State Rep. Amanda Price today announced the passage of several bills that will improve the process of dredging harbors in the Great Lakes and inland waterways that are in need of maintenance.
“Our waterways are one of Michigan’s most precious natural resources, and they have great impact on our economy and tourism,” said Price, R-Park Twp. “We need to respond to the immediate needs of our harbors with action that ensures our lakes and rivers are maintained, inviting recreation opportunities and generating economic activity for years to come.”
House Bills 4398 and 4400 reduce the current dredging permit fee, which currently ranges from $1,500 to $2,000, to $50 for those projects that propose to remove 10,000 cubic feet or more, and whose dredge material has been determined to be composed of at least 90 percent sand.
Lowering the permit fee will reduce the financial strain put on communities where emergency dredging is needed, making it a feasible option for a greater number of communities.
House Bill 4399 exempts the requirement of a 20-day notification and the required public hearing for objections when considering dredging permits where emergency situations exist that warrant dredging to protect property, the public health, safety, and welfare of Michigan citizens.
HBs 4398, 4399 and 4400 now all go to the Senate for consideration.