Civil Action and Legal Recourse

Civil Action and Legal Recourse


  • Citizens can challenge permits under Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) if the project would likely pollute or impair natural resources. However, citizens cannot challenge permits due to procedural defects in the permitting process. Contact an attorney with experience with citizen challenges under MEPA if you are interested in formally challenging the issuance of a permit.
  • -If citizens can demonstrate that they have a right to bring a suit, they may be able to challenge procedural defects in permits granted under Part 615 of the NREPA.  These challenges may be lodged at the administrative level or in court. Seek legal counsel with an experienced attorney to set up a citizen challenge under NREPA.
  • A person who is aggrieved by a decision regarding large quantity water withdrawal permits may appeal to the MDEQ and make a challenge in court after the MDEQ has made their ruling. More information and program contacts for large quantity water withdrawal permits can be found here.
  • Citizens may challenge the granting of leases of minerals on state land under MEPA if they can demonstrate that environmental harm is likely to occur. Contact an attorney with experience with citizen challenges under MEPA if you are interested in formally challenging the issuance of a permit.


  • You can seek recourse if you are a landowner with a contaminated water supply, or a decrease in water’s fair market value as a result of fracking activity. Click here to learn more.
  • If you are an adjacent property owner or a person adversely affected by a product, fluid or substance or by a chemical component you can challenge a trade secret designation.  Such actions must be filed in the court of common pleas of Franklin County.


  • Surface owners can object to siting of a well if the location is an issue or if the information supplied in a permit application by a potential operator is considered by surface owner to be untrue. The dispute would be resolved through a conference process.
  • A citizen with standing can bring a suit if they will be adversely affected by a violation of the Oil and Gas Conservation Law. Contact an experienced attorney to pursue this type of citizen suit.
  • Under the Clean Streams Law, citizens can deliver a 60 day notice of intent to sue if the Department fails to perform non-discretionary actions to bring suit for injunction to compel compliance. However, a plaintiff may proceed immediately if there is imminent threat to the person’s safety, health, or legal interests. Contact an experienced attorney to assemble a 60 day notice.
  • Local regulation through ordinances was thought to have no bearing on fracking due to law. However, recently, the Court of Common Pleas held that not allowing local regulation violated the principles of substantive due process. Local regulation could be pursued as a potential avenue to regulate fracking in communities.

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West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.