March 14, 2013
The Detroit News reports that the Natural Resources Committee approved three bills that would “expedite the permit process and dramatically cut the cost for dredging Great Lakes harbors and marinas facing low water levels.”
The three-bill package, passed earlier this week, would cut permit fees up to 97.5 percent from $1,500 to $2,000 to $50. These reduced fees would apply to projects moving 10,000 cubic yards of material, with a requirement that 90 percent of the material is sand.
Under the legislation, the Department of Environmental Quality could issue emergency dredging permits, eliminating the 20-day public notice period.
The state is taking a number of steps to address the record-low water levels that have challenged Great Lakes harbors. The Senate also has approved $21 million for emergency dredging.