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Water Resources

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    For more information about our water resources legal services, please contact us today and ask for a member of our Water Resources Team.

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Water Resources

Michigan Water Resources

Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC serves as General Counsel and Legislative Counsel for the Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners, as well as counsel to more than 50 individual county drain commissioners and water resources commissioners across Michigan. Stacy Hissong leads our Water Resources Team, and aside from providing legal services, has testified to the Legislature about lake and storm water related issues, and presented at conferences to various associations on a wide variety of water law topics involving drainage, inland lakes and streams, dams, wetlands, and floodplains.  The attorneys at Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC are uniquely qualified to assist our clients with a variety of public storm water infrastructure projects.

Drain Code Experience

Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC has a wide range of skill in the areas of municipal law and more specifically, the Michigan Drain Code. Our Water Resources Team has developed proficiency by working on county and intercounty drain projects, including issues relating to:

  • Drain Code Procedure
  • Boards of Determination
  • Boards of Review
  • Property/Easement Acquisition
  • Intergovernmental Agreements
Stormwater Ordinances

Effective stormwater management can provide communities with environmental, health, and economic benefits as well as encourage orderly and sustainable development. One way that municipalities can regulate the management of stormwater is by adopting stormwater ordinances. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to assist municipalities with adopting stormwater ordinances specifically tailored to their needs. Further, our attorneys can also help municipalities partner with county drain commissioners to better manage stormwater effectively in their communities.

PA 222 of 2001 (Flooding/Sewage Back-Up Litigation)

Our Water Resources Team has successfully defended various governmental entities (Drainage Districts & Municipalities) from litigation brought under the narrow exception to governmental tort immunity for claims of flooding and sewage back-ups. We are well-versed in all the statutory responsibilities when entities receive notice of potential claims, as well as the strict requirements needed to establish liability.

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) of earth disturbances for construction activities is governed in Michigan by Part 91 of NREPA. Our attorneys are prepared to assist clients at both the municipal and county levels with:

  • Drafting/revising appropriate SESC ordinances and procedures tailored to client’s needs
  • Enforcement options and process when violations occur
  • EGLE audits of SESC programs
EGLE Permit Issues

Understanding Michigan’s unique environmental regulations is essential to a successful public infrastructure project.  We frequently assist and counsel clients with issues involving permits relating to inland lakes and streams, soil erosion, wetlands, and floodplains.  Our attorneys have also provided training to engineers, public officials, and staff relating to exemptions, permit requirements, and interpretations of Michigan’s Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act, and have assisted our clients with administrative appeals and circuit court actions relating to permits.

Lake Levels and Lake Improvement Boards

Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC attorneys are highly qualified in lake matters.  We pride ourselves on responsiveness and efficiency, because we, as municipal law attorneys, understand the importance of a completed lake project to riparians and the surrounding community.

Our Water Resources Team has a wealth of experience relating to Michigan's inland lakes, and are frequent presenters on topics related to lake levels and lake improvement boards throughout the state.  The attorneys at Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC have represented water resources commissioners and drain commissioners, townships, lake improvement boards, and lake associations on a variety of matters, including:

Part 307 of NREPA (Inland Lake Levels)
  • Setting and revising established lake levels
  • Setting special assessment district boundries
  • Property/easement acquisition
  • EGLE permit issues
  • Appeals
  • County board resolutions for maintenance and improvements
Part 309 of NREPA (Lake Improvement Boards)
  • Petitions to establish board
  • Improvement petitions and resolutions
  • Special Assessment Rolls
  • Project Scope hearings
  • Michigan Tax Tribunal Appeals
Act 188 (Township Improvements)
  • Resolutions to establish special assessment district
  • Intergovernmental agreements
  • Public hearings
  • Property acqusition
  • Michigan Tax Tribunal Appeals
Dedicated to serving your legal needs.

For more information about our water resources legal services, please contact us today and ask for a member of our Water Resources Team.

Request Consultation

Latest Water Resources News & Resources

Stay up to date with FSBR with our monthly newsletters, featured news articles, resources and more!

  1. Governor Signs Two Bills to Upd...

    On December 29, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed House Bill 5126 and House Bill 5504 to provide updates to the Michigan Drain Code. House Bill ...

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At Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, we’ve been helping municipalities, franchised businesses, employers, and more with their legal needs since 2008. We’d love to learn how we can help you, too.