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Environmental emergency preparedness and response webinar series

Large-scale environmental incidents and emergency events such as fires, floods, dam failures, and oil spills can and do occur in Michigan and have the potential to cause devastating impacts to human health and the environment. However, the damage caused by these disasters can be mitigated with proper preparedness and response. This webinar series is focused on helping business, industry, government, and the spill response community understand the complexities of preparing for and responding to large-scale environmental incidents and will provide an understanding of the various associated roles, responsibilities, regulations, and response technologies. A question and answer period will follow each presentation.

Upcoming Webinars in the Series


Additional Webinars coming soon.  



Recorded webinars in this series:

Storm Recovery: Do you know what to do with storm debris? New Tools for Responding to Natural Disasters
Climate change is expected to worsen the frequency, intensity, and impact from extreme weather events, like floods, tornadoes, and ice storms. Natural disasters generally result in significant damage to infrastructure and increase in the amount and types of materials requiring disposal. This can pose a threat or substantial nuisance to human health and environmental if not handled quickly and properly. See the new resources at and join us to learn more! In this webinar, emergency responders, local officials, community planners, and Michigan residents will learn about: • The regulations for managing storm debris. • EGLE’s authority and Michigan’s process for obtaining an Emergency Solid Waste Disposal Authorization in response to a natural disaster. • New online tools to help prepare for and respond to a natural disaster. Join us for this webinar to learn how you and your community can prepare for and be ready to respond to a natural disaster in your community.

A Dip into Digital Defense
This joint Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Michigan Cyber Command Center (MC3) presentation explores two integral facets of online security. The first facet is identifying and removing information online. The second covers password security and the crucial implementation of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to help keep your accounts secure. The presentation will primarily focus on security aspects of the water sector. However, there will be beneficial information presented for anyone interested in online security. Continuing education credits for both water and wastewater are pending.

Harmful Algal Blooms in Michigan’s Recreational Waters (recorded 07/13/23, 62min)
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are a natural part of lakes, rivers, and ponds. Unfortunately, some cyanobacteria can produce toxins and in high concentrations can cause health effects in animals as well as people. When conditions are right, the cyanobacteria can multiply rapidly forming a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB). The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) routinely discover or receive reports of HABs in Michigan and work with local health departments to protect the public when toxins are discovered. Please join EGLE and DHHS for this information webinar on what harmful algal blooms are, how they impact surface waters, and what can be done about them. The webinar will include a presentation followed by a question and answer session and is open to anyone interested in HABs.

Vessels on the Great Lakes and US Coast Guard’s Involvement in Pollution Prevention and Response (recorded 04/18/23, 59min)
The US Coast Guard is charged with the responsibility as the Federal On-scene Coordinator in the Coastal Zone, to include the waters of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes serve as an invaluable host of uses to include water consumption, transportation, power, and recreation. This presentation will discuss the vessels that utilize the Great Lakes, a broad overview of pollution prevention regulations that apply to vessels, and the US Coast Guard’s actions upon notification of a pollution incident from a vessel into the waterway.

US EPA and EGLE: Partners in Environmental Emergency Response(Recorded 12/15/22, 62 min)
As the primary state and federal agencies tasked with environmental protection and environmental emergency response, EGLE and the US EPA often work in tandem and collaborate with other agencies in response to large scale emergency events. This presentation will describe how EGLE and US EPA work together in response to environmental emergencies and will provide several real-world examples of how this is accomplished. An introduction of EGLE and US EPA response staff will also be part of the presentation.

The Emergency Management Cycle: Putting the Pieces Together (Recorded 3/31/22, 57 min)
Emergency management provides structure and order to unexpected and catastrophic events. Responding to these events is only one piece of phases for emergency management. This webinar will discuss what is planning, response, recovery, and mitigation and how emergency management and Incident Command System can benefit small and large scale exercises and responses.

Presenters: Representatives from EGLE and MSP

Dam Safety and Preparedness: It Takes A Community Working Together (Recorded 1/20/22, 61 min) - Recording temporarily unavailable
Dams can serve an important role in a community as a water supply, hydroelectric generation, flood protection, and recreation. However, dam failures can pose a significant threat to public health and safety and can also cause millions of dollars in property and environmental damages. EGLE's Dam Safety Program is responsible for administering Michigan's dam safety statute which ensures that regulated dams are properly constructed, inspected, and maintained, and that dam owners are adequately prepared for potential emergencies. However, it is also up to the community to ensure it is prepared for a dam safety incident. This presentation will provide an overview of EGLE's Dam Safety Program, a discussion of the partners and their roles in preventing and responding to dam emergencies, and a question and answer session.

Preparing for the Worst but Hoping For the Best (Recorded 12/01/21, 61 min)
Well before an responding to an environmental emergency and even before it occurs, a plan for the incident has already been developed. Incident planning may be the single best way to facilitate coordination, decrease response times, mobilize resources, and identify sensitive areas, and just as the response requires the involvement of various agencies, organizations, and private industry across all levels of government, so does incident planning. This presentation will include a summary of environmental emergency planning activities in Michigan including facility response plans, integrated contingency plans, geographic response plans, and area contingency plans as well as how you can become involved in incident planning.

Presenters: Brian Streichert, USCG and Kim Churchill, USEPA

The Michigan Mapping Project: An Emerging Response Technology (Recorded 09/22/21, 62 min)
During an environmental emergency response, situational awareness of the surrounding area, vulnerabilities, impacted communities, and potential sources is key, and the Michigan Mapping Project is a new Geographical Information System (GIS) response tool that can be used to quickly identify and monitor this information. This presentation will teach you about using this technology in a spill response situation, for pre-planning of an incident, and how to become a user of this program, which can include any public entity at the federal, state, and local level as well as private sector emergency responders.

Presenters: Kim Churchill and Jon Gulch, USEPA

Release Reporting Regulations in Michigan…Sara Title III, Part 5, Oh My! (Recorded 08/25/21, 59 min)
In order for government agencies to provide the appropriate staff, resources, and expertise to and environmental incident, they must first be notified that it occurred. As a result, release reporting regulations are in place for reporting spills and can vary greatly by the type of material, volumes, use, and where it was released, and it can be difficult to determine if a spill is required to be reported. This presentation will provide a broad overview of the release reporting requirements in Michigan, when a spill needs to be reported, and how to report it.

Presenters: Mike Young, EGLE and Dana Bradt, EGLE

The Emergency Management Framework and Where You Fit In (Recorded 06/23/21, 61 min)
Management of an environmental emergency often requires the response of hundreds of people the across federal, state, and local governments as well as private industry at a moment's notice. Knowing how emergency management works, what the roles are at each level of government, and where you fit in is vital to being prepared and successfully responding to a large-scale incident. A presenter from each federal, state, and local governments will provide a summary of their government agencies role in an environmental response scenario, how they work together, and what your role is.

Presenters: Therese Cremonte, Livingston County Emergency Management; Jay Eickholt, EGLE; and Brian Kelly, USEPA