The State of Michigan regulates both surface and groundwater. Agricultural activities that do not send water to a municipal wastewater system may need a groundwater discharge permit, such as:
Groundwater discharge rules are complex and previous permits through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (MDEGLE) have been inconsistent. Sometimes farmers have not known they needed a permit until they receive a violation for not having one. However, MDEGLE is working toward updating permits to make them more consistent, including writing general permits with broader conditions so fewer farm activities need individual permits. Challenges include:
While MDEGLE is updating these permits, farmers have an opportunity to weigh in on permit conditions, how the regulation is communicated, and time needed to comply with permit requirements.
Contact: Tess Van Gorder | 517-323-6711
MDEGLE Groundwater Discharge Program