The Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Water Resources Division has launched MiWaters, a web-based permitting and compliance database focused on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), storm water, groundwater discharge, aquatic nuisance control, Part 41 construction, and land and water interface permits. The database replaces over 25 outdated databases and includes 5 permitting programs. The program is meant to benefit regulated stakeholders by allowing them to manage their own accounts, submit applications and reports electronically, receive reminders regarding upcoming deadlines, and review past submissions and violations. Permit holders will receive letters in the mail with instructions to register.
The transition to MiWaters has not been as smooth as intended.  Users have encountered challenges throughout the transition process. The challenges stem from the large number of programs, activities, reports, and documents stored on the system, many of which don’t apply to most permit holders. Another issue is that DEQ staff have different viewing options than permit holders which makes it difficult for them to assist users remotely. While the DEQ has useful online tools for assisting permit holders in using the system, DEQ staff also only recently started using the program so there is a bit of frustration with navigating the new system on both ends.  For assistance in navigating MiWATERS and any other compliance matter, please contact ASTIs Director of Industrial Compliance Services, Bruce Bawkon, PE, at 616/485-3832 or drop him an email at bbawkon@asti-env.com .