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:
This appeal involves the new CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) permit requirements issued by EGLE on April 1, 2020. For analysis and background, please refer to Parts 1- 3 of this series in the NEWS section of our website.
Additional hearing dates and testimony did occur on February 7-9, 2022. Dave Maturen, President of MLSA was asked to testify. President Maturen presented compelling testimony about riparian concerns relative to certain potential CAFO impacts to our watersheds.
This matter is now in the post-hearing process, with the parties preparing briefs in support of their respective positions. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) did state this matter is complex and his decision would not be issued quickly.
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 (NREPA). 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.