Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TLC Offers Assistance to Wetland Owners and Permit Applicants

Thumb Wetland Assistance Pilot Program

On January 6, 2010, the Thumb Land Conservancy was officially designated by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality as one of only three organizations in the State of Michigan to administer a new Wetland Local Assistance Pilot Program. The other two organizations are Cannon Township in Kent County, and the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts in the Calhoun, Delta, and Muskegon County Conservation Districts. The pilot program is intended to provide assistance to applicants seeking permits to impact State-regulated wetland.
The TLC proposed an assistance program in conjunction with other agencies throughout the Thumb, including the Saint Clair County Drain Commissioner (SCCDC). The Thumb Wetland Assistance Pilot Program (TWAPP) provides the following general assistance to permit applicants upon request:

  • Educational and outreach information on wetlands, including referrals to the State Wetlands Protection web site links and information on the TLC and SCCDC web sites;
  • Assistance with completing wetland permit applications;
  • Advice in avoiding and minimizing project impacts; and
  • Assistance with the application and description of best management practices.

TWAPP assistance includes e-mail or phone discussions, web site information, and general review and critique of application materials. If specific information is required, applicants are referred to private consultants and/or engineers as appropriate. TWAPP personnel do not guarantee permit approval as we ultimately have no control over the requested impacts, agency decisions, or the quality of information provided by outside consultants.
General in-office assistance is free-of-charge to landowners and permit applicants. Specific assistance, such as site visits, calculation of wetland fill volumes, or production of drawings is charged at the rate of $60 (sixty dollars) per hour. Applicants and landowners are responsible for all charges from outside consultants, engineers, and other parties they may utilize.
Applicants and landowners can mail or e-mail materials along with specific instructions to the TLC, SCCDC, or other agency offices as they become available. For more information, contact the TLC at 810-346-2584 or mail@ThumbLand.org or the SCCDC at 810-364-5369.