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E-M:/ Wetlands case

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

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From: "Chris Bzdok" <chris@envlaw.com>
To: "enviro-mich" <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Subject: Judge overturns DEQ wetland permit in Leelanau County
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 09:09:04 -0500

This case may be useful to those of you who are working on wetlands =
issues. =20

Last week, in a case called Mattson v DEQ, a Leelanau County Circuit =
Judge ruled that the DEQ had improperly issued a wetland permit for =
residential construction on Northport Bay. Judge Philip E. Rodgers, Jr. =
held that the Administrative Law Judge had not properly considered =
feasible and prudent alternatives to the proposal. =20

The judge also overruled the ALJ's ruling that residential construction =
is a "wetland-dependent" activity so long as the entire property is =
covered by wetlands (this ALJ ruling has been superseded by the DEQ's =
new wetland rules, but the rules were not enacted in time for this =
case). =20

Perhaps the most striking statement came near the end of the opinion and =
echoed some concerns expressed by people on this list regarding the =
state's administration of our wetlands law. The judge wrote:

"Protection of our wetlands has been entrusted to the DEQ. The =
statutory interpretations in this case show a stunning disregard for the =
Legislature's intent and the people's trust." =20
The case number for the opinion is Leelanau County Circuit Court No. =
00-5203-AA. If you are working on a wetlands project and would like a =
copy, you can email me at the address below. =20

Chris Bzdok
Olson, Noonan & Bzdok, P.C.
P.O. Box 2358
Traverse City, MI 49685
(231) 946-0044

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