The Michigan Waterfront Alliance (MWA) Board of Directors recently voted to file an amicus brief in a case pending with the Michigan Supreme Court where the core issue pertains to the legal question of whether private citizens can use the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (MNREPA) to judicially review EGLE (Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy) permitting actions. The following quote from MWA Attorneys-at-Law Dane Carey and Bill Carey serves to explain the primary issue in this case very well:
“The MWA has a unique and compelling amicus position to present. MWA is in a sincere position to advocate on the public trust position based upon its prior experiences with EGLE. MWA has worked for several years now to lobby EGLE from negligently introducing AIS into Michigan lakes. The results of the lobbying have not been too successful. MWA, in its amicus argument, can, in good faith, represent to the Supreme Court that the MWA has tried and failed administratively to convince EGLE that its actions are MNREPA (Michigan Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act) violations. We need to therefore be able to have a legal theory (public trust thru MNREPA) to sue EGLE to obtain relief.”
The disregard for the now well-known significant potential for the spread of exotic aquatic invasive species by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is illustrated in the permitting process of a new public boating access site on Eagle Lake (located in southwest Michigan near Edwardsburg) where an administrative law judge agreed with the DNR that is not responsible for preventing new introductions of aquatic invasive species at its newly permitted public access ramp now planned for Eagle Lake. The position of the DNR in the Eagle Lake matter shows the failure of senior DNR leadership officials to take responsibility for protecting the Public Trust as it pertains to Michigan’s lakes and streams.
If the outcome of the filing of this amicus brief is successful, and the Michigan Supreme Court rules that citizens can use MNREPA as the basis for filing a court case it would truly be a game changer, and a great boost to our on-going erstwhile efforts focused on protecting the public trust, and our water resources.
The legal fees for filing an amicus brief in this important case are estimated to be approximately $15,000. The MWA Board of Directors recently voted to start a goal-specific fundraising effort. Our goal is to raise the $15,000 cost of filing this important amicus brief in addition to regular membership dues.
Given the importance of the issue at hand, Michigan Waterfront Alliance asks that you consider giving generously!
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