By Paul J Sniadecki, MLSA Board Director
This article continues our focus on EGLE permits that riparians might find of interest. We will occasionally provide info about permits issued or denied. We are also providing updates about contested permits challenged by various groups in the contested permit process through the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (MOAHR).
The permits/cases of interest in this article are:
CAFO – MOAHR Docket # 20-009773:
Significant testimony in this contested case occurred during two weeks in December 2021. The appeal involves the new CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) permit requirements for water protection that were issued by EGLE on April 1, 2020. The new 2020 CAFO permit requirements were challenged by: Michigan Farm Bureau; Michigan Milk Producers Association; Michigan Pork Producers Association; Michigan Allied Poultry Industries; Foremost Farms USA; Dairy Farmers of America; Select Milk Producers, Inc.; and 165 identified livestock farms. More details in this matter were reported on in Part 2 of this series.
Additional hearing dates, for more expert testimony including that of MLSA President Dave Maturen, have now been scheduled for February 2022. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) D. Pulter has been assigned to hear and decide the appeal. MLSA will continue to monitor this matter and provide updates.
PERMIT No. WR015489/HNH-TFMB-YPBP9:
This is a permit issued to a township in Kalamazoo County. It involves the pumping of water from one water body to another as a means to control lake area flooding. Notable features of the permit were the addition of conditions that required several features to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) from one lake to another. The pumping inlet (located in a lake with AIS contamination/infection) was required to have a 40 micron or less filter mesh to filter AIS out of the water. (Note: human hair is about 70 microns in size). The use of an intake screen of 0.0277 inch sieve size was also suggested. Additionally, the contractors and the township were required to perform equipment decontamination/disinfection actions that included: washing with a bleach solution, use of pressure wash with 140 F degree water, and/or equipment drying of 5 days or more.
This is one of the few, if not only, EGLE permits with such extensive requirements that address the needed actions to prevent the spread of AIS. The permit was issued in 2019. If any Michigan riparians are aware of other such permits issued with significant AIS requirements, please contact us with the specifics.
NEW BOATING ACCESS SITE (BAS) – MOAHR Docket # 16-015208:
This case involves an application by the Michigan DNR to fill just under a half acre of Eagle Lake and construct a totally new BAS without any DNR provided disinfection/decontamination station for the control of aquatic invasive species (AIS). The lake has four different AIS species present, and can be viewed as a predator lake if exiting watercraft are not properly disinfected/decontaminated. With four AIS already flourishing, the lake can also be viewed as an incubator lake if any of the Michigan Watch List AIS Species enter the lake via contaminated watercraft. The matter went to a 3 ½ day hearing in January 2021. ALJ D. Pulter issued a Proposal For Decision (PFD) affirming EGLE’s issuance of the permit with no AIS protections. The appellants filed exceptions as allowed under the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.
As this newsletter goes to press, the final decision by the EGLE Director has not yet been issued, and has been pending the final agency decision since October 21, 2021.