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Local Leaders Webinar Series

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) presents this webinar series dedicated to helping Michigan's local officials and community leaders gain a better understanding of EGLE and the environmental regulations that affect their communities. Each month, EGLE will host a 1-hour webinar that will tackle a topic of interest to local officials and community leaders throughout the state. Each webinar will include a presentation by EGLE staff and time for questions from attendees.

Upcoming Webinars

Additional webinars coming soon.


Recorded Webinars From This Series

Floodplains 101: What you need to know about the floodplains in your community (recorded 1/11/22, 90 min)
Is there a waterbody that runs through, or near your community? In Michigan, more than 1,000 communities participate in the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and an even greater number have unmapped flood zones, yet every waterbody has the potential to flood. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about floodplain management, the flood provisions in Michigan Building Codes, and EGLE's Floodplain Authority found in state regulations. We will discuss what a floodplain is, what activities require a permit, floodplain development administrative responsibilities, and reviewing an Elevation Certificate. The presentation is intended for anyone involved in development within your community such as supervisors, clerks, building officials and inspectors, engineers, and surveyors. Building Officials and Inspectors, and others who qualify can earn 1 hour Administrative credit toward Act 54 hours (LARA course Floodplain 101, CP-20-00061).

Responding to Environmental Emergencies - EGLE and EPA’s Roles and Resources (recorded 5/11/20, 73 min)
Local officials and emergency responders should be prepared to deal with a variety of emergencies, including those that impact the public health and the environment like the green ooze, contaminated sites, abandoned hazardous materials, and natural disasters. It’s important that you know how to prepare and respond quickly. In this webinar, attendees learn how EGLE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinate and respond to assist communities during environmental emergencies. EGLE and EPA share details about their roles, their process, and their partners, in responding to these types of events. They also share resources and tools for planning and responding to environmental emergencies and natural disasters.

Waste Gone Wild! – Dealing with Nuisance Waste Sites and Illegal Dumping in Your Community (recorded 11/19/19, 70 min)
Hidden dump piles, trash strewn property, abandoned buildings filled with junk - Local leaders make discoveries like these in their communities all the time. Recycling efforts that start out with good intentions and get out of hand with flat markets and poor planning are usually to blame; however local officials are often left to clean up the mess. Local leaders will want to join this webinar to learn about how to recognize and address waste gone wild situations in your community and the tools that are available to help. Attendees will hear about recycling efforts gone wild for materials like shingles, scrap tires, electronic and other recyclable commodities, as well as how to address nuisance dumping situations.

How Drinking Water Systems Work and How EGLE Regulates Them (recorded 10/23/19, 58 min)
Do you know where your community’s drinking water comes from and how it safely gets to where it needs to go? It can vary from house-to-house or from your downtown to the outskirts. Providing drinking water to residents and businesses in your community is a vital function of local government. It’s important for local leaders to have an understanding of their community’s drinking water infrastructure and how it’s regulated. In this webinar, EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Director explains the basics of how a community drinking water system works and the regulations that affect your drinking water system. It includes information on recent regulatory changes and how they will affect your community.

What Local Leaders Need to Know about the State’s Burning Regulations (recorded 9/24/19, 62 min)
Burning regulations can be confusing! Local officials around the state often deal with questions and complaints from residents related to fire pits, leaf and trash burning, and outdoor wood-fired boilers. EGLE has multiple regulations dealing with what can and cannot be burned, as well as who can and cannot burn. Additionally, there are several state agencies who work together to handle burning complaints, but these agencies do not handle enforcement of all burning rules. For instance, outdoor wood burners and residential trash burning issues are handled by the local municipality.

What Local Leaders should know about Water Resource Protection - wetlands, docks, seawalls, and more! (recorded 8/29/19, 68 min)
Many activities at or near a waterbody --  like a stream, lake, or wetland -- require a permit from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Residents who plan to alter a wetland, modify a shoreline, build a dock or seawall, construct a ditch/culvert, or other similar activity should be aware of the restrictions and permit requirements associated with those activities BEFORE they begin. It’s important that local leaders are familiar with these regulations as these are common questions that come up in community forums, board and planning meetings, and one-on-one conversations with residents. This webinar will provide an overview of the requirements associated with construction/modifications near or at a lake, stream, wetland or other waterbody in Michigan and the opportunities for local protection. Local leaders will learn what the requirements are and be provided with resources and tools to help communities protect our water resources.

Odors and Dust: How to deal with issues in your community (recorded 7/31/19, 59 min)
Odor and dust complaints are the most frequently received complaints EGLE Air Quality Division receives. There are state regulations dealing with dust and nuisance odors, but what should you do if you or your community is having issues with either of these? This webinar will detail what requirements the state has for facilities in your community with dust or odor issues. An Air Quality inspector will discuss what to do if you get a complaint from your community regarding dust and odors and your local ordinances do not address the problem. You will also learn when to ask your district office for help.

Septic Systems- Is Your Community SepticSmart? (recorded 6/13/19, 70 min.)In Michigan, more than 1.3 million onsite wastewater treatment systems (a.k.a. septic systems) are used to treat wastewater. These systems include residential, commercial, and community systems. It is important that septic systems in your community are maintained to protect the health of your residents and the environment. If not maintained, they can contaminate groundwater and harm the environment by releasing bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants into local waterways.

illustration of Septic system depicting a house with septic tank and drainfield in side yard

Managing Contaminated Sites in Your Community! Your Guide to Liability, Redevelopment, and Financial Assistance  (recorded 5/29/19, 51 min)
Contaminated properties exist in almost all communities in Michigan. It’s important that local officials are aware of how contaminated sites are regulated by EGLE in order to keep residents safe and know their options for future redevelopment opportunities. This webinar is intended to provide the basics of environmental clean-up regulations and is tailored for local government leaders without a legal or technical background. Staff from EGLE's Remediation and Redevelopment Division will provide an overview of liability, due care, land and resource use restrictions, and how to tap into Brownfield funding.

man with clipboard inspecting a facility for compliance

How Does the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Regulate Businesses in Your Community? (recorded 4/30/19, 60 min)
Local officials wear a lot of hats and may not be familiar with the many environmental regulations that affect businesses in their community. EGLE (formerly DEQ) regulates sources of air pollution, waste handling, wastewater and storm water discharges, and more. To ensure human health and the environment is protected, ELGE inspection staff regularly visit businesses to ensure they are meeting the environmental regulations that apply to their operations. In this webinar, we will provide an overview of the many regulations that affect both large and small businesses in your community. We will also have a panel of environmental specialists from the EGLE available to answer your questions. If you’d like to get a good overview of environmental regulations or have had questions but didn’t know who to ask, this is the session for you!

marihuana plants in greenhouse grow facility

Marijuana Production and Processing Operations – Environmental Regulations and Concerns (recorded 3/26/19, 68 min)
With the legalization of recreational marihuana in Michigan, local leaders are faced with managing environmental concerns from the growing and processing of marihuana. EGLE created a Marihuana Workgroup to evaluate the environmental risks posed by marihuana growing and processing as well as to assess the applicability of existing environmental regulations to this budding industry. Marihuana is known to have impacts on all environmental media including odors, water discharges, land use restrictions, and pesticide and herbicide use that falls out of agricultural regulations. All of these challenges can cause community concerns and complaints. View this webinar to learn how your governing agency can manage recreational marihuana impacts in your community.

person using jar to collect water from storm drain

PFAS – What local leaders should know about PFAS contamination in Michigan (recorded 2/21/19, 64 min) 
This is the first webinar in the Local Leaders Webinar Series.  Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of manmade chemicals that are resistant to heat, water, and oil.  For decades, they have been used in many industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, waterproof clothing, upholstery, food paper wrappings, personal care products, fire-fighting foams, and metal plating. PFAS have been found at low levels both in the environment and in blood samples of the general U.S. population.  EGLE began a statewide initiative to test drinking water from all schools that use well water and community water supplies for PFAS. EGLE took this precautionary step of testing these drinking water sources to determine if public health actions are needed.  Local officials and community leaders may have questions about how to prepare, respond, and address questions from residents. In this webinar, EGLE staff will provide an overview of what PFAS is, what EGLE is doing about it, and what local leaders need to know.

If you have questions about the webinar content and/or recommendations for additional waste webinar topics, please contact Jim Ostrowski with the Training and Outreach Unit at 517-284-6870 or