Illegal dumping on Bennett Lake has caught the attention of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
Jeff Pierce, environmental quality analyst in the Water Resources Division of EGLE, said approximately 0.06 acre of wetlands was filled on Bennett Lake off 6189 South Dr., owned by Shawn Morway.
“The filling of wetland results in impairment of wetland functions and loss of wetland habitat. The apparent purpose of the filling was to raise the grade in the wetlands and convert them to non-wetland,” he said. A permit was not approved for this project.
EGLE was notified about “unauthorized activities” around March 10. A site inspection was performed on March 16. A violation notice was sent on March 31 that required removal of the fill and restoration of the wetlands.
“Section 30304 of Part 303 prohibits the placement of fill materials in a wetland, the dredging or removal of soil or minerals from a wetland, or the maintenance of any use or development within a wetland without first obtaining a permit from the EGLE. A review of WRD files indicates that no permits have been issued for this activity at the property. Therefore, it appears that this activity was conducted in violation of Part 303,” according to the notice.
The letter stated that Morway be compliant within 30 days of the letter being sent. To comply, the letter states he would be required to do the following:
1. Remove all unauthorized fill material from wetland as shown on the enclosed wetland restoration map. 2. Restore the wetland to the original grade with exposed original soils. 3. Seed with Michigan native wetland vegetation seed mix.
A second violation notice was issued Wednesday, May 12 after an EGLE representative noticed additional violations, “including installation of a covered boat hoist and dock in wetland and bottomland of Bennett Lake, burning diesel fuel on a woody brush pile in wetland, and operation of a water pump to remove the fill resulting in the discharge of suspended sediments to Bennett Lake and accumulation of sediment on lake bottomland,” according to the notice.
Representatives with the Lobdell Bennett Lake Association said the response from the Association is as follows:
They first learned about this around March 10. They received multiple calls about the south shore on Bennett Lake. They contacted EGLE and EGLE said the work was not covered by a permit. The LBLA said situations like this happen “quite rarely” and most activities on the lakes follow state, county and township regulations.
EGLE has kept the LBLA informed during the process. Representatives from the LBLA said the agency has been “very responsive and has done an excellent job in the opinion of the Association in pursuing the issues including rectifying non-compliance and remediation.”
Morway has not responded for a request for comment as of press time.