Under Michigan’s Wetland Protection Act, a permit is required for the following activities:
Deposit or permit the placing of fill material in a wetland
Drain surface water from a wetland
Dredge, remove, or permit removal of soil or minerals from a wetland
Construct, operate, or maintain any use of development in a wetland
It is important to note that these activities are regulated regardless of the intention of the dredging, filling, construction, or draining activities. For example, if a landowner plans to fill in a wetland to construct a pond for the purpose of a waterfowl flooding, this activity still requires a permit even though the landowner may feel that the project will benefit the environment. In the Huron Township, LDFA district a wetland mitigation bank has been set up to assist potential business owners in relocating wetlands if needed on their property.
The MDEQ may issue general permits on a state or county basis for a category of activities that are similar in nature and have only a minimal adverse individual or cumulative effect on the environment. In the current program, applications under a general permit still undergo a full review, including a site inspection or the review of site specific information, and must meet all regulatory standards. However, the general permit process allows the Department to reach a decision without public notice. This allows the MDEQ to process minor applications more quickly. The Department has the option to issue a public notice on an application that would otherwise qualify under a general permit category if they determine that the project warrants public review and comment.
More info here. http://www.hillsdalecounty.info/planningeduc0016.asp