Skip to main content

Groundwater Discharge Permit

The Water Resources Division (WRD), within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), has responsibility for issuance of groundwater discharge permits under the authority of Part 31 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), 1994 PA 451, as amended (Act 451). The purpose of these permits is to ensure that groundwater quality is maintained for all of the protected uses of groundwater pursuant to MCL 324.3109, Section 3109, Part 31, NREPA.


Groundwater Discharge Permit


Part 31, Water Resources Protection, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended

Sections 3112 and 3109, Water Resources Protection


Michigan Administrative Code

Part 21, Wastewater Discharge Permits (R 323.2101 - 2197)

Part 22, Groundwater Quality (R 323.2201 - 2240)


1.  Applicability

Any discharge of waste or waste effluent into or onto the ground.

2.  Pre-Application Requirements
  • An authorization from the WRD must be obtained prior to discharge of wastewater into or onto the ground, unless the discharge is exempted.
  • Discharges must meet groundwater standards contained in the rules
3.  Application Submission Requirements
  • Facility name and type of facility
  • Discharge location
  • Certification of treatment works operator
  • Standard Industrial Classification
  • Site Maps
  • Water Usage Diagram
  • Adjacent Property Owners
  • Discharge Volume
  • Disposal Method
  • Treatment Type


  • Basis of Design for Treatment Works, Rule 2218(2)
  • Evaluation of feasibility of alternatives to groundwater, Rule 2219
  • Wastewater Characterization, Rule 2220
  • Hydrogeologic study, Rule 323.2221
  • Sampling and Analysis Plan, Rule 2223
  • Irrigation Management Plan, Rule 2233
4.  Procedures and Time-Frame for Obtaining Permit or Approval
  • Applicant submits application (EQP 5305) to EGLE in MiWaters.
  • The WRD staff completes technical review of application.
  • If technical review indicates discharge will be in compliance with Part 22 rules, WRD staff prepares draft authorization.
  • Rule 2218 Authorization - Public Notice by WRD (usually 30 days).
  • Rule 2216 Authorization – Public Notice by Applicant (20 days).
  • A public meeting or hearing may be held for a Rule 2216 or 2218 authorization, depending on public input.
  • The WRD issues or denies permit.
  • Section 3122(2) of Part 31 requires that EGLE grant or deny a permit within 180 days of receipt of an administratively complete application. The applicant and EGLE can agree to extend that time frame. The technical review does not commence until the application is determined to be administratively complete. Incomplete applications are returned to the applicant. Applicants are responsible pursuant to Rule 2206 to provide all information required to make a permit decision.
5.  Operational Requirements

Applicant must comply with all applicable rules, regulations, conditions, and limitations as set forth in the permit.

6.  Fees

Anyone holding a state permit for a discharge to groundwater is required to pay an annual fee.

Group 1 discharges are described by Rule 323.2218 of the Michigan Administrative Code. The fee for facilities in this group is $3,650.00. These discharges are all individual permits.

Group 2 discharges are described by Rule 232.2210(y), 323.2215, or 323.2216 of the Michigan Administrative Code, or are municipalities with 1000 or fewer residents. The fee for facilities in this group is $1,500.00. Examples of these discharges include:

  • Rule 2215 - Sanitary Sewage - above ground treatment (<10,000 gpd)
  • Rule 2215 - Vehicle Washes not open to the public (<2,000 gpd)
  • Rule 2215 - Slaughterhouses (<2,000 gpd)
  • Rule 2215 - Gravel, Sand, Limestone, Dolomite Mining, Oil Field Brine, or Vehicle Washes open to the public (<3,000 gpd)
  • Rule 2216 - Sanitary Sewage with Construct Wetland (<20,000 gpd)
  • Rule 2216 - Sanitary Sewage Specific Treatment (<50,000 gpd)
  • Rule 2216 - Laundromats (<20,000 gpd)

Group 3 discharges are described by R 323.2211 or 323.2213 of the Michigan Administrative Code. The fee for facilities in this group is $200.00. Examples of these discharges include:

  • Laundromats (<500 gpd)
  • Non-Contact Cooling Water no additives (>10,000 gpd)
  • Fruit & Vegetable Washing (<50,000 gpd)
  • Portable Power Wash (1,000 gal/mo/acre)
  • Groundwater Remediation – Remediation or Pump Test discharge outside plume
  • Non-Contact Cooling Water with additives (<10,000 gpd)
  • Egg Washing (<10,000 gpd)
  • Contact Cooling Water (< 5,000 gpd)
7.  Appeal Process

An applicant objecting to conditions in a permit issued by EGLE may file a contested case appeal to the State Office of Administrative Rules and Hearings.

8.  Public Input Opportunities

The decision maker in this process is the Supervisor of the Groundwater Permit Unit in the Water Resources Division. For issuance of complicated and individual groundwater permits, the public involvement process is a formal 30 day public comment period and consists of public notice in a local newspaper. Hearings may be scheduled depending on the amount of public input and the issues involved that are within the control of EGLE. The public input process for general permits consists of public noticing the general permits statewide every five years. Public input for permits by rule, authorizations issued under rules 2213 and 2211, was provided during the formal rule-making process.


EGLE, Water Resources Division, Permits Section, Groundwater Unit, P.O. Box 30458, Lansing, MI 48909-7773

  • Program Phone: 517-290-2570


Revision Date: December 2019