[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

SG-W:/ Wetland being filled in Question

Hopefully this is the correct venue for asking this question, if not I apologize in advance.
I'm a resident of Webster Twp. in Washtenaw County, and have a neighbor in the adjacent 10 acres to my 5 acres who 18 months ago started bringing in numerous dump truck loads of dirt to the back 5 acres of his property (directly next to my parcel).
He is not only dumping what I would characterize as demolition/construction fill dirt, but he is dumping it in what is deemed to be a regulated wetland. (doing this so he can put in a driveway through the wetland enabling him to split and sell off (2) 2.5 acre parcels)
He had a permit, but it wasn't until I called Washtenaw County Soil Erosion Division and informed them of what he was actually filling in that a 'stop work order' was set in place.
Said neighbor then went to DEQ and proceeded to get a permit from them, interestingly enough, I have a copy of a letter from DEQ to the owner of the property dated 9/7/2000, that basically says:   1. remove dirt from wetland down to original wetland soils.   2. put up a silt fence to stop erosion of exposed soils from coming into wetland and     3. grade and stabilize adjacent exposed soils with seed and mulch.  As you may have guessed none of the three have been done.   Just this week one of the other neighbors got involved and asked DEQ to suspend issuing the permit by threatening to go to the media.
Jurisdiction over this area has been bounced back and fourth between the two aforementioned agencies, but neither is willing to accept control of this situation. Therefore myself and the other surrounding neighbors effected by the lack of drainage due to a compacted/dammed up wetland are basically sitting in our very own private lakes in what once was our backyards.
We are trying to get the director of the DEQ and Soil Erosion Division out to the site at the same time so they can once and for all decide whose jurisdiction this area is under, but neither myself or my neighbors are very hopeful that this will work out.
We have also contacted the Drain Commissioners Office and the Department of Environmental Health, Neither seemed to think they could help out.
The neighbor has the right to not only put in a driveway, but sell off the parcels, I don't dispute that at all, my problem is he has changed the contour of the land, he has changed the natural drainage of the land, he has brought in what might very well be contaminated fill dirt, and he has filled in a wetland. Being a reasonable person, all I want is the correct procedures to be followed so as to not effect others adjacent to this parcel. This is really all I'm asking for, and yet it seems even that is unreasonable.
My two questions are:
1.  It seems that the agencies whose job it is to regulate these issues are not really going to do anything, does anyone have suggestions of local or state environmental groups that might be interested in taking up the cause of a wetland being filled in?
2.  Does it seem to everyone that you can basically ignore regulations, and getting permits etc.... because no Governmental Agency is willing to regulate their own laws anyway?
Thank You for you time
Kevin Gusler
Frustrated Land Owner