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.
This matter is now in the post-hearing process. The parties are preparing post hearing briefs and reply briefs, with the deadline set for the first week of July 2022. The matter is complex and a proposal for decision by the Administrative Law Judge will probably be issued sometime before the end of calendar year 2022.
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 in Edwardsburg 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.