Overview - in the late winter of 2021, a new homeowner began filling in the wetlands on the south
shore of Bennett Lake. Bennett Lake is a unique area in that significant portions of the lake are
undeveloped and contain large areas of protected wetlands. Most of those wetlands are under private
ownership. As a precautionary measure, the LBLA contacted the State of Michigan Department of
Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to ensure the work was properly permitted and in
compliance with State of MI regulations. It was determined via an EGLE site survey that the work being
done was not under proper permit and non-compliant with State regulations. As a result, EGLE has
issued a remediation citation to the homeowner. The situation turns out to be somewhat similar in
nature to the bridge previously installed on Lobdell Lake which was not properly permitted and non-
compliant with Township and State regulations. As an association, we thought it an important topic of
interest for all Lobdell and Bennett Lake riparian as well as to keep you informed of the important work
done by the Association to protect our lakes and surrounding environments.
July 9 Update
The LBLA discussed the current status of the Violation Notices (VN) with the enforcement officer for EGLE and the DNR who is handling the case moving forward. The next steps are relatively simple. If the remediation is successfully completed and verified through a final site visit, then the enforcement officer will close out the case. If the remediation is not completed during the final 30-day extension the enforcement officer will then work with the prosecuting attorney's office for determination of criminal and/or civil enforcement actions to be taken against the property owner. The final VN extension expires at the end of July. The remediation actions remain the same from the original VNs issued.
June 30 Update
EGLE completed their third site visit on 6/11 as a follow-up to the two previously issued Violation Notices (VN) of March and May respectively. The results of that site visit were published on 6/27. Very little of the required remediation activities have been successfully completed and EGLE noted that the work completed was slow and incomplete. The property owner requested an additional 60 days to complete the work but EGLE granted a 30-day extension. Because the work has not been completed to a satisfactory level or within the established deadlines, the situation has been turned over to the EGLE enforcement officer for criminal enforcement proceedings. The LBLA will be in contact with that officer in early July to understand the actions to be taken and associated timelines. Additionally, EGLE will be undertaking the remediation of the dock, boat hoist and jet ski hoist installed over the wetlands without proper permitting although the focus of their efforts remains on the remediation of the damaged wetlands.
May 16 Update
Following the passing of the deadline for the completion of remediation activities outlined in the March 30 EGLE Violation Notice (VN), a subsequent site visit was performed. During that visit EGLE representatives found the remediation requirements had not been completed and that additional violations had occurred since the issuance of the original VN. A second VN was issued on May 12 covering the original violations and remediation requirements as well as detailing the additional violations and remediation requirements. The VN was issued to the owner and a 15-day deadline in place for the second VN.
Additionally, the Tri-County Times covered the issue with a front-page article in their Weekend Times of May 16, 2021. The article does a nice job of covering the situation as well as detailing the current VN. The link to the article is provided:
April 22, 2021 Update
The Violation Notice - Order to Restore was issued to the property owner in violation of the wetlands regulations on March 30. The involved party has 30 days to comply with the Order or contact EGLE. At this point no remediation efforts appear to have been completed and no contact made with EGLE. The 30-day compliance period ends on April 30. At that point, if the remediation has not been completed and/or contact made with EGLE the violation will be referred to the EGLE enforcement unit to pursue escalated enforcement options. Additionally, EGLE is aware of the dock, boat hoist and waverunner hoist recently installed in the area of the impacted wetlands and will make a determination on a future site visit as to whether or not these actions are compliant.
April 12, 2021 Update – despite having the citation letter in place for several weeks now, no
remediation efforts have been completed and further non-compliant work was completed over the
previous weekend (boat hoist, truck parked on the wetlands area, etc.). Several pictures of the area
impacted may be seen below.
Note: the LBLA will continue to pursue this situation with EGLE and the Livingston County Drain
Commission and will provide future updates when appropriate.
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