I have a couple comment regarding your questions and the Detroit News article that your email provided a link to.
1. The Detroit News article incorrectly states the MDEQ has protected wetlands since 1995, when the State passed their wetland protection laws back in 1979 (although the law were then administered by the MDNR). The Detroit News also states the Federal laws would be administered by EPA when it is the Corps of Engineers that administer the Federal wetland protection laws as part of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
2. In regards to local wetland protection, the State wetland protection act enables local units of government to protect wetlands and I believe most local ordinances are given their authority through state law. I'm not sure if the Federal law also allows for local governments to enact wetland protection.
3. If MI was to scrap their program the Federal program in MI would revert back to the Detroit District of the Corps of Engineers. The Detriot District is one of the best Corps Districts in the country when it comes to administering the Federal wetland protection program. However, I believe their existing staff would be required to expand their jurisdiction (currently in MI, the Corps only have jurisdiction on wetlands adjacent to navigable waters, ie. the Great Lakes and some of the major rivers or connecting channels). It is my opinion that unless the Feds provided additional staff to the Detroit District the Gramholm administration is incorrect in Stating the Feds have the resources to administer the program.
4. Regarding the impacts on regulation of certain wetlands by the Corps administering the program, that one is a little harder issue. It would be nice to have any Corps regulatory staff in the Detroit District to make a comment on this issue.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Mutch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Dave Dempsey" <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 8:19:04 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: E-M:/ MI federal wetland permits back to feds?