1,500 hydraulic review fee, where applicable
  • Fee schedule
 7.  Appeal Process

If an application is denied for a proposed activity, the landowner may appeal the decision to the EGLE Director requesting a contested case hearing pursuant to the State Administrative Procedures Act, Public Act 306 of 1969, as amended (a decision from this process can be appealed to the courts).

Information regarding contested case hearings can be obtained from the Administrative Hearings Website.

 8.  Public Input Opportunities

The decision makers in this program are district staff. Substantial or unresolved issues may be reviewed by the EGLE deputy directory or the WRD division director. The WRD has many mechanisms for public notice of pending permit decisions. A record of applications received is available on an online permitting and compliance system called MiWaters. This online system allows queries related to public hearings, public notices, year, county, township, range, section, water body, file number or applicant name. The WRD district contact can be found through MiWaters. The best opportunity for public input is during the 20 day public review and comment period if the permit is being issued jointly with Part 301, or Part 303. A Part 31 permit by itself is not required to go through a public notice process. If the proposed project impacts regulated wetlands under the jurisdiction of Part 303 then the local units of government (village, city, township or county) have 45 days to submit comment. If a hearing is requested, then all previously notified groups and individuals are notified by mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing.


EGLE, Water Resources Division, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7958

  • Program Phone: 517-256-4458


Revision Date: April 2021