State officials are working to quickly approve permits for work along the Great Lakes to try to save properties threatened by erosion. The state received nearly 500 permit requests from October through December. That's close to half what the state received for the entire year before that.
It used to take around 90 days to get a permit for a project on the shoreline. Now the state Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) says it takes about a week.
The state sped up the process because the rapidly eroding shoreline has threatened properties. Jerrod Sanders is with EGLE. He says the state does still have to make sure the work is done properly.
"It’s a very dynamic system,” he says. “There’s potential to, if shoreline protection is not done properly, to impact the neighbor’s property on either side."
Sanders says some people still face delays because there aren’t enough contractors to do the work.
“The department has made the decision that we’re not going to be the roadblock to someone saving their house,” he says. “And so even if someone is struggling to find someone to get a permit app in, they should contact us, and we’ll work with them.”
Republican State Senator Roger Victory has introduced legislation that would allow property owners to start work before getting a permit if erosion threatens the property.