Laws and Regulations

Marinas are subject to a variety of regulations related to land use; pollution control; habitat preservation; and safe and proper use of the state’s waterways. Several federal and state authorities are responsible for oversight of such regulations in Michigan.

This section of laws, regulations, and permits is a summary. It is by no means comprehensive, but is meant to provide:

  • An introduction to the responsibilities of certain state agencies
  • An overview of some relevant laws
  • A synopsis of information about permits and licenses

For additional information and support in pursuing certification contact the Michigan Clean Marina Program.

Summary of Environmental Permits and Licenses

Aquatic Invasive Control Inland Lakes & Streams Permit

Part 33, Aquatic Nuisance Control, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. Permits are required to use pesticides to control invasive aquatic plants and swimmers’ itch. EGLE staff regulates the use of pesticides through the Aquatic Nuisance Control permit process. EGLE reviews and assesses new products for use in Michigan waters. Owners of waterfront property whose bottomlands are within the treatment area, or within 100 feet of treatment area, must be notified in writing at least 7 days, and not more than 45 days, before the initial chemical treatment.

(a) For treatment areas less than 2 acres, post EGLE-approved signs posted along shoreline of treatment area and adjacent areas not more than 100 feet apart.

(b) For treatment of areas greater than 2 acres, post as in (a) and post all access sites, boat launching areas, and public and private parks.

EGLE Aquatic Nuisance Control
Phone: (517) 241-1554, Email: deq-wrd-anc@michigan.gov, Website
Also see: Great Lakes Bottomlands

Critical Dune Area Permit

Part 353 (Sand Dunes Protection and Management) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451 regulates activities within Critical Dune areas. A permit is required prior to conducting any activities.

EGLE Sand Dune Protection Program, Michelle Hohn
Phone: (616) 356-0204, Email: hohnm@michigan.gov, Website

Floodplain Permit

Part 31 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), 1994 PA 451, as amended, ensures that development which occurs within the 100-year floodplain is reasonably safe from flooding and does not increase flood damage potential. To obtain a permit prior to any alteration or occupation of the 100-year floodplain of a river, stream or drain.

EGLE Flood Hazard Management
See website for specific staff in your county, Website


Groundwater Discharge Permit

Part 31 (Water Resources Protection) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451 and Part 22 Rules. To provide for authorizations to discharge wastes and wastewaters to the ground or groundwaters of the state. Authorizations include permits, self-certifications, and exemptions. Upon completion of an application review, staff makes recommendations leading to the determination of appropriate action including issuance or denial of an authorization to discharge. Field staff review groundwater sampling data and inspect discharge facilities to ensure legal requirements are being met. Field staff also review compliance with requirements for storage of hazardous material under the Part 5 Rules issued under Part 31 of the NREPA.

EGLE Ground Water Section, Permits and Technical Support Unit
Phone: (517) 373-8148, Website


National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES)

As authorized by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act), the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Michigan is authorized to administer the program through Part 31 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451. Marina operators must comply with federal and state NPDES requirements and submit appropriate permit applications. For more information on NPDES, contact your local EGLE, Water Resources Division (WRD) District Office.

Marinas that discharge waste water to the surface waters of the state are required to obtain an NPDES permit from the EGLE, WRD.  Surface waters of the state include rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands.  Note waste water discharges to separate storm sewer systems (municipal or private) would need NPDES permit coverage as well.  Common waste water discharges at marinas that would require NPDES permit coverage include but are not limited to:

  • Storm water from regulated industrial activity
  • Boat and equipment wash water
  • Air compressor condensate
  • Contact and noncontact cooling water
  • Dewatering from recreational dredging activity
  • Swimming pool discharges
  • Discharge of pesticides to control nuisance insects, animals, and plants

Non-storm water waste water discharges

The NPDES application form and instructions for non-storm water waste water discharges can be obtained from a district office or downloaded from the EGLE, WRD NPDES Permits website.  The electronic permit application should be completed, saved, printed, and signed.  The original should be sent to the address on the application with all attachments. Be sure to save a copy for your records.

Permit applications for non-storm water waste water discharges to surface water must be submitted to the address on the application, at least 180 days before the permit is needed.  The application then proceeds through the standard permit review and development process.

Storm water discharges to surface waters of the state

Marinas that are involved in boat maintenance activities (including boat rehabilitation, mechanical repairs, painting, fluid changes, fueling and lubrication) and / or boat or equipment washing operations are regulated by the federal and state storm water regulations.  A NPDES storm water permit is required if storm water from the marina discharges to surface waters of the state.  To obtain a NPDES industrial storm water permit the marina must submit a permit application which is called a Notice of Intent (NOI).  A completed NOI should be sent to the EGLE, WRD address identified on the NOI.  It is important to understand that before a NOI can be sent in to the EGLE, WRD the following items must be completed:

  • Obtain the services of an Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator (this can be an employee at the facility or a consultant who has completed the EGLE, WRD Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator training and has obtained a certification number)
  • Certify that the facility has developed a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) according to the requirements of the Storm Water General Permit
  • Certify that the facility has no unauthorized discharges
  • Certify that structural controls described in the SWPPP are functional and operational


Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator Training

Industrial Storm Water Certified Operator training is administered by the EGLE, WRD District Offices. The training locations, registration contacts, and available training sessions can be viewed and the EGLE, WRD Storm Water webpage, then click on “Industrial Program.”

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)

A SWPPP is a pollution prevention plan developed by a permitted facility that describes the industrial activity, the potential pollutants, the potential pollutant sources, and controls that will be implement onsite to enhance the quality of storm water discharged to the surface waters of the state. The SWPPP must be completed and implemented prior to submitting a NOI.  For assistance in developing an acceptable SWPPP contact your local EGLE district industrial storm water staff or refer to the EGLE, WRD Industrial Storm Water website, then click on “Industrial Program.”

EGLE NPDES Permit Program
Phone: (517) 241-1346, Website

To inquire about the EGLE, WRD Industrial Storm Water Program, contact your local district office: Industrial Storm Water Staff Contact Information


Permit for Certain Activities near Shorelands of the Great Lakes and connecting Waterways

Part 323 (Shorelands Protection and Management) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451. Review projects to construct permanent structure and additions in designated high risk erosion areas, designated flood risk areas, and designated environmental areas. In the absence of an approved local ordinance, a person or agency proposing to erect, install, move or enlarge a permanent structure on a parcel of property, any portion of which is designated as a high-risk erosion, flood risk, or environmental areas must first apply for and obtain a permit.

EGLE Great Lakes Shorelands Management Program, Kate Lederle
Phone: (517) 241-2757, Email: LederleK@michigan.gov, Website


Public Swimming Pool Operation Permit

Public Act 368 of 1978, as amended. To determine proper construction per approved plans, and afterwards, to determine that operation of the pool is adequate to protect public health. Obtain a permit and abide by the requirements. Annual renewals are issued after determination that operation and maintenance is adequate.

EGLE Resource Management Division
Phone: (517) 241-1353, Website


Wetland Protection Permit

Part 303 (Wetland Protection) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA PA 451 requires issuance of permits to dredge, fill, drain surface water, or construct, operate, or maintain any use or development in a wetland. Obtain permit prior to conducting any activities within wetlands.

EGLE Wetlands Protection
Phone: (517) 373-9244, Website


Inland Lakes and Streams Marina Operations

A marina (per definition, under Part 301) located on an inland lake or river will likely require a construction permit, depending on the nature of the use. (See NREPA, Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams.)

  • “Expand” means to occupy a larger area of an inland lake or stream than authorized by a permit issued under Part 301 for marina mooring structures and watercraft moored at the marina.
  • “Marina” means a facility that is owned or operated by a person, extends into or over an inland lake or stream; and offers service to the public or members of the facility for docking, loading or other servicing of recreational watercraft.
  • “Outside slip” means a slip that is accessed from a location between the boundary of the marina’s riparian interest area and the mooring structure.
  • “Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, governmental entity, or other legal entity. The law requires that: “Except as provided in this act, a person without a permit from the department shall not: Construct, enlarge, extend, remove or place a structure on bottomland; erect, maintain, or operate a marina.”
  • “Reconfigure” means to, without expanding the marina, do either of the following: (i) Change the location of the dock or docks and other mooring structures at the marina to occupy an area of the inland lake or stream that was not previously authorized by a permit issued under Part 301; or (ii) Decrease the distance available for ingress and egress to an outside slip.
  • “Riparian interest area” is the section of bottomlands in an inland lake or stream that is owned by a riparian owner. The simplest case is a circular lake where the riparian interest areas are pie shaped pieces that extend from the lake frontage corners out to the central point of the lake. In the simplest case of a linear river, the riparian interest goes from the river frontage corners to the center line of the channel. Estimating riparian interest areas becomes a lot more complicated with lakes that aren’t circular or lakes that have complicating features such as bays and islands. It is important to note that only a judge has the authority to define riparian interest areas. Surveyors can estimate riparian interest areas, but any conflicts have to be resolved by a judge.
  • “Seasonal structure” includes any type of dock, boat hoist, ramp, raft, or other recreational structure that is placed into an inland lake or stream and removed at the end of the boating season.
  • “Structure” includes a marina wharf, dock, pier, dam weir, stream deflector, breakwater, groin, jetty, sewer, pipeline, cable, and bridge. A permit is not required for seasonal structures placed on bottomland to facilitate private noncommercial recreational use of the water if it does not unreasonably interfere with the use of the water by others entitled to use the water or interfere with flow.

Section 30102(c) requires a permit to construct, reconfigure or expand a marina. A recurring argument by persons notified of the requirement to apply for the construction permit is they are exempt from securing a permit under Section 30103(b). This response is typical of situations where apartment complexes install dock structures or moorings off their property, backlot owners in subdivisions place dock structures or moorings off outlots, easements or parks, and condominium associations that place dock structures or moorings off association owned property. The person(s) placing the structure(s) contend that they are exempt from permit requirements because the structure(s) is seasonal and for private use.

The statutory definition of a marina does not make a distinction between commercial and private or residential docking and mooring facilities. It does not make a distinction of whether dock structures or moorings are permanent or seasonal. It only evaluates the service being provided by a person to the public or “members of the marina.” While “members of the marina” is not defined in Part 301, the EGLE has consistently interpreted this phrase to mean individuals or users of waterfront property where there is common interest in the property and docking, loading or other servicing of recreation watercraft is being provided. Likewise, the MDEQ has consistently interpreted “private noncommercial recreational use” as reasonable exercise of legitimate riparian rights associated with waterfront property zoned and used for single family residential use.

EGLE Inland Lakes and Streams Program, Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Unit
Phone: (517) 241-4512, Website


Great Lakes Submerged Lands Permit and Bottomlands Conveyance

Part 325 (Great Lakes Submerged Lands) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), 1994 PA 451, as amended, serves to regulate construction activities along 3,165 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and over 38,000 square miles of Great Lakes bottomlands, including coastal marshes. The State of Michigan is trustee of the bottomlands and waters of the Great Lakes and has a perpetual duty to manage these resources for the benefit of its citizens. A permit is required from the State for altering the bottomlands, such as dredging, construction of a marina, or shore protection and a bottomlands conveyance (lease, deed or agreement) is required for certain occupations of Great Lakes public trust bottomlands. The MDEQ must consider the impact on the public trust when reviewing permit applications to construct on or occupy Great Lakes bottomlands. This consideration includes boating and navigation, as well as the impact on fisheries and wildlife habitat that are directly related to other public trust uses, such as hunting and fishing.

EGLE Submerged Lands Program, Tom Graf
Phone: (517) 335-3471, Email: graft@michigan.gov, Website


Great Lakes Bottomlands Conveyances

The state of Michigan is trustee of the bottomlands and waters of the Great Lakes and has a perpetual duty to manage these resources for the benefit of its citizens. A marina located on Great Lakes public trust bottomlands will require authorization from the EGLE in the form of a lease under Part 325 of the document, Great Lakes Submerged Lands of the NREPA. The lease requires an annual fee be paid to the EGLE and will contain conditions for the use and occupancy of the subject bottomlands. In addition, a permit is required for construction of a marina facility or maintenance work, such as dredging, dock replacement or repair, seawalls, etc.

Similar to Part 301 with regard to commercial marinas that provide docking or mooring as part of their services, the EGLE maintains that docking or mooring from riparian properties such as outlots, trailer parks, condominium and apartment developments, yacht clubs, and other commonly owned or controlled points of access function as and meet the definition of marina purposes under Part 325.

Key definitions involving seasonal or permanent structures, found in Part 325, are helpful in understanding the regulatory position:

  • “Marina Purposes” means an operation making use of submerged bottomlands or filled in bottomlands of the Great Lakes for the purpose of service to boat owners or operators, which operation may restrict or prevent the free public use of the affected bottomlands or filled-in lands.
  • “Other Materials” means any fabricated structure or installed device or facility extending over or placed on bottomlands below the ordinary high water mark or extending over or placed into the waters of the Great Lakes, including all of the following:
    • Bulkheads
    • Groins
    • Riprap
    • Jettys
    • Breakwaters
    • Piers and pipelines
    • Pilings
    • Sand trap walls.
    • “Other Materials” also means a fabricated structure or installed device or facility attached to or administered by a marina. The term does not include temporary docks, boat hoists, or other devices for private use, which are removed annually.
    • “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, political subdivision, the state, the department, an instrumentality or agency of the state, a political subdivision of an instrumentality or agency of the state, a department or other instrumentality or agency of the federal government, or other legal entity.
    • “Public Trust” means the perpetual duty of the state to secure to its people the prevention of pollution, impairment or destruction of its natural resources, and the rights of navigation, fishing, hunting, and use of its lands and waters for other public purposes.

A riparian owner shall obtain a permit from the department before dredging, filling, or placing spoil or other materials on bottomlands; dredging, altering, or maintaining an existing upland channel; or constructing a new upland channel.

Section 32503 provides the EGLE the authority to issue construction permits and bottomlands leases. The applications associated with these permits are called the Application for Permit and the Application for Conveyance. The Application for Permit requests authorization to perform construction activities. The Application for Conveyance requests authorization to occupy Great Lakes bottomlands for the marina facility. The applications are reviewed simultaneously. In waters also under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), a federal construction permit must also be secured. The EGLE and the USACE have a joint permit process for such projects.

The EGLE/USACE “Joint Permit Application” (JPA) package covers permit requirements pursuant to state and federal rules and regulations for construction activities where the land meets the water and including wetlands, often referred to as the land/water interface. It is intended to prevent duplication of state and federal regulations. The application covers activities on or for; wetlands, inland lakes and streams, floodplains, Great Lakes bottomlands, marinas, critical dunes, dams, and high risk erosion areas.

Generally, it will take 45 to 180 days from application until your permit is issued or denied. Factors to consider include the size and complexity of the project, the number of corrections requested and the information provided for it to be administratively complete, whether the project requires Public Noticing and/or a Public Hearing, and the season of the year, with spring and summer being the busiest.

All applications are entered into the Coastal and Inland Waters Permit System, within 7 days of receipt. This system allows you to follow your application through the review process. The applications are processed in the order in which they are received and review time for “complete” applications ranges from 15 to 45 days, depending upon level of completeness and the need for additional information. See EGLE website: Coastal and Inland Waters Permit Information System.

In order to avoid potential delays, an application should, at a minimum, include the following:

  • Sections 1 through 9 fully completed, as well as the specific sections that relate to your project. Make sure that data provided in the application corresponds to attached diagrams.
  • The Application certified with a Signature, signed by the owner of the property, agent or corporation. NOTE: A letter of authorization from the property owner must be included if someone other than the property owner signs the application.
  • A filing fee determined from the GLMD fee schedule.
  • A clear and legible vicinity map and directions to the proposed site.
  • A clear and legible site plan that shows all of the work proposed within the boundaries of your parcel, the size and dimensions of structures, wetland and floodplain boundaries, the type of materials proposed to be used, and the volumes of cut and fill.
  • Scaled and properly labeled cross sections showing existing and proposed conditions.
  • Information about any previous work done on the parcel. Provide drawings of these, clearly labeling existing and proposed work.
  • Provide four sets of plans 8.5 by 11” or 11 x 14”. If large plans are provided, include one set of legible plans that can be reproduced for public noticing purposes

If during the application review process your application is determined to be incomplete for any reason, you will be contacted immediately by phone, email or letter. Additional information is often required. Examples include: provided information is not consistent, diagrams are not included, incomplete or unclear, an appropriate signature is not provided, or a check has not been included for the correct fee. Depending on the project, additional information may be required to clearly define the proposed activity.

When an application is determined to be complete, you will be notified by letter of your application file number and the telephone number of the field office where your application is being processed. If your application requires public noticing, you will also at that time receive a copy of the public notice specifying the corresponding comment period.

Once EGLE has received the information on your project necessary to consider your application complete, including the full application fee and drawings that have adequate detail for review, a site inspection and final processing will occur. Note: during the field inspection, district staff may determine that the application does not fully represent the proposed project and require more information. In some cases, this may mean that the application completeness date will change.

District office processing times for technical review usually range from 60 to 90 days, more time is required if a public notice is required or if a public hearing is held. Also, EGLE staff from your local district office may visit your project site and may contact you for additional information prior to making a decision on the permit. A copy of the permit application will be sent to the Detroit District Office, USACE for processing at the federal level.


Phone: (888) 694-8313, Website

EGLE Permit Consolidation Unit
Phone: (517) 373-9244, Email: MDEQ-LWM-PCU@michigan.gov


State Law

Transport of Prohibited Species

In 2005, the State of Michigan amended the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA, Act 451 of 1994). This amendment, Section 324.41301, to NREPA includes specific information about prohibiting the possession or transport of prohibited species. Section 324.41325 of NREPA states that: “A person shall not place a boat, boating equipment, or boat trailer in the waters of this state if the boat, boating equipment, or boat trailer has an aquatic plant attached.” See: (1) Section 324.41301, the Michigan Legislature Website; and (2) Section 324.41325, the Michigan Legislature Website.

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Permit

NREPA Act 451, Part 91 is intended to protect the waters of the state by minimizing erosion and controlling sediment. A permit is required for any earth change that disturbs one or more acres, or is within 500 feet of a lake or stream. Counties have the primary responsibility for issuing permits but cities, villages, and townships have assumed permitting responsibilities within their jurisdictions. The applicant must submit an application that provides specific information such as the name of the on-site responsible person, location, and size of the earth change, description of the earth change, and project starting and ending dates. Also required is a Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control (SESC) plan that includes the following information:

  1. A map showing the site location, predominant land features proximity to lakes, streams and wetlands, and contour intervals or slope information.
  2. Soils information.
  3. Physical limits of each earth change.
  4. Location of existing and proposed drainage patterns.
  5. Timing and sequence of each proposed earth change.
  6. Description of all temporary and permanent erosion and sedimentation control measures.
  7. A schedule for maintaining all control measures.
  8. Any other information required by the permitting agency.

Principles of the Development of An SESC Plan:

  • Integrating the overall construction design and activities to fit the physical and vegetative feature of the site
  • Staging construction and stabilization activities to minimize the area and duration of disturbance
  • Identifying control measures that will minimize erosion
  • Identifying controls that will prevent off-site sedimentation
    • Sediment control should not be used as a substitution for erosion control, but rather in conjunction with erosion control
  • Establishing an inspection and maintenance schedule

The penalties for noncompliance with permit conditions or Part 91 can include civil fines of up to $25,000/day, and the cease and desist orders. Permitees may install and maintain control at landowner’s expense, and a person may be ordered to restore all affected areas. For more information, contact your local SESC agency.

Storage Tank Regulations

Storage Tank Regulations (Part 3, Chapter 11 of NFPA 30A) addresses the storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids (FL/CL) at marine fueling locations.

  • Where individual storage capacity is more than 1,100 gallons, an application for plan review shall be submitted to the department not less than 30 days before the installation of an above ground storage tank (AST) system by the owner or owner’s designee, on behalf of the owner.
  • As soon as practical after the detection of a release, the owner or operator of an AST system that releases or permits to be released any flammable or combustible liquid of more than 55 gallons to the ground or within a secondary containment area during any 24-hour period shall notify the department by contacting the department’s pollution emergency alerting system (PEAS) at (800) 292-4706.
    • Within 10 days after the release, the owner or operator shall file a written report with the department outlining the cause of the release, discovery of the release, and response measures taken or a schedule for completion of measures to be taken, or both, to prevent recurrence of similar releases.
    • An owner or operator of an AST system, where a release has occurred and who is liable for the activity that caused the release, is responsible for the response activity at the facility.
  • Depending upon the classification, either “Flammable Liquids – Keep Fire Away” or “Combustible Liquids – Keep Fire Away,” shall be displayed in letters that are not less than 3-inches in height.
    • Tanks shall be conspicuously marked with the name of the product contained and with the following marking: FLAMMABLE (or COMBUSTIBLE, when appropriate) – KEEP FIRE AND FLAME AWAY.
    • Tanks shall also bear the following marking: KEEP 40 FEET FROM BUILDINGS.
    • All lettering on signage shall be 3 inches (75 millimeters) or more.
  • Leak detection for underground tanks. A monthly monitoring method of release detection shall be chosen for each underground storage tank. Leak detection for above ground tanks includes accurate inventory control or an appropriate leak detection method that is acceptable to the department. These are required for all above ground storage tank systems that are in contact with the ground or have underground piping systems.
  • Any storage area that contains the aggregate capacity of 1,320 gallons of flammable and combustible liquid shall have impervious secondary containment that diverts possible spills away from buildings or other exposures or shall be surrounded by a curb not less than 6 inches (150 millimeters) high. Where curbs are used, provisions shall be made for draining of accumulations of groundwater, rainwater, or spills of liquids. Drains shall terminate at a safe location and shall be accessible to operation under fire conditions. Until fire protection liquids are removed and properly disposed of, the safe location shall be capable of containing any released product. The secondary containment shall be capable of preventing any released product or contaminated water from reaching surface water, groundwater, and subsurface soils. Class I, class II, and class IIIA tanks and containers shall be kept closed when not in continuous or intermediate use.
  • Where tanks are at an elevation that produces a gravity head on the dispensing device, the tank outlet shall be equipped with a device, such as a normally closed solenoid valve, positioned adjacent to and downstream from the valve that is installed and adjusted so that liquid cannot flow by gravity from the tank if the piping or hose fails when the dispenser is not in use.

Liquids Storage Guidelines:

    • The use of above ground storage tanks at motor fuel dispensing facilities, fleet vehicle motor fuel dispensing facilities, and marine motor fuel dispensing facilities shall be permitted when installed in accordance with the requirements of chapters 2 and 3 of part 2 of these rules.
    • Tanks designed and built for underground use shall not be installed for above ground use and tanks designed and built for above ground use shall not be installed for underground use.
    • The maximum individual capacity of 16,000 gallons (60,480 liters), where indicated in table, shall be permitted to be increased to 24,000 gallons (90,720 liters) for class II and class III liquids at a fleet vehicle motor fuel dispensing facility if located in a protected above ground tank. The maximum aggregate capacity shall not be more than 80,000 gallons (302,400 liters).
    • Above ground tanks shall be provided with spill control that meets the requirements of part 2 of these rules. Tank fill connections shall be provided with a noncombustible spill containment device.
  • Tanks shall be enclosed with a chain link fence which is not less than 6 feet (1.8 meters) high and which has a means of ingress and egress. The fence shall be separated from the tanks by not less than 10 feet (3 meters) and shall have a gate that is properly secured against unauthorized entry. Above ground tanks, other than tanks in vaults, shall be protected against vehicular collision by suitable barriers. Guard posts or other approved means shall be provided to protect tanks that are subject to vehicular damage.
  • Each dispensing device shall be located not less than 10 feet (3.1 meters) from property lines, openings to buildings, and buildings of combustible wall construction. A dispensing device shall not be less than 20 feet (6.1 meters) from any activity that involves a fixed source of ignition.
  • A container shall not be filled with liquid while it is inside a passenger carrying vehicle. A container shall be removed from the interior of a passenger vehicle, from the back or enclosed portion of any other vehicle, or from the bed of a pickup truck, which has a bed liner during fueling. A person shall not fill or transport a portable container that holds more than 6 gallons (23 liters) of class I or class II liquid inside the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle. A container that is filled with, or sold containing, gasoline, benzene, or naphtha shall be painted vermillion (bright red) and shall be lettered or labeled with the name of the product. Kerosene, fuel oil, or other combustible liquid shall not be put into, or sold in, a container that is painted vermilion or bright red.
  • Fire extinguishers shall be located so that an extinguisher will be within 100 feet of each pump, storage tank fill pipe opening, and lubrication or service room.
  • Warning signs shall be conspicuously posted in the dispensing area and shall incorporate the following or equivalent wording: “WARNING. It is unlawful and dangerous to dispense gasoline into unapproved containers. No smoking. Stop motor. No filling of portable containers in or on a motor vehicle. A person shall remain in attendance outside of the vehicle and in view of the nozzle.”
  • Tanks that supply marine motor fuel dispensing facilities shall be located on shore or on a pier of the solid fill type. Pumps that are not integral with the dispensing device shall also be located on shore or on a pier of the solid-fill type.
  • Exception: Where shore location would require excessively long supply lines to dispensing devices, tanks shall be permitted to be located on a pier, if the installation meets all applicable requirements of chapters 2 and 3 of part 2 of the FL/CL code, and the quantity stored is not more than 1,100 gallons (4,180 liters) aggregate capacity.
  • Where a tank is at an elevation that produces a gravity head on the dispensing device, the tank outlet shall be equipped with a device, such as a normally closed solenoid valve, that will prevent gravity flow from the tank to the dispenser. The device shall be located adjacent to and downstream of the outlet valve. The device shall be installed and adjusted so that liquid cannot flow by gravity from the tank to the dispenser if the piping or hose fails when the dispenser is not in use. If a submersible pump system is used, a listed emergency shutoff valve shall be installed at each dispensing location.
  • Open flames and smoking materials shall not be permitted in the storage area.
  • The area within 10 feet (3 meters) of the tank shall be kept free of combustible materials.

State Agencies

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR or DNR) is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. See: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
(EGLE) protects Michigan’s environment and public health. As stewards of Michigan’s environment, EGLE works on behalf of the people of the Great Lakes state for an improved quality of life and a sustainable future. In service to the public, EGLE administers programs that promote the appropriate use of, limit the adverse effects on, and restore the quality of the environment. Through its many public/private partnerships, the EGLE encourages innovative and voluntary actions that will enhance our natural resources and the environment.

The Water Resources Division is responsible for protecting and monitoring Michigan’s waters – swimmable, fishable, fish safe to eat, and healthy aquatic ecosystems (not drinking water). Their tools include the federal Clean Water Act and state statutes, Michigan water quality standards, permits, enforcement, monitoring, grants, and technical assistance. For more information, see: EGLE Water Resources Division.  

Source: Michigan Clean Marina Program, 2013.


Michigan Clean Marina logoParticipants in the Michigan Clean Marina Program voluntarily pledge to maintain and improve Michigan’s waterways by reducing or eliminating releases of harmful substances and phasing out practices that can damage aquatic environments. The program began in 2005.

Since the program began, 80 marinas have been certified and 45 of them have been recertified, showing continued commitment to keeping Michigan waters clean.