An Open Letter from Bob Frye, President of Michigan Waterfront Alliance
Michigan’s Lakefront Property Owners Associations
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May 25, 2022
Dear Michigan Lake Associations,
The Michigan Waterfront Alliance (MWA) Board of Directors recently filed an amicus brief in a case pending with the Michigan Supreme Court where the core issue pertains to the important question of whether private citizens can use the Michigan Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act (MNREPA) to judicially review MI Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) permitting actions.
This quote from MWA Attorneys Dane Carey and Bill Carey explains it 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 aquatic invasive species (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 significant potential for the spread of exotic aquatic invasive plant and animal species by the DNR is illustrated in the permitting process of a new public access site planned for Eagle Lake located near Edwardsburg, Michigan where an administrative law judge agreed with the DNR that it is not responsible for preventing the introduction of AIS at its newly permitted public boating access ramp at Eagle Lake. The position of the DNR in the Eagle Lake matter is indicative of the failure of the agency 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 is successful and the Michigan Supreme Court ultimately rules that citizens can use MNREPA as the basis for filing a court case it would truly be a game changer, and be a great boost to protecting the public trust in regard to Michigan’s Lakes and Streams!
Here is the link to the Michigan Supreme Court Oral arguments for the case:
The legal fees for this amicus brief filing are substantial! Out of a total of twenty eight MWA current lake association members we have received Legal Fund Contributions to help cover the considerable expense of this litigation from only five associations. MWA believes that those most likely to reap the considerable benefits of a favorable MI Supreme Court decision in this important public trust – water resources management related case should help shoulder some of the expense of this amicus brief filing.
We need the help of every Lake association in the State of Michigan! Members or not!
Bob Frye, MWA, President