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Meeting Michiganders where they are: Input sought on update to EGLE public participation policy

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Increasing and enhancing meaningful public participation in the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) actions is a key priority for the agency, and we want to hear from Michiganders about an updated draft policy that will help do that.

Public comment is being accepted now through April 1 on EGLE’s draft updated Public Participation Policy and Language Access Plan. The agency’s revisions to the policy and plan are concrete steps to increase transparency, accessibility, and ongoing improvement around public participation at EGLE.

The proposed updates build on recent progress, including EGLE’s first public meeting with American Sign Language, Arabic, and Spanish interpretation and increasing translation and access of information to Michiganders.

Key updates enhancing and improving equitable public participation across EGLE’s actions include: 

  • Reorganized document: The policy follows each step in the public participation process, from pre-planning to decision and follow-up.
  • Expanded key terms and definitions: The policy now includes legal terms used frequently in public participation, environmental justice, meaningful involvement, and plain language.
  • Highlights best practices for engagement: The policy centers environmental justice, meaningful involvement, and accessibility as lenses through which we approach our outreach.
  • Considerations and minimum requirements for meetings: The policy has more clarity on various meeting formats (virtual, in-person, hybrid) and types (informational, open house, listening session, public hearing).
  • Strengthened continuous improvement and accountability sections: Implementation involves a cross-division working group, consistent training, and regular policy revisitation.

The policy and plan aim to foster meaningful public participation, transparency, and ongoing improvement in EGLE programs and activities.

As part of the process, EGLE is seeking feedback from community residents and interested stakeholders on both updated policy and plan. We will be accepting comments until April 1, 2024.

“We want to engage with Michiganders so they understand what we do, why we do it, how it affects their lives, and how they can have meaningful interaction and input into the decisions we make,” said Phil Roos, EGLE director. “These improvements in our policy and practices will help meet that challenge.”

EGLE is hosting two listening sessions in March (see registration below) in addition to receiving comment via email, mail, and phone. The sessions will start with a short presentation on key updates to the policy and plan, process for submitting a public comment, with most of the session focused on listening to comments EGLE should include in review.

Register here to participate in the virtual listening sessions:

Submit your comments via:

  • Regular Mail:
    Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
    Executive Office - Attn: Office of EJ Public Advocate
    P.O. Box 30473
    Lansing, MI 48909-7973
  • Via Voicemail: 517-335-4100
  • Attend a Virtual Listening Session (details above).

Learn more online about the public participation policy and plan at EGLE’s Public Participation webpage and stay up to date by subscribing to Engage with EGLE, EGLE’s community engagement newsletter.

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