Michigan Promises Faster Review Of Erosion Control Permits

Oct 31, 2019


An image of erosion in October 2019 from along the shores of Lake Michigan in Berrien County, MI.
Credit Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan environmental regulators are promising faster reviews of applications to protect homes or structures threatened by rising Great Lakes levels.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said Wednesday it will expedite permits for actions such as placing rocks or building seawalls to prevent erosion.

Director Liesl Clark said permit consideration requires a balance between protecting property and safeguarding environmental features such as dunes, shorelines and bluffs.

She said excessive or poorly designed shoreline protection structures can disrupt natural processes and damage neighboring properties.

It usually takes 60-90 days to process shoreline permits. EGLE says it will act much faster where homes or infrastructure are at risk.

The number of shoreline protection permits granted has risen sharply in recent years.

In many cases, permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also are required for placing materials along the water.